Allan Blackwell: Welcome to your 20 minute podcast with David Brower, where we do our best to give you useful information in 20 minutes or less. Now, here’s your host, five time Voice Arts Awards nominee, David Brower.
David Brower: Thanks Allan. This is David Brower with your 20 minute podcast. Our special guest today, from the Bay Area, she’s a speaker, author, media source, she helps businesses and individuals find more success and a lot less drama through better communication and social skills. Rosalinda, welcome to the show. Glad you’re here.
Rosalinda Randall: Thank you so much. It’s a pleasure.
David Brower: Oh my gosh. I’ve been reading through your stuff and I’m going oh man. Back in the day when sexual harassment really started ramping up and the #MeToo movement’s ramping up and all these things, it’s like people have to walk around in the business place with eggshells sometimes. Is that right?
Rosalinda Randall: Yes, more and more. There are people who, well I’ve met a couple who says “Well, I’m not changing my ways,” and that’s fine. Eventually you’ll probably end up sitting in HR, but it depends on the workplace culture especially and what people are used to, accustomed to. Is it more male dominated? Is there a lot of co-eds? Ages have something to do with it then. They’re either more forgiving, or they’re more alert where they’ve been raised with watching what they say and being sensitive to everything and everybody, but then that affects communication. If you have, it lessens the ability to state an opinion, and that’s where having communication skills, professionalism, some principles that you live by, courtesy, tact, maybe even a little humility, come in.
And that’s what I really focus on, is just living by certain principles. And I don’t mean old fashions do unto others or whatever, but just having a couple basic guidelines or pillars or whatever you want to call them that are your go to guide your behavior and your words. I’ve had people who go, “I just have to speak my mind.”
And my answer that has worked perfectly in a couple of sessions that I’ve done. And I said “No, you don’t.”
It’s a choice. That’s not an excuse to say “Well, I’m just the kind of person that just speaks their mind.” Well, change it. Hold your tongue, bite your tongue or whatever is necessary.
But yeah, in generations there’s expectations and to address that I tell the older people especially, they already look old in the eyes of a 27, 34 year old. You are, you’re old.
David Brower: Yeah, even if they’re 40.
Rosalinda Randall: Yes. It’s like wait, when are you retiring? One big thing is do not, do not talk to them, tell them you would a child at that age. Say you have a 30 year old or a 27 year old. Do not speak to them in the same way you would because then in their eyes they will see you as mom and pop. You might be not invited to lunches or things because they now see you. Don’t fix their hair or anything.
And then for the younger people, try and avoid go “Ah, my mom has a dress just like that,” or “My dad likes, doesn’t know how to use his iPhone either.” There’s just little things that we can do to not bring about or focus on the difference of generation. Being here on the West Coast, or in the Bay Area specifically, right next to Silicon Valley, most companies pride themselves in how casual it can be. Where in my opinion, and several other managers now that they’re seeing this trend that has been practiced, is the personal life is blending with the professional life. There is no private, personal. You bring your home problems to work and, in fact, it’s an excuse to not get your work done.
“I’m just not feeling it today. You know, I didn’t sleep.” All those things that we would refrain from bringing to work because that would show that we can’t handle our jobs, but now they provide nap rooms, and mindful places and yoga, and for you to feel. So really, I think the workplace the companies have afforded people to be less professional, less concerned about getting their work done, being on time.
They’re very forgiving. “Oh, sure. Stay at home today. No big deal.” I might get in trouble for saying this, but I just think it’s a whole generation who came from daycare to kind of grown up daycare-
David Brower: Yeah, I agree.
Rosalinda Randall: Because they’re allowed to do almost anything. They provide laundry for you, pool tables, all this. And I believe there is some benefit to that, to releasing some energy or something, but it’s gotten to the point where it’s almost encouraged. I just don’t know when you get any work done because I’d be downstairs playing ping pong all day long. I posed this question to a group that I was addressing, just the workplace in general, is if you were to hire a plumber and he came to your home. And during that time, you’re paying him by the hour, they decided to stop and do some stretching exercises and do their smoothie and then get back to work, and then take a little break, make a phone call to their kid, FaceTime their dog for a minute and then come back to work, would you put up with it and pay him through that time, or her?
