The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode 126 · 10 months ago

126. The Role of Kindness in Your Company w/ Cole Baker-Bagwell


Not only is kindness important on a human level, but it can become a core value for any company. How?

In this episode, I interview Cole Baker-Bagwell is Founder and Chief Kindness Advisor at Cool Audrey, about how and why to turn kindness into a core company value.

Cole talked with me about:

- The cashmere effect in customer experience

- The business case for kindness (it’s very strong)

- Mindfulness and intention in business & its customer impact

- An answer to the outcome-oriented skeptics

Check out these resources we mentioned during the podcast:

- Cole’s podcast is Kindness Think Tank

- She mentioned Said Ziouani and Whereby 

Subscribe, listen, and rate/review the Customer Experience Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play or Google Podcasts, and find more episodes on our blog.

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for The Customer Experience Podcast in your favorite podcast player.

I help people do not only remindthemselves that kindness is very important, try to understand where it could become acore value potentially for their company. But then that's not enough. I striveto help them create chains of evidence around that core value system. The singlemost important thing you can do today is to create and deliver a better experiencefor your customers. Learn how sales, marketing and customer success experts create internalalignment, achieved desired outcomes and exceed customer expectations in a personal and human way. This is the customer experience podcast. Here's your host, Ethan Beute.Hey, it's Ethan, host of the show, and I want to takea quick minute off the top, something I've never done in more than ahundred twenty episodes of this show, to make a quick apology to you,the listener and to my amazing guest, Coal Baker Bagwell, who talks kindnessas a business strategy. In this conversation. My microphone was a little bit overdrivenwhen we recorded it. It is below my standards. I want togive you better. I consistently give you better, but this conversation was sogood. You can't recreate these things. They just happen in the moment,and so I wanted to ask your patients and forgiveness right off the top.You're going to love this one. Here's the intro. As a business professionaland revenue leader, you want to drive innovation, growth and loyalty. Todo so, you must increase engagement, connection and trust. What's one commonlyoverlooked opportunity to do this? Bringing more kindness into your business. Yes,kindness. That is the mission of today's guest. She spent a decade insoftware sales before becoming founder and chief kindness officer at Cool Audrey. She's ablend of business strategist, mindfulness practitioner and Yogi. I learned about her whena teammate of mind a bombomb, Laura a bear, attended one of herwebinars and told me about the experience. From that moment I knew I neededto make this conversation happen. It's happening right now, Coal Baker bag.Well, welcome to the customer experience podcast. Thank you. I am so happyto be here with you. Thanks for asking me to enjoining you.Yeah, I love what you're up to. I think this is important conversation specificto the way we work with our team members and the way that wework with our customers. But before we get into kindness practically speaking, kindnessas a business strategy, I'd love for your take on customer experience. WhenI say that, what does that mean to you? Customer experiences to meeven, and thanks for the question, it is really all of the moments, from from start to finish, that a client might have in working witha particular company that they've chosen to and trust their business to. But wecan also back up a little bit and think about custom your experience as somethingthat begins even before that moment starts. So you know, how is theteam preparing to meet that customer and ere that client? I like to compliancein that way. How are they how are they preparing to meet them externally? And that's the kind of stuff that bubbles up on the inside of thewalls to go outside into the world. And then, do you know,at the end of that cycle, like we have all these beautiful moments inbetween, but at the end of that cycle, to me, when Iwork with folks, I want them to walk away from me and feel likeyou know, I have this saying the cashmere effect. Feel like they havecashmere wrapped around them. So it's something lasting and visceral and beautiful that keepsthem coming back because they've been you know, they've been seeing and they've been engagedin a way that makes them really feel something. So that's that's,I guess, a summary of what it means to me. Two things Iespecially liked. One vice idea of inside out, this idea that a fantasticor remarkable or supportive employee experiences a necessary precursor to a great customer experience,and that's something that we talk about regularly... But I also like whereyou went with the kind of the sensational, kind of this feeling aspect of ittoo, that it's not just what we think and say, but it'salso the feelings that we get. Those thoughts and feelings. We will godeep into kindness, but just as a quick drive by here, what isthe way of kindness in customer experience? Oh Wow, it's everything. Solet me start by saying that I don't define kindness as this in the waythat a lot of people do in our culture here in the United States.You know, it's sort of been a forgotten thing, but to me practicalkindness related to customer experience looks, I take, so many different shapes.Even one of those shapes says who am I serving, what am I doingthrough that work and why does it matter for them? And so if youstart from that place of why does it matter for them, and really tryto understand what your role is and that as a potential business partner, Ithink that that little salt, small and simple place, because to become alaunch pad for proper intention and proper attention and then all of the actions thatwill follow, all of the words that will follow right. So so that'skind of my my biggest belief about that. I love it. It reminds meof customer Centricity, or even human centricity, where before we begin anyactivity, before we execute anything or we do anything at all, that wethink first about who it's for, who it's with, and that orientation towardthe person before we ever take a single step or write a single word orstart recording the video or whatever we're doing, makes all of the difference. AndI appreciate the way you position that. It's like it is a kindness,I think, to yourself and to the other person to consider their needs, their wants their situation prior to undertaking the activity at all, and you'regoing to wind up with a better outcome as a result. Yeah, absolutelywill. And you know, I draw from three main ideas when I thinkabout kindness. I draw from and they are out there, all relative tocustomer experience. The first idea is the fourteen century definition of kindness is nobledeeds and courtesy. Enough said, they're noble deed and courtesy. The seconddefinition draws from my experience, as you know, a practitioner of Yeo andmindfulness for the last almost twenty seven years. I'm kind of dating myself, buttwenty seven years. And there's a rule. The first rule of theod'sis to do no harm, nonviolence, and so it's called a Himsa andand to me that is really the embodiment of the definition of kindness for thishuman anyway. That's what I'm trying to take into the world. But thenthere's another aspect of that, and that other aspect is around where does itcome from? And it's something that marries intention and compassion and then there itis. So it's heart and mind Mary. So I think when you know,we don't think about business in that way typically, but we really shouldbecause that's the biggest opportunity for us to create the relationships, the partnerships,the trust, that feeling, that discerbal feeling that fuddles up deep inside ofsomebody, someone in stays with them even after you know maybe that conversation isover or that transaction has happened something really, really lasting, and that's the impactof kindness. there. Yeah, what a novelty, the idea ofreaching out to whole people as opposed to the rational teachers we pretend we are. Before we get too much further, I'd love for you to just togive a quick drive by and cool audrey like. Who is your ideal customer? What problem are you solving for them? Tell us a little bit about whatyou're doing. Well, the simplest way to define what I'm doing isI'm helping people in business realize and and and grasp kindness as a core competency. So develop kindness as a core competency for business because, you know,I've spent year studying the research behind kindness, which sounds kind of funny, butthey're actually as a lot of data and I think about, you know, things like the very simplest thing, that kindness helps people foster trust andthat trust helps them collaborate. And I mean, if we think about that, those three things, of course they...

