Helping Others Facilitate Decision Making with Emily Shaw
Rebecca F.: (singing). Hello, this is Rebecca Fleetwood Hession, host of The Badass Womens Council podcast, and I'm super glad that you are here. So, today's guest, we have Emily Shaw. Hello, Emily.
Emily Shaw: Hi.
Rebecca F.: How are you?
Emily Shaw: I'm awesome, thank you for asking.
Rebecca F.: This is one of those interviews that will be super fun, but also more difficult for me, because we talk every flipping day, usually multiple times per day. So, I'm going to try to not put shortcut language that you and I have developed over time into this podcast. I just felt it important to give some context for the way that we banter.
Emily Shaw: Yeah, I'm glad that you didn't say, I talk to you every day, so I can't imagine anything of interest that I could speak to you about on this podcast, because I thought for a second, maybe that's where it was going crosstalk-
Rebecca F.: Like we've run out of topics?
Emily Shaw: Yeah.
Rebecca F.: Oop look, we're done. We will...
Emily Shaw: That would be impossible for this inaudible.
Rebecca F.: Yeah. I'm pretty sure that's not possible at all. So I asked you to come on and talk to me officially today, not just like," Hey, let's chat all day long." Because you are one of the masters in our Badass MasterClass monthly subscription, which is a part of the online community. And it's been going on since February, I think. And it's so freaking cool. Before we talk about what we came here to talk about, what's your general sense of the MasterClass and what people are getting out of it? I'm curious. I didn't set you up to say I was going to ask this question. Just curious.
Emily Shaw: Yeah. I'm glad that you asked. A couple of things come to mind. Selfishly, I'm excited that I get to be in there with the other masters and learn from them. That's my favorite part. Close second to that favorite is, and I'm sure I've mentioned this to you before, but something that I'm really passionate about when it comes to women in business is lifting each other while we climb that mountain of success. I think for decades prior to the one that we have the privilege of living in, there was a bit of a sense of scarcity mindset when it came to the number of women who could be successful in a business atmosphere, I mean, there was room for just a couple of us and so we weren't necessarily as supportive of one another as we could be and are really great at doing. So it's a unique energy in that space where we've all come to, not only learn from one another, but also support one another on that journey to success. And that's something that I'm passionate about and I feel privileged to be able to partake in.
Rebecca F.: Mm-hmm(affirmative). I love that. Yeah, we often joke, I refuse to do women's programming for the first 25 years of my career, because I had such a horrific experience early on where I was invited into a quote unquote, women's group and it was the mean girls group. And they were mean to each other and they hated all the men and I was afraid of them and didn't like them. And I actually excused myself like I was going to the bathroom and never went back to one of the meetings. So I was like," Excuse me." Scary place. And this it's not there in the MasterClass or in the online community-
Emily Shaw: It's not.
Rebecca F.: ...in general. So yeah, love that you said that.
Emily Shaw: Not at all.
Rebecca F.: It very much is a supportive, like lift you up kind of group. And I invited you into the MasterClass because you're bad- ass talented and amazing. You're a sales coach for Lushin and not everybody in the MasterClass is in sales. A couple of them are, but it's come one, come all any career women. But you, talk about the psychology of sales because we're all selling something, whether it's an idea or whatever. And what's been really fascinating is how applicable it is to parenting, marriage, every aspect of our life. We come into these conversations and we think we're hardcore business- hitting stuff and then somebody immediately will say,"Well, last night with my kids," or," My husband did this," or whatever. Do you experience that in your day to day sales coaching role always?
Emily Shaw: Constantly, yes. And there's a pretty easy explanation for that. Sales from a really high, hundred thousand foot viewpoint, falls into two large buckets that get a lot more specific in detail as you get closer. But that's managing conflict and understanding human behavior. That's really it. I make it sound really easy. It's a lot more complicated than that. But we're all doing that on a constant basis with every other human being around us, regardless of our role or our relationship to them. So that's why it's so easily applicable to any scenario where you are having an interaction with another human because they're universal principles.
