Brian Houp (00:00):
And then the other thing that was great about that, by going public, as he, as a grown man who's been working in the real world for dozens of years, was trying to change his behaviors, they gave him some grace. 'cause they knew he was trying to get better. And I think that's important because there's this other stress we carry of, I'm trying to change this, but I don't wanna be awkward and I don't want to, you know, and if we get other people involved, I think that helps.
Troy Blaser (00:34):
Hello, welcome to Simply Feedback the podcast brought to you by LearningBridge. I'm your host, Troy Blaser. It's great to have you with us today. I'm glad to have you along. I'm excited to introduce our guest today. His name is Brian Houp. Brian, who was named the number one executive coach in Louisville, is an executive coach and CEO of Rezone coaching. He coaches experienced leaders to embrace the behaviors required to thrive at the executive level when working with clients. His unique three phase process involves collecting feedback about the individual, having the leaders go public with their intentions, and then preparing to transition beyond his program. This process allows them to continue their growth and development for the future. Brian has supported hundreds of key leaders on their leadership journeys. He's also on the Forbes Coaches Council, so you can watch for his articles there. And we're excited to have him on the show today to share his insights with us. Brian, welcome to Simply Feedback. It's great to have you with us.
Brian Houp (01:33):
Thanks, Troy. I'm excited to be here.
Troy Blaser (01:37):
Well, maybe just to help us get to know you a little bit, could you tell us about a time that somebody gave you feedback, maybe it had an impact on your life, on your career, or something like that? Is there a story you could share with us?
Brian Houp (01:48):
Yeah, sure. It's, um, yeah, it's interesting. I'm thinking about a time I worked in the corporate world, and I was in the same environment for a long time. I worked with a lot of the same coworkers. I was a leader in that space and I was a part of a leadership team and I got a new boss, and we were all working together and collaborating. And after a couple weeks he pulled me aside and he said, its been a long time ago, so I don't know the specifics of this, but essentially the message was, you need to change the way you're interacting with people. And it was some version of don't be so argumentative or something along those lines. And, that I was just caught very much off guard. And, I asked for clarification and I don't remember the nuances of the conversation, but what I do remember is I didn't take anything else away except quit doing what you're doing, and don't challenge and don't disagree.
Brian Houp (02:45):
And so it's interesting. So I went to his peer who was higher than me, who I'd worked with for a while, and I said, Hey, can I get your opinion on this? And I shared it with him and I said, can you help me with that? And he said, I don't really see it. I don't know what he's talking about. And, it's interesting because it totally like froze me up. And he, and what he said to me was you know what, sometimes you'll challenge people, but that's what we all do. And you know, that's why we're doing great things around here. And then, and so, I was very much on edge and I went to one of my coworkers and asked her, and she said, I don't know what you're talking about. I found that a week later he came to her and told her the same thing.
Brian Houp (03:24):
You know, I, I reflect back on that now. And so why it impacted me was that I was scared and I stopped working the same way. And as I reflect back on it now, I wish I knew because if I knew what I know now, I would've said to him, can you be specific? Can you give me some suggestions of what to do differently? Can you monitor me and maybe catch me doing it so I can know what I'm doing? But all I did was, you know, in the interest of being respectful, you know, you tell me, help me understand it, and I'll go do what you say. And, and it just really locked me up.
Troy Blaser (04:00):
I'll bet. Yeah. It's like you operate in one way for a long time and you're, you're basically told don't operate that way. And you're like, I don't know how else to do it. Right?
Brian Houp (04:09):
That's right. That's right.
Troy Blaser (04:10):
It's Interesting as you're telling me that story, we talk about sometimes, as we're talking about feedback, we'll sometimes say that the feedback that you receive often says as much about the person giving the feedback as it does about you yourself. And then when you said that he had given the same feedback to another colleague of yours, that's where you think, okay, you know, what is this feedback saying about your boss in this situation? Right?
Brian Houp (04:35):
100%. Yeah. And so that, you know, it was interesting. There were some other things that same boss gave me some feedback that I hadn't got before that actually was helpful. And so it was interesting. I was very fortunate that I had had a lot of success to that point in my career. And a lot of people sort of gave me a lot of leeway and if I was challenged, it was in a productive way. And he kind of just stopped me in my tracks a few times. Yeah. And, uh, it just, it froze me more than sort of opened me up You know?