...winne up perfectly. But it's somethingthat's very absent or overlooked in most business because people are concerned about the outcomesof business more than how we get there. So so I help people do notonly remind themselves that kindness is very important, try to understand where itcould become a core value potentially for their company. But then that's not enough. I strive to help them create chains of evidence around that core value system. You know, how are we making decisions? How are we creating policiesand processes? How are we hiring people? How are we engaging with our customers? How are we creating products? How are we creating messaging and customerexperience? And so where is our attention in all of these these different areas? So that is, you know, something that really should be a corecomponency, I think, in every single business, but at the highest level. That's what I'm trying to do through the work with cool audrey in aclient engagement. Give us just take this one layer more practical. What area couple things that you've maybe helped a team or company do with regard toincreasing kindness within their own internal culture and processes, and maybe one externally withcustomers, and then maybe go maybe feel a little bit abstract, but ifyou've done any of this work, I'm super interested to in how kindness playswhen it's not in a human to human exchange, for example a manager anddirect report engagement or conversation or a salesperson in a potential customer conversation, butkindness in perhaps user experience or you know, the product experience, this kind ofthing, where it's the customers interacting with the company but through a vehicleor a medium like it. Can we express kindness that way? So,anyway, those three questions in one maybe the internal example, maybe an externalexample, then maybe a product or user experience example, if you if youhave them, sure. So, so really good example of working internally witha client I was talking about, and I wrote about this recently, washaving a conversation with the CEO and and this was really the conversation and thegoal of that was to help him understand why kindness could really help change thebusiness. And so he's busy ran, he's guy a shareholders to report toand revenue to create and all of the competitive market place and all of thosethings that we know our true in business. And he said, you know,cold kindness is nice, but I'm concerned about revenue. I'm concerned aboutmarket share. And I said, well, let's think about that for a minute. I said, so how do you make money? He said what? We sell products. I said, okay, yeah, you sell products. So so how do you say? How do you create the products thatyou sell? I said, well, people create that. I said,okay, people create your products. So do those people need to be ableto collaborate, say, to better create the products that you're sending out intothe world? Will sure, I said, okay. So that was kind oflightbuld moment number one. LIGHTBULB moment number two came up when I said, well, who do you how do you get the word out about yourproducts? Oh well, we create marketing campaigns and messaging. And I said, well, who does that? Will people do that? Well, whoare they creating the messaging for? They're creating messaging for other people. AndI said, and what if they forget that that's the reason that they're creatingthe messaging. It's not just to sell your product, it's actually helped solvea problem that other people might have. That was moment number two, andthe moment number three came when I said so how does the actual product getinto the market place? He said, well, my sales people take itout there and I said, well, what do they have to do toget a meeting with that customer? He said well, you know, theysend emails, they said, by the way, he may be a candidatefor bombomb right. He said, they send emails, they send text messages, you know, they get leads, the standard kind of thing. Isaid, okay, so that gets them in the door and maybe there's anflied interest that the customer might have in your potential, you know, inyour product potentially to help them solve a problem. What gets them invited backlightbel moment number three. So my whole discussion when here it was unless youwere people are meeting your customers with the right intention, they're designing those productswith the with the people that they're serving...

