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Ep25: The secret to leading Gen Z & Millennials

The world of work has changed. The future is here.

The world of work has changed. The future is here.

Between remote/hybrid working and the rise of the ‘side hustle’, millennials and Gen-Z are wanting more from work – and from leaders.

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Join 112,000 listeners every month who get expert insights on building amazing workplace cultures!


The world of work has changed. The future is here.

Between remote/hybrid working and the rise of the ‘side hustle’, millennials and Gen-Z are wanting more from work – and from leaders.

In this episode, we’re joined by Work Futuist, Sophie Wade. A Workforce Innovation Specialist at Flexcel Network, a Future-of-Work consultancym Sophie has operated ahead of the curve to help organisations navigate the new era of work and the challenges that come with it, including attracting, engaging and retaining talent; Digital transformation; Managing a distributed workforce; New career paradigms.

Join the conversation as we discuss:

  • How and why the world of work has changed in the 21st Century.
  • Why empathy is the new leadership superpower
  • What happens when we resist the change
  • 5 top tips and tricks to be a more effective leader for all employees, including Millennials and GenZ

For leaders looking to rise to the challenge and create meaningful work, this is not to be missed!


All the links mentioned in the show.

Get in touch with Sophie:

Sophie’s books:

Sophie’s Podcast

LinkedIn courses:


  • The Future of Work: The Necessary Skills of Your Future Workforce
  • Attracting, Hiring, and Working with Gen Z
  • Empathy Tips for HR Professionals

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The Transcript

⚠️ NOTE: This is an automated transcript, so it might not always be 100% accurate!

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Sophie  0:00  
That’s one of the big things that’s really different for millennials and Gen Z’s is they don’t have these linear careers that they have to be much more proactive about.

Leanne Elliott  0:13  
Hello, and welcome to the treat lies and workplace culture podcast where we help you simplify the science of people. My name is Leanne. I’m a Business psychologist. My name is owl and I’m a business owner. And if you’re looking for tips for leaders or business owners on how to find great people keep great people and lead great people. You’re in the right place. If you’re looking for recipes for brownies, perhaps not although Leanne you do have a good recipe. I do email me. But it’s not the wrong key Bernie’s

Leanne Elliott  2:46  
No, I thought there’s there’s been a few things popping up in my kind of news feed recently. And I thought this might be an interesting little segment to do at the beginning of the podcast. But as know if you find it interesting if you don’t, we won’t do it again. But for today, let’s try. So here’s some new trends is kind of just three or four different things I saw pop up today that I wore this week that I thought was interesting. The new trend we’ve got a new word. You know we had like quiet quitting and the great resignation. Oh, yeah, we’ve got a new one.

Leanne Elliott  4:14  
yeah, that’s I guess what it was what happens, isn’t it people start to resent the environment they’re in if they can’t leave it. 

Al Elliott  4:22  
Yeah, I think it’s kind of similar to when there was the global financial crisis people have got a massive mortgage they’re presenting where they’re living because they were trapped in it. So I think it might all come down to fact you feel trapped there’s not it was maybe a year ago six months ago the word jobs out there now the job market is shrinking a little bit and two people are feeling trapped so you can see why someone might might resent it. And so our job as leaders really is to is to acknowledge that and and fix it, which again, probably might be an episode for a different day. You psychologizing I love it told me loads.

Leanne Elliott  4:53  
What else do I read this week? Oh, the tech layoffs are continuing sadly. But yeah, we’ve heard that Googler making

Leanne Elliott  5:00  
about 12,000 people redundant paperback, 3000 people and sadly, our friends over hotspot are reducing their workforce by about 7%. Yeah, it’s a really, really tough time for the tech industry. And I think, you know, if you go back again, to our, our Twitter episodes, we talked about the declining tech industry, the shifts that are happening and the changes that are happening. But you know, a part of that is also, you know, the side of the commercial imperative to maybe make those decisions is the human impact and the human story behind it. So yeah, our hearts go out to anyone who had been impacted by the redundancies in in the tech world at the moment. It does, it does, but then there’s a way to do it. I mean, if you go back to the Twitter episode, we talked about we talked about I can’t remember his exact name, I want to say Stuart Collins from stripe. And the way that he handled the redundancy was very different to Elon handling the redundancies at Twitter. So it’s unfortunately it’s part of business. You can’t you know, businesses aren’t magic. They can’t pay people if they haven’t got the money, or they feel they might have them in the future. So unfortunately, it might be required, but is the way you do it, really, isn’t it? What else you got? Leann? Another interesting thing I read this week that’s actually popped up in Fortune Magazine. Actually, I think it was from from the