Troy Blaser (05:07):
I'm guessing that, you know, as time went on, assuming you still worked under that same supervisor, did you just kind of slowly return to normal, essentially?,
Brian Houp (05:18):
You know what, I didn't. Eventually, I left. Eventually I left. Yeah. And I'd tell you what I, what I did do, I would tell you this, I came became very alert to, if I give feedback to someone else, I'm gonna make sure that they can do something with it. I didn't, I didn't have the language for it. I didn't really know, I hadn't gone through any sort of formal 360 or had any sort of training on it. I just sort of knew that the way he did it was eating me up and I didn't wanna do that to anybody else.
Troy Blaser (05:49):
Brian Houp (05:49):
You know what I mean?
Brian Houp (05:50):
Yeah. You weren't really necessarily prepared to receive any feedback and it just kind of came outta the blue. And so, and that's really interesting. You received this feedback in this moment and it taught you a few things separate from the specifics of what he was telling you. But it sounds like those, those things that you learned, those lessons that you learned have really helped through the rest of your career. And especially as a coach where you're often in a position to give or facilitate feedback, I imagine.
Brian Houp (06:17):
Yeah. And I think it helps it, it helps me, we'll probably talk about it today, but a big part of what I do is involves collecting feedback. When I'm coaching someone, helping get input from others on what they're observing about an individual. You know? It helps me guide the individuals I'm interacting with to encourage more helpful inputs. You know?
Troy Blaser (06:39):
Yeah, yeah. For sure. And I think, I'm glad you brought that up. We mentioned in the introduction, you kind of use a three step process in your coaching engagements. And maybe as part of that first step, collecting the feedback. It sounds like you conduct both stakeholder interviews and a 360 degree assessment? Often, I guess the leadership circle, profile 360. I'm curious a little bit about the two ways you collect that feedback. Can you just tell us a little bit about the information you're able to get from the stakeholder interviews versus the written comments that might be in a 360?
Brian Houp (07:11):
Yeah, of course. Yeah. So the, the 360 I use is leadership circle profile. I don't know if you're familiar with that or not, but it's focused specifically on senior level leadership. And it has a lot of questions, multiple choice answers where people are inputting their observations and others are inputting their own about themselves. So how they spend their time and energy. And then that translates into some scores that are compared to other leaders around the globe. And so they can look in a percentile form, you know, where they stack up as it relates to certain leadership competencies, like setting a clear vision or mentoring and developing or being authentic. And, you know, that gives us some quantifiable, comparative information to look at. And then within that we also collect some written comments where it's just a few questions, like, what's the person's greatest strength and how can they better leverage it?
Brian Houp (08:03):
What's their opportunity for development? And what would suggestions do you have? Just very, very limited. And so when I first started doing 360s, that was the tool I used. And what, and it was, it was very powerful and very helpful. And then I did a 360 with a different situation where we didn't use that assessment and I just basically did stakeholder interviews. And I realized in that process that I was able to ask, follow-up questions to their initial information that they gave me. You know? And then also I would say as I was going through the leadership circle information, and let's just use my last story, my boss as an example.
Troy Blaser (08:43):
Brian Houp (08:43):
Had I been in that situation, he probably would've put into, you know, a website that I needed to change the way I interact with people and not be so confrontational. And I wouldn't have known what to do with that. And that create more problems than whatever. The other thing I would add, and this is a big part of why I really love the stakeholder interviews. And if I were having that conversation with him today asking for information about an employee, and he gave the same insight, I would first of all ask for those specifics. And then I would say, give me some more context. And what suggestions do you have for improvement? So I can bring back some more meat, but I also use that as an opportunity to do a little side coaching and say, you know, based on what you're telling me, I want you to understand this isn't terribly clear. I understand that you have a challenge, but
Troy Blaser (09:28):
Brian Houp (09:29):
I would encourage you to study this person and point out to them as you start to see more, get more clarity on that. That's just, what I would say to them is, you could take it or leave that. That's just the coach in me feels compelled to share that while we're in this conversation. And so I try to be pretty comprehensive with my approach. 'cause I've found that the times I do that, boy, just the overall impact goes up dramatically.
Troy Blaser (09:52):
That makes sense. Having that back and forth and the ability to clarify, ask, follow up questions. When you do the stakeholder interviews, do you limit it to a certain set of stakeholders? Or is it, you know, everybody that's also answering the 360?