...first at in mind, not themoney train, but the people trained first, then you're not going to be ableto maximize your revenue potential, your market share potential, your reach,you know, your awareness campaigns, it just won't matter because essentially you arecreating inside of a vacuum. So in that case I was able to startworking with teams within the company to help them collaborate. I noticed, youknow, behaviors that work coming up within the teams. You know, peoplewould smile to one another spaces and pull me to the side and say,you know, that guy's a real jert hole, and I said, well, hold on now, let's kind of think about that a little bit.So I worked with these teams and tap them how, in that moment wherethey have the thought that creeps in this guy's a jerk or I've been downthis road before. I know what they're going to say. Let's pause there. Let's pause at the thought and figure out what's driving it, you know, as it ego, as it agenda, as a bias, all sort ofthings that are absent of kindness. Let's think about how can we getahold of those thoughts before they become words, because those words are going to createsome sort of ripple effect to and then, by the way, thosethoughts are also going to drive the actions that you take, the decisions thatyou make. So so by the end of about six months, I dida survey at the beginning and the survey at the end with with these teams, and what I realized at the end, and these were teams that were crosscollaborating as well or supposed to cross collaborate, what I found out frombeginning to end, is that it did make a difference, that creating awarenessof how they were moving through the world enabled them to be kinder and thatkindness created more trust and collaboration. And, by the way, it didn't justaffect the teams internally. They took that out to the customers and itincreased engagement with their clients as well. So I think I answered two ofyour questions there about internal and external. But it was so it was sopowerful in this instance that the customer started calling the person who was my clientand seeing teach us how you work. We want to work more like this. We Love the way your teams interact. So that's that's huge when you thinkabout customer experience and really going from vendor to partner. It's such abig, big differentiator with respect to a product. I will tell you thatin two thousand and fourteen I was very fortunate to be part of a techstart up and I was, you know, like in the s number twenty threethat was hired there, and the thing that was so cool about itwas that the product was awesome. It was created by a guy to solvea problem he was having, but what happened was it actually ended up solvingso many other people in the world were having the exact same problem, soit solved their problem too. And so, because we were all high hired forkindness first, believe it or not, by our CDEO, number one corevalue is to be kind and man it permeated through our walls inside itinfluenced the way that we made decisions, the way the engineering team made decisionsaround product development, you know, innovation paths that they ter up, andit totally changed the way that we met our clients on the outside to butit only made a difference because of what we cultivated inside our walls. Butit really did. That ethos of be current really influenced, you know,it messaging and you know, it was automation for the people, very muchlike the the messaging of your company. It was it was all about humans. It's all about helping humans, we leave a burden that they had andand that really stayed at the forefront. So I believe that that ethos ofkindness influenced all of those things. Yeah, I believe that it did too,and you actually answered all three kind of in the first past, butI appreciate you kind of like doubling back into that, into that last passthere, because when we can think this way and be this intentional, Ithink what we're starting to do then is is an informal, lightweight version ofhuman center design. So I can see how this perspective would immediately be capturedor lead to some of the best kind of leading questions before a product isdesigned or released. I can see how it could come through in the experiencesimply by being in internal cultural element.

