[00:00:04] Alina Trigubenko: Amazing. Yes, we should start every day like this. Hi Chester. Thank you so much for joining Profi and our audience and your audience for this webinar. I'm super excited to welcome you.
[00:00:16] Alina Trigubenko: We are very honored to be partnering with you and to bring your mission and vision to fruition with our platform and with our service, and also with our hearts and minds that we dedicate servicing people like yourself.
[00:00:30] Alina Trigubenko: Let me quickly introduce myself. My name is Alina. I am from Profi.io an operating platform for professional service providers. Our mission is to power the pros to maximize their impact. We're here to make sure that you dedicate as much time as possible to helping people, to delivering your help to people versus managing your tech, backend, anything else, and to make sure that you can easily scale and maximize your impact.
[00:01:01] Alina Trigubenko: So more people can experience relief, love and positivity and everything else that's your goal. And I'll hand it over to you. Please share about yourself.
[00:01:13] Pro: Chester Elton: Sure. First off, thank you for the invitation. We're big fans of Profi. Delighted to be partnering with you. And always time with you guys is time well spent.
[00:01:21] Pro: Chester Elton: Little introduction for me: I co-author, along with my good friend and business partner, Adrian Gostick. We've been studying culture, leadership and gratitude for almost a quarter of a century I think we're like a 23 years. So we've got a database of over a million engagement surveys. We've spoken in over 50 countries around the world, talking about the importance of building a great culture through great leadership and great teams.
[00:01:48] Pro: Chester Elton: And one of the things, Alina, that we love is that we found this common thread through all these wonderful high- performance areas. Whether it's culture, leadership routines and that is gratitude. [00:02:00] And so it's been really affirming to teach and to train leaders and cultures that: how do you develop that culture of gratitude?
[00:02:08] Pro: Chester Elton: A little bit more: we've written 14 books together. Our books have sold over 1.6 million copies. We're in 30 different languages. And our passion really is around how we create great places to work. Places where people are excited to go to work. They believe what they do matters. They make a difference. And when they make a difference, somebody noticed it and said, "thank you."
[00:02:31] Pro: Chester Elton: A little departure for us. Although, under the umbrella of culture, our latest book is "Anxiety at Work." You can't have a great team or a great culture if you're not talking about probably the number one issue in the workplace today, and that's dealing with anxiety.
[00:02:44] Pro: Chester Elton: I hope that was what you were looking for. If I missed anything feel free to ask.
[00:02:49] Alina Trigubenko: Yeah, I think your energy is strong that we just started working together. But yesterday we had our All Hands and the whole team was just, sharing gratitude to each other. We have not even [00:03:00] been engaging as much, but they already started implementing gratitude in our culture. So, just being in touch with you already has a ripple effect. Yeah, I'm excited for what else is to come.
[00:03:13] Alina Trigubenko: Would you please tell me about your background? How did you become a coach and what is your biggest area of focus?
[00:03:21] Pro: Chester Elton: Yeah, great question. I get asked this a lot, because I really grew up in sales. I love the whole idea of sales: you solve people's problems with your product and you develop great relationships along the way. And I was quite deep into my sales career when I had a project with a consulting firm. And it went really well. They did the consulting and I was selling recognition programs at the time for employees to thank them for years of service and sales and performance and so on.
[00:03:48] Pro: Chester Elton: And I said, "Hey, I'd like to learn more about your company."
[00:03:51] Pro: Chester Elton: When one of the reps said, "Look our Senior VP of International has written this great book called "The Employee Solution." All you have to do is read that book and you'll understand our [00:04:00] philosophy, what we do, how we do it and so on."
[00:04:02] Pro: Chester Elton: I thought: that's genius.
[00:04:05] Pro: Chester Elton: So I called our CEO and said, "Nobody's written the definitive book on employee recognition. We should write that book. And then it would make my life as a salesperson easier. People would call us because we're the thought leaders, published."
[00:04:18] Pro: Chester Elton: And he said, "I love that idea. Go ahead and write the book."
[00:04:22] Pro: Chester Elton: And I went, " I don't think you heard me," it was like, "you should write the book. I should benefit from the book." And that was a tipping point, Alina.
[00:04:31] Pro: Chester Elton: He said, " You're a smart guy. Figure it out."
[00:04:34] Pro: Chester Elton: So I played with ideas for almost a year and he called back and said, "I've always liked that idea of a book. I've hired a writer. His name is Adrian Gostick write the book."
[00:04:45] Pro: Chester Elton: So we did. And that was the first of 14 books we've written so far and we've got probably two or three more in this before we call it a day. We wrote the book and then people would say, "Hey, we love the book. Of course you speak on your book?"
[00:04:56] Pro: Chester Elton: We said, "Yeah, sure. That sounds like fun." And then[00:05:00] we speak on the book and they say, "Now, you've got training that goes with your book?"
[00:05:04] Pro: Chester Elton: We said, "Sure, we could develop training."
[00:05:05] Pro: Chester Elton: It was that virtuous circle from the book to the speaking to the training.
[00:05:10] Pro: Chester Elton: Then as we started to work closer with organizations, they'd say, " We've got executives that could use your coaching."
[00:05:16] Pro: Chester Elton: Now, we didn't have a coaching discipline until we met the indomitable Marshall Goldsmith. And Marshall called us in and said, "Listen, you guys would be great coaches. I've got a methodology that I will teach you. And that will give you the framework and the format to become executive coaches."
[00:05:35] Pro: Chester Elton: So, we focus on executives that are good, that wanna be better, as well as high-potential leaders. So our journey to coaching was from books to speaking, to training, now to coaching. And I will tell you that coaching is probably the fastest growing part of our business. As people are looking for an ally. They're looking for somebody to give them that framework and to coach 'em up. So, that's how we got into it. [00:06:00] And by the way, incredibly gratifying and really engaging. It's one of my favorite things to do in our business.
[00:06:08] Alina Trigubenko: Yeah, this makes a total sense coming from a sales background to coaching. I think every coach needs to have a little bit of a sales training.