Al Elliott  7:20  
Does that mean we saw wasn’t it where, you know, we’ve pubs like, when you go into a pub in the UK, then you say, Can I have a vodka and coke and if they serve Pepsi, they have to by law say it’s Pepsi? Is that right? Or both of us have worked in pubs. We both said that 1000s and 1000s and 1000s of times, but the mean was like that should be Pepsi’s tagline. The tagline should be is Pepsi, isn’t it? Alright.

Leanne Elliott  0:43  
the normal chocolate. Anyway, welcome. Hi. Nice. Nice to have you back. Welcome. If you’re new

Al Elliott  0:48  
yes, if you’re new, we’ve we’ve seen our numbers going up quite significantly over the past few weeks. So there is a good chance that you’re new. So today’s episode, the secret to leading Gen Zed and millennials with Sophie Wade, she is a future of work ologists if that’s a word, fantastic guest and she’s got some really good stuff for you just want to kind of just give a little bit of context to this because 2023 is the more and more sort of shifts in work, we knew that the pandemic changed things massively. But also now with more and more millennials and Gen z’s in the workplace. It’s really important to think about the expectations of this new generation of people working so to help us explore what we can do and be more effective and leading in the shifting landscape. We are joined by Sophie Wade, she’s a speaker, and author and authority on future of work issues and her book embracing progress and next steps for the future of work is an EC Executive MBA programme textbook and required reading for several management school leadership courses. She founded flexible network where she’s a Workforce Innovation specialist and her advisory in workshops to help companies future proof their work environments and attract engage and retain multi generational and distributed talent. We’ll dive into more what that means in a minute. One of my favourite things that she said is, We are in a period of change the new world of work is significantly more digitised and decentralised than before. We need to orientate ourselves differently to be successful. Shifting from transactional to human centric management mindset and methods to deal with the faster pace of business developments, continuing uncertainties, more complex issues and an increase in multi dimensional projects. Sounds very clever and fancy. We will be diving more into that with Sophie shortly. So before we do, go and meet Sophie, Leah, what’s new in the world of leadership and psychology

Leanne Elliott  2:38  
to feel like I need some kind of like jingle music behind me at this point. Can we do that in editing?

Al Elliott  2:43  
When you’re editing this? Find some music?

Leanne Elliott  3:13  
Whereas I’ve not said this out loud before resin T ism was an T ism.

Al Elliott  3:18  
Was that is that when you resent someone bringing you a cup of tea?

Leanne Elliott  3:21  
Yes, resent tears and reason tea ism. Sure. Within tea ism,

Al Elliott  3:27  
you know that I’m not going to cut any of this out. It’s just a frigid

Leanne Elliott  3:30  
looking. I’m looking like what it is. Let’s say you don’t know.

Al Elliott  3:37  
I don’t know. No, I’ve never heard of it. I’ve never heard it before. What does it mean

Leanne Elliott  3:41  
is in tears and it means that just people don’t like their job because they’re feeling resentful because they don’t enjoy that job. But for whatever reason that they can’t leave. And apparently the crucial aspect of it isn’t they’re not very good at hiding it which can lead to toxic workplaces for the for the company and for the individual could lead to burnout. So yeah, I mean, I guess it’s a natural thing, isn’t it for quiet quitting? Like if you start to disengage? I think we actually talked about this on on the quiet quitting episodes or feels like a while ago now. We talked

Leanne Elliott  6:13  
December January issue, I might be a bit behind catching up just catching up. But But yeah, we’re talking about the power of leadership development. And I thought it was really cool. It’s an article on PepsiCo mean, like the Coca Cola but the other one. They’ve they’ve apparently turned out 16, fortune 500 CEOs through their leadership development strategy. That’s pretty impressive. Isn’t it? Amazing? Yeah. I mean, the CEO of Starbucks target. These are footlocker Pernod Ricard in a row of all PepsiCo alumni. So yeah, it’s really interesting. So yeah, the article is, is is very good. And we’ll link all of these in in the show notes. Yeah, investing heavily in, in a culture of learning, not just in terms of leadership development, but in general, has really paid off for them not only in terms of the, the incredible calibre of leadership staff producing but in terms of their revenue, currently sitting at about 80 billion and growing by about 12% year including on track for 2023.