Rebecca F.: Oh my gosh. I don't think we've ever talked about it in that way. I love the simplicity of that. Like you said, not easy, but concept wise, simple.
Emily Shaw: Yeah.
Rebecca F.: So managing conflict and human behavior, which is every single day of all of our lives, no matter what we do or don't do, right?
Emily Shaw: Yep. Yep.
Rebecca F.: And one of the topics that we covered in the last session around making decisions, the behavior of decision- making, I think is really critical because coming out of 2020, one of the overarching consequences of 2020 that I've seen is, people are more indecisive.
Emily Shaw: Yeah.
Rebecca F.: And we didn't set this up as part of the conversation, it just came to me as you were talking, do you feel that way too or is that just me?
Emily Shaw: I think it's on either end of the spectrum. I think people are either making all these decisions, last year I was robbed and it's never going to happen to me again, and I don't know what's going to happen next, right? So they go the full throttle and then the rest of us are in this place where it's like, well, I don't know what I should do because everything's sort of up in the air and a lot of unanticipated things happened last year, and I feel like I just need to chill and have some stability and some predictability. And so I don't want to change things. So I think I would agree I would say that there's opposite ends of the spectrum and not many people that I already know that seems to be either end.
Rebecca F.: No, that makes complete sense. And so you walked us through, and that's what we're going to do to end today's episode too. Some of the steps in order to bring people together, to help facilitate decision- making. And you shared some research and some things that just were staggering. And I told you the other day in a text, I've used it no less than five times in the first three days after we covered. And I was like, okay, we have to tell this to the entire world. So, yeah.
Emily Shaw: Yeah, I agree.
Rebecca F.: So the first... Just launch into it, like you did with the MasterClass last week, starting with the number of decisions we make a day.
Emily Shaw: Mm- hmm( affirmative). Yeah. So I asked the group, on average, how many decisions they think the human being makes in one day regardless of your marital status or your role in your company, this is just the average across the board. Answers ranged from 150 to 500, which now that you know, the answer is crazy, insane laughable. But the answer is actually 35, 000. And that's a lot.
Rebecca F.: 35,000 decisions, the average person makes a day.
Emily Shaw: Mm- hmm( affirmative). Yep. That's why we're all so tired at the end of the day.
Rebecca F.: Mind- boggling. Exactly. And one could easily say, if that's the average person, that a career woman, especially those with children and or aging parents or other humans that they're taking care of, it's probably higher.
Emily Shaw: Probably. I feel like in the course of one hour, from 5: 00 to 6: 00, I make half of those decisions regarding how much screen time people are still allowed to have, what we're having for dinner, it's just...
Rebecca F.: Right.
Emily Shaw: And all of the micro decisions in between. And if you're wrestling listening to this with believing that it's 35, 000, if you really break it down and start to evaluate the micro decisions you make on a daily basis that you're not even cognizant of, I think the picture becomes a little clearer. Really just starting your day, your alarm goes off, you decide whether or not to hit snooze or to turn it off, and then dependent upon which of those choose your own adventure paths you take, you have some different decisions and then it's, do I roll out? Do I jump out? Do I brush my teeth first? Do I have coffee first? There's so many. And then there's micro decisions in between there. How much toothpaste do I use? How much cream do I put in my coffee? It's just endless. And a lot of those are happening on a subconscious level. And I think I also shared with the group last time, or another time, 95% of your day is driven by your subconscious, which means a lot of those decisions that you're making are also driven by your subconscious. And as human beings, we tend to think, well, people make decisions logically and rationally because we're smart humans. That's not true. But the thing that they do prior to having the logic and rationale is experience and emotion. So as we talk about helping people facilitate making decisions, I talk about focusing more on the why behind the what. Now we've heard this a lot. We've heard it from ask why... I mean, we've heard it from books and podcasts and research, and you have to understand what is the crosstalk.
Rebecca F.: My boyfriend, Simon Sinek, we're not really going to be boyfriend and girlfriend.
Emily Shaw: I love him. So I will play at you for him. I think it might be great.
Rebecca F.: I used to think that. I don't know.
Emily Shaw: I feel good about it, therefore, I don't know.