David Brower: Oh, hell no.
Rosalinda Randall: Hello? Sometimes I think-
David Brower: I might think about it if he has a long enough t-shirt to cover up his butt crack, but it wouldn’t be for very long. You’re right. I’m flashing back to a Saturday Night Live skit that just kind of freaked me out there for a second. Sorry about that. But yeah, you’re exactly right. If you bring somebody, even you bring somebody into your home, you bring somebody into your business and you hire them to do a job, well, that’s what you hire them for. And you want to pay them a fair wage for that job, and you expect great work in return. Well, why wouldn’t you do the same thing with your employees?
Rosalinda Randall: Because the workplace culture, as you started this conversation, has allowed for it, has nurtured it, has afforded it to people. It’s companies who are doing that, and apparently, especially in the tech industry, money just flying out the door, that that’s okay. And they figured employees are fluid as well. “Hey, drop your ideas here. You want to go somewhere else? Move on, we got what we needed from you.” So there’s that that I’ve heard from tech people as well. It’s a very fluid industry, specifically that one. But yeah, I think they’re going to have a hard time if they leave the big Google’s and Yahoo’s and go into a certain industry. I think they’re going to have an awakening.
David Brower: Well, it’s going to be culture shock for them. It’s like coming out of a real high class, high end prep school, and joining the Marine Corps. It just ain’t gonna happen. You know what I mean? And I can’t imagine really, and maybe I’m wrong, but I can’t imagine really how they can go on like this forever. There must be some sense that they’re having success. Maybe it’s just what you said, it’s the fluid part of it. People are going to come and go and we’ll get new ideas from the next group. So there’s no loyalty incentive, obviously.
Rosalinda Randall: No, that is no longer the case from all of my research that I do in an HR context. It really isn’t two, three years, sometimes eight months, and they move on. Better opportunities, better benefits, whatever. They’re looking and the younger people as well are looking for companies who do good in the world also. They have to feel good about it. And I’m not diminishing that, that’s great. But that’s part of what they’re looking for, and it really has turned into where the applicant interviews the company. Like, “Wait. Do you want to work for you? What do you have to offer me?” And that’s sort of an underlying attitude also, which has changed. Usually you wanted to impress the company, now they have to impress you.
David Brower: Yeah, I just, it boggles my mind. I guess I’m glad I’m naive to a point and running my own business instead of working for some corporate company any longer, because that would just be mercy.
Let’s talk about your book, Don’t Burp in the Boardroom. I love it, I love it, I love it. So tell me, I don’t even have to open it up. Alright, I’m just putting the cover on my wall and that’s all I need. Let’s talk about that. What was the impetus for that and tell us how it flows.
Rosalinda Randall: Well, to be very honest, it was for business purposes. You say you’re in business, you should have a book. That’s what prompted it. I found a publisher, thank goodness it was a very easy process. I thanked them so much. And I had a lot to say, basically that’s why it’s in the book. I just had a lot to say, and I wanted to come across in a more humorous, and practical, and realistic way. So I don’t, while I, pardon me, mention … I want to use the word fancy because that’s what people equate having manners or etiquette, knowledge of etiquette, but I broke it down into more day to day dilemmas. Some, a lot of what’s in my book I experienced, and a lot of what people or I observed, or people had shared with me, and of course I changed some things around.
But it’s a humorous approach and I offer options. I don’t like telling people what to do, even though yeah, I’m considered an expert in my field, but we are all of different situations or different people or different cultures. So your personality is different, where your principles are different. In the book I offer options for a lot of scenarios. You can do this. Even options where people go, “I gotta speak my mind.” Okay, if that’s where you want to go, but this, this, and this can happen. Now how will you handle that? And I use a lot of humor and even a little slang for a book like this, but I just think that’s more realistic.