Brian Houp (10:06):
Great question. Yeah. So when we do the online 360, I'm typically looking for a minimum of a dozen participating evaluators. Yeah. And so depending on the, you know, the setup, we might invite 20 or maybe a smidge more. And then when I'm doing the stakeholder interviews, I will try to kind of focus on maybe about 10. And it really depends on what I'm getting. I'm thinking about a lady I did this with last year, and, you know, she gave me names of people that she thought would be honest, that she thought knew her real well, and they did know her real well. They liked her a lot. They didn't give me much to work with, frankly. I went back to her and said, can you gimme 10 more names? Like, I wanna help you and I don't have enough to help you yet.
Troy Blaser (10:51):
New Speaker (10:52):
And so, generally speaking, I mean, unless I've, I've worked out some aggressive deal, I kind of do whatever I have to do to get the information. The other, the other little nugget I would maybe add to that, that I've learned kind of over time, I used to have either hr, if I work with the HR department or maybe the individual participant who, uh, we're doing the 360 on, give me the names. What I do now is I get those names from those folks, but I also, part of my required process is that their supervisors involved in the discussion and that they also have a contribution on the names. And I also tell people, you know, it's less about who you think will be honest. 'cause this is confidential and anonymous, and you might be surprised who's gonna actually be, who's gonna be honest and helpful now, but also I find that there are supervisors and HR individuals quite frequently know that there are some individuals who have some important information to share that maybe they haven't been comfortable sharing. And so making sure we've got those folks included is the way I try to approach it.
Troy Blaser (11:57):
That makes a lot of sense. It sounds like it's pretty thorough as you engage with coaching those individuals. It does seem like, you know, between the stakeholder interviews and then a comprehensive 360 feedback report, that can end up being a lot of information. How do you help the feedback recipient make sense of all of that data and kind of synthesize it down into a coherent message?
Brian Houp (12:22):
Well, what I do with the online assessment, I will send them bite-size pieces and I'll say, dive into these comments. And then you tell me if you're reading this information about somebody else, what are a few themes? Let's don't get focused on the exceptions, but what are just a few primary themes that you notice? And then we'll focus in on the, the positive feedback, and then we'll go, let's look at the negative feedback and the suggestions for improvement. Let's look at that area. Um, and then that's the way that I'll do that part of it with the stakeholder interviews. Actually, you know, that's a conversation and I'm taking notes and I put in there my, and so I organize those notes and I try to group them together thematically and say, these are some of the trends I saw, but then here's paraphrase the notes I took. And then we kind of go from there. And it can get a little hairy depending on the way a person's wired. Like for me, when the first time I did something like this, there's a lot of things you can get lost in. And so we gotta remember to bring it back.
Troy Blaser (13:23):
I like that approach of bite-size pieces. Let's focus on one thing at a time, not just, you know, here's all the data and dive into it. I think that's a great approach. As we were getting ready for this episode today, I had a chance to read your Forbes article called Six Keys to Maximizing Your 360 Degree Feedback Process
. And, you know, we'll link to it in the show notes so that people can read the full article for themselves. But along those lines, are there a couple of common reasons that people do not receive robust or useful feedback in a 360 that they could be on the lookout for?
Brian Houp (13:58):
Yeah, sure. I think two things jump out at me right away. One is just lack of participation. A big part of what I do is I encourage the individual who is the center who's gonna be getting the feedback. I encourage them to have one-on-one conversations with everyone who they're gonna invite to participate. And to really, we talk through that, you know, and ask for just a five minute conversation to be able to say, you know, I'm looking for your honest input. It's gonna be anonymous, it's gonna be confidential. It's only going to me, the way I set it up, it's not given to hr. It only goes back to the individual. And then the other thing that I also encourage them to say is, if you don't participate and you don't give me specific input, then I'm not gonna be any different.
Brian Houp (14:43):
I'm not gonna know what to do or how to get better.
Troy Blaser (14:45):
Brian Houp (14:46):
And the last piece of that I think that people underestimate too, is helping people understand what the expectation is as far as time. And so we've been talking through sort of my preferred process in all reality. I deal with corporate clients and sometimes there's budget constraints and we have to do Sure. You know, maybe we just do the leadership cycle, or maybe we just do the stakeholder interviews. So there can be variations. But, you know, I that online assessment, I tell people to plan for about 30 minutes. I just finished one up and always like to ask people like, you know, how long did it take? And ask people how long it took. And some of them were saying, you know, 20 minutes. And, and then with those phone interviews, I always try to keep those under 15 minutes.