[00:06:15] Pro: Chester Elton: No doubt about it, yeah.
[00:06:18] Alina Trigubenko: Yeah. And also I actually, before I started working with sales team, I did not realize how much of a strategic game it is. It is really kind of chess play. You have to be very strategic in every move and then highly empathetic. And all of this are the qualities of a very successful coach. So, no surprise here.
[00:06:38] Alina Trigubenko: And what would you say that the majority of your clients are coming from: from corporate leads? Or you also work with individuals?
[00:06:47] Pro: Chester Elton: Yeah, really good question. And this is where I think Profi is gonna be really helpful for us. Because we've got our website and so on and we've got a great reputation as authors and speakers, and certainly that's a great way into an organization.[00:07:00]
[00:07:00] Pro: Chester Elton: Because, when we show up it's the senior leadership team and you get to meet the CEO, the President, the CFO and the CHRO and so on. So that's where a lot of our referrals come from is from our other work.
[00:07:13] Pro: Chester Elton: We also belong to 100 Coaches, which was founded by Marshall Goldsmith. We've got a great relationship there. And so we do get referrals.
[00:07:20] Pro: Chester Elton: We are always looking for ways to get our coaching practice out there. And, of course, the great thing about Profi is it allows you to do all that in one big platform. Get the continuity of the message, your videos, your programs, your subscriptions, and so on all in one place.
[00:07:34] Pro: Chester Elton: And I think that continuity is really important. And we're seeing the benefits already. Yeah I think, when you grow up in sales, like I did, you've always got multiple channels. And certainly, our writing and speaking and our training are wonderful channels.
[00:07:48] Pro: Chester Elton: You're always looking for: what's the next thing? And that's what we really like about Profi, is it gives us the focus channel to develop our coaching business. So, I'm anticipating the more we use it that'll [00:08:00] become the major supplier of our referrals. No pressure Alina, but that's the standard we're gonna hold you to.
[00:08:06] Alina Trigubenko: Thank you. I appreciate the challenge. And those webinars also is a contribution toward that as well. Because a while ago, when we just started Profi , I was testing out different models. And my first model was a marketplace. And I was trying to understand what exactly would be the perfect methodology on the matching system between someone who is looking for a coach. And across the board, it was just chemistry.
[00:08:31] Pro: Chester Elton: Yeah, absolutely. When you go for a counselor, whether it's go to the extreme, a marriage counselor, or counseling or whatever, you need to have that trusted relationship. And I think that's really important for coaches that are listening: you'll be up for a coaching position and they might be interviewing two or three other coaches. And they don't select you. And you know what, that's okay.
[00:08:50] Pro: Chester Elton: I think, you talked about empathy and so on. And our book "Leading With Gratitude" is, be grateful for the opportunity that you had. And if they if you're not chosen to be the [00:09:00] coach, that's okay. It probably wouldn't have been a good match anyway. And wish them well. I'm a big proponent of you just assume positive intent.
[00:09:08] Pro: Chester Elton: And if you're going into the coaching industry, it's because you want to help people. And you know what, you're not always the right person to be the helper and that's okay. Find where you can make your contribution, be grateful for the opportunities. And if you don't get it, gosh, wish them well. I just got a note today, actually, we'd had a zoom interview and so on and I thought it went well. And he chose another coach.
[00:09:30] Pro: Chester Elton: And I said, would you please tell him that I wish him well, and that I hope he has a great experience. Because if he has a great experience with a coach, he's more likely to hire another coach and recommend coaching to another friend. So be very aware that it's not always a competition. Certainly we want clients. It's really about making a difference. And if a difference can be made with a different coach, then wish him well and be excited for the next opportunity.
[00:09:58] Alina Trigubenko: I fully agree with you. As a coach [00:10:00] myself, it's always at the right balance. And it's also important — maybe we'll host another webinar in this topic — on how to find and when is the right time to fire a client, if it's not your client. Because it's also something that normally is overlooked by the industry. But it's also important to fire clients that are not your clients in any business — coaching as well.
[00:10:20] Alina Trigubenko: And then you're such a phenomenal acclaimed author. How do you normally go about developing your content, building out your audience and creating your methodology, improving in it and just evolving it?
[00:10:34] Pro: Chester Elton: Yeah, really insightful question, because that is the name of the game, right? Where is your expertise? Where is your content? Where can you make the biggest difference. And over the years, Adrian and I have really refined what it is we do. We initially started off and it was all about employee recognition, right?
[00:10:51] Pro: Chester Elton: So I wear orange all the time 'cuz we wrote a book called the carrot principle. Carrots are our mascot. This is Garrett, the carrot. We give 'em away at conferences by the way. So if you hire [00:11:00] us, we'll bring carrots. And, we had a lot of fun with that. More and more as our work evolved, it went from employee recognition to that link with engagement.
[00:11:07] Pro: Chester Elton: How do we drive engagement? Not just employee satisfaction, but engagement. And then it was very obvious that the umbrella was culture. The great quote that culture eats strategy for breakfast. So if you got the culture right, then the way the leaders fit, the way the gratitude fit, the way you built teams fit. And it all came under that umbrella. So we're very focused on: is what we're doing, building a better culture? So that's all our writing. Our writing on "Anxiety at Work" for example, is: you can't have a healthy culture if you've got people that are suffering from anxiety disorder.
[00:11:42] Pro: Chester Elton: And by the way, the numbers are through the pandemic, pre-pandemic it was about one in five employees, 18%. It jumped up to 30% now in 2021, 2022. And in younger workers, it's at 42%. So again, in the context of: [00:12:00] how can I have a high-performance team, a high performing culture, if I've got 40% of my workforce suffering from an anxiety disorder. So I think really as you look at your research and where it is you make a contribution.
[00:12:13] Pro: Chester Elton: So for us, it's always under the umbrella — through the lens, if you will — of how do we build a better culture? For other coaches, it's all about it might be time management, for example, I've got a great friend who does a lot of coaching on better time management. Multiply your time.