You mentioned something that I think isreally important, because I think it's slows a lot of people down or Ithink it's one of those roadblocks for people that are a little bit skeptical ora little bit hardcore or a little bit focused on the outcome rather than theprecursors to the outcome, you know, instead of like letting the outcome happenbecause we did everything else the right way, which is kind of my default.Some people just really like to control that outcome and in at some pointthe ends justify the means and we maybe forget some of the collateral damage orjust ignored or whatever the key word. There is intentional like this idea ofstopping, pausing, being conscious, because you know, most of our decisionsare made, the vast, vast majority, like ninety five percent of them,are made subconsciously. There's a period between when we say I like whatCole is saying and this is now a habit for me and and in thoseearly stages it does require this conscious thought, it does require this pause, itdoes require this reflection. Why might she have said it that way?Why do I feel this way about what he said? These kinds of things? Does that ever go away? Or is this a key, fundamental partof being mindful, and is it is a a necessary part of being kind? Do we always need to take this extra step or make this extra pauses? That just part of the process? Or, you know, once we'rekind of in this zone and we've been rewarded, and so we continue todo the behavior and it's everything cold promised me it would be. My worklife is better, my customer engagement is better, all these things are better. Does that Fadal or or or do we always need to create this momentof reflection? Is that inherent to the process? That's a really good questioneven and I think it's a little bit above in my personal experience. SoI'll just talk about my this human here, because it's probably a little different foreveryone, right. But I, you know, as I mentioned,have been practicing mindfulness for nearly twenty seven years now and I still catch myselfin moments that, you know, I am Chune, but I call itmoments where my goodness is challenged. So, but I feel it. I canfeel it in my in my body, I can feel it in my mind. So what how it shows up for me is I get kind ofcold because it's my nervous system kind of saying we're in a bad spot here. My my brain kind of I can hear the little tiny voice on myshoulder that wants to jump up and down and say something that's not going tobe kind, it's not going to be a response, it's going to bea reaction. And so I still have those moments now. So I stillhave to practice exactly what I'm preaching, which is we have to slow down, we have to listen objectively right, and that comes from being aware ofWHO's in charge of your show. Is An ego? Is that you know? I need this, I need that. Is it agenda where we've got toaccomplish this thing, to bring in this much revenue, create this youknow, this client base, get this new product innovated? Or is ita cognitive bias that you have? And so every single one of us hasthese things. It's a matter of how do we choose to tame them?And we can only begin to tame them when we become aware of them.And so you know, I still have moments. It just happened yesterday,as a matter of fact. I was on a phone call with somebody andit was a friend of mine asking for help and I was offering help.And you know, she asked give me, tell me what to do, giveme some advice, and when I offered her the advice, I wasmet with, well, you don't understand this and you don't understand that,and I felt myself kind of you know, that little that little voice jumping upand down. So I had to go on you and take a fewbreaths and say what's in charge of your why am I feeling this way?And then I was able to re engage and not too harm. I wasable to re engage in a very kind and measured way and respond. Sothat takes practice. And what we're talking about there is I talked about developingkindness as of core competency. Even this is what it goes back to froma from a biological standpoint, what we're doing is we are creating new neuralpathways, and so I equate them to, you know, roads, right,if you have an old, bumpy...

...road, every single time you drivedown it, your tire hits the Pothole and you've got to repair the tirebecause you get a hole in the tire and you know you get them,you get the bubby feeling in the steering wheel. You have two choices.You can either keep driving down that road or you can choose a new roadthat has better payment. And so neural pathways can be thought of in thatsame way. You know, if we've gotten into a habit of reaction,we've got into a habit of feeding the ego, feeding the agenda, feedingthe bias them. That's the road that's the road with the Buffy poples thatwe've talked about. So in that moment it's comes down to choice. Arewe going to make this choice to quite literally pave and open a new road? And if we do that, it becomes easier over time to make thosechoices with consistency. It becomes easier and practice. But it's just like anythingelse. It's you know, it's not a lights which you're going to flipon and off. It's always going to require attention and tension, and that'swhere the awareness becomes so important. Gosh, my fear is that the same personthat is oriented toward outcome scale agenda is a really great word, thisidea that well, I you know, I need to get x, Yand Z done by such and such a day or a time, that thatpersonality type probably doesn't have the patients to get off the road or even toknow that they're on the wrong wade. I assume that you've worked with peoplethat are that way. Like I would assume that when you're in a roomwith say, ten people, there are at least three or four of thatpersonality type, and that's the person I'm trying to reach here. I feellike, you know, people are already oriented this way, like yeah,I like what she's saying. In perhaps, hopefully, people are still listening.If they don't, even if they don't buy in yet, because theircures are we're to get there. But you know, how what do youdo with those, those types of folks? Is there a different approach? Likeif I am personally, if I want to spread this message internally,how do you reach that person? So I think there are a couple ofdifferent ways. So let me tell you about an experience since I had abouta year and a half ago. So I was in working with a clientand in a group of ten people, I'm more realistically have one or twowho are sort of tracking in that mindset. The other ones are really excited aboutbeing there because they're like, oh, my company is investing in something that'sabout me. So that's really interesting for me as well. And theyknow it's not training. They know it's something that's deeper and that it camefrom a place of caring about the people. So so that's what gets like theeight out of the ten people on board. And then there are thetwo saying are like arms folded, you know, shoulders up to their earsand they're they're not in at all. The eyebrows are throwed and in oneinstance I invited those couple of people to leave. I said, if thisdoesn't speak to you and you are just really I'm not so my job totune you. It's your job to take this information in that I'm sharing andthen you make a choice for yourself. But if you're already if you've decidedyou're not going to make that choice, you can just get up and leaveand there are no hard feelings. In fact, I'll hug you on theway out. They stayed, which was also curious. And so what happenedwas from the first survey that I did with that group till the last,those two people and I remember getting these survey results back, and it wasjust before Christmas that year and got to two weeks before and I read itEthan and I knew exactly who wrote the responses, even though it was anan and an in the survey, because they told me they email to tellme and to thank me. And here's what they said. They said,you know what, when I first engaged in all of this work around developingkindness and mindfulness in these core compancies for my business. I thought it wasa load of you know what, Horse Mocke will just call it, orSake, but they said Cole, I really want to thank you because Idid decide to trust you. I did decide to make that choice because youpresented enough business evidence to me that convinced me that it was worth the shore. And not only did it change my business, it change my family,it changed my relationships at home with my friends and otherwise it changed the wayI feel about myself. So I would say that, you know, there'sall kinds of data out there. Even there is, you know, Gardnerdid a survey to show that US companies...

