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The Power of Moments [Podcast]

Episode 45: Michael and Kathryn discuss Chip Heath and Dan Heath's book, The Power of Moments, and ways you can transform life's transitions, milestones, and pits into extremely powerful moments for your employees and company. Discover how to start creating a company culture where your team feels affirmed and recognized for their achievements by giving this podcast episode a listen.

Office birthday party

In This Episode You Will Learn:

  • The 4 elements that make up a powerful 'moment'

  • Different ways to celebrate the accomplishments of your employees

  • Why public recognition has a multiplying effect

  • How you can turn the 'pits' of life into powerful transformative moments

  • Why celebrating 'moments' is central to developing a Passion & Provision company

 

"Look for transitions, milestones, and pits as a way to elevate people, to provide insight for others, to provide a sense of pride and accomplishment, and to provide a sense of connection and community. And when we empower the people on our team to do these things also - they will take those ideas and values and multiply them in front of you like an amazing miracle, and help you build a Passion and Provision Company where you will see profit and joy."

– Michael Redman

  

References:
The Power of Moments (by Chip Heath and Dan Heath)

 

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Michael:           Have you ever wondered how you could take specific moments and capitalize them in your company to create a culture that rises above everybody else's, to create a passion provision culture that's just amazing that people talk about, that your employees go to their friends and family and tell stories about? Well today we're gonna talk about one aspect of that as we talk about the power of moments.


Michael:
         Hello everybody and welcome to the HaBO Village Podcast. I'm Michael Redman.


Kathryn:
         And I'm Kathryn Redman.


Michael:
         We're so glad you're here. Thanks for coming and tuning in today. Whatever you're doing, if you're on a run, if you're driving across town or on a long distance journey, we're really appreciative that you're taking us along with you.


Michael:
         Today we're gonna talk about capitalizing on moments. So one of the things that we talk about with passion and provision companies - because that's what we're all about is helping readers grow and lead passion provision companies - is we talk about in our five areas of management.


Michael:
         One of those areas that is so important, is public recognition, and with public recognition, the goal is to really, telling your employees, and this is how we do it. We're telling our employees that they're doing a good job. We're cheering them on and in a way that they feel encouraged, that they feel valued and that they feel affirmed.


Michael:
         Now, there's a key there; that they feel valued and encouraged and affirmed amongst their peers. We want them to feel good, but we also want them to realize that in the community of our office, that we as the leaders are convening some of our authority over to them, of saying, "Hey they're doing a great job," and we want their status to grow also with the community. Cause, while some people are like, "I don't wanna be talked about in front of everybody. I don't wanna be called out cause I'm embarrassed," but everybody wants to know that their peers respect them. Everybody wants to know whether the boss respects them and they don't want that to be a secret.


Kathryn:
         You're saying even introverts like public recognition?


Michael:
         When done appropriately. That's a great point. That's exactly what I'm saying is, sometimes when the issue of public recognition comes up, people say, "Not everybody likes it. Especially introverts, they hate it. They hate being recognized publicly." It's not that they hate being recognized publicly, it's that they hate the way it's done so often. The key here is that we want to, and we do this, we have people at our office that are introverts, the key is to make sure that you're encouraging them.


Michael:
         That you're building them up and encouraging them and coming along and saying, "We think you're doing a good job. We think, we appreciate the work you're doing and we want you to do that we value you as an employee and we want your status within the community at work, within the team, to be elevated too. We want other people to respect your work and to know you're doing a good job." As a leader, if I say, "This is an example of good work, this is a good job, I'm really appreciative of what you're doing." And you say that in a healthy context in front of people, that really builds people up. Everybody loves to be valued and appreciated by their peers and by their leaders.


Kathryn:
         They may not like it if part of your recognition scheme is that they have to give a short speech or something like that.


Michael:
         They may hate that.


Kathryn:
         They may hate that.


Michael:
         They may hate that.


Kathryn:
         But if you're simply at a staff meeting, just going, "Hey, I just really want to acknowledge so and so for such and such and thank you very much for your contribution," most people are gonna really like that.


Michael:
         Yeah and even though ...