Troy Blaser (15:27):
Brian Houp (15:28):
Yeah. So I, you know, I'm just thinking about, I'm just going with a couple of quick questions and I'll say to folks, and I will on my own calendar book, you know, I'll give myself another half hour after that.
Troy Blaser (15:38):
Brian Houp (15:38):
So when I get in, I'll say, I wanna be respectful of your time. And I'll say, you know, it's, it's been about 13 minutes. And so, you know, I wanna make sure, is there anything else you wanna make sure we get in? I have found that more often than not, when we have a good, honest conversation going, people if they have the time, they go, you know what, I got another 10 minutes, let's keep going. Yeah. And so, you know, I'll kinda have that flexibility, but just that lack of participation. And it's a lot of times just the folks I'm dealing with are at a senior level, and the people that they're asking to engage with are frequently at a senior level.
Brian Houp (16:10):
They're already time starved. And so, you know, to be able to say, I'm asking for if we're going all in on my process as much as maybe an hour, if you can give an hour sometime, you know, to invest in what I'm doing here, that's what I'm asking for. And so being clear about the expectations and having those discussions in advance and getting people to say, do you think you'll be able to participate? Like getting them to commit. And, and then we, in my process, probably like most others, we don't tell, you know, who participated. We do have some breaking out of like, these are within your direct report audience, and there were four people who participated, or within your peers, there were six people who participated or whatever. But, that is something I didn't do early on. I wish someone would've pushed me to do because that, I think it made a great difference in the quality of what we had to work with.
Troy Blaser (17:04):
I do feel bad sometimes as we administer 360 and I, you know, see a list maybe of 10 managers that are taking a 360 in a group, and you might have one or two that they haven't received feedback from their manager yet, you know, and the survey goes and goes, and goes, and they just don't get that feedback. And I think it's a missed opportunity, you know, and for whatever reason, the manager wasn't able to make time or find time to give that feedback. And, and you really do miss a great opportunity to give some feedback, hopefully useful, clear feedback in cases like that. So I agree. Participation is vital.
Brian Houp (17:39):
I can add something if I can't.
Troy Blaser (17:40):
Yeah. Yeah, please.
Brian Houp (17:41):
One thing I'll tell you, and this is probably, I've been doing this full-time for about 10 years, and I've been doing the 360s for about seven years, I guess. And so I've done, you know, well over a hundred of them. Yeah. And you know, I think in terms of a third, 40% of the time, within two weeks after we're wrapping up, someone contacts me Yeah. And says, Hey, I meant to, you know, and it's like doggone, you know, and in some cases I'll, I just, I'll have a little one-on-one dialogue, and I'll, maybe it's email or a phone call, and I'll just say, you know, we've closed it out. If you can find the way to go have a conversation, I'd encourage you to, if you wanna spend a few minutes, I'm happy to talk to you about how to do that. But yeah, it, it seems it happens way too often that I guess they're cleaning out their inbox and they go, darn it, that's already passed. You know?
Troy Blaser (18:29):
Yep. I had one of those just this morning, I had to write an email. Sorry, you know, we've already produced a feedback report, and so the person can have it in time for this program they're attending. And so we just can't, we can't reopen it for you. It doesn't, doesn't work that way.
Brian Houp (18:42):
Troy Blaser (18:44):
We talked a little bit earlier about how you've gathered all this data to help people understand it and accept it. Are there some common impediments or obstacles that you see with feedback recipients that would keep them from accepting that some of that feedback that comes in? Or maybe another way to ask that question? Is there anything that you do to help the feedback recipient be prepared to receive all of this feedback?
Brian Houp (19:08):
That's a good question. I mean, one of the things I learned early on was this acronym SARA, S-A-R-A. And it said, you know, this is a common experience whenever you're digesting feedback from like a 360 and the SARA, um, that stands for the 'S' stands for 'shock' or 'surprise,' and then 'A' is 'anger,' and then 'R' is 'rejection' or 'rationalization.' And then the last 'A' is 'acceptance.' And so I will tell people, you know, there is, it's almost like these sort of unofficial unscientific stages of grief, if you will. Like, this is normal to expect this and to anticipate this. And so I will, and I had, I went through, I've reviewed of results, the results with someone literally just, uh, I think it was Thursday or Friday of this last week, and we had that discussion. I sent her some materials.