[00:12:29] Pro: Chester Elton: Another friend who's a wonderful coach, she's all about helping executives make better presentations. I think the better defined your coaching methodology is, the easier it is for people to say, "Yeah, that's the coach I need." What could be more straightforward than I need to be a better presenter, right? I need better time management.
[00:12:48] Pro: Chester Elton: So I think the more you can hone who you are, where your expertise is and what problem you solve, the better off you're gonna be. Our ours is a little more broad because we've just got this [00:13:00] massive database and we've got all our books with our research in it. It's very easy for us though, to go from culture to leadership, to teams, to gratitude. And I hope that was helpful.
[00:13:11] Alina Trigubenko: Yeah, super helpful. And I see we already have questions that we'll get to a bit later. Yeah, I think as a coach, it's also the time for hyper-personalization right. For example, I work with numerous coaches. And one of them is specifically public speaking for female tech executives that are expats.
[00:13:29] Pro: Chester Elton: That's pretty specific!
[00:13:30] Alina Trigubenko: But actually it allows us to go just so much faster 'cuz he knows my persona and he's just, " I know exactly what your blind spots are. Let's get, straight to it." So yes, hyper-personalization and just nailing your client. Very important.
[00:13:45] Alina Trigubenko: My next question is: you're such a seasoned coach. Could you please share a little bit about, let's say you're in a session and how do you balance between advice-giving, coaching? Because I'm sure sometimes you just wanna give advice, but you have to wear your coaching hat. [00:14:00] Tell me more about it, please.
[00:14:02] Pro: Chester Elton: Yeah, there is a wonderful balance there. And that, again, a very insightful question, because I think often as coaches we wanna be that advice monster: "Oh, I've heard this before. I know exactly what you should do. I'll share a personal story with you that really brought this home. Because, sometimes, as a coach your job is to listen. Let your coachee talk. It's very powerful when they come to the conclusion and you ask just a few guiding questions. As opposed to the advice monster. Michael Bungay Stanier, a good friend of ours, has written a wonderful book about "The Advice Trap". I highly recommend, it's great coaching book.
[00:14:35] Pro: Chester Elton: I had this experience, Alina, in my family. And so this really vivid for me. So my my oldest daughter, she's working out in Iowa. And she was having some difficulties with some business relationships and so on. So she calls her Dad and I said, "Hey, have you thought about doing this? How about this? If I were have you tried this and this?"
[00:14:56] Pro: Chester Elton: And I was the advice monster. And I noticed she stopped [00:15:00] engaging. And so I stopped and I said, " Was that helpful?"
[00:15:03] Pro: Chester Elton: And there was this long pause. And she said, " Dad, I don't always need a coach. Sometimes I just need a dad."
[00:15:13] Pro: Chester Elton: And I went, I was like, "Aggghhh!" So I got real quiet and I said, "You're right. Go ahead. Keep talking. And let me know how I can help."
[00:15:24] Pro: Chester Elton: She goes, "Thanks, Dad."
[00:15:25] Pro: Chester Elton: And that was a great, personal coaching moment for me. So be aware that, your coachees don't always want your world-class advice.
[00:15:34] Pro: Chester Elton: And I found some great language that we use: may I make a suggestion? Just may I make a suggestion? And then when they say, yes, they've given you permission to offer up some ideas. I find though, particularly when I've got a coachee that's in kind of distress — like you can tell there's a lot of pressure — is that listening part is just really important. And you don't always have to jump to advice. That balance between coaching and being the [00:16:00] solution and have the answer to all the questions. And I think it just comes with experience: you just learn when to talk and when to listen. And the more you do it that, the better you can.
[00:16:09] Alina Trigubenko: Yeah, that is for sure. It's such wisdom. I wish we would be born with this wisdom already loaded in our systems. How much of a better place it would be in the world.
[00:16:18] Alina Trigubenko: And speaking of the questions, if you were to highlight some trends in questions that your clients ask: pain points or anything else that you could see that is a very new or a very current trend among your clients.
[00:16:34] Pro: Chester Elton: Really interesting, because if you had asked me five years ago: what are the attributes of a great leader? I would've said, "She needs to be dynamic. She needs to be a problem-solver. Great communicator. Motivational. Right now there's only one leadership characteristic that matters. Clearly, you'd love to have all those other ones. If you don't have this one thing, nothing else matters. And in a word: [00:17:00] it's empathy.
[00:17:01] Pro: Chester Elton: And you're asking me about trends. More and more as we've got a bigger portion of the workforce that you're managing is Millennials and Gen Z, or as as we say in Canada, Gen Zed, which just sounds cooler. You find that they're much more in tune with: I'm bringing my whole life to work. And I know you've heard all these phrases before. What people really wanna know is, do you care about me? Do you care about me? And if I know you care about me, not just as a worker.
[00:17:32] Pro: Chester Elton: Adrian and I were at a wonderful conference and they were asking all these leaders, what do you expect of your leader? These were their up-and-coming leaders. And the answer that I've never forgotten, that was so impactful on me is when one of the managers said, " I don't just want my leader to make me a more efficient worker and a better worker. I want them to help me become a better person." Now think about that shift — that is seismic, right? I [00:18:00] don't just want you to make me a more efficient worker bee. I want you to help me become a better person. And why? Because I'm spending so much time at work that ripple effect of how I learn and grow at work is influencing how I learn and grow in my personal life.
[00:18:16] Pro: Chester Elton: That trend of: the whole employee. Do you know your people? Do you know what motivates them? Do you know what they're passionate about? Because when it comes to gratitude, nothing reinforces behavior better than simple acts of gratitude, right? How are you gonna reward that person for that extraordinary job? Some people want time off. Some people want another assignment. Some people want a gift card. Some people want a Tesla. (I'm kidding! Everybody wants a Tesla!) So the point is right, this empathy, I may not know exactly what you're going through. I do know that feeling. Because let's face it, if you're worried about your kids' education or your parents' health or the uncertainty of the businesses, it is paralyzing. You cannot be productive. And the leaders that understand that empathy piece and understand that they've gotta know their people That's the biggest trend that I'm seeing right now is leaders need to lead with more empathy and they need to lead with more gratitude.