Al Elliott  7:12  
So interesting, as I think that I don’t know this the same in other countries, but in the UK, Pepsi is almost like the sort of like the poor man’s coke.

Al Elliott  7:41  
I’ll be really funny. But the Yeah, the massively diverse company. And it just goes to show that they clearly know what they’re doing.

Leanne Elliott  7:49  
Yeah, and you know, early to the party. And in terms of, you know, the work that was done to put this in place, it was done back in the 70s. And 80s, by a psychologist called Bob, he, I think that’s how you say it. Sure. Itching

Al Elliott  8:04  
each finger, by which finger?

Leanne Elliott  8:07  
I don’t know, you see them written down. I’ve never heard them out loud. It’s Bob. So Bob over at Pepsi Co bar between 1978 and 96. Yeah, did loads of work in terms of psychometrics in terms of evaluating how executives behave, how they affect others, and how they can be more effective. So it just shows really, that making that investment pays off for decades and decades to come. I think what’s really cool about it is it kind of dove into it was that like failure isn’t just tolerated, it’s encouraged. One because it putting people in those kind of stretch positions, and, you know, helping them kind of come back and build that resilience and use the resources around them. And it’s just really good for performance in general in the future. But also kind of that theory of will if they make the mistakes, now, they won’t make that same mistake when they’re CEO, and that mistake is gonna have a lot more impact.

Al Elliott  9:01  
I’m guessing this has something to do with the whole idea of being empathetic towards someone’s decision making. I mean, rarely, I don’t think anyone makes a bad decision deliberately, you know, you’ll make a decision based on the information we always say that people are doing the best they can with the information they’ve got. And so if an information isn’t isn’t fully there, then it’s a bad decision might be made. But the key is, like you’ve said there is that the senior management are empathetic towards the fact that a decision had to be made. It happened to be the wrong one, which would probably be proved in hindsight, Ron at the time. And so I think this all brings us back to the idea of empathy. And so I think leaders know what it’s like to fail, and the need to create this sort of safety for anyone else, and so that they can make a decision but they also know that they can pick them back up if the decision isn’t the right one, which we just mentioned out there Pepsi sort of breeding that into the leaders from the beginning. So that brings us to ask the question is empathy The new leadership superpower. And so that’s what we’re exploring today with the help of Sophia, this work futurologist will be talking a lot about empathy and about generations and about leaders. We come on all kinds of tangents, I think it’s really fascinating interview. But I want to start off just asking, what is empathy? Because I think we all think, oh, yeah, empathy, we know what it is. But there is a big difference between empathy and sympathy isn’t really there is

Leanne Elliott  10:23  
there is a difference between and actually saw a really good graphic, I think it was on LinkedIn the other day, a common phrase saved it, but it’s basically kind of showing the differences between kind of like sympathy, empathy, compassion, but it was cool. If I can find it, I’ll, I’ll put it on the on LinkedIn group. But yes, but in terms of empathy, there’s also different types of empathy. And I think this is really a good way to think about everything in the world in terms of Canada leadership and business as well. So yeah, psychologists called Daniel Goleman, identified three different types of empathy, which are important for effective leaders. The first is cognitive empathy. That’s the ability to understand another’s perspective, I think that’s a really key thing, when we’re talking about generational differences is, yes, we acknowledge those differences, but really the value is, is understanding each other’s perspectives. And why you know, we have different ways of looking at things. So that’s cognitive empathy. The second is emotional empathy is that, you know, being able to kind of feel empathise, what another person feels, which is getting in the home, really,

Al Elliott  11:30  
the whole idea of getting in the hole just gets you think they’re being a bit weird bit fruity. When we both trained at Samaritans in the UK, we actually have we met, we’re both volunteers there, the training there was fantastic. And they, they have a really good to the video that describes the difference between sympathy and empathy. There’s a diagram of a man down a hole. That’s actually a stick person. So I don’t think there’s I don’t think it’s gender specific. So this district person who’s down the hall, and the idea of sympathy is you stand at the top and go, Oh, that looks really rubbish. Are you okay? Empathy, as you get a ladder, you get down on the hole and go, it’s dark in here, isn’t it?