Kathryn:
         No matter what their personality might choose.


Michael:
         It might make them feel a little embarrassed. It might make them feel a little uncomfortable, but what I've learned over the years in talking with the introverts is they still value the same thing. They really do.


Michael:
         What we're talking about is, today's podcast is about thinking. What are different ways you can do that? How do you recognize people in appropriate ways? Cause the goal is, just like we say, it's not help unless it's perceived as help, it's not recognition unless it's perceived as healthy, encouraging recognition, and so that's real important, but one of the things that happens is you start to look at ... Where do you do these things? How do you do it in a way that works for people?


Michael:
         One of the things that we've done over the years is we've learned to celebrate. We've just, over the years, learned to celebrate people's accomplishments or just little things. Every month that we have birthdays, we celebrate birthdays in our office.


Kathryn:
         I love birthdays in our office.


Michael:
         When babies are born-


Kathryn:
         We celebrate babies.


Michael:
         We celebrate babies.


Kathryn:
         We're happy there aren't that many, but we celebrate that ones that are.


Michael:
         But it happens. We're a small office. We also celebrate anniversaries. We celebrate all these different types of events that happen because we've learned that, when you're in a community, when you celebrate people's major events in life, as we've done that, we've realized there are trends and things over the years and we came across a book this last year called The Power of Moments. The Power of Moments by Dan and Chip Heath.


Michael:
         Great book. It's like their fourth or fifth book. They write great stuff and this one really takes these principles that we've had, that we've learned to celebrate, we've learned to keep an eye out for them, and they've done a phenomenal job. Not only bringing this to the surface so that it can be used and available to so many people and so many people can be encouraged, but they've done a good job just articulating the bits and pieces, don't you think?


Kathryn:
         Oh, I do. Yeah.


Michael:
         What did you enjoy about the book?


Kathryn:
         I think they took what I know to be true, which is that there are moments in a person's life that beg for recognition or insight, or something that actually shifts something for that human being. They've just taken that and really, really flushed it out, so even with stuff like our birthdays and stuff like that, one of the things that have happened in our office, and this makes me so happy and it's not my gift, but there are staff folks that we have assigned these things thing, that have delegated this, that are extraordinarily good at this, is when it is somebody's birthday or some special celebration for that person, we don't have a generic, "Well everybody gets this cookie or this dessert, or whatever," things are really personalized.


Kathryn:
         We're a small office so we can do that, but one of our staff pays very, very close attention and asks questions so that when we're celebrating a person, we're celebrating them in a way that's meaningful to them. So, last thing you wanna do is celebrate the birthday of your employee who's, I don't know, lactose intolerant or gluten free, or something, and bring them a chocolate cake. That's just not very helpful.


Michael:
         No.


Kathryn:
         It's just not helpful.


Michael:
         But when that pile of cookies, somebody also got the gluten free cookie. We have a person who's gluten free in the office and they think about that. It's like, "Well, we wanted to make sure you were taken care of and not left out."


Kathryn:
         Yeah.


Michael:
         That is amazing and these guys did a good job. This is the way they break something down. They talk about the idea that there are moments all day long, just normal everyday moments, but then there are moments in between the moments that are significant and powerful, and they're more pregnant with-


Kathryn:
         Opportunity.


Michael:
         Opportunity. That's a great way of putting it. They say this, look, some powerful defining moments ... Now, they break this down into four different pieces.


Michael:
         Some powerful moments have all four. They have these defining moments that contain all four moments, so think of Yes Prep Senior Signing Day. I don't know what that is.


Kathryn:
         It's one of their examples. They talk about one of the prep schools that have a really, really cool very intentional ceremony for their seniors.


Michael:
         Oh, that's right.


Kathryn:
         When they're graduating and they're signing with colleges, and so they go through this very intentional ritual that no other schools that they hit up or come across go through and it's very powerful.


Michael:
         And with that context, thank you very much, they say that this moment, this ceremony has these four elements. Now, let me tell you what these four elements are.