[00:19:13] Pro: Chester Elton: Interesting. Isn't it?
[00:19:15] Alina Trigubenko: Very interesting. By the way, I used to be in a product placement. Let me reach out to this line after this. No but it being serious, do you think this trend is correlating with remote work? Because right now, suddenly we can see kids walking behind and everyone's just bringing up a lot more human side to work. Do you think those trends correlate? Or it started right before COVID and remote work adoption?
[00:19:42] Pro: Chester Elton: Alina I think it was there before. COVID then made it a necessity — like we had to do it. And then all of a sudden we figured out it works pretty good. I live in New Jersey now. Grew up in Canada. Most everybody in my town commutes to New York. And the commute is horrible. New Jersey [00:20:00] transit is just okay. And that may be giving them a little more credit than they're due: trains are late. They're canceled. And plus you've got that 45 minutes or over an hour and it's soul crushing. It just is. When people figured out that, wait a minute, I can get a little more sleep or I can get up and go for a run or I can get up and study Spanish for an hour. And then walk down the hall and go to work and be just as efficient, if not more productive by staying home. Now don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of in-person. I just am. I think that when you're together, it's a little easier to ideate. An executive I coach, he said, "Look, Thursdays we come in. That's our day." Cause if you just say come in one day a week, some people coming in Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thur, and you never have that synergy. So Thursday's our day. And they come, in the ideate ,they see each other. It's great. And then there's four days a week when they don't have that murderous commute. Why [00:21:00] wouldn't you do that?
[00:21:00] Pro: Chester Elton: I was just at a company, we did a big leadership retreat. And they said, "Our leaders want everybody back in the office."
[00:21:07] Pro: Chester Elton: I said, "Oh, how's that being received?"
[00:21:08] Pro: Chester Elton: She said "The pushback is we were one hundred percent remote last year. And we had our best year ever." So you can't say I want you all in work 'cuz we'll be more productive, because you just had your best year ever and nobody was at work! So you know, that, that kind of bounce, there's no question that the pandemic forced us to figure out more creative ways to work. And in a lot of cases, we found ways that work really well. Yeah.
[00:21:35] Alina Trigubenko: Yeah. Just like everything in life — it's about balance work.
[00:21:38] Pro: Chester Elton: And it's about morphing too. You gotta be open to new ideas. You never want to hear somebody say, "We do it this way because we've always done it this way." It's not always gonna be like this.
[00:21:46] Alina Trigubenko: Yeah.
[00:21:46] Pro: Chester Elton: Things change.
[00:21:47] Alina Trigubenko: Yeah. It's all about balance and building those new neural pathways. Flexibility.
[00:21:52] Alina Trigubenko: I can see, I can sense and I already heard about such a wide range of experiences that you've had in your [00:22:00] life. You came from one walk of life, and then you're writing books and you're doing so much for the best of humanity. What would you say influenced you the most?
[00:22:11] Pro: Chester Elton: Oh that's easy. It was my dad. No question, my dad was just a happy guy and in our book "Leading With Gratitude," we talk about a principle of assumed positive intent. And he just did. I'll tell you a really cute story that I think is a perfect example of assuming positive intent.
[00:22:31] Pro: Chester Elton: So I grew up in a very faith-focused family, right? Christian faith. And in our our faith, we don't have a paid ministry. So everybody volunteers and you're asked to, you'll be a Sunday school teacher, or you'll work with a youth or you'll be up in the nursery or whatever. So at the time my dad was one of the youth leaders. And there was this older woman in our congregation who was just miserable.
[00:22:54] Pro: Chester Elton: And of course loved to share that misery with everybody else. So after church, one day, she comes up to my dad. My [00:23:00] brother, Byron, told me the story. Said, Mr. Elton, you think that all the young people in our congregation just love you. I'm here to tell you they don't. Like this is really mean, right?
[00:23:10] Pro: Chester Elton: So, he leans back with his big smile on his face and he says thank you. And she says, it wasn't a compliment. And he said, too late.
[00:23:22] Pro: Chester Elton: The older I get, everything — no matter what anybody says to me — I take it as a compliment. That attitude about, turn negatives into positives if not something funny. My dad had a wonderful sense of humor. And his philosophy was: be kind. Everybody's having a tough day. And boy, that philosophy through the pandemic really serves leaders well. Because you don't know. We've got Carolyn Elder here talking about, "there's an entire level of nonverbal and energetic communication you lose when you just see it on the screen, as opposed to being in person." I couldn't agree more. The thing is whether you're on the screen or whether you're in person, if you go on the assumption that [00:24:00] everybody's dealing with something, 99% of the time you're gonna be right. So be kind. I know that sounds like a very soft side of leadership. And I suppose it is. It's also a necessary part of leadership. It doesn't mean you can't be demanding. It does mean that you could always be kind. And I just, I, the biggest influence on my life: my dad, my four older brothers that all have that same philosophy. It costs you nothing to be kind. You can be very demanding and you can always be kind. And, it's just not a better way to lead. We've got all the data that proves that if you lead with gratitude, you'll get better results. It's just a better way to live.
[00:24:35] Pro: Chester Elton: And I think that's where the coaching comes in. I don't wanna make you just a better executive. I want you to become more of who you wanna be. Do you wanna be a better husband, better father, better neighbor, better friend? Because all those principles translate. So a long answer to a short question, but I hope that was helpful.
[00:24:54] Alina Trigubenko: Very profound and very important answer. That's exactly the impact that we wanna scale. And that's exactly [00:25:00] why Profi exists to amplify this message and this energy in the world.
[00:25:05] Alina Trigubenko: Yeah. What this sounds like your dad influenced your work with anxiety at work, your books overall, your coaching. If you can expand a little more, how have you incorporated those findings, those imprints, into your coaching practice?