Leanne Elliott  11:59  
Yeah, really, really great way of thinking about I think. So yes, that’s emotional empathy. And then we have empathic concern, that’s kind of that ability to sense what other people need from you. So it’s, you know, it’s one thing to say, as a leader, this is what I need from you and your job, you should also be asking to have that empathic concern. What what do you need from me to help you do your job more effectively do it better. So the different types of empathy that we often see in terms of leadership and business, but we also asked our incredible guests, Sophie, how she views empathy, and why it’s so important in the post pandemic workplace,

Sophie  12:36  
understanding each other better? It’s, you know, putting myself in your shoes, how do you see the world and trying to connect with your experience? So empathy is the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and feel what they’re feeling. So what is it that you’re going through what you know, whether you’re working remotely, or working on the other side of the world, or come from a different culture, all of these different elements are important, more important now for me to understand, because of the working business and working environment that we’re in now.

Al Elliott  13:06  
So I think myself is there is saying that empathy is more important than ever, because we are in a very different work world than we were five years ago. Pandemic has basically we’ve always say the pandemic has accelerated the the the changes in the workplace by probably about 10 years. So we now need to be thanks to the fact that we communicate via zoom, perhaps we don’t really meet people that often face to face, we need to understand other people’s perspectives much better understand their emotions understand their needs. So the fact is that the workplace has changed. So how and why is it changed? Well, the reason we’re looking at different generations in psychological research, or I’m not but the psychologists are, is that the pace of change since World War Two was seen as grew up in very, very different worlds. Because millennials and Gen Zed may feel like they have nothing in common with baby boomers. And Baby Boomers, they might say, don’t know what it’s like to be young.

Leanne Elliott  14:02  
Yeah, they might say that. And I think this is where this cognitive empathy comes in from from all of our perspectives. You know, whether whether you’re a leader or an employee that’s trying to understand where each other is coming from. Let’s not forget the baby boomers essentially invented youth culture. Youth Culture wasn’t really a big thing until the 50s and 60s they actually you can’t really say they don’t know what it’s like to be young because they were the OG of what it was to be young. Or you know, everything from disruptive fashion. You know, the scandals around miniskirts that came in the 60s. huge changes in music with Little Richard The Beatles, Elvis all that rock and roll generation, you know, those kinds of artists but moral panics, you know, associated everything from race mixing to have the deconstruction of sexual morals to the open use of drugs. And you know, the Beatles used to sit down and openly admit in interviews that they did LSD when they were recording it I wouldn’t say You know, you, you may well have a bit more in common with the baby boomer generation than you think.

Al Elliott  15:04  
Yeah. And I think that’s probably one of the things about generations is that you always think it was better 20 years ago, there’s that joke, isn’t it? Nostalgia is not as good as it used to be. And so you always think that and then I think that your parents like the next generation above, you don’t really understand. I remember back in the 90s, I was watching what was called alternative comedy back then in the UK. I don’t know whether it went to other countries, but things like Mary Whitehouse experience, and it was just a bit irreverent and a bit silly. And my father came in one time we’re looking at when this is alternative to comedy and thought it was the funniest thing he’s ever said. But now, I look at stuff that’s on Tik Tok. Now that people sort of like 17 1819 are sharing. And I’m like, I don’t understand why this particular meme means this and why it’s funny. So it just goes to show that yes, we have a lot more in common in terms of the way that our regeneration is progressing, are we kind of the patterns that we follow? But when it comes down to it, we we find it very difficult to look at a generation one or two be below us, and understand what’s what they’re saying and what they’re thinking? Yeah, but

Leanne Elliott  16:06  
I think I think, because we’re stuck in context, you know, you think about what you said there? You’re saying, you know, I don’t, you know, I don’t really understand the Tick Tock and what, you know, the whole interest and intrigue in that platform. Yet, in terms of early adoption in technology. You were you were really early to that party. We talked in your interview about how using Google Ads back in 2006. You know, so I think the connecting point is that you have a shared interest in disruptive technologies, the actual nature of that technology, and what it means for your life might be slightly different. But the curiosity is there.