David Brower: It is.
Rosalinda Randall: We live in a society that is more casual throughout the country, but even more so here in California.
David Brower: Yeah, absolutely. I’m thinking about break rooms. Do these places even have break rooms for lunch anymore? Back in the day we used to, you know you’d go into the break room, you sit down, you have some lunch, talk about whatever you want to talk about. And I’m assuming that everybody just kind of brings their laundry to work and shares it at whatever level they want to.
Rosalinda Randall: Oh, my goodness. No, from what I hear from people in corporate, especially in these bigger companies, it’s catered, catered every day. They have chefs who cook things to order. Healthy options, and then just comfort food. Oh no, they don’t have to buy. And some of them offer breakfast every day. Fruit platters and healthy options, or and lunch. And they have a full-fledged cafeteria there that is available to their staff. And then others have plentiful snacks available for free for their employees. That’s become a trend where you offer employees everything. One tech guy said “Wow, that’s great. Yeah, we have laundry here on site. They even have a daycare.” And all kinds of other things that I can’t think of at the moment.
And I said “Well, wow. That’s great.”
And he goes “No. What they’re doing is they’re providing all this so that they can keep you here longer hours. You don’t have to go home when they provide all this for you.” So that was a different perspective.
David Brower: Wow, that really is.
Rosalinda Randall: Yeah, it made me think “Well, okay I guess it is a benefit to the company.” It’s worth it to them because you stay longer.
Like “Oh, I gotta go. I’m hungry.”
“No, here’s some free food. Come on. And your laundry’s done.”-
David Brower: Yeah, “We gotta finish this project. We got your back. Your kids are okay, your laundry’s okay. Oh, you need your car washed? Not a problem. It’ll be ready when you get off in two extra hours.”
Rosalinda Randall: Yeah, so that’s a different strategy-
David Brower: That is a different strategy. Oh my goodness. Well, I like that you offer a lot of options because like you’ve said in your bio and different places, there’s not one size that fits all the rules. I mean, you can have five different people in one room with five different things going on. How do you navigate that kind of information? I just don’t know how you do it, unless like you say, you study your book, you work with you, and you figure out okay, this is etiquette. No, it’s not having your pinky up while you put the salad fork on the left hand side. This is how you communicate, how you share or don’t share things that are going on in your life.
Rosalinda Randall: Definitely, and if I could just pinpoint one thing that I believe would solve or diminish definitely a lot of misunderstands, and problems, and confusion, and so forth in communication is tact-
David Brower: There you go-
Rosalinda Randall: That is the one word that I live with the most. It’s just plastered in my brain everywhere before I open my mouth and before I hit post on any social media. And tact is obviously the way, how people define it is it’s how you say it, just being … not discreet, but saying it tactfully without intention or malice to hurt or offend anyone. But I also add a sidebar of the definition is also knowing when to zip it. You don’t-
David Brower: Well yeah-
Rosalinda Randall: Always have to address, comment, give your opinion, or post, or like, or dislike. You don’t have to. Just leave it alone and walk away.
David Brower: Yeah, I mean you see so much, obviously with social media stuff now … there’s so much, pardon me, there’s so much crap out there that just has no business being in front of anybody’s face. And you got young kids on Snapchat looking at whatever they’re looking at, you got adults on Facebook liking, posting, hating, trashing. I mean, it’s like I’m sorry, do you know how to spell tact? It’s like my gosh. I couldn’t agree with you more. It’s just … Put on a tact class and I’ll be your body guard. That’s just silly-
Rosalinda Randall: Okay, that would be great.
David Brower: Well and the other thing I think, and you and I are on the same page on a couple of things obviously in my brain, and that is obviously you have to have tact, but you also have to have integrity. You have to have respect. You have to check your ego at the door and I mean, just simple stuff that a lot of people just aren’t aware of or selectively have forgotten about.