Rebecca F.: I just feel like I've talked about him as my boyfriend so much that I'm not manifested it yet, I probably should move on and find somebody else to obsess about. So, there we go.
Emily Shaw: So you're using me to release him. I'll release him to you, that's the thing.
Rebecca F.: There we go. Yeah. But you're right. Starting with why has become a business term, which it wasn't 10, 20 years ago. Yeah.
Emily Shaw: Right. And so cognizantly, we know that turning off the switch that we have on how we rationalize decision- making later is a little more challenging. I think I shared with the group this example that, if you asked my husband," Why did you marry your wife?" He will have some sort of logical rational explanation to that. We've been together for five years. We live together. Our kids called each other sisters. She's smart or whatever. If I asked my husband behind closed doors and nobody can hear us, and now it's on a podcast or whatever. And I ask him why did you marry it would be," I couldn't live without you. You're the love of my life." It would be much more emotional. And so in certain capacities, specifically business, we share only the logical and rational reasoning as to why we do things. So a lot of people start with," Well, here are the numbers and normal of the rationalization as to why you should make this decision. And here's why I did this. And here's why I did this. This makes up..." And then things don't change and there's no forward staff and people are frustrated because this is stupid. It obviously makes sense to do this. It might, but there may be something emotionally driving this person that's not in line with the numbers that's causing them to slow roll that process, avoid it altogether. We don't know because we're not digging into the emotion behind what would compel someone to make a decision.
Rebecca F.: And that applies whether you're dealing with someone who's in a positive manner or a negative one, right?
Emily Shaw: It doesn't matter. crosstalk.
Rebecca F.: It's always emotionally driven. So, I tie that into the framework I use with coaching and consulting which is, business is human, a business on one column, if you look at it just as two columns beside each other, a business is here to control, measure and optimize. That's what a business is supposed to do. It's supposed to grow. Humans are personal, emotional, and social. And over time we have become prone to treat ourselves like a business. You think about, you and I've said this to each other, I went for a walk and forgot to wear my apple watch so it doesn't even count or we got to count stuff. Right?
Emily Shaw: Yeah.
Rebecca F.: I ate something today and didn't log it in my new map therefore, the day is shot, right? So we've tried to control, measure and optimize our own human experience, which negates everything about our decision- making and everything about the fact that a business only exists to serve humans in some capacity.
Emily Shaw: Right.
Rebecca F.: And so the sooner we line up with the human needs and the human decision- making and the neuroscience and the subconscious, and the way that we're wired as humans, the better our business is going to be.
Emily Shaw: Absolutely. Yeah. And the better your conversations are going to be. It'd be not looking at this through a business lens, and you're looking at it through a personal lens or whatever. I mean, any interaction with another human being will have more room for authenticity and connection if you're targeting the emotion or the why or the motivation, or the compelling reason for someone, as opposed to trying to explain to them what they should do based on the outcomes and objectives that they could achieve.
Rebecca F.: Yeah. Right.
Emily Shaw: This is akin to... The thing that drives me crazy is we do this in a personal setting all the time. I don't show up to... Let's say a friend calls me and says," Oh my gosh, I'm freaking out. You have to come meet me at this bar right now. I'm already two in, come on." And I show up. Right? And I walk in and they're like," I think I'm getting a divorce." I'm not going to say," Okay, here are the five lawyers. Also, let's think about this strategy, right? Tell me about your assets." I'm not trying to sell a problem. I'm going," Oh my gosh. How do you know? How long has this been going on? How can I support you? Tell me more what..." I'm connecting with them from an empathetic standpoint but as soon as we walk into a boardroom or a situation where we think we have to be professional, whatever that means, all of that goes by the wayside. And that's why we have less effective conversations.
Rebecca F.: The funniest one is," Well, don't take it personally." When somebody says that, is just fitting. Well, don't take it... Okay, well, explain to me how that works. Like, I am a personal human being, we're having a conversation or an interaction that involves me. So isn't that by nature, personal. And then my second least favorite is," Don't get so emotional." That's like...
Emily Shaw: No. I don't like that one, yeah.