Brian Houp (19:59):
She happens to be here locally in the same town as me. And we actually met face-to-face, and we were, I was going to give her the rest of the information. And she said to me, you know, I wrote down that SARA and I continued to reference it as I was reading through. She got some pretty significant feedback that was, you know, constructive criticism, let's call it. And she was processing that, and then it was not ideal. And, but she said that, you know, she found that really helpful. And as we were kind of talking and she said her inclination was to rationalize it or to say, you know, they just don't get it. Or, you know, so I think just helping people understand that that's probably gonna happen is a helpful thing to start. The other thing that comes to my mind is, this is so weird.
Brian Houp (20:42):
It seems less likely it doesn't happen as often with me. Most people I work with are performing at a very high level, which also probably means that they are, you know, open to getting better and they're interested in getting better. It doesn't always mean that's the case, but it does happen that, like, just in the last six months, I've had two different people who have said to me, like early on in the process, and they were brought to me by their supervisors who were the CEOs of their companies, disconnected. They said to me early on in the process when we were starting to talk through, we're gonna collect feedback, they both said some version of, I know everybody hates this and nobody wants to do this. And I was like, no, but not necessarily.
Troy Blaser (21:22):
Brian Houp (21:22):
They were very much...
New Speaker (21:24):
For them. Yeah.
New Speaker (21:24):
Like, before we even started, that was their frame of mind, you know, I said, let's just unpack that a little bit because if you're not in the right frame of mind, this is not gonna be a productive exercise for you.
Troy Blaser (21:35):
Brian Houp (21:35):
And so, you know, that's deeper going into the coaching of that, but it's really understanding why they're uneasy about that and what they do care about. And, you know, and then they get some feedback. I'm thinking of this one gentleman who is very smart and ran an organization and he always worked in environments where there was no sort of personal human sort of relationship thing. And that one of the feedback things he got was that he was very cold and no one sort of knew anything about him. He didn't know about, didn't care about them. And he was kinda like why we're here to work anyway, it doesn't matter. And so, you know, getting him to think about what mattered to him and how what matters to the other people ultimately helps what matters to him.
Troy Blaser (22:20):
Brian Houp (22:21):
At the same time, in that case, uh, part of the reason that we started working together was that his organization said, you know, we have a culture here that is very caring, for lack of a better word, and it's not his style, and we wanna work on that with him. And ultimately he left the organization , but we talked that out, like, you know? Are you willing to do this? Or, you know? Where are you with it? And then, you know, ultimately it worked out better for him and the organization. I didn't want that to happen, but...
Troy Blaser (22:55):
Brian Houp (22:56):
I'm glad that they're not both continuing to be frustrated
Troy Blaser (22:59):
Yeah. Yeah. It needs to be a good fit on both sides for sure.
Brian Houp (23:03):
Yeah. And he did tell me that he got a lot of value out of looking at it differently. I don't know how much that he digested and how much he'll embrace, but who knows?
Troy Blaser (23:12):
Yeah. Well, you know, I think that ownership is important of the process, you know, for someone to say, well, I'm just doing this because the CEO says I have to do it. That's a far different attitude than, Hey, this is an opportunity for me to get some feedback, you know, and having some ownership and being receptive to that. I think, you know, that makes a big difference. So it's important to feel that out. I wanted to ask you a little bit about the second part of your process. The 'Go Public' part.
Brian Houp (23:40):
Troy Blaser (23:41):
Can you share a little bit about what that looks like and why it's beneficial? Why you have it, it included in, in your process?
Brian Houp (23:46):
Yeah. Yeah. It's interesting. I think, first of all, I'll just tell you why I have it. And I didn't use to do that. And I used to casually encourage people to make people aware that they were working on themselves.
Troy Blaser (23:58):
Brian Houp (23:59):
And, and I have found that in some cases, that I would have these wrap up discussions with like, supervisors and different things. And they were, it's almost like they forgot that a person was going through this process. 'cause they, they were just so busy. And so those were in cases where there wasn't much movement in their behavior. And so what I've discovered was, regardless of how available I am, we're talking, you know, a minuscule percentage of the time of their work life and I'm not observing them and I can't give 'em feedback on what they're actually doing. And so with the 'Go Public' part, there's a couple things I do there. One is I encourage people when they start to get clarity around what they're working on. I'll give you an example of a gentleman that got a lot of feedback that he came across as arrogant and unapproachable.