...alone lose about a trillion dollars ayear due to volunteery turnover. Fifty two percent of that can be avoided ifif people just start communicating in a different way and start seeing one another ina different way, and kindness is the root of that, because that againfoster's helps people foster trust, that helps them collaborate and when you have thatyou have engagement, and so you're chipping away at the fifty two percent.So there's a big dollar figure for the people who are concerned about revenue andand operate operating cost. Think about the trillion dollars. The other thing thatGartner says as for every single one of those people that leaves, that it'sgoing to cost you. So for a company of a hundred people where they'remaking about fifty grand average salary per year each that that person, the costof replacing that one person is going to be anywhere from about six hundred Kto two million bucks, because it's not just a metter of getting another bodyand it's the stories, it's the training, it's the time, it's the relationships, it's the revenue generations, all of these things. So you know, I've got plenty of business data we can put out. There are plentyof numbers that I can share with people and I do to help them understandthat this thing that we're talking about here, developing kindness, developing awareness, inherentlyit cost you nothing to do that. It cost you nothing more than achoice. In some intention it cost the company something to say, yeah, we need to re examine our values and yes, we need to bemore intentional about the communications were sending, in the marketing we're sending and theway that we're developing products, in the way that we're meeting customers and theway that we hire. Yes, we need to examine these things and sothere's an investment there. And yes, we need to get enough of thecore competency throughout our DNA that we can begin to sustain ourselves. So there'ssome investment on the front side. But if you think about from a humanstandpoint, just in daytoday life, kindness, an awareness cost us absolutely zilch,nothing but a choice. And so you know, that's that's a prettybeautiful part about the whole message is that, day to day and it really doesstart with each and every one of us, like you, and Ican hang up this phone call. I can already tell you're super kind andaware of person. But if you were one of those people on your teamthat had opportunity, if you were one of them, you would have alsothe opportunity to make a choice and say, I'm going to try it out today. I'm going to just try to meet somebody with the same level ofawareness. Maybe it's somebody WHO's super irritating for you at work or bubbles upthat bad stuff inside that tiny little voice. I'm going to try meeting them ina different way. I'm going to try responding. I'm the surprising andsee what happens. And then when every single positive bit of affirmation you getor respond you get, it becomes this very contagious thing that flows outward fromthe inside. So that's what I would say. I mean, we cantalk numbers all day long, but what we're really talking about is the factthat you mentioned at the beginning human beings do business. Companies are collections ofpeople and they're selling to other people and creating for other people. And andI think that's the biggest point of opportunity here, is that a lot ofpeople have forgotten that. They think they consider people and outcomes to be different. We have to start remembering that they're not. Outcomes are not possible withoutpeople and the outcomes will be dictated, you know, good, bad andugly, whatever it is, by the way the people engage and show upand meet the world. So, you know, we can talk about philosophically, we can talk about the psychology, we can talk about the hardcore data, like numbers, whatever you want, but it all points to the samething that we need to get more human about the business that we do.And kindness is a way that really connects. Kindness is a is a force thatreally connects people. We all intuitively know even the most kind of hardcore, Badass type a people that are that are maybe very ego driven and ora D agenda driven and or bias blind. Not that that is that, notthat those are characteristic or necessary to a type A person. I'm justspeaking for your June Arkley, the pedal to the metal, hardcore, forward, forward, forward, person. Even that person knows intuitively that this isright, that what you're saying is true, and I think the most valuable illustrationof that is this idea that these...