Michael:
         Elevation, insight, pride and connection. If you can find a moment that has one of those, that's powerful, so you look for these four, but some powerful defining moments have all four like this event, this ceremony and it says, they have the elevation of students. Having their moment on stage. They bring these students on stage and they say, "So and so has signed with such and such college," we've been working towards you going and getting into a good college.


Michael:
         The insight of a sixth grader who's in the audience who watches this, thinking, that could be me, the pride of being accepted to college, and the connection of sharing the day with an arena full of thousands of supportive people. These four moments are powerful.


Michael:
         Now, I wanna talk about ... At some point, we're gonna do a podcast I think on all four of these. Maybe we need to do one on just each one of them because I think they're very powerful. What I wanted to bring to you today was this concept of thinking about this, going, realizing that there are moments that we have that we can look for trends, and some of those trends are things like transitions, milestones and pits. Transitions, milestones and pits.


Michael:
         Now, transitions are fairly normal. Transitions are things like, promotions, right?


Kathryn:
         Yeah.


Michael:
         Graduation. First day of school, but in a passion for provision company, first day on the job.


Kathryn:
         First day on the job. How do you welcome somebody?


Michael:
         Or the end of projects at work. These are all transition moments at work where something has been going on for a while and we're transitioning, and if you take the moment to stop and acknowledge that transition for an individual, for their work in something, you have all of a sudden, this place that's pregnant with more opportunity, to say thank you and I appreciate you in these moments of transition, is far more powerful than six months before a project's over.


Kathryn:
         Yeah. I can remember when I was a sales rep for a software company, [inaudible 00:11:05] here in town. One of the things that my boss, the VP of the sales department did really really well, is that, he would call everybody out into the department and he would ring the bell-


Michael:
         The bell.


Kathryn:
         The bell when somebody got a signed deal, and so if you were the person who closed that deal, and everybody got called out, and they rang the bell, you would just take a few minutes to be like, "Kathryn just closed the Golden Gate Bridge!" Let's pick that one because that one's my favorite because that actually happened.


Michael:
         Yeah.


Kathryn:
         And here's how long she worked on it, and you know, we just wanna recognize her for this, and we're super excited about this, and blah [inaudible 00:11:44], and this is what it means to the company, and this is the proceeds it brings, and he would just do a really great job of celebrating that transition moment that was really important because, dog gone it, closing a deal is a really big deal.


Michael:
         Huge deal, right?


Kathryn:
         One of the things that we brought over from there is we actually have a bell outside of Michael's office.


Michael:
         It's a really cool bell.


Kathryn:
         While Michael and I are primarily the ones closing deals, and we celebrate each other, we celebrate the closing of a deal because what it means is more work for our staff, and security, and things that are really good and hopeful, and there's an excitement that happens when something like that happens. That's an example of a tradition.


Michael:
         We used to just close deals. We'd be in a conference room or something like that. You'd be working on something and the staff would be working away and we'd do it. We'd get the contract and we'd go on our day, we wouldn't make a big deal out of it even though it was a big deal deal. There was a moment and it's not nearly as fun, three weeks later, to go, "Oh, by the way, three weeks ago we signed this contract." That's just not cool.


Kathryn:
         It isn't.


Michael:
         It's not nearly as fun. Oh my gosh, we signed it, we signed it today, ring, ring, ring. That was great. Those are fun things. One of the things we've done that was actually inspired from this book was the idea of really making the first day and the first week of a new employee's position here, at [inaudible 00:13:13], like really special, so I think we did a decent job welcoming people. We actually had a couple of rituals that we had that would do it, that was really fun, but we added to that and we took it up another two or three notches, and we've got certain people on our staff that have just been ... They've been responsible for that. Again, find the people on the staff that these are their giftings. They love to celebrate people, they love to plan-


Kathryn:
         And then cut them loose. Empower them.


Michael:
         Oh my goodness. Allow them to do this on the clock and give them a budget. You take two hours, do this, they love it. It's fantastic.


Michael:
         We brought on somebody new recently, I don't know, four or five months ago, and the whole thing was set up. We did all these things that were special. There was already a card for them. We're so glad you're here. There was an event. We did a lunch together and all that, just to say, here's a moment where we're really excited. You've gone through the interview process, you made it through, you were chosen, you accepted. We're extra excited.