Rebecca F.: It's like saying, don't bring your arms to the meeting, they're inconvenient. Your emotions come with you like everything else comes with you.
Emily Shaw: Yeah.
Rebecca F.: I apologize to anybody out there with no arms, because now you're offended. I'm sorry.
Emily Shaw: Fair.
Rebecca F.: Fair. So the other stuff that you shared that I have found profoundly helpful and being more intentional about it, I do naturally because I'm a coach and it's what I'm supposed to do, but I've been far more intentional about doing it in all other aspects of my life. And that's about what we remember based on whether we tell somebody something, or whether we ask questions, let's talk about engaging with someone.
Emily Shaw: Yeah. So first step to overcoming a decision crisis problem and helping people facilitate is not focusing on the logic and the justification, but it's focusing on their emotion and their compelling reason. Second thing is, stop telling people and start asking people. There's a lot of different reasons. So the stat that you're referencing is just naturally, most of us, remember 80% of what we said in a conversation and about 25% of what somebody else said accurately. I'd be able to give you the overview, but to remember specifics. And if anyone is, again, wrestling with this stat, you just think back to the last argument you had with your spouse. Because we've all been like,"That's not what I said. That's not what I said."
Rebecca F.: Right.
Emily Shaw: "I remember this" and you're like," I never said that."
Rebecca F.: Right.
Emily Shaw: And you were saying the same thing and they're like," That's what you had always said."
Rebecca F.: Right.
Emily Shaw: So, but you can very accurately remember specifically and exactly the point that you're trying to make. It's not just in spousal arguments, it's all the time. And there's also this thing called transactional analysis that goes hand in hand with this. And we didn't talk too much about it, but it's the id, ego, super- ego basically. All of those ego states are always present for the conversations that you're having with another person. So we take them and label them, parent, adult, child. A lot easier to separate them when you're thinking about them through that capacity. And so you've got two kinds of parents. Traditionally, typically you've got nurturing parents and you have critical parents. Critical parents say things like," You should do this. Why didn't you XYZ? When will you learn?" They also... But they're necessary because they also say," Don't touch that. It's hot." They create rules for us. However, in a conversation with an adult to an adult, anytime that we are trying to tell people what to do, we are coming from a critical parent ego state. And the thing that ignites in most people when dealing with a critical parent is, rebellious child from their ego state. We don't really give them a lot of places to go. They have to defend their ego. It's part of them. It's subconscious. They're not thinking about it purposefully or intentionally. And so the knee- jerk reaction is to rebel. And then that may not look like" F you, don't tell me what to do." That could just look like a silent rebellion on," Mm- hmm( affirmative). Yeah. That, well, absolutely, I am definitely going to do this." But inside you're very not going to do that. So a lot of helping people create clarity and confidence in order to make decisions is asking them questions so that they turn on light bulbs themselves, much like coaching.
Rebecca F.: I even do this in my keynote speaking. So one of the things that I'm different than other keynote speakers is, I build in conversation. So whatever timeframe I'm given to give a talk, whether it's 20 minutes or two hours or days of a training class, I make sure that I'm not talking the entire time, and in fact, very little of the time. I want to introduce concepts in an entertaining, wonderful way, and then turn it over to the people that I'm speaking to and have them discuss it at the tables. And I've had people that hire me, challenge me on that. And when I explain this to them, that look, they're only going to remember 25% of what I say, but if they talk about it at their tables, they're going to remember far more of it. Because their concern was," Well, if you just turn them loose, they're not going to be paying attention to the topic." I'm like," Actually it's counterintuitive. They're going to be paying more attention to the topic because they get to talk about the topic." And I get great feedback. And it's funny because I talk less and they get more out of it. Ting- ding- ding. Winner. Winner.
Emily Shaw: Absolutely. Absolutely. My talks and trainings are structured the exact same way. Table conversations, breakouts, worksheets with a partner, all kinds of work to be done on the other side. And you're right, that is the thing that creates the stickiness. And they can actually apply it later. Otherwise, it's really great and motivational and exciting and inspiring and we've all been there, right? It's like," Oh my God, that was an amazing keynote." Two days later, I've forgotten that it existed.