...that these people who are skeptical inthe beginning say this didn't just change my work, it changed my family lifeand changed my personal life. It cheating change the way I feel about myself. It's just it's so broad. So I think we all know it's intuitivelytrue. You already made a couple reference points earlier in the conversation to kindof the deep and even ancient roots of a lot of this thought, includinga himps. I'm not sure how old that concept is. Why do youthink maybe we've held on? Because I think the reason that there is resistanceto it, and there's that. We've had this wall up where there's theirprofessional and there's the personal. I think culturally the wall has been coming down. It's been coming down for years. It's why someone like bring a browncan write a national best seller, which happens to be a business book about, you know, themes that we all see now when we spend time onLinkedin, vulnerability, authenticity, transparency, human to human. Brian Kramer wrotethat book I don't know, six or ten years ago now. I don'teven years ago. So like. So that wall has been coming down.Why, maybe, do you think it's taken this long? And how longago do you think you could have started this business, because I don't thinkyou could have started this business twenty years ago. Where do you think weare culturally around these themes, specifically in the business context? Do you thinkyou could have started this twenty years ago? Like, where are we in thisin it's not just awareness but acceptance of this, that this is theway we should be. Man, that's a really good question. I Idon't know. I don't know that I would have had the awareness twenty yearsago to start this company, because I've learned so much along the way.So I spent, you know, the last twelve years or so, thethirteen years of my life. And sorry, my dub my girls are singing,if you can hear them. I'm our GIZES for that. We've inthe city and we have people walk by and this happens from time to time. The human nature of work these days, right. So I will say that. You know, that's the way I would answer that question. It'snot. I don't know. It's not necessarily that. The world would nothave been ready for it is said. I would not have been ready forthat very honestly. So I think that the reason that it's resonating or beginningto resonate now, and I I do have friends from that I'm meeting fromaround the world who are starting similar consultancies and for who have had them inplace for the last year and a half, two years. I think that insome ways all of us were recognizing the same thing as we sat inthe airports and conference rooms, that we were, as human beings, evensuper disconnected before. But like everything else, I think it takes the bottom sortof falling out for us to realize, to be shaken enough to realize wherewe are and I think that, you know, covid has been oneof those moments for lots of millions of moments at this point right for everyonearound the globe to really understand. You know, firstly, we've slowed downenough that we've now said, holy smokes, look at what I was doing before. I look at the choices I was making for myself. I don'tI don't like those things. How do I begin to reboot or I havean opportunity to rewrite the script a little bit now. I'd can't sit ina room with my people and leave them anymore. They're all virtual. Ineed to really be able to engage them. And so how do I inspire them? I don't want to convince them, I need to inspire them. SoI think that the bottom falling out for everyone in the world is probablyvery likely created a great deal of awareness. The really cool thing that that Irealized even as I did a survey at the end of two thousand andtwenty and it was a pretty light survey but had about three hundred folks respondin a couple of days and I said one of the questions on the surveyI was interested to know did companies become kinder during covid and what I learnedwas seventy five percent of the respondent said yes, their companies had become kinder. So I say that there's a moment that that bottom falling out did createthis opportunity for awareness, and now the question becomes, okay, how dowe keep that train going? Because the...

...last, the very last question Iask on the survey was when there's an absence of kindness in your workplace.We to these do you feel, and they were disengagement, stress, disloyalty. You know, I feel undervalue, I feel like I want to geta new job. Forty four percent of the people that responded. So Ifeel all of these things. So now we got back to the the gardenernumber right, of the trillion dollars a volunteer turniver or the burnout numbers fromthe World Health Organization, brander and twenty two billion dollars a year globally.So so the question now becomes down that we've got a higher suit of awarenessaround what is possible. Our states, ors have become our everything. Imean, you're here with me and my office, I am there with youin your Home Office, and that wasn't true before either. So now thequestion becomes how do we take these lessons that we've learned and and use themas fuel to propel US forward to create the future of business? And Ibelieve that future of business is very human and I believe it's based on connectionand I believe that it starts with kindness. I believe those things too. Ithink that the pandemic was helpful in a lot of ways. Obviously,we would never have wished it upon ourselves, but I can't tell you how manypeople I've talked with this said, you know, I used to beon the road twenty seven weeks a year, and it's like I'm not watching mykids grow up, I'm home for dinner, all that. Like alllike a lot of that stuff. The other thing too, from a businessstandpoint. I like the results of that survey and I think from a businessstandpoint there was something existential about the especially the early months of it, wherewe weren't sure, how is this going to affect us, in our people, in our team, in our operations? And then, as next step,once we kind of secure a mindset around that, is, how doesthis affect our core customers, in our secondary customers in our tertiary customers arewe have enough customers to even make this operation necessary and useful, and Ithink in the face of an existential threat, were immediately made aware of a lotof things that we take for granted on a day to day basis,and so I think that in and of itself promotes you will immediately. Iwould think that most healthy people would find gratitude in what is still there.And even if it's not a good situation or you're not feeling grateful, you'reat a minimum taking stock of like, okay, what do I have?What do I not have? Where are we? What's moving, what stable, etc. And even that pause alone, I think, is fertile soil forsomething healthy to grow in. I absolutely agree with that. I washaving a conversation with the head of HR at a company about a year agoand we were talking about training and she said, well, you know,how does kindness and mindfulness sent into the training that we're already offering and spendinglike, investing like hundreds of thousands of dollars on every single year for ourpeople? I said, we'll think about it this way. You know,if you're a farmer and your livelihood depends on you being able to plant.See, it's to grow crops that will yield harvest that will create revenue foryou to feed your family, pay your bills, etc. Would you goand throw those seeds on on ground that is hard or broken or filled withrock? And she said, well, of course not. I said whynot? And she said well, because they probably wouldn't do anything, theywouldn't germinate, they wouldn't take hold. I said exactly. So, aswe think about just offering people of training, which you know, I have nothingagainst training, I think it's wonderful, those investments are great, but ifwe think about that without thinking about, you know, really the foundation,that core competency that people need, that core awareness that people need,because if you have any training in the world without those things, that trainingis not going to be something that's really actionable or actionable in a way thatwill help create something like some great goodness for your company. But if youdo have those things in place and such an amplifier. So I think that. Yeah, I mean I think we are. We've been shaken, weare still shaken, we are still uncertain...

