In this interview, we talk with Judy Feld about her article, A Call for Transformation ~ Coaching the new leader in the new workplace.
A significant number of employees want to continue working from home. On the other hand, many organizations seem committed in getting people to return to the office. There is a disconnect that leaders need to resolve.
It is time for leaders to waker up to the "new normal" workplace. The old leadership principles and rules are no longer working. Leaders must adapt their leadership styles as they face these new challenges. They must deal with what is now the "Hybrid Workplace" and the related "Great Resignation."
Judy Feld is an award-winning executive coach with a highly regarded reputation worldwide. She has worked with business and professional people since 1995 to support them in creating strategies to achieve their goals and maintain an optimal work/life balance. In her prior corporate career, she was a vice-president at AMR Information Services (American Airlines) and lived and worked in Paris on international joint ventures. Before that Judy held leadership positions with UCCEL Corporation, STSC, CompuServe, and Texas Instruments.
Judy is a graduate of Leadership America and a past president of ICF Global. She was the co-founder of the Executive and Professional Coaching program at the UT-Dallas School of Management. Judy served as a Coach Observer for the TCU School of Medicine Professional Development Coach Fellowship. She won the first ICF-North Texas Distinguished Service award in 2017. In 2018 she was inducted into the inaugural ICF Global Circle of Distinction.
Join us as we learn more from Judy about how leaders need to adapt and change to the to the generational differences that have affected the workplace post Covid.
Watch the full interview by clicking here.
Find the full article here: https://bit.ly/btp-Feld
Learn more about Judy here.
You can access free resources in the CoachNet.com Article Archive here.
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In this episode, I talk with Judy about her 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 just 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, you can see right on the cover, 20 years, dedicated to improving the lives of coaches and of course of their clients. Oh, look at that. We can do matchy matchy. Okay, Judy, one more time. There we go. Shown here, right? I love it. Well, obviously there's Judy. In today's episode, I'm speaking with executive coach Judy Feld, who's the author of an article in our latest issue, New Horizons i n Leadership. The article is entitled A Transformation: Coaching The New Leader in The New Workplace. Judy Feld is an award-winning executive coach with a highly regarded reputation worldwide. I can totally get that. She has worked with business and professional people since 1995 to support them in creating strategies to achieve their goals and maintain an optimal work life balance. In her prior corporate career, she was the Vice President at AMR Information Services, American Airlines, and lived and worked in Paris on international joint ventures. I envy you for that one. Before that, Judy held leadership positions with UCCEL Corporation, STSC, CompuServe and Texas Instruments. Oh my gosh. I remember Texas Instrument. Judy's a graduate of Leadership America and is also a past president of ICF Global International, now the International Coaching Federation Global Board. She was the co-founder of the Executive and Professional Coaching Program at the University of Texas Dallas School of Management. Judy served as a coach observer for the TCU School of Medicine Professional Development Coach Fellowship. She won the first ICF North Texas Distinguished Service Award in 2017. Horray, love the North Texas chapter. In 2018, she was inducted into the inaugural ICF Global Circle of Distinction, and I'll bet there's way more than that. Welcome, Judy. Thank you so much for joining me today,Speaker 2:
Garry, thank you for that warm and wonderful introduction, and it's so great to see you and be with you today.Speaker 1:
Oh, thank you. Ditto. As we were saying before we got on the line, it's been a while, you know, COVID and all sorts of stuff. I hope to see you somewhere soon, but I'm so thrilled to have you here today. When I saw that you submitted an article, I said to my team right away, it's like, she's on the podcast. Okay. Get it going. Almost before we said yes to the article. It was like we said yes to Judy because when you look at what we just said about you, you started doing this in 1995. Well, guess what? It kind of was when the International Coaching Federation started and when coaching was kind of born, deemed a profession. So you've seen and heard it all, and that's why I'm thrilled that you wrote this article and submitted it. We put it right up front and, oh my goodness, the challenges. What are the significant workplace changes that you've seen, not just in the last few years, but it comes and goes, like, things happen in leadership challenges, right? Like, oh my goodness.Speaker 2:
Well, the changes, I'm going to separate this into two answers really, because the recent changes, which you were asking about are very, very clear. Post Covid or during Covid our world changed and it's not going to change back to the way it was. So before that, early 2020, before that, over the last 20 years as a coach and many other years in corporate America, the changes have been cyclical. They've been somewhat subtle, a little bit predictable and very much related to technology. In other words, for me, the biggest change that allowed me to be doing what I've been doing for the last 20 something years is the internet. We all have these very grouchy or snarky things to say about the internet. It has made what you do possible, what I do possible and all of our colleagues because we can connect. At first there were multiple different email systems that didn't even talk to each other. Then we had Universal websites. Anyone c an get a website. I created the first website for CoachU and the way I did it, I got this book called HTML for Dummies.Speaker 1:
And Lord knows you ain't no dummy.Speaker 2:
Well, that's how we did it in HTML language, So those changes have been happening constantly. And then came 2020 and Covid and everybody went home. It wasn't even a hybrid workplace. It was almost a complete remote workplace. And coupled with that, we had this new generation, which, by the way, Gen Z has gotten a really raw deal.Speaker 1:
Yeah, I know you were saying that in your article.Speaker 2:
Yeah. They kind of came of age and most authors and academicians and journalists define them as those born 1996 or later. It used to be the year 2000, but I'll switch my definition with everybody else. So they kind of missed pieces of even high school graduation, early college, and I've got a bunch of Gen Z grandchildren. Well, most of them are younger than that, but they missed a lot. And they are now either new in the workplace or entering the workplace, and in a way they're demanding a new workplace. You say, okay, that's Gen Z. Everyone is adjusting to that. And the leaders, the people that are basically managing and making decisions and dealing with them, they're baffled and I don't use that term easily. There was about a year ago, an article in the New York Times, and I love the title. You almost don't even have to know what else is in it but you know it says something like, the 37 year olds are baffled in the workplace by the 22 year olds that report to them. They're baffled. And if you're going to be baffled, you have got to make some changes. And not to mention that we also have the Gen X managers and the boomers who are saying, wait a minute, I'm heading toward retirement here and my world changed on me. What can I count o n? S o they're a ll together in the workplace.Speaker 1:
I know. Because those 37 year olds, those are millennials, right?Speaker 2:
Oh, yeah.Speaker 1:
Yeah. And we were already complaining about the millennials, and now the millennials are complaining about the Gen Zer's.Speaker 2:
Well, the millennials are of course, now pretending to be mature.Speaker 1:
I love that. Pretending to be. Yeah, no kidding. Oh my goodness and it's true. You know, some of these Gen Zs have been hired and fired virtually. They started and quit jobs. That might be a better way to say it. They were never in a workplace. They may still not be in a workplace because there's some companies that allow that.Speaker 2:
And they don't wanna be in a workplace.Speaker 1:
Exactly. Hence the Great Resignation.Speaker 2:
And by the way, if you force them back, they'll quit. And one of the little balloons that the editor highlighted is something like Gen Z will quit their jobs just because they can.Speaker 1:
And they can.Speaker 2:
Yeah. Yeah.Speaker 1:
Yeah. Yeah. Wow. So many things that they're hit with. I'm also thinking about things like, what's going on now is it's too expensive for the younger people to afford a home. So they don't have mortgages to worry about. They can work remotely so they can downgrade their costs to almost nothing. People can live off the grid technically except for internet. So there's all kinds of opportunities. Now we can go back to the internet conversation about how it's changed everything, you know, and it offers leaders some real challenges. How do you feel they can effectively resolve these challenges?Speaker 2:
Well, flexibility, resilience, resourcefulness. The leaders have got to back off what they have"always known to be true" because the world will not respond in the same way as it always has. Leaders need to be more curious. They need to understand where others are coming from. And I'm not just speaking about generationally and that has been true for a while, but also about behavioral styles. I mean, we talk a lot about how each person hears things differently depending on their communication and behavioral styles. And of course, with those things, executive coaching helps, makes a big difference. From that point of view, executive coaches need to ask the right questions to get the leaders asking the right questions, because a coaching style of leadership is really important as well. So, leaders stopping being baffled and not so grumpy about what is this world coming to and listen carefully and that's the key.Speaker 1:
Yeah. I really love that you used the word flexible because when you think about resilience, resilience is about being flexible. I always picture it like a rubber band. And as much as a rubber band will relatively go back to its normal position, the electrons in it, they just don't go to the same place and eventually rubber bands break. They get tired and they break.Speaker 2:
That's a great metaphor. I wrote not too long ago a whole article for my Coachnet Strategy letter on resilience, and the graphic that accompany it is a whole bunch of rubber bands and you make that point very well.Speaker 1:
Yeah. And they can be formed into different objects in different ways, and stretched in different ways and tied and turned. And I'm suggesting that leaders can be flexible like a rubber band. Rubber band doesn't always mean you're going back to the same place.Speaker 2:
And it's easier to be flexible when you're not, again, that word baffled. Leaders pay attention, observe, be curious. Curiosity is another wonderful trait for a leader to have.Speaker 1:
Yeah. You spoke very much in the article about curiosity. As you said here, curiosity is a valuable trait. Well, we coaches have it, and how do we instill it in our clients? It's a great opportunity for us. Thank you for, you also mentioned the questions. You've listed all the questions in the article that coaches can work with their clients to ask them and ask themselves and help them be flexible and resilient in this land of continuous disruption, oh my goodness, will it ever stop? No, it will never stop. It's what's called life. We so take comfort in these moments of peace when there's, in our minds, no change.Speaker 2:
Yeah. Well, when is that, Garry?Speaker 1:
I know. Well, you know, there are fleeting moments. Another colleague of ours, Janet Harvey, pointed out in a call she had with Magdalena Mook of the ICF where she said that knowledge used to change every 12 years. Now it changes doubles every 12 hours hours.Speaker 2:
Yeah. I'm going have to get with Janet and find her sources. It sounds fascinating. Yeah. I have not heard that one.Speaker 1:
I was using that with some of my clients because when I'm coaching them, similarly as you are, and, helping them understand about being an expert and changes in leadership, here it is the rate of knowledge, the volume of knowledge is doubling every 12 hours and in 1945 it used to be every 25 years. So Google it. I'm sure there's many different sources, we just have to find the reputable one. But obviously that's the case. You've alluded to this already, the questions. Is there anything else that you could suggest to our coach listeners that will help them help their leader clients?Speaker 2:
Coaches ask a lot of questions clearly, and there's, there's something I found. I coach a number of people who are IT leaders, either at the C level or below them. And here's what happens when a techie, a practitioner, gets promoted to management, and this is not even generational, at any age, and it has to do with style. The conversations become different and they have a hard time dealing with the people that report to them and understand them. So sometimes it takes a little bit of tell me exactly what happened at that meeting that you think people were not doing what you asked or responding to. They will tell me a dialogue and then say, I don't know why there was such a disconnect between the conversation. And I say, tell me exactly what was said and what you responded. They tell me what you responded and I say, let me tell you what I think your subordinate heard. You're an idiot. So they say, oh, no, no, no, I didn't say that and there's where the conversation comes about what you think you are communicating versus what the other person hears. And I think it's a responsibility of a coach to convey this message and have the leaders we coach, everybody we coach, understand that the communication style of the other person in group meetings and individuals really makes a difference.Speaker 1:
Yeah. Wow. Yeah. Well, we went through a course and my husband did it as well, and when he did it, he's like, there's what was said, what they heard, and what's the truth? And it's exactly like what you said and generational or not, but I'm sure that the generational piece has something to do with it too, because younger people, they don't always respect or believe what their leaders say. They're actually challenging leaders in what they say now too, whereas before boomers, they were used to people respecting.Speaker 2:
Yes, sir. Yes, ma'am.Speaker 1:
Yeah, exactly. That's how they kept jobs for 30 or 40 years, and there was loyalty and all that. My goodness. That is so not the case anymore.Speaker 2:
That another whole generational conversation that we could have. And, you know, as far as that whole conversational thing, that's a big piece of the coaching these days. I lost my train of thought. Oh, ask me something else.Speaker 1:
Well, I am going to put something in place because what I struggle with as a coach is my own biases about this whole hybrid workplace thing. And you said it too. I know the answer and I have to put it aside, obviously, because I'm there to serve the client, but I still struggle with the idiocy of leaders who insist that people come back for the sake of being in the office. You know, it's like, well, if I can see you, then I know you're working.Speaker 2:
Versus s entiment by results.Speaker 2:
That will be the end. Because, yes, I have seen studies that say people who are working at home get a lot more done. A lot more done. They're not commuting, they're not standing around talking about the latest football game. They're paying attention. And yet those leaders who want to monitor them re barking up the wrong tree because first of all, they do not want to be confined to very specific hours. I'll get my work done, watch how much work I get done, but don't check up on me in the course of the day. They won't take a job like that.Speaker 1:
Yeah.Speaker 2 :
And organizations that are putting in all the sophisticated monitoring systems are wondering why they can't keep their workers and it's not because they're lazy, you know? This younger generation is not a lazy generation. And here's what I wanted to say before when you were talking about communication a nd meetings and stuff. They don't like meetings. They don't want tosit around and talk. And then there's this other thing, they don't even like to talk. The telephone?Speaker 1:
Right. You were saying in the article that it's like, despite that everything gets done on a phone, they don't actually use it as a phone.Speaker 2:
I don't know why it's still called a telephone. Think about all the other things that are done with this.Speaker 1:
Oh, wow. Good point.Speaker 2:
And I was watching some commentary on TV last night. Political commentators were talking about surveys, and I believe this too. I think the current surveys are not worth as much as people think they are, and maybe that's a good thing, because the younger generation is not answering the phone. What is this thing that's making noise? I'm not going to answer that.Speaker 1:
I don't know that number.Speaker 2:
So one of the three commentators, the female one says, and she was of the age where she's a parent of young adults, she said, they never answer the phone. They see it's m e and they won't pick up. The other two said, same thing. No, they won't ever answer the phone. What good is it calling it a telephone?Speaker 1:
Very, very good point. Oh my goodness. That is so true. Wow. We covered a lot of ground today. There's one thing that I'm feeling, and I know that my clients are feeling it too and that's the stress of leadership. And I'm just wondering if you have any ideas on how coaches can support leaders to minimize that stress in the workplace?Speaker 2:
Well, the whole conversation about balance has changed what we do about it, but it really is about balance. Leaders need to allow themselves some time to back away, they also need to understand that the people who work for them, don't ask them to answer emails on the weekend. Well, they don't even like emails. Don't text them on the weekend. Ask them what they need. And, you know, some companies, when they're requiring at least a partial back to the workplace, are installing things like, I don't know, ping pong tables. That's not what they want. What workers want is a little bit of understanding and flexibility and appropriate communication. If you are gonna require partial being at the workplace, make sure you don't have people showing up there, and there's no one else there. That's very stressful.Speaker 1:
I had a number of my clients say why do I bother going in? I'm the only one there.Speaker 2:
Yeah. Like, just for the sake of tapping their card in and tapping their card out at the end of the day, just check mark off that they did their one day in the office, and this one client has to be a certain day and the client just stresses out about that day. So I'm working with my client to, you know, so what can make it enjoyable, what would you like it to be like? Are there any other options? You know, stuff like that. Very, very strange.Speaker 2:
You know, donuts won't do it.Speaker 1:
Well, there's also that. We're taking care of our health. That's something we learned at post Covid was Covid weight is still with us.Speaker 2:
Oh, yes.Speaker 1:
Yes. I love it. Oh my goodness, Judy, we could go on and on like this forever. Generational differences will always be a challenge and there are opportunities in that. It's opportunities to learn, opportunities to be flexible, resilient, to relax and observe.Speaker 2:
And laugh.Speaker 1:
Oh no, we can't laugh. We're too serious.Speaker 2:
These are strange and funny times.Speaker 1:
I know, right? It's funny you should say that because I'm thinking about an issue about leadership, one of these shower head conversations, doing an issue called Leadership Challenges Enough Already. To our point earlier, when will it ever calm down? When will it ever stop? It never will because that's what life is about. It's about changes, evolution, challenges. The whole bit.Speaker 2:
Well, I write this monthly newsletter and they're pretty serious topics like what we've been discussing, but every once in a while I'll back off and write about puns and cliches and word issues, which I love. And you know what, I get the most feedback from those.Speaker 1:
Like, why do they call a cell phone a phone? That's one.Speaker 2:
Well, that's new one. I will add that.Speaker 1:
When you said that, I'm like, no kidding. It's really a handheld computer. That's all. I mean it could be a communication device but definitely not a phone.Speaker 2:
We'll start that mission.Speaker 1:
We'll start that revolution. Before you go, what else would you like our audience to do as a result of the article and this conversation?Speaker 2:
This is probably not what you're expecting, but be kinder to others. There is so much polarization, and we certainly are not going to touch on anything political right now. But human kindness is kind of in short supply in some arenas and it does get itself into the workplace and I think we need to back up and take a much bigger picture view. I like to talk about, look through the telescope, not the microscope about what we're all enduring now.Speaker 1:
Oh, I love that. Look through the telescope, not the microscope. Don't look at what's wrong, like a scientist looking for diseases or stuff like that but look at a bigger holistic picture. Wow.Speaker 2:
I used to refer to that as zooming out and zooming in, but now that we are all zoom people think I am referring to that and I am not. We used to use that word differently.Speaker 1:
I know, right? In the old days,Speaker 2:
Oh, what do we know about the old days?Speaker 1 :
Exactly. And what do the young ones care? Well, they're here to stay and so are we. So we all should be kind to one another and all get along. Thank you so much, Judy. I really appreciate you being with us today. What's the best way for people to reach you?Speaker 2:
Judy@coachnet.com or my website, coachnet.com. And there's some goodies there, some articles in the archive and, I would love to hear from anybody who has some opinions on the things we've been talking about.Speaker 1:
And I invite people to sign up for Judy's newsletter. It is very interesting and very informative and every once in a while can be fun too, apparently.Speaker 2:
Yes, we hope so.Speaker 1:
We hope so. Well thank you, Judy. That's it for this episode of Beyond the Page. For more episodes, subscribe via your favorite podcast app. And don't forget to sign up for your free digital issue of choice Magazine by going to choice-online.com and clicking the signup now button. Yes. And you'll get this one actually. Um, I'm Gary Schleifer. Enjoy your journey to mastery.