Rebecca F.: Or by the time you get home.
Emily Shaw: And it's not because it was bad.
Rebecca F.: Yeah. And so if you're a parent, if you're thinking about how to use this with kids asking more questions, and I think the parental role is so dicey because you... High stakes game, right? You want them to turn out okay. You want them to be safe. And so it feels a little counterintuitive, but asking," What do you think you should do?" Instead of telling them what to do and some of those basic things. And even as a team member, a leader, for every role, this applies.
Emily Shaw: Oh yeah.
Rebecca F.: Ask more questions than you tell people what to do.
Emily Shaw: Yeah. Because it's making it about them, it's not going in with your ideation of what you think they should do or getting your own needs met through feeling really smart and validating. It's really taking the focus off of you and helping them facilitate their own critical thinking that's making it awesome. And I would say, as far as parenting goes, I only ask questions. Make those are... Honestly, my nine year old at this point is like," I know you're going to ask me."" What I'm I going to ask you?" Which is still a question. And then she falls right into the trap as she tries to answer it." You're going to ask me this. And then I'm going to say this, and then you're going to be right." I'm like," Well, I don't how to be right, I didn't say anything." So there's that. But my number one thing that I would suggest all parents to start doing, it's hilarious. It's like, if they do make a misstep I always say," What do you think your punishment should be?" And they come up with way worse than-
Rebecca F.: It's always far worse. Far worse. No.
Emily Shaw: inaudible. What if we cut that in half? Or would it look like an... Or why do you think that's deserving of the crime? And you'll learn more about them, right? They feel really guilty. And maybe they're not expressing that, but they express it through what they think their punishment should be. And then you can have a conversation about that. And you're getting to the heart of the matter and helping really put the facts together. Yeah. I've only questions in my household.
Rebecca F.: And I believe, to facilitate that way helps, whether it's kids or whether it's team members, people to self- govern and not waiting to be told what to do. I didn't want to raise kids that needed to be told what to do because I'm not going to be around forever. And once they left for college or whatever, I didn't want to think about them going off the rails in rebellion. So I wanted them to...
Emily Shaw: Yes.
Rebecca F.: ...make decisions on their own and self- govern, and the same applies for team members.
Emily Shaw: Yeah.
Rebecca F.: So the next thing that you covered in this process was? Is?
Emily Shaw: Yeah. And there are many, many other components to helping people make decisions. I don't want them to convey that there's only these three things that you have to take into consideration. These are three big things that will help if it's something that someone is struggling to make happen right now. But a huge reason that people don't make decisions when we expect them to is, we never told them when we expect them to. Sit down, whether it's with your kids or your spouse or your team or a sales prospect, in my world, and you have this expectation that you're going to have this conversation, and then something's going to come of it as an outcome on a decision. Yes, no, clear, next steps. Keep it pretty simple. What expectation is that person walking into the room with? Do they even know that this is a conversation where they're going to have to make a decision? Probably not. Or, what's their agenda in coming into this conversation? Is it just to gather information and do whatever they want with it? There's just a misalignment of expectations in a lot of conversations that we need to have alignment on to move forward if there is some activity that needs to happen afterward. And then we get mad at people for doing something we didn't tell them they weren't allowed to do. It's like, everyone's dumb and no one can make decisions. Like, what did you tell them that you expect them to? Now, why are you mad?
Rebecca F.: Shouldn't they just know? No.