...and I would have never wished thison anyone in a million years either. I mean I could have never seenit coming. But there are so many wonderful things that are coming out ofthis even I really believe that we are becoming more in touch and more awareof how valuable and necessary and vital human connection is. And I've seen it, you know, in my in my city. I've seen it in theconversations that I have with people. I mean, think about it now,and I know your business is a little bit different, so you've had amore video time with folks that you know conference calls. A year and ahalf ago, even a year ago, they weren't happening this way. Theywere happening with sometimes with an earbut in one ear, and a phone withanother conference call on the other side. For some people, sometimes they werewhipping through a drive through ordering tacos. Sometimes they were like, you know, Hustle through an airport or picking up kids. They weren't really there andthey weren't really connecting. And so just that one example of how we've hadto open ourselves up and adapt and connect because, hey, there was noother choice. The buildings are closed. I think, I think that's areally beautiful thing and I think again, it goes back to this this questionthat is now, you know, presented to us. What are we goingto do with it? Like, what are we going to do with allof these lessons that we've been offered during this really unspeakably tragic turn? Whatare we going to do with that? How can we use that to createworkplaces that are more human, to create client experiences and customer experiences that areso visceral and so real because they are coming from something that is is fargreater and far more valuable than, you know, chasing a dollar or seatinga product somewhere. So I really think that's a huge opportunity and it's beena it's been a really positive byproduct of this very difficult time. Yeah,agree, and and it's interesting, I mean, to hear you describe atthe end. They're like it starts to sound big in challenging, but itis. It's is it is complem and I oversimplifying. Is it as simpleas showing up prepared, being fully present, actively listening and engaging with some levelof intention? Is it that so both? Yeah, I mean Ithink every single thing you've described. Those are very practical day to day examplesof kindness. I would add one thing to that. In the same waythat we talked about, you know, being a company and saying who amI serving, what are we creating and why does it matter for them?I think you have that same opportunity if you call a meeting with a colleague, for instance, or a team of people, giving that same care andconcern to them, as also a form of practical kindness. We may notlabel it as that, but that's exactly what it is. To say,okay, let me think about who I need for this meeting. Let meinvite only those people. Let me think how much time do I need.Do I need the obligatory hour or do I really need twenty two minutes?Let me think about what we're going to do together and why it matters forall of us to show up in the same place, and then connecting thosepeople with that you're inviting or that you're going to be, you know,having a conversation with, connecting them back with those ideas. Those are allforms of practical kindness. They do require awareness and intention and so, youknow, for anybody listening today, I think that there are super big problemsin the world. There are super big things to be healed and if wefocus on those they can become debilitating. You know, we can just sayI'm one person, I can't do it, but every one person, and thisis what my podcast is about, every single one person can create aripple. And the science also shows us that kindness is very contagious. Andso if you show up even in that next meeting that you have with coworker who is maybe see the world differently, they're they're one of the harder people, refer around the edges they've got there, the pothole people. That'swhat book all them an opportunity to repair the pot holes. If you showup in this this way, it becomes very infectious and that person may siton the outside for the next two meetings...