Michael:
         As opposed to, you show up at work and your computer's not ready yet, and maybe it's not set up. You're not sure what to do.


Kathryn:
         You spend first half the day reading the employee manual.


Michael:
         You're awkward and that stuff has to happen, but you just try to figure out what does this look like? That's the first, is transitions. Second one are milestones. Milestones and transitions vary a little bit. It's a little bit of a different pass and recycle and these are things like retirement or unheralded achievements. Big things. This is the way they describe it, "We celebrate employee's tenure with organizations, but what about their accomplishments? Isn't a salesman's 10 millionth dollar of revenue earned worth commemorating? Or what about a talented manager who has had ten direct reports promoted?"


Michael:
         Great moments. It's like, these are things that are unheralded, in other words, they're just kind of ... They're things that are good and maybe you'd give somebody a pat on the back, and there are moments, and you could take a little extra energy and a little extra effort, and by saying, by taking a little extra time and effort, you get a multiplication effect on your recognition.


Michael:
         When I say, "congratulations," and I take the moment, and we all stop, and we ring the bell, and we say, "Well done," is, I mean, wow. It's such a big deal and these moments come, and these moments go, and you can't get them back. That kind of idea. What is it in your company, right now, that might be a transition? That first day of work or promotions or whatever that you can make a little bit of a bigger deal, appropriately.


Michael:
         We're gonna talk in a few minutes. We're gonna tell a story about introvert that I heard. Then there's pits, so pits are dealing with negative things. They're moments that stick out. They're like the bottom of the bell curve. You're like, "Oh, gosh," but they're things where you made a mistake. They're places where you're dealing with negative feedback or the loss of loved ones. We've owned this company for 16 years. We've seen several things happen amongst ourselves and amongst our staff. Many of us have lost loved ones. Some of us, suddenly, and we've been there for each other.


Michael:
         We've figured out how do we console this and that because if you're really going to lead people, one of the things that's gonna happen ... Actually, three things, is you're gonna figure out ways to build them up, encourage, and to console because you know what, everybody has a bad day, things go wrong in life.


Kathryn:
         How do you use a pit, or it's a mistake, or a negative where the employee's done something not great to be a powerful moment?


Michael:
         I think one of the things is the way I do it often, and it's funny because we don't talk about this a lot, but I let the moment's breathe. Do I make a big moment about it? In like, do we run around and ring the bell and say, "Hey, Michael screwed up again."


Kathryn:
         Probably not a good bell ringing opportunity.


Michael:
         No, no, no, but the idea of taking a moment and honoring somebody. Taking them aside, closing the door, and just going, "Hey, let's talk about this a minute." Honoring people and saying, what are the opportunities, what are the lessons from this, how can we grow? In a way that really is caring, not punitive. Now, you gotta deal with things, you gotta hold accountable, but I think those moments of the pits of, "This was really hard," or, nonetheless, here's a moment where I want an employee to feel like they're cared about, and they just got raked over the coals by a customer or something like that.


Michael:
         We've talked in the past about letting customers go, but sometimes things just don't go right. They make mistakes. It's a bummer. Sitting down instead of going, "Well, that's life," sitting down and going, "Well, that's probably pretty hard, huh," sometimes it's just like you get to the end of the day and you just wore out, and to be able to sit down and go, "You know, hey, you want to talk?" In some places it might be appropriate, "Hey, you wanna get a beer?" You know, I'm here to listen.


Michael:
         You and I both, Kathryn, have experienced this and we've seen it time and time again, when people are in those pits, when you're just there for them, when you say, "I'm sorry," and you just pause a moment, and you're not just skating by going, "Oh, sorry." Those are remembered by people more than 10, 15, 20 different places you could have encouraged. That's just my thoughts.


Kathryn:
         I don't disagree, I just ... You hadn't articulated it and I just wanted to hear you articulate it for our valued listeners.


Michael:
         Way to tease that out of me.


Kathryn:
         You're welcome.


Michael:
         She's a good teaser.