Emily Shaw: Right. Yeah. We all tend to be a bit myopic and think that everyone thinks the same way that we do. And if we just take one extra step in getting alignment on that, our lives would be a lot easier. So whether that's front- loading, which would be a term that you'd use in counseling or psychiatry as to," Here's what I need from you. When is a good time and space for us to work through that and communicate that? Do you think you'd be able to give me feedback on that or make a decision on that? Why or why not? Let's talk through that." And it's basically, if you want to know what's going to happen in the future, bring it to the present and have a conversation about it and then create a plan around that. But yeah, if you're working with a team, like a leadership team and everyone needs to get together and make a decision, then it needs to be communicated," We're going to meet for an hour. Here are the things we're going to discuss. Please add in whatever would help you in making a decision. But at the end of that hour, we're going to have to decide something. Now, you can say, no. You're allowed to say no." Or," You don't have to just do whatever I tell you to do. Permission to express yourself." And obviously this is yes, would look like, or we need to have clear next steps determined before we walk out of the room. I think all organizations would be transformed if we did that for every conversation we have with one another. Not to make dealing with people efficient, but a process if we need to help people facilitate decision- making should be efficient because there's too many other things going on in a decision- making process for the entire process itself to be all messed up and convoluted and, I don't know, murky.
Rebecca F.: And people making assumptions and guessing instead of just knowing.
Emily Shaw: Yeah.
Rebecca F.: So the two terms I use for that are, as long as everybody has clarity and context. Clarity. What is it?
Emily Shaw: Yep. Exactly.
Rebecca F.: What are we going to decide? When are we going to decide it? And context, which is, the story around it which has the emotional component. Why does this matter? Who does it matter to? And if you just ask yourself those two questions, did I provide clarity and context? It fits almost every scenario. So.
Emily Shaw: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely.
Rebecca F.: Okay. So we're going to wrap up the podcast today, but I'm sure you and I will be texting within an hour or two or three. So I am so appreciative of having you as my friend and my coach. But if somebody wants to hire you to do great work with them, they can't text you all the time like I do, because you don't have time for that, you have me. And I'm always texting you saying-
Emily Shaw: crosstalk my priorities.
Rebecca F.: Your priorities. So I don't want to work myself out of availability, but if they want to hire you to do sales coaching, who is the right person? Who do you work with?
Emily Shaw: Yeah. So I work with presidents, CEOs, owners. Typically they come to me frustrated because they've hired awesome people and individuals for their sales teams, all the way from leadership to sales person, they're not necessarily getting awesome or the very least consistent results. So sometimes we're really great at account retention, but we struggle to close new business or to bring new business in. Sometimes it's, we bring lots of people into the pipeline. However, they seem to stall out and we don't know why they go against us. We have no idea. We don't have processes that will support us in helping understand why that's happening. Or at the very least we're well aware that our sales people are driving that bottom line and we need to get them as many resources and support as possible to help them help us. We're just not sure where to turn and what to do. So those are the three biggest reasons that people come to me.
Rebecca F.: Love it. I mean, I was a wildly successful salesperson. Sold$ 35 million, but I still need your coaching to think through things and talk through things, and what did I forget? And yeah. So it's not just for those folks that also think, well, I don't know how, or I'm not doing it right. It's for everybody to just hold up the mirror and see if you can say," Hey, what about this? What about that?"
Emily Shaw: Yeah. I'm glad you said that because really the people that come with the experience and are great at what they do, but just need to sharpen their sword or whatever, they tend to have greatest and fastest success. It's kind of like, world famous athletes still have a coach. They still run plays. They're not just out there doing whatever they want to do. So they've got structure and they've got support. This is no different.
Rebecca F.: Yeah. And if you're not in sales and you are just interested in the human behavior and how we facilitate decision- making and our ideas and parenting, those are the things we do in MasterClass.
Emily Shaw: Yeah.
Rebecca F.: So I would love any career woman that's thinking, it'd be great, a few times a month, to jump on a virtual call with a bunch of amazing women and have rich conversations, that's what we do.
Emily Shaw: Yeah. Absolutely.
Rebecca F.: So thank you for being here. I appreciate you.
Emily Shaw: Thanks for having me. It was fun. I'll talk to you soon.
Rebecca F.: Okay. Bye.
Emily Shaw: Bye.( Singing).
Today's episode is a discussion with Emily Shaw about being a better decision maker. Emily is a sales coach at Lushin and one of the Masters in the Badass MasterClass. She shares ways she helps others create clarity and confidence to lead to better decision making, which applies in our professional and personal settings. Tune in to Rebecca and Emily dive into decision making and how it applies to parenting, supporting others, and more.