Brian Houp (24:45):
And he was on the executive team. And that individuals, especially those that were more sort of frontline contributors and frontline supervisors, they were intimidated by him. And so they wouldn't be honest with him and speak up. And so he wanted to work on that. And he went and told everyone, like, I wanna work on this. And he followed some of the things we talked about, like asking for specific ideas and specific examples. And the reality was that most people could not, didn't have a whole lot of substance to give him. Part of my going public process is to recruit some accountability partners and ask people, will you sort of study me? And when you see me do something, please tell me. So that way I can get some feet forward. So I've got some ideas of what to do better.
Brian Houp (25:31):
And so that, that guy, as an example, I remember specifically three things that people came up with him on. Like one was they said he never made eye contact. And they're like, that just sort of makes you seem impersonal. Another one was, they said like, you know, I've been monitoring you. This is when they all worked in the corporate office and they all interacted a lot. And they said, you know, people are talking about personal things and you do as well, but when an individual talks about their personal stuff, it doesn't seem like you ever ask a question. Like you'd never sort of dive into it. And then the last piece was that they said that he would sit at the head of the table and like spread out. Like he was holding court and it was like he was in charge even though he's in meetings where he's a peer.
Brian Houp (26:11):
And so these were some specific things that he tried and that he would be able to experiment with. And then the other thing that was great about that, by going public, as he, as a grown man who's been working in the real world for dozens of years, was trying to change his behaviors, they gave him some grace. 'cause they knew he was trying to get better. And I think that's important because there's this other stress we carry of, I'm trying to change this, but I don't want to be awkward and I don't want, you know, and...
Troy Blaser (26:43):
Brian Houp (26:44):
If we get other people involved, I think that helps. So the last thing I'll say is, I try to incorporate pulse surveys in my phase two, where what we'll do is we'll customize a few statements. And I didn't do that back with this gentleman, but I'm thinking of another gentleman now worked with who was a chief quality officer in the hospital. And in his case, he was very smart and he wanted to institute his way of doing things, and he needed to let other people take the lead. And, you know, we would customize a few statements. And so every six weeks they get an email that they could fill out in literally 60 seconds answering three questions, you know, where am I on this? And then they can add some narrative and like using him as an example, this going public part was so helpful because one of the things was, he encourages ideas different from his own and that sort of topic.
Brian Houp (27:34):
And he got some feedback where his score was, I don't remember the details, but let's just say one to five. It was four and it had been like two, so it was very much better. But there was some comments that said specifically like noticing a lot of big improvements here, especially one-on-one. But when we're in our executive meetings, when the topic of money comes up, it tends to still be your way or the highway. And so, like he and I are reading this and we're going like, okay, this is something I can work with. Like, but if we didn't, we didn't go public with it, he probably wouldn't have that information. And he'd be thinking, I think I'm doing better. I'm, I'm sure I'm doing better. You know what I mean?
Troy Blaser (28:07):
Yeah. I love that. I appreciate what you said about the grace that people will have if they know it's something you're working on. I think we as humans have a huge capacity to offer that grace.
Brian Houp (28:18):
Troy Blaser (28:19):
If you don't know that somebody's trying to focus on that, then it's the way it's always been. And you're just like, oh, he's always like that. And there's less acceptance of, of trying to improve.
Brian Houp (28:28):
Yeah. It also adds needed fuel to the development. So like, it's hard. I mean, most of the people that I work with are probably between, you know, the ages of, they're, most of them are over the age of 40. Many of them are 50. Like they've been developing these habits for a long time. Right? And so it's very difficult to totally shift the way you show up. And so it provides people the opportunity to also go, Hey, I, I noticed that you, and that was the nice thing about, I'm thinking about that other gentleman with the arrogant stuff. I remember meeting with him in his office. He happened to be here locally as well. And I remember him saying that, you know, after a meeting John Doe, his peer like, stuck his head in and said, Hey, I noticed that you blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And you know what? That's a good job. Like that's great. And I could see like his just, it was, you know, I could see him getting energy off of it.
Troy Blaser (29:22):
It's the fuel. Yeah. Like you said. Yeah. And the other thing it does too, that I hadn't really thought about this before, but if there's a leader who's going public saying, Hey, I'm working on this, it sets a culture for everyone that he's leading. Like, oh, maybe I need to reflect, how am I doing? You know? I see that my leader is working on arrogance or being more humble in the workplace? How am I doing on that? Do I need to change what I'm doing? And so it kind of can be contagious to the other people that you're working with this idea of reflecting and improving.