Rosalinda Randall: I believe there is an element of being unaware, that people were not taught this. It sounds so old fashioned to go “Well, it’s in the home where people learn how to communicate.”
David Brower: Oh, right. Yeah.
Rosalinda Randall: But it is. If you just logically take away the old school adage. Where do children and teens spend most of their time? At home, so therefore it just makes sense that that’s where they would gain a lot of information for life and life skills. But if that’s not happening in the home, then where? In the school? They’re busy teaching what they’re supposed to teach, not necessarily teaching them the principles like you said, respect and dignity. The kids are supposed to come prepared with all of that for the teacher, and that’s my opinion, to allow the teachers to do their job.
There is an element of that, and then there’s an element I think of encouraging people to be who they are and to be happy, and you have to always feel good about everything. And I don’t know who told them that, but that’s not real life. I mean I wish it was, but-
David Brower: It’s so disingenuous, and I don’t remember what generation it was, but parents felt like they had to raise their kids, and be their friend, and hold their hand, and “Well, let’s go have a hot chocolate,” and they don’t know the meaning of tact or discipline. And then these kids grow up, I mean we only know what we know as we’re growing up. But boy, that just sets them up for failure in so many ways.
Rosalinda Randall: That’s exactly what I was going to say, yeah. It is a disservice. If parents were trying to do that, and I don’t want to bash this newer generation or anything, but I believe when people go “Ugh, these millennials.” Well, can you really blame them completely?
David Brower: No.
Rosalinda Randall: Were they taught that this was an important thing when you get out in the world? They’re just going about their business, and if companies are encouraging “Hey, we have no titles. Hey, we’re all cool. We’re all the same.” You know, then they’re just living in that world of yeah, everything’s cool, everything’s wonderful, and we’re always supposed to be happy and never struggle.
David Brower: Yeah, and what have you done for me lately is okay.
Rosalinda Randall: Mm-hmm (affirmative). And I’m offended if it’s something you said. I don’t know how to handle that, so I have to go tell someone, or cry, or be upset, or post some poem about it, or whatever. And I don’t blame them even. That’s the only way they know how to handle criticism, or point out that they were wrong, or that they could’ve done a better job. They don’t know how to handle anything like that-
David Brower: Absolutely right-
Rosalinda Randall: So, there’s that sensitivity that people have to be careful how you say it, and that is such a waste of time. You know, I have to put fairy dust all over the whatever I’m going to say. And I don’t have time for that, but oh well.
David Brower: I know. Well, your skill set is needed in every business around the planet. We’re about out of time here, but I so admire what you do, respect what you do, value what you do-
Rosalinda Randall: Thank you-
David Brower: Because it just hits the right points. And I don’t care if you call it old school, new school, no school. It’s tact, it’s integrity, it’s courtesy, it’s polite. I mean, let’s keep it simple.
Rosalinda Randall: I agree.
David Brower: So your book is available everywhere I assume-
Rosalinda Randall: Yes-
David Brower: All the usual places, Amazon-
Rosalinda Randall: All the usual, yes.
David Brower: Yeah, so if people want to get ahold of Rosalinda Randall how do they do that? Go to your website, rosalindarandall.com-
Rosalinda Randall: That’s the easiest. Everything’s there, social media, book, blog, everything.
David Brower: And it’s Rosa, R-O-S-A, Linda, like it sounds, and Randall, like it sounds. I can’t even say it now. Rosalinda Randall. Hey, it’s been a real treat. I really enjoyed it. Thank you for taking the time.
Rosalinda Randall: Thank you David, for the opportunity.
David Brower: You bet.
Allan Blackwell: Listen to your 20 minute podcast with David Brower on the go. Downloads are available on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, iTunes, iHeart Radio, Spotify, any podcast app, and on our website at davidbrowervo.com/your20minutepodcast. Until next time thank you for listening.