In this interview, we talk with Marty Wightman about his article, The Leadership Debate ~ How can coaching support the prediction of upcoming changes in leadership trends?
We have learned so much from the last two years and many people have shifted what is important to them in terms of life and work view. In the coming year, we will see many trends continue and emerge in our own worlds. Coaching support will be utilized and sought out more readily by those in leadership positions as core trends start to emerge or even stabilize.
Remote working vs. hybrid working vs. a full return to the office: the fight is on. It is our responsibility as leadership coaches to allow the debate to be heard but become the judge and jury of the debate.
Marty qualified as a coach in 2007 where he set up his practice in London, UK. He holds a Master's Degree in Psychology from the University of East London. In addition to his academic qualifications, he is member of the Association for Coaching, a Senior Member of the ACCPH and is trained by Stanford University Professors Bill Burnett and Dave Evans in Life Design.
Join us as we learn more from Marty about how coaching leadership will be critical in providing a richer connection between the workforce and leadership.
Watch the full interview by clicking here.
Find the full article here: https://bit.ly/btp_wightman
Learn more about Marty here.
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In this episode, I talk with Marty about his article published in our September 2022 issue.
Hi, I'm Garry Schleifer, and this is Beyond The Page brought to you by choice, the magazine of Professional Coaching. choice is more than a magazine. It's a community of people who use and share coaching tools, tips, and techniques to add value to their businesses and impact their clients. It's an institution of learning built over the course of 20 years. Yes, 20th anniversary. Oh, and you can tell, for those that are watching, there's a 20th anniversary logo on the cover these days but just for a year. We are dedicated to improving the lives, not just of the coaches, but of their clients as well. Just as an aside, many times I've had reports back that coaches have shared articles with their clients, and their clients get tons out of it too. So the articles aren't just for coaches, but they're definitely about coaching and can impact the clients. In today's episode, I'm speaking with Marty Wightman. Marty qualified as a coach in 2007, where he set up his practice in London in the United Kingdom. Not to be confused with Canada. He holds a Master's Degree in Psychology from the University of East London. In addition to his academic qualifications, he's a member of the Association for Coaching, a senior member of the, and you're gonna have to tell me what the suite means, ACCPH, Marty?Speaker 2:
Yeah. It means, oh gosh. It means Association of Counseling, Coaching, Hypnotherapy Practitioners. I've probably got that wrong.Speaker 1:
We get the gist. We will Google that one and we will figure that out. He is trained by Stanford University professors, Bill Barnett and Dave Evans in Life Design, Marty takes a cognitive, behavioral, rational, emotive, behavior and solution focused approach, that's a lot, to psychological coaching and its application to life, personal health, performance, business, and executive coaching. Welcome Marty. Thank you so much for joining me today. And, as we have determined you are currently in Scotland, which that's awesome. So thank you so much for, uh, joining us. I guess it's what, early evening there right now?Speaker 2:
Yeah. Yeah. It's 4:00 PM so it's about my dog's walkies time. So I shouldn't have said walkies.Speaker 1:
Here we handled all the noise. The phones are on silent, but you had to say the W A L K. Oh my goodness. Well, Marty, thank you so much. You wrote the article in the upcoming issue, which is just heading to the printer, entitled The Leadership Debate~ How Can Coaching Support the Prediction of Upcoming Changes in Leadership Trends? So, that's a pretty bold statement, but first of all, like, why did you decide to write this article?Speaker 2:
So, I mean, for my clients and also for my friends the whole aspect of going through the Covid experience, having the, some people's perception of the luxury of working from home, some people's perception of the horribleness of working from home and how it's actually created this big, big debate. And so what's happening right now across the globe, of course it is much bigger in North America, is the Great Resignation is working its way across, across our side of the pond. But people don't leave their jobs, they leave the bosses.Speaker 1:
Right. And so we need to get leadership course corrected for what is going to land in 2023, and I've got some really strong views on it. I'm here to hash them out and you are more than welcome to challenge me along the way.Speaker 1:
Well, you know, one of the topics I want to talk about is this conflict of remote working versus hybrid versus full-time. You mentioned it in the article and you also mentioned that the coach has to remain unbiased and I am having a huge struggle with that because who cares where they work? Did we not learn from going 100% remote that we can do it, first of all, and are we managing by walking around, or are we managing by performance or like, what's the big deal?Speaker 2:
Right? Well, yeah, what is the big deal? And so there's three camps that are boiled it down to in the article. So you, you've got the people that are pro remote working and that suits either a lifestyle or a family situation, or somebody that actually wants to work on the west coast office, but they live in the east coast so they cut down their commute. Then you've got someone that actually really wants to be in the office because maybe their home situation isn't great. They might have elderly parents that they're looking after. And, you know, that's not conducive to eight days of Zoom calls if you're an office worker, right?Speaker 1:
And then, of course, you've got hybrid working which meets in the middle. But then you've got people that used to live in New York, then moved out of New York, but still kept their New York job and so hybrid working works really well for them. So their monetary income is New York based, but their outgoings will be much less if they're staying out of town. So there's all these different camps but what comes with it is also generations of people as well. And so we've got our baby boomers who, I'm just going stereotype, say once you're in the office and these tend to be people that have had a very long experience. It's all they've known up until now. Then you've got your Gen Zs, which mean you fit in too. And so we've had a taste of working from home, be good, be bad, be it both. And then we've got millennials who, some of them may have only tasted remote working. You know, there's people that have been hired just through.Speaker 1:
Yeah. Right. There have been people that have been hired, worked and fired, and they've never been in the office.Speaker 2:
Right. Full life cycle. So we are in a state of conflict and usually conflict comes into two points, but we've got three points setting just now. And so we, as coaches, need to know about this conflict because it'll come up if you're a leadership coach. For all the coaches that are listening and any coachees that are interested, t hen this is a great topic to be talking about.Speaker 1:
You know, and it has come up a lot and from both sides, from the leaders and from the workers. I coach both sides, managers and C-suites. Right. So, I'm gonna say older generation or leading generation are struggling with this, but Marty, let's get real. We've been globalized for how long? We've had global teams forever. Why is it all of a sudden such an issue?Speaker 2:
Well, this is my own personal opinion. It's such an issue because Covid has came away from the media, you know. In the UK, there's nothing on Covid being said. You can go into your office being Covid positive as long as you're asymptomatic. I don't know what it is like in the rest of your listeners world but you know, this is where we're at. And so it's happening because offices are opening up, offices are being paid for. This mainly affects office workers, let's be fair. But it's happening because we're all trying to get back to routine because we like routine. And we don't like change if you are a baby boomer. The change is much more acceptable if you're a millennial. And so this is why it's happening. You know, we've gone through our three course meal, right? We've tasted the dessert.Speaker 1:
And when we have our choice, we have our favorites, right?Speaker 2:
Yeah, and now we've got a choice. And so the Great Resignation is happening because employees are voting with their feet.Speaker 1:
Yeah. So you pointed that out in the article and that's exactly what's happening, right?Speaker 2:
They really are. And so the knock on effect, sadly for organizations and HR departments, is the churn rate of staff goes up, so people a re leaving, exiting faster and e xpense to rehire is so expensive b ecause it is an employees marketplace. So t he supply and demand value means I'm, as an employee, probably actually worth more than I was last year or two years ago b ecause of X or Y or Z and especially the employees, if your company wants you in the office five days a week, then they're g onna find it quite hard to recruit.Speaker 1:
And they'll probably have to then use recruiters and then probably have a pay bump because people will work out that"no, I've saved$2,000 US dollars/Canadian dollars on commute last year." So, yeah. This is why it has all happened. It's a whole mix of things but it's happening and it's happening fast.Speaker 1:
Well, you know, and there's two ways to carry on this conversation so I'm gonna stick with the employees side of this. Would you consider that disloyalty? And if so, how do we as a coach help the leader? And like, it is such a two-sided coin. The leader is going to suffer because these people are going to walk with their feet, like, you know, speak with their feet, and then the employee is struggling to deal with a leader who has no flexibility and wants everything to go back to the way it was, but most of them can't really give a great reason.Speaker 2:
Yeah. So Garry, loyalty's earned, right? and it's not fabricated. It's earned but it also has to have the right conditions for loyalty to happen, right? So all of this soft side of business, like going into the office, office parties, water cooler moments, congratulating the new office baby coming in, the fact that one in five have their best friends in the office and so they look forward to it, office romances, all of that sort of thing actually connects and makes a bond between employee and employer, right? But what happens is when we take away the community center, which is an office, when we take that away we lose the social interaction, the purpose of it, which could be client entertainment, all that jazz. It could be the fact that you get away from your home a nd you go into a lovely fancy office where you get your free meals. Something l ike that.Speaker 1:
Sometimes. Yeah.Speaker 2:
Or for those in hot conditions, you've get air conditioning.Speaker 1:
That's true.Speaker 2:
Doesn't affect me because I'm in Scotland. What happens is the loyalty and the connection disappears. But loyalty as a variable doesn't disappear. What does happen is I still have that same measure of loyalty, but the loyalty is now to myself if I'm an employee. It has not earned because I'm not going into the office, and so my connections haven't formed. Remote workings almost like living in the metaverse.Speaker 1:
If you don't turn on your webcam, the person you're speaking to is basically an avatar.Speaker 1:
So it is literally a metaverse. And so that's also what needs to happen. There needs to be some sort of facelift happening. You've got your juniors, your middleman m anagers who are going to be the f uture leaders, a nd t hen you've got your leaders, Those leaders are going go, right? And so the middle managers right now are in a conundrum. They've got from top d own saying,"come on, get your staff into the office" a nd y ou've g ot from bottom u p the staff s aying,"no, I'm living f urther away now. I don't have any commuting costs. I don't need to wear a belt."Speaker 1:
You don't even have to wear pants apparently.Speaker 2:
No pants.Speaker 1:
I'm not standing up. Okay. So you'll have to figure it out.Speaker 2:
Yeah. And pants mean something else over in Britain. So we do have to wear pants.Speaker 1:
Trousers. How's that?Speaker 2:
What really we should be conscious of as coaches is how do we bring back the connection which then has the outcome of loyalty?Speaker 1:
Yeah. Thank you for saying that. That's exactly what was on my mind. Is it possible to accommodate any or all of those three scenarios, fully remote, hybrid, fully office, and then there's the combination of those. So you can have some people in the office, can you create loyalty in a virtual environment?Speaker 2:
That's a really good question. And yes, it probably comes down to to benefits and rewards for employees. So for instance, in the UK we're trialing four day working weeks. So either Monday to Thursday or Tuesday to Friday. You have 2 teams so a client will always get five days of service but there'll be two points. On top of that, there's been so much entrepreneurship that's happened over the last two years where the leaders are fully remote. They've never bought office space and they've either hired freelancers or, you know, jumped on the gig economy. And so, in order to really bring in freelancers in the gig economy, their benefits really needs outweigh the fact that they could just jump ship at any time. Things like health insurance and all that kind of stuff. In the UK we also are giving away, believe or not, this will shock any Americans, unlimited holidays.Speaker 1:
Unlimited holidays. There is definitely a way to work with people who are five days to week in the office with hybrid, with the remotes, but the loyalty levels will differ and so the compensation needs to match. It's all about matching criteria if you want to keep that loyalty high. And so it's almost individualized, and that's where the coaches that are listening needs to bring out of their coachee because that coachee, I assume, is a leader. Any leaders that are listening, this is great information and it's something you can all relate to if you're working, that is.Speaker 1:
Yeah. And you've brought up some great points and some great ideas and pointers in the article. So people can look forward to seeing that in the issue that's at the printer now, being distributed soon. As you were speaking, a number of times I had this picture of a juggler trying to keep everything in the air, the leader, compensation, loyalty, office, all this sort of thing. But you've brought up, and we can't go down this rabbit hole, but it sounds like a really good topic for another time, is the customization of an employee's loyalty requirements, like the needs that each individual has. You know, if you can go back to when I was in school, all the kids had to do the same thing the same way. Nobody was special, nobody was different. And fast forward, there's gifted and they get a special help for this and their learning styles are understood and, and supported and maybe it's time to do more like that for the employees. And I know we're not speaking to them and we're not giving advice, but in the grand conversation of supporting our clients as coaches, to your point, just a few moments ago, there's more to be discovered. It's evoking awareness in core competency to the nth degree in this particular circumstance. Like it's all made up. So make up something that serves you and the people that you work with. Agreed. Oh wow. Yeah. This has been great. We're coming to the end of our call and I always like to ask the question, what would you like our audience to do as a result of this article and this conversation?Speaker 2:
Sure. I think there's one key takeaway for your audience, Garry, and it really is, if you are a leader out there or you're sitting at middle management coming up to leadership, is to really look at your fairness compass and I talk about your fairness compass in the article, because dictating, micromanagement, that one size fits all, nine to five ain't gonna work anymore. Yeah. And so, you know, if you want to thrive and you want your employees to thrive and your team to thrive then your fairness compass needs to come out and you've got it right Garry. You're looking at individualized plans.Speaker 1:
A nightmare for the HR and the comp departments and everything like that because even like you said in your article, now things are shifting because you used to be compensated if you live in a n expensive city. But what if you report to expensive city, but you live in the suburbs, right? Why should it matter and if you have kids or don't have kids, a nd why should that matter? And so it's what motivates, keeps and helps the organization and the individuals thrive. So well said. And you know, I just want to say, first of all, thank you. Obviously i t's been a very interesting conversation. I t could go on and on. We could solve it all too, b ut they just let the two of us at it, right. I have to say that your clients have to be extra l ucky because you have that extra, and you didn't reveal a lot of it, but t hat psychological training, that psychological background that I think really will help your clients when you're coaching. So they're very lucky to have you.Speaker 2:
Well, thank you so much. Thank you for having me on and thank you for talking with me as well.Speaker 1:
Oh, our pleasure. Like I tell everybody, it's not hard to write for choice. You just take your wisdom from what's up here and bring it out from through your heart and you did that in spades my friend so thank you. Thank you. You've been in service to the coaching world. This is global, man.Speaker 2:
Yes. Thank you.Speaker 1:
Before we go and I sign off, what's the best way for people to reach you?Speaker 2:
Yeah, absolutely. So very easy. Go to my website so it's betterrcoach.com. Better is spelled with two"R's", so betterrcoach.com.Speaker 1:
Got it. Well, again, thank you so much for joining us for this Beyond the Page episode Marty. And to our listeners, for more episodes, please subscribe to your favorite podcast app. We're on Buzzsprout and Spotify and Apple and I don't know who else my team has signed up this week, so should be out there. Don't forget to sign up for your free digital issue of choice Magazine by going to choice-online.com and clicking the sign up now button. I'm Garry Schleifer, enjoy your journey to mastery.