[00:25:20] Pro: Chester Elton: I think, whatever coaching practice you have, it's always gonna be influenced by your own personal experience. The way you grew up, the way you were treated, the way you treat other people. So it's always gonna come from your personal reference.
[00:25:31] Pro: Chester Elton: The work we did with "Anxiety at Work" was actually triggered by Anthony Gostick, which is my co-author's son. I've known Tony since he was like six years old. And suffered with anxiety his whole life. As well as I have a child that suffered with severe anxiety. So again, from our personal experience, we knew that was going on in a lot of families. But it was Anthony that said, and it was really cute the way he put it. He said, " You guys write a lot on culture. Do you talk at all about mental health? Do you talk [00:26:00] at all about anxiety?"
[00:26:02] Pro: Chester Elton: And we both looked at each other and went, no. No. Why would, why? Like, why would we do that? That's such a sensitive subject and our generation was: just calm down, turn that frown upside down, rub some dirt on it. Get back in the game.
[00:26:15] Pro: Chester Elton: We never talked about mental health. Because there was such a huge stigma, right? If you talked about mental health, all it meant is that you were weak and that you couldn't take the pressure. So Anthony says, "I know you oldies," which we appreciated that title, "you oldies never talk about mental health. It's all we talk about. He says, my generation, we almost start every conversation with, how are you doing? How are you dealing with?"
[00:26:41] Pro: Chester Elton: So the mission behind "Anxiety at Work" was very personal. And then it made perfect sense. Because we started to look at the data and said, gosh if 42% of workers in their twenties are suffering from an anxiety disorder, boy, you gotta figure that out.
[00:26:55] Pro: Chester Elton: So it was really wonderful as we coach people up on this [00:27:00] issue: how do you spot it? How do you deal with it? Look, do three things: you've gotta normalize the conversation, right? It's gotta be: if we had 42% of our workers show up with broken legs, we would certainly talk about broken legs, right? So you gotta normalize.
[00:27:14] Pro: Chester Elton: Destigmatize it. This will not prevent you from getting a raise. It will not prevent you from getting that good assignment.
[00:27:22] Pro: Chester Elton: And then back to that leadership characteristic of empathy: I don't know exactly what you're going through. I know that feeling. I know that feeling. And there's a difference between empathy and sympathy, right? Sympathy is: you're weak. I'm strong. Whoa. That's bad. Yeah. Good luck with that.
[00:27:40] Pro: Chester Elton: To empathy is: hey you're not alone. We can sort through this. Now, here's, what's great. If you do that, these really smart new hires, whether they're millennials or whatnot, when you create that emotionally safe space, they stay they're productive. 75% of Gen Z and [00:28:00] 50% of Millennials say that they have left the job due to a mental health issue. And the reason they do that is 90% don't feel safe talking about it. So rather than talk about it, they just leave. So think about that as you're coaching your executives. If you can get them to lead with more empathy, not only will they attract the best and brightest, they'll keep 'em.
[00:28:21] Pro: Chester Elton: So it's really cool the way you can connect all the dots when you understand that leadership is about caring for people, expressions of gratitude and making sure that their mental health is in a good place.
[00:28:34] Alina Trigubenko: I can 't emphasize that more and support that more. I think there's actually a trend in the B2B software companies. I think Slack started saying that we're not B2B that business to business, every company is serving consumers, right? Every company is serving people at the end of the day. Because even if you're selling to a big company, there are people that are using your product and they think this kind of attitude goes a long way about with a [00:29:00] cultures as well. Just like you mentioned before: it's not about workers and kind of work relationship. It's about receiving and working with a whole human. Seeing a human in everyone in every situation.
[00:29:12] Pro: Chester Elton: Absolutely. We all have many facets to our lives. And, I wanna give a shout to Nicole Brec here who says, " it's important to talk about mental health. Talking about it begins to decrease the stigma."
[00:29:23] Pro: Chester Elton: Absolutely. When you can get leaders that are vulnerable and that will talk about their struggles with mental health or their anxiety. What that does is it gives everybody permission to do the same.
[00:29:35] Pro: Chester Elton: But we did some fireside chats with an extraordinary executive that you would never think that she ever had an anxious day in her life. And that was her reputation. She was the go-to. You never thought she had any anxiety. If you had anxiety, though, you went to her. She started to share her story about the anxiety going in to report the numbers to the leaders. Or those [00:30:00] Sunday night ickies when you're under a lot of pressure, and right around six o'clock Sunday night, you're like: oh man, I gotta go to work on Monday! And you don't sleep well. Once she shared her anxiety and the things she did to manage it, she was a runner. She ate well, she made sure she got enough sleep. And so I'll tell you all of a sudden the chat box blew up. It's so courageous. Thank you for making it safe to talk about. And so Nicole, you're right on target: when you it's safe to talk about it. And when leaders will talk about it. That's when it gets, really good and really safe for people to say, hey, me too.
[00:30:35] Alina Trigubenko: For sure. Yeah. We also had the same experience. I am very vocal about being a huge proponent in the beneficiary of therapy. I've been a client of therapists for more than a decade probably. And actually me talking about it gave a green light. And now we have people that traditionally could have not open to therapy are using therapy. And it just gives this green light that everyone I think [00:31:00] needs when they're on a verge like, should I, or should I not? So definitely Nicole and Chester support that statement to the more we talk about it, the more we open access to it for a broader audience.
[00:31:12] Alina Trigubenko: What are some of the trends that you see in the coaching space?
[00:31:16] Pro: Chester Elton: One of the things I'm seeing more and more of is coaches inviting other coaches in for quick sessions. Adrian Gostick, my coaching partner, will do that often. He'll say, "Hey, can I grab 10 minutes of your time? I just want you to talk about gratitude." It's, changing up the voices a little bit. If you're a coach, there may be an opportunity to say, you know what? I know you're struggling a little bit with presentations and I've got some good ideas but, I've got a friend that's all she does. Would you mind if I invited you to a session for 10 minutes, 15 minutes to give you some tips? And I think that's a trend where now we're not afraid to say, hey, this is my client and they only talk to me, got that, as and saying, Hey, let's bring some other coaches in. It's not so much team coaching. I know that's a little more formal where you kinda rotate just bringing people in.