...kind of looking at you like this, but by the third meeting they're going to start to realize you're something happeninghere. I now feel on the outside of this group of people that they'reall they're all vibing, they're all grooven along, they are all creating somethingand they're having fun while they're doing it and and we're getting like better results. It's going to start to become very obvious. And then even that personwho started off on the outside. They will find a way to repair thepot hole and they will find a way to join the smooth road. Sogood. And I think in the in a even immediate like we're a hundredand fifty people at bombomb. I think you know, if two or threepeople started that, it would not take long for that to become a presentcultural phenomenon. A as you said, it's contagious. Be I think it'sfundamentally attractive. Everyone wants to feel seen and heard and appreciated and you know, so these those do these acts that think about what other people might needor want. Maybe she doesn't need to be in this meeting. We canjust send her some notes. She appreciates that you thought about me. Youstill all I need to come if I wanted to, but you made itclear to me that this might be too early for you to be involved inthe process or there's nothing for you like just that level of thought in care. I think it, to your point, can spread very, very quickly andeven in a, you know, a small, the medium size organizationlike ours, things like that can become the norm, I think, veryvery quickly. Absolutely, Oh yeah, I mean you're at the size whereand there is a real difference between small companies and, you know, companieswith random fiftyzero people in them. There are certainly pockets of impact that,you know, big count you can have in big companies, but the company'syour size and even a little larger, I would say up to a fewthousand people, have this real opportunity. But it's something that's got to gothrough the organization and it's got a it has to begin with and in myhumble opinion that has to begin with starting that value system around holding kindness asa core value, not as a soft, squishy thing, not as a floweremail, but holding kindness as a core value. We agree that wewill do no harm, we agree that we will respect, that we willlisten objectively, that we will hold space for other people, you know,even if we think differently, and so I think that that's where it starts. But then you can take it through in very simple ways every single day. And then guess what now, think about this, think about our injurya little bit right now, because, men, if we had a lotto think about in our country over the last year, outside of outside ofwhat we call here in the south, the covid right, we've had alot of other things to think about. We've had, you know, it'sbeen filling our media for the last year, all of the places of disconnection andconflict. And think about just for one moment, if our nail sittingpresident has the ability to say to all of his leaders, his cabinet members, is Congress people, everybody, to say, Hey, listen, we'renot going to figure everything out this way, but we're going to start in thisone place. We're going to start by a grain, to do noharm. And here's what that looks like in practice. It means that whenwe violently disagree, we do it with respect, we do it with withcare and caution and we do it with the promise that we will listen tothe other person who thinks differently than we do. When we make a policy, when we agree to anything, that we have to look through that samelens of kindness. And so if you can begin to understand, you know, these giant problems or opportunities or whatever you'd like to call them, thatwe have every single person just getting on board, it's just that much.You don't have to say I am a kindness warrior. You can be typeA. You can be a little refer on the edges, but you canjust agree to that much and the person next you can agree and the nextone. And now we know it's contagious in the ripples out. That's whereI really have them, not just an optimist. I have huge hope forthe world and for our future generations that that can actually be the experience thatthey have. Yeah, I think it is. I think it's happening.I feel like it is, you know,... some point in a transition fromwe're interested in it, we're talking about it, to some degree ofpractice, and I think it's only going to continue to grow. And whenI think about some of the I watch those at Google lectures on youtube fromtime to time. You know when foremost thinkers and things show up, andyou know, things like mindfulness, which of course has been woven throughout thisentire conversation, have been a topic in some of the most progressive companies,in most successful companies on earth for years, and so I also have hope aroundit as well. Before I let you go cold, of course,I love to give everyone the opportunity to do two things. The first isto think or mention someone who's had a positive impact on his or her lifeor career and then to give a shout out to a company that she orhe respects for the experience that they deliver as for them as a customer.Sir. So I'm going to get a shout out for the first one toside too money. who was the CEO that hired me, an answerable forkindness first and hired all of us for kindness first. So it's a biglove to you. You know what you did right. And then I willgive a shout out to wherebycom because I think that they are doing the mostincredible business at the human business. It's business that helps the planet through theirvideo conferencing platform and I know for a fact that kindness is a part oftheir DNA. Respect as a part of their DNA, and you know,it's a sciminating company that holds all of those things to be very coore toeverything that they do and it is influencing the platform in the tool that theyhave released to the world. And Man, I have so much big love forthem. I just so appreciate a tech company that actually has that visionfor humans much more much like bombm right, that Human Vision Human Center, TechCompany. They don't have to be independent things. So thank you.Wherebycom awesome. This has been an absolute pleasure, coal. How can peoplefollow up with you the podcast that you started relatively recently? I hope that'san awesome journey for you, and or anything else where would you send peopleto learn more about you, cool audrey or the charasoming? This has beenan absolute measure. COMAL can be so much. Any podcast that you startedrelatively recently, I had, does an awesome journey for you, mash reason, people are more about you. For Audrey, work in the screens,thinking kind of spainting and was going to officially launch on February fourteen. Nocoincidence there, and so you can find that. It will be available onall the places. You know all of that. You're listening places right apple, spotify, stitcher, all the rest. But they can also go and findall the episodes on the cool Audrey website just by cool Audrey Ford Slashpodcast, and then I'll on linked in under coal baker bag well. Sothose are the best ways for people to catch up with me and I'd lovefor them to to. Awesome. If you are listening and you were onthe move and you didn't write any of that stuff down. It's easy.Coal Baker Bag. Well, if you Google her name or Cool Audrey,you will find her. You can also again check out video clips, andI put links to all these things at bombbcom slash podcast. We round upall these episodes. This one was fantastic. I appreciate so much your time andwhat you're doing in the world. I hope to make more ripples withyou. Yeah, let's do it. Let's create a tsunami. I loveit. Clear Communication, human connection, higher conversion. These are just someof the benefits of adding video to the messages you're sending every day. It'seasy to do with just a little guidance, so pick up the official book.Rehumanize Your Business. How personal videos accelerate sales and improve customer experience.Learn more in order today at Bombombcom Book. That's bomb bombcom book. Thanks forlistening to the customer experience podcast. Remember, the single most important thingyou can do today is to create and deliver a better experience for your customers. Continue Learning the latest strategies and tactics... subscribing right now in your favoritepodcast player or visit Bombombcom podcast.

In-Stream Audio Search


Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (180)