Brian Houp (29:53):
Yeah. That's my sort of third thought on it too for sure. Because, you know, there's a thing that, that I like to kind of refer to as 'the ripple effect.' And you know, the example that we set, we don't even realize it. And it, you know, it ripples out and it can be good or bad. And if, you know, I'm thinking about, I'm very, very, very fortunate that I worked for some excellent leaders. And when I became a leader, I just did what I watched them do to me, you know? And thank goodness it was good stuff.
Troy Blaser (30:23):
Yeah. You don't even know you're picking up on these good qualities, but you do.
Brian Houp (30:27):
Yeah. Yeah. And I watched others and like I coach others who their reference points are like, I've never been around people who do this. Like, you know, I'm 45 years old, they say, and I've, you know, I've never seen a manager get concerned about a kid's soccer game or, you know, whatever, just whatever it might be. Right? And it's just not within their reference point. And so the more that we can demonstrate that we're working on ourselves and we're seeking feedback and we're trying to get better, the more that we can create a culture of that.
Troy Blaser (30:58):
I love that. What we've been talking about, this idea of going public here at LearningBridge, we kind of summarized that with a tagline that we have that is, 'receive feedback graciously and act on it visibly.' It's kind of part of our mission statement. You know, let's help people receive feedback graciously and act on it visibly. And we added that second part because of all those reasons we've just been talking about. Why it's so important to go public so that people know, here's what I'm trying to do, help me out. And all those benefits that we've just been talking about. You've shared a a number of fantastic examples of folks that have received feedback. You shared the story of you receiving feedback, you know, earlier on. Is there a particular story of someone maybe that you've been coaching where you've, you've seen that feedback mark and inflection point in their career, in their life, whether for good or bad, your feedback was kind of a less positive experience. Have you seen a time when you've coached somebody where that feedback has really made a turning point in their career?
Brian Houp (31:59):
Yeah. I think of one right away that jumps out at me. It was he first time I ever kind of experienced something this significant. I had a lady that I coached who had been promoted. She was the head of a department in an organization.
Troy Blaser (32:14):
Brian Houp (32:15):
I got connected with her to coach her, not particularly because there was an issue per se, but because she had been promoted a couple times in a short period of time, and they wanted to just give her every resource to ensure that she was just as well prepared as possible and to her to understand herself and that kind of thing.
Troy Blaser (32:31):
Brian Houp (32:32):
And highly respected for her abilities and what she'd done. And we did the 360, and I did the interviews as well, and I talked to some folks and boy, they were not happy with her. The feedback that she got on the 360, I remember we sat in my office and she burst into tears, like at my conference room table. And like I was not prepared for that. And she said like, my people hate me. I had no idea. You know? And then ultimately what happened was, what we realized was she was just so busy focused on the work that she was just sort of neglecting and she was numb to the way people were perceiving the way she, she was treating them. And he was just sort of really just driving and hard charging.
Brian Houp (33:19):
And when I had interviews one person said they were looking for another job, and one person said tha she was the worst boss they ever had. And she was just beside herself, but there was also a lot of positive stuff. Like she really knew her stuff and whenever she was on the right track, she was awesome. And so these were the same people who said both things. And so we worked on a number of things and she worked on a number of things. I was just a partner in the process. At the end, the other thing I do whenever I'm doing my full plan is I will do just a handful of spot interviews, like later on in the process, if I coach someone for the better part of a year, it might be, you know, six months after we had the first conversations.
Brian Houp (34:00):
And I talked to the same exact people and they were like different people. They were like, oh my gosh. Like, we love her and she's great. And she embraced the going public part. And so, you know, I think a lot of it too, the more, I mean, I got to know her 'cause we would talk privately, one-on-one confidentially, and, you know, she was really cared about people. She also cared about a good job, doing a good job at work. Unlike the example of the gentleman told you earlier who he, he cared about his, his family, but he didn't really care about his coworkers.
Troy Blaser (34:33):
Brian Houp (34:34):
She actually did care, but she didn't realize that she was coming across. Like she didn't. And so she totally reset her approach, and she was, you know, a couple of my favorite words are, you know, she was proactive and intentional. And so she was proactive and intentional with her own actions and her own behaviors and the way she showed up. And as a result, they welcomed that. They wanted that, like, they all believed in the company and they all believed in the department and the initiatives they had in place. She just had some blinders on. And once she took those off and said, okay, now I'm, I'm seeing things I wasn't seeing, they were, they all felt like they were on the same page, which was great.