[00:31:58] Pro: Chester Elton: I'm also a big [00:32:00] proponent of: you never stop coaching. In other words, if you've got a six-month coaching contract or a year, whatever it is. Once that's up, my message to my coachees is: once I'm your coach, I'm always your coach. Now, we're not always on the clock. Don't ever hesitate though, to drop me a note. I've got a little text chain where I've got a lot of people that I've coached that I don't coach anymore. And I just send them a little something, in the morning, just a little positive affirmation. And it just keeps you connected. And if you love coaching, you're all about relationships. So why would you just abandon a relationship that you were involved in for six months or a year and say, look, unless you've got the dime, I ain't got the time. It's about relationships. I don't know so much if that's a new coaching trend. I do see it in the work I'm doing.
[00:32:47] Pro: Chester Elton: Don't hesitate to bring in other coaches and return the favor. Obviously you say, look, 10 minutes of your time is worth X number of dollars. No, you do it because you love coaching. And then just keep coaching. It's always great to get a [00:33:00] note from somebody you coached a year ago that says, Hey, was thinking about this, applied that principal. Man, it worked great. Would love a 10-minute catch-up. Absolutely. Gimme a call. Let's catch up.
[00:33:12] Alina Trigubenko: Yeah. We also see that data too, because we service quite a number of coaching businesses with different focus areas. As well as we service different kind of health and wellness, training and consulting businesses. And across the board, I can see this big trend of productization of services. Really what it means is that the line between engagement is getting more blurry and a lot of businesses are providing async access for free or via subscription. And this engagement is becoming more embedded into coaching. For example, engagement is becoming more embedded into one's life.
[00:33:47] Alina Trigubenko: And another trend that we are seeing in the coaching space is this, as you mentioned: collaboration. We're actually working on something that we call Profi Collective. The concept that will help professionals, [00:34:00] coaches grow without marketing because by those collaborations they actually help each other grow.
[00:34:04] Alina Trigubenko: And that's the best marketing.
[00:34:06] Pro: Chester Elton: Yeah, I agree. You've gotta have the mentality that: it's the tide that raises all ships. Listen, when I first came into business, if you got an executive coach, it meant you were in serious trouble. This was the last-ditch effort to, to save your career.
[00:34:20] Pro: Chester Elton: "He's got a coach. There's gonna be an opening in the C-suite in just a few weeks."
[00:34:24] Pro: Chester Elton: And now it's, " you've got a coach? How come I don't have a coach?"
[00:34:28] Pro: Chester Elton: And I look back at my career and I think, gosh, in my, twenties and thirties, if I'd have had a coach I would've been, I would've been a better person. I just would've been. 'Cause it was all on the job training. You had a degree from university, which basically had nothing to do with what you were doing. And they throw you in and say, hey, have at it, be productive. Now with mentorship programs and coaching programs, gosh, your odds of success are just so much better.
[00:34:53] Pro: Chester Elton: So if you have that mentality that we're in this to make the world a better place, to build a great world one better [00:35:00] leader at a time, then I think it's easy for you to give your time and keep that in perspective.
[00:35:04] Alina Trigubenko: Yeah. Fully agree with you on that too. What's next up for you.
[00:35:08] Pro: Chester Elton: I've actually got a coaching session, if you mean what's up after the meeting today.
[00:35:12] Pro: Chester Elton: Adrian and I are always looking at the trends. What's the data telling us? We have a lot of ideas around gratitude extension. People read the book and they love the book and it's available to find bookstores everywhere. My publisher makes me say that. And how do you then embed it? We've got a project of creating a gratitude journal and a gratitude planner, right? A daily dose of gratitude could be a fun area to go, digitally and physically. And I think there's a lot of people that right now, it wasn't that long ago that people would stay at a company for 20, 25 years. It really is not the case anymore. That's the unicorn. And so people are really struggling with transitions and the what's next, what do I do now? I've been doing this for five years. I don't feel as stimulated. And so we're doing a [00:36:00] lot of research around how do we help people in transition?
[00:36:04] Pro: Chester Elton: And my generation, if you had five jobs, you were a job hopper. You weren't loyal. You couldn't be relied on. Geez, I've got, my kids and stuff, they've had five jobs in five years and nobody cares. So, I think that transition is an area for coaching and an area for leaders to really focus on and find how can we make those transitions easier? How can we onboard and get people up and running faster? So a couple of things we're thinking about.
[00:36:31] Alina Trigubenko: Beautiful. I know exactly how you can scale the gratitude and journals through Profi. It will be delightful to show you how you can do that. You can activate daily questions in the time zone of your clients. So it'll be amazing to work on this together.
[00:36:48] Alina Trigubenko: If you had one piece of advice for anyone running their coaching business what would it be?
[00:36:55] Pro: Chester Elton: I would just make sure you keep your mission front and center, 'cuz you're gonna have [00:37:00] months and quarters and years where you've got all the business you can handle and you're gonna have those dry spells.
[00:37:07] Pro: Chester Elton: Keep your mission front and center. Why are you doing what you're doing? And if you take a longer view, a longer approach, you can say: hey, the year is coming together nicely, but how many lives am I changing? How many people am I helping become better executives, better people.
[00:37:24] Pro: Chester Elton: And if you keep that in perspective, I think when you hit the harder times it's easier to get through. Because you're taking that longer view because so often we get caught up with: ooh, I really needed that contract. Or I can't believe I didn't get picked. Just step back and say, there are matches out there for me. There are executives. There are gonna be people I'm gonna coach. I'm gonna make a difference. It didn't happen this time and that's okay. And that's okay. I wish them well. So keep your mission front and center. Don't get too high. Don't get too low just as [00:38:00] they say in football, just keep matriculating the ball down the field, just keep moving forward. And I think that'll lower your anxiety as a coach, and I think it'll make you a better coach.