Al Elliott  16:43  
That’s a good point. That’s a good point. And as you get older, and fatter and grey, you think I can’t be bothered, like I slack. I just I don’t want to learn. I don’t want to use it. I hate it. I don’t know what it is. Whereas 10 years ago, 15 years ago, I was like, right on the cutting edge. Okay, what’s Twitter now let’s learn everything about Twitter. So I think,

Leanne Elliott  17:00  
again, I call bullshit, I’m sorry, that’s just grumpiness. That’s not a generational perspective. You say that. But I think it’s more again, you’re not interested in Slack for whatever reason yet what we’re using now that I’m like D script. And then Leon, this is another new app we need to use. And we’re redoing our website. And we can do X, Y, and Zed. And I’m like, that’s nice. You are still interested in intrigued by new technology. I think it’s just more the context of what it can do. And what it brings to your life has shifted.

Al Elliott  17:31  
So really good points. Let’s talk about context for a second. So let’s do a deep dive into the changes and disruptions that have changed the workplace recently. This is

Leanne Elliott  17:39  
all from the perspective of, can we understand each of the better if we actually take a moment to really think you reflect on the environments we grew up in that that maybe shaped our perspectives, and particularly a perspective of millennials and Gen Zed. I think the first place to start really is with the Great Recession. I believe that’s what you guys call it on the other side of the pond. I’ve heard it more referred to as a global financial crisis in Europe. But yeah, it’s basically the 2007 2008 recession, described at the time, as one of the most severe economic and financial meltdowns we’ve ever seen since the Great Depression back in the 1930s. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then I suggest you watch film called The Big Short. It’s excellent. Very, very good film. If a little, little hard to follow. Sometimes

Al Elliott  18:27  
I’ve watched it twice. And I know I understand about 20% of it.

Leanne Elliott  18:31  
I think the first time I watched it, I understood maybe like 20% the second time maybe like 60%, but it’s really good. Got Ethan Hawke in it. And Margot Robbie, Michael Robin and bath as well in a bath. Yeah, no, it is. It’s a really great film. But it’s all around the kind of the run up to the Great Recession, which was really triggered by a sudden downturn in the real estate market. And yeah, not not sure family, homeowners, but also Wall Street as well. Huge firms went under, including the Lehman Brothers and JP Morgan were buying out struggling investment firms. And massive insurance like AIG needed government bailouts to stay afloat. Didn’t take long before that chaos in the finance sector started to hit us all. In our everyday lives, you know that 50% loss of value in the stock market that we saw in just two years between 2007 and 2009, also then led to almost 9 million jobs being lost. It was a really awful scenario, particularly for the older millennials that were just starting to look for work after finishing university, many, many of which were unable to find employment. Now at its peak in 2009. Unemployment between 16 to 24 year olds was almost at 20%,

Al Elliott  19:42  
which is incredible. And I think the we need to remember the oldest millennial was 26 when the global financial crisis hit, and that’s just the beginning of their, of their work career and, you know, it felt that that there was no opportunity to go and buy a house and you look on Tik Tok or anything on Instagram today and there’s loads of like people saying that has no chance of us buying houses and they want to blame someone. So a lot of them do blame boomers or maybe my generation Gen X. But the fact is that these things happened. The global financial crisis happened and it changed everything. And the impact is still going on for both Gen Zed and millennials

Leanne Elliott  20:16  
it is I’ve seen some things on Tiktok pop up recently about millennials, a couple of things about them looking looking younger than they are either looking much younger than they are looking much older than they are, like, rarely does a millennial look their age. And this could all you know, be be a contributor of things like this as well, because maybe, you know, we didn’t have the stress early on of of the high risk jobs because we couldn’t find one. Or maybe we are aged prematurely because of because of that stress. But yeah, decreased savings or we’re looking to buy purchase reluctance to buy homes, simply because everywhere you look people are getting repossessed or going bankrupt. Oh,