Troy Blaser (35:09):
Oh, that's really cool. It sounds like all that drive and focus and energy she originally had just on the work on doing the job, it's like, okay, we'll take that, all of that and just widen your scope a little bit to include the people and lo and behold that there's a big change. I'll bet that's very rewarding to you as a coach to have a situation...
Brian Houp (35:28):
Oh my gosh. 100%. Yeah. And it's one of the reasons I love, I mean, I work with what I would describe quite frequently as overachievers, you know, I mean, I was embarrassingly voted office workaholic when I was in the corporate world, and that's, so that's sort of kinda the bucket I fall into. And so, but the people that I tend to work with and the people who tend to be participating in a process like this, at least with me, they work hard and they want to do well. And so most of them get a lot of benefit from this because it's just another thing for them to work on. But sometimes it can be a little superficial, like the gentleman, you know, where I have to kind of, we have to kind of twist the way he thinks about like, we're gonna get you what you want. We need to approach this differently. But quite frequently, and it comes up so often that, you know, I had a gentleman last year, a couple years ago who said, you know, on my grave, it's not gonna, it's not gonna have a logo of our company. You know, like, I don't want people to remember me this way. Sometimes just getting people in a space where they stop and reflect and, and kind of dive into this stuff and they just reset the way they look at it. The possibilities are endless.
Troy Blaser (36:34):
That's exciting. Well, you were talking, just talking a little bit about the rewards that come, I was gonna ask, are there particular projects or things that you're involved with maybe in the last year or so that you're especially passionate about that you wanna share with us?
Brian Houp (36:47):
Yeah, I mean, I think, uh, you, you mentioned the Forbes Coaches Council. I was invited to join that last year. And that's been real rewarding to, to collaborate with other executive coaches around the world really. And I've written a number of original articles there, and I've participated in articles where I've been quoted as a quote leadership expert, if you will. And so, you know, that's been a lot of fun. And so it's sort of opened my eyes to appreciating that there are people out there who seek and can benefit from some of my experience sort of bottled up, you know, if you will. Yeah. And so, I'm in the process of updating my website to where I'm gonna put a learning library on my website where it'll be free. I'm just gonna, you know, have these articles and maybe some videos.
Brian Houp (37:39):
And if something like this, it'd be a great example if we have a conversation as a podcast guest and we're talking about a specific topic, you know, to be able to go, you're diving into a 360 in feedback, like, here's an article, or here's some resources you might wanna listen to this podcast interview. And so I'm gonna organize that by sort of topic and I'm gonna get that going pretty soon. I've got a newsletter that I do, you know, monthly maybe every two to three weeks if anybody has an interest in that, they could jump on my newsletter list and connect with me on LinkedIn. 'cause it's not there now, but it will be there.
Troy Blaser (38:10):
Sure. So LinkedIn, they can find you. Um, Brian Houp.
Brian Houp (38:14):
Troy Blaser (38:15):
Tell us your website. Where should they go?
Brian Houp (38:17):
My website is letsrezone, letsrezone.com. Or you can type my name in. Yeah. My company is called Rezone Coaching. It's this idea that everybody's got a zone, and quite frequently the busier that you get, the more responsibility it gets put on you, the more you probably get pulled out of that zone. And the zone, as I see it as kind of a Venn diagram between I'm getting results and I'm growing and I'm learning and I'm having fun at the same time. You know, the more we take on, the more we get pulled out of that. You know, I came up with that name a long time ago with the idea of like, let's marry these things together and let's bring you back to that. Because if we can get there so much more works out in our world and our life. Right?
Troy Blaser (38:57):
Yeah. I like that. letsrezone.com is the website. That's cool. Yep. And I appreciate the explanation of the, the name as well. That's fantastic. Well, Brian, it's been wonderful to have this conversation with you. I really appreciated it. I've learned a lot today. I appreciate your enthusiasm and your approach to coaching. I think it's fantastic. So thank you so much for joining us today.
Brian Houp (39:18):
You're very welcome. And thank you. I appreciate it. I wrote down, I typed out your, receive feedback graciously, and I guess I was typing while I was looking at you, so I, maybe I didn't type.
Troy Blaser (39:28):
Act on it Visibly Yeah.
Brian Houp (39:29):
Act on it visibly. So I mistyped that to so act on it visibly.
Troy Blaser (39:32):
Brian Houp (39:32):
I love that. Thanks so much. I love this kind of conversations and diving into this stuff, so thank you. Thank you for having me.
Troy Blaser (39:38):
Yep. You bet.