[00:38:09] Alina Trigubenko: Beautiful. Thank you so much. Let's get to the Q&A. We have quite a number of questions here. And, I can ask first question: when are you starting to write the book on the six simple strategies for the world peace?
[00:38:25] Pro: Chester Elton: Yeah, there's a very dear friend of mine, Alper Toper, and he's an Istanbul, Turkey. And it is one of those things that, "Hey, I love what you're doing. How about world peace? When are you gonna write the book on that?"
[00:38:35] Pro: Chester Elton: No one ever asks me my opinion on world peace and it really bothers me to tell you the honest truth.
[00:38:40] Alina Trigubenko: Hopefully it's a sign that it's a topic for your next book, 'cause it's a second time we're discussing it.
[00:38:46] Alina Trigubenko: Yeah, let me get to the question and by Alper: Chester, what makes you excited about your work every day?
[00:38:53] Pro: Chester Elton: I love that question because there are days when you can just be overwhelmed and I'm no exception. And [00:39:00] you get that shortness of breath. You go, I've got so much to do today. And I've got so many things pending. Depression is worrying about the past. Anxiety is worrying about the future. And those are those anxious moments.
[00:39:11] Pro: Chester Elton: So one of the ways that I keep my energy level up and I keep my purpose front and center is I've got daily rituals that are really important to me. So I've got a little mantra. I learned this from Jay Sheti. He wrote a wonderful book called "Think Like a Monk." I love that book. And he says, what is your mantra?
[00:39:28] Pro: Chester Elton: And so I gave it a lot of thought and when I wake up in the morning and my feet touch the ground, in other words, my day has started. What's my mantra? And my mantra is: be kind. Be grateful. Be of service. And just those three simple words. Six, if you count the "be," really help me put the mindset to say, you know what, today I'm gonna be kind. I'm gonna be grateful for whatever comes my way. And I'm gonna be of service.
[00:39:54] Pro: Chester Elton: And then I have, I love that cat by the way. Yeah. Other rituals, I say my prayers I read my [00:40:00] scriptures, I go for a walk. I write in my gratitude journal, I do a gratitude post. And they're literally, and I go a little overboard on this, but I literally have 12 things that I try to do every day.
[00:40:10] Pro: Chester Elton: Now, I don't always get, 'em all done. I may be traveling. It may not be possible, or I may just be lazy. And I think what's really important there is you say, "Okay, that was the past me. Take a deep breath. Here's who I am now. Move forward.
[00:40:23] Pro: Chester Elton: You know, what is your mantra? What is your purpose? Is it front and center? And what are the rituals that you put in place?
[00:40:28] Pro: Chester Elton: And I'll share a personal ritual that I have with my wife that I just love. At the end of every day, we get together and say, what are your three? What are three things you're grateful for? And it just is a lovely way to end the day on a positive note, keeping everything in perspective. So I would really encourage you to have: what is your mantra? What are your personal rituals and how do you share that? If you can do those things, I think your odds are better in having a good day. [00:41:00]
[00:41:01] Alina Trigubenko: I love it. Yes, make sure to write it down and embed it into my daily practices.
[00:41:07] Alina Trigubenko: Next question by Dave: "I would love to hear Chester expand on assuming positive intent. I love the idea and would love to hear his thought on how this has impacted his life, his work and his outlook.
[00:41:21] Pro: Chester Elton: Yeah. Listen, first and foremost, it's a chapter in "Leading With Gratitude." So buy the book, you'll have all my thoughts. It's one of my favorite things to coach executives on, is to assume positive intent. Julie is a phenomenal leader that we interviewed for the book. He's the guy that saved Best Buy. And when he came in, he said, it's all about our people. It's all about our people. And he said, when you assume negative intent, You very quickly get angry. It's about: who to blame. When you assume positive intent, it's about: solve the problem. And he says, and I love this, "I may be the most naive leader on the planet. I just assume that everybody comes to work, wanting to do a good job. And in trying to do a good [00:42:00] job, they're gonna make mistakes and that's okay. Let's solve the problem.
[00:42:04] Pro: Chester Elton: So the assumed positive intent is: I'm always gonna come from a place of goodness that you are trying to do the right thing. And in trying to do the right thing, you made a mistake. And that's okay. Tell me about the mistake. Let's solve the problem. Now you make the same mistake seven times in a row. We gotta have a different conversation. The point is that if you assume people come to work, how many people do you honestly think get up in the morning and say, I'm gonna set a goal to screw up at least five times before lunch. There's probably somebody out there that does that, they're so rare.
[00:42:36] Pro: Chester Elton: And by the way, what you do when you convey that to your people is that it's safe to make mistakes. And instead of being embarrassed about it, you go to the: what are we supposed to learn? What did we learn from that? Let's create a learning experience. And in a nutshell, that's assumed positive intent. For a more detailed explanation I recommend you buy our book "Leading With Gratitude." And by the way, [00:43:00] we have a wonderful gratitude journal on LinkedIn, where we publish a lot of this stuff where you can go and get it for free, Dave. And we have 140,000 subscribers to that newsletter. So please join us. We're gonna publish one tomorrow, actually on LinkedIn. So I'll look for you there, Dave.
[00:43:18] Alina Trigubenko: Thank you so much for the answer and I will make sure to sign up.
[00:43:20] Alina Trigubenko: The next question by Nicole: what strategy do you think is best for supporting team members who are dealing with anxiety?
[00:43:28] Pro: Chester Elton: Yeah. Great question is you've just gotta make it safe. And what's really interesting is when you have figured out that somebody really is suffering from anxiety, the worst thing you can do is say, "Hey, Nicole, you're anxious aren't you? I read this book and you check all the boxes."
[00:43:42] Pro: Chester Elton: Language that we've learned to use that's really helpful is: 'I've noticed' Say, "Hey, Nicole, I've noticed that you're never late and you started to show up a little late. Is there anything I can do to help?"