Michael:
         Alright, so we have transitions, milestones, and pits, now, here's a story I probably wanna start heading into the end of this today. It's gonna be a shorter podcast. There is a phenomenal story. It's probably my favorite story in the entire book and it is a woman who had faithfully been married to one man for decades, and he was, [inaudible 00:19:56] describe this. Here's a couple who had just a long marriage and really a team together and he was kind of a burly guy, a do it himself kind of guy, and all of that kind of stuff, and he came down with a disease that just started robbing him, slowly of his ability to take care of himself. Overtime, that was really hard.


Michael:
         They stuck it out and they loved each other and they valued their marriage and they valued their vows ... When a couple walks through those things to the end days, there's just no easy way about it and we've seen it many times, and eventually the gentleman passed away, and that's not the end of the story. What happened was, she went through the process of mourning and everything else, and then, several years started going by. I don't remember how many it was, but I think it was three or four years, but she realized she was still wearing her wedding ring. She was having trouble moving on and she was getting lonely, and a friend of hers suggested she go to talk ... A matter of fact, I think it was, actually, she went and talked to her pastor.


Michael:
         No, she was talking to a counselor, and the counselor suggested, she says, "I'm just kind of down," and everything else, and the counselor suggested that there was some things going on here and part of what they teased out was she felt guilty with the idea of dating.


Kathryn:
         Yeah.


Michael:
         She felt guilty moving on.


Kathryn:
         Like she'd be betraying his memory. Not an uncommon feeling for-


Michael:
         What the counselor did, in conjunction in partnership with her priest, at her church, is they arranged a ceremony with her ... I'm getting all choked up ... Some of her family and close friends, and her priest officiated this. They met in church and he acknowledged all of the years she had been faithfully married to her husband and her marital duty, and he asked for her to take off her ring, and he pronounced that she had finished her commitment, basically, to him, and did that faithfully and acknowledged it to her.


Michael:
         It was so important for her to say, "I had to have a moment it was finished," but it was also, notice that this was amongst her community. She was being told, "You've done a good job." She was being told that it was okay to let go because your commitment was finished and it was done in front of her children, who are all adult children, her grandchildren, and her closest friends where you may or may not be consciously aware that you're struggling with guilt, and shame, and embarrassment. She spoke those things, and the priest spoke and said, "You're done," and he took the things from her, and said, "You're finished and now you are free to move on."


Michael:
         The story came through the counselor and some of that stuff, and evidently the wrap up was, she got her rings back and stuff, and she put those away as a keepsake, but she was able to move on. Would she have been able to move on over time? Possibly, but this is one of those things where a moment was needed, ceremonial moment that's not written about in any book, not written about in the bible, it's not written about anywhere else except until now, The Power of Moments, in that book.


Kathryn:
         It's written in a book now.


Michael:
         It's written in a book now. That power of how do you sense the moment, how do you see the moment, and having clarity and having the wisdom to not just look for celebratory moments, but to look for transitions, and milestones, and pits as one way to find a way to elevate people, to provide insight for others, to provide a sense of pride, of accomplishment, to provide a sense of connection and community. When we do this in our company, when we think about it as leaders and we empower the people on our team to do these things also, they will take those ideas and those values and they will multiply them in front of you like an amazing miracle, and they will help you build a passion provision company where you see profit, and joy, and what started out as an opportunity for freedom and impact, and contribution and legacy, that may have turned into a job, can be restored back into something that you dreamed about.


Michael:
         I hope that sinks in with some of you today. I hope that resonates with some of you today and I wanna encourage you. If you wanna great book and it's on audiobook, too, Power of Moments by Chip Heath and Dan Heath, and if you are ever in need of coaching or consulting or help building that Passion and Provision company ... Whether it's leadership, management, operations, marketing, or finance, we're a holistic company that helps leaders lead passion provision companies and we'd love, love, to help you.


Michael:
         That's the end of today. Power of Moments. Think about those things. I'm Michael Redman.


Kathryn:
         And I'm Kathryn Redman. Woman of many words today.


Michael:
         We are very, very thankful that you joined us and allow us to have this podcast. These are great moments in and amongst themselves. Have a great day.


Kathryn:
         Take care.