[00:43:54] Pro: Chester Elton: So 'I've noticed. Can I help?' And when you say 'I noticed,' the [00:44:00] recipient hears I care. I've noticed means I care. And I care enough to offer my help. And you keep it on the business side and you start to make it safe.
[00:44:11] Pro: Chester Elton: And sharing personal experiences, say, "You know what? I remember when we had our first baby, I could never get to work on time. I never could. And so it was important for me to, to make that adjustment. So I've just noticed there's a couple things, is there anything I can do to help? Do you need more resources as your manager?"
[00:44:30] Pro: Chester Elton: And I think that's a great, soft way to start the conversation because then when people feel safe about talking about work, you can peel back the onion. And they'll say, "Yeah, look, my dad's really sick and I don't talk about it a lot, I worry about him every day."
[00:44:44] Pro: Chester Elton: I say, "That's gonna be a distraction. I get it. I get it." And I hope that was helpful.
[00:44:51] Alina Trigubenko: Yeah, Nicole, I hope it's helpful.
[00:44:52] Alina Trigubenko: Then another question: out of your books, which would you recommend the most to a person, not in a leadership position, but looking to [00:45:00] continuously develop? So they're ready to step into a leadership role when it's time.
[00:45:05] Pro: Chester Elton: Yeah. I would recommend two actually. And they're our latest two. And the reason I do that is it's our latest research and it's our latest insights: "Leading With Gratitude." Everybody leads somehow, some way. And developing that leadership, leading with gratitude will always serve you well. Whether you're a coworker, teammate, mid-level or senior management. And the second one is "Anxiery at Work." Each book has eight strategies on how to lead with gratitude and how to deal with anxiety. And what's really interesting is the eighth strategy in anxiety, which was the second book that we wrote, is to use gratitude to tamp down your anxiety. So they meshed together really well. I would start with "Leading With Gratitude," and then I wouldn't miss the chance to take a deep dive on how do you help coworkers? How do you help yourself deal with probably the number one issue in the workplace right now, which is dealing with anxiety.
[00:45:58] Alina Trigubenko: Yeah, thank you. And the next question [00:46:00] if you could repeat the name of the gratitude book, I assume it's "Leading With Gratitude."
[00:46:05] Pro: Chester Elton: Yeah, I'll do better. Here it is: it's "Leading With Gratitude," Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton. You can find it wherever you find your books, and then
[00:46:13] Alina Trigubenko: We'll make sure to share the links too after the webinar.
[00:46:16] Pro: Chester Elton: Yeah, yeah. And then "Anxiety at Work." Both by Harper Business. We love the work that Harper Business has done with us. And they're easy reads, by the way. And the audio book — I've become a big fan of audiobooks as well. Adrian and I actually read the books. And so if you want some really interesting insights, listen to Adrian's chapters. If you're having trouble sleeping, you can listen to my chapters. Calm you right down. Put you right to sleep.
[00:46:46] Alina Trigubenko: That's exciting. How was the experience of recording your own audio books?
[00:46:50] Pro: Chester Elton: Oh, it's great fun. It's hard. The nice thing is because we're co-authors you only have to read half the book. And it is fun. We've done it several times now. And it's [00:47:00] always fun the way they coach you through it. I remember the first time I went to record, it was this soundproof room and we got the headphones and everything. Take off your shoes, take off your watches. And here I am in my stocking feet in this soundproof room, and the guy says, "Hey, Chester, stop tapping your foot." how could you... it's a carpet in with my socks! How can you even hear that? So you do learn to stay hydrated. And I find it really great fun. The guys that we do it with are wonderful coaches and make it a really great experience.
[00:47:30] Alina Trigubenko: I'm so happy that you and your partner both recorded your audio because your voice is very unique. So, I'm looking forward to listening your book narrated by you.
[00:47:40] Pro: Chester Elton: Hey, I know we're at time. I just wanna say goodbye to my good friend, Alper Toper. It's always great to see your name up there. And Nicole and Carolyn and everybody that gave questions and engaged. Thank you so much. I love hearing the questions 'cuz that's what's top of mind for you. And it's always interesting for me to learn from that. Just in parting, and then I'll turn it over to you, Alina, to wrap things up, but [00:48:00] look: leading with gratitude really is a better way to lead. Dealing with mental health is critical.
[00:48:04] Pro: Chester Elton: Take all these principles and take them home as well. Are you leading with gratitude in your personal life? Is it rippling through there? Are you sensitive to members of your family and your neighborhood and your community that may be struggling with anxiety? What I love about our work is it works in the workplace and boy, it works in your personal life too. So, don't leave your best self at work. Take your best self home and then that whole life that you lead, everything gets better, I promise.
[00:48:34] Alina Trigubenko: Yes, thank you so much. I actually have one more question if you don't mind me asking.
[00:48:37] Pro: Chester Elton: Sure.
[00:48:37] Alina Trigubenko: So there is one more attendee who asks this question: how would you recommend someone go about finding their first coach? Especially without having identified a focus area to improve upon. Or ,maybe how would you recommend someone identify areas to continue to work on so they can find a coach to support them?
[00:48:58] Pro: Chester Elton: Yeah, look, there's lots of help [00:49:00] online. 100 Coaches, which is a part of the association I am with some great tips on how to look for a coach. There's even a list of the top 23 things that coaches or that executives work on. I think it's always helpful to have a list to look at. And then, there's lots of resources online, just type in: ‘I need a coach’ and and then go to Profi and find a coach.
[00:49:23] Alina Trigubenko: Yeah, yeah, you can reach out to us. We'd be happy to see if we have someone who is a good fit. Thank you so much, Chester. It has been a great pleasure. You already taught me so many lessons including the way we kicked off this webinar of doing this four- count breathwork together. And everything else. I'm extremely grateful for your wisdom and for the love and care that you share with the world. Thank you so much.
[00:49:46] Pro: Chester Elton: Thanks for having me. Take care, everybody. Cheers.