Al Elliott  20:54  
yes, I have been both bankrupt and had two houses repossessed so. So yes, I can totally appreciate and understand why it says it is a scary thing. So this impacted me as as a Gen X. But it’s not just been the impact of millennials. But Gen Zed too, as Sophie explains

Sophie  21:09  
the Great Recession in 2008, impacted millennials and Gen Zed a lot. And I didn’t even realise till recently how much Gen Zed, they were much younger, were watching. And they were all watching what happened to their parents to their parents, friends who may have been working somewhere for 20 years, and were fired no matter they were, there was no loyalty in terms of how they were treated. And that had a very, very long lasting effect in terms of, of attitudes towards companies, concerns about financial stability, which is really where Gen Zed come from? Millennials have been more about purpose and mission and vision. But Gen Zed is sort of more have been more focused on on the financial security or something, some kind of income stability, really interesting.

Al Elliott  21:59  
We do look to the generation above us, our parents, and see what happened with them. And my parents weren’t caught up in the whole property crash of the 80s. And so, you know, that spurred me on in a different way to go and buy lots of property, which I did later on in life. But yeah, it’s really, really interesting, isn’t it?

Leanne Elliott  22:18  
Yeah, it’s that’s definitely something that has happened in you know, the last 20 years, it’s had a massive impact on on our world of work. The Yeah, the great recession. The second, of course, technology, technology has changed everything. And I think was interesting, you know, working in an office was our own invention. You know, it was a necessity of what what we had at the time or other than our preferred way of working. Here’s Sophie to explain some more.

Sophie  22:45  
And, you know, that was it’s been enabled by technology. You know, it’s not that we decided years ago, like, we should all be working in the office, because that’s the optimal way to do this work? Absolutely not, it was because we started working with many more computers, the computers were all both sort of large and expensive and heavy, we had desktop computers we had to be in the office was a fax machine, then you got fax machines at home, because they got cheap enough, you could have an at home. So that gave you more possibilities. But it’s all been a function of what we’re able to do. Now we have, you know, very smart, you know, relatively inexpensive computers, we can we can do work from anywhere. So why would we not do that? We have designed this technology, because we want to be using it in different ways. And we’ve developed touchscreens, because that’s the more intuitive human type way to be using these amazing technologies. So now that we’ve designed it with a purpose, let’s use it. And it has come to a lot through consumer applications. But you know, so pulling it into the businesses, the business world has taken longer. Because we have sort of more entrenched ways of doing things, I guess,

Al Elliott  24:01  
it is kind of a strange idea, this office idea that we all go to one one place, sit down, do our work, eat our pack lunch and then go home.

Leanne Elliott  24:11  
Well, that’s a good pattern. There is, isn’t it? It’s like this whole idea that, you know, work is where we go rather than what we do. Yeah, if you’re interested that the whole idea of the office dates back to the 1900s, the early 1900s. It was actually all based on a time and motion study by M FW Taylor, applied to the office environment. Yeah, advocated for the large open floor plans desk that typically revolved around some kind of supervisor or manager, which sounds like now really doesn’t get larger and plan offices with your boss in the corner office.

Al Elliott  24:46  
Yeah, I don’t think that is weird now because because of the pandemic because the technology is moving faster than ever. We don’t need to be in one place anymore. So it means that we can all do this remotely. So basically, as Sophie says, The Future of Work has arrived.

Sophie  25:02  
It’s much faster, much, much less predictable because of technology generally the future of work which arrived catalysed by the pandemic not caused by it, but catalysed accelerated, that we are now having to work in very different ways we are the nature of work has changed, because of technology, we were having to work in much more, you know, much more in teams, much more project work, non routine work has grown significantly over the last 40 years. And therefore, because it’s not predictable, because we’re having sort of to work together, it’s requires us to work much more human being to human being. And we can’t have that sort of stiff upper lip, you know, just kind of bringing a formal two dimensional self we need, we need to be that we need to be, you know, really cooperating and collaborating. And that requires us to understand each other more, particularly when we’re also dealing with a lot of uncertainty having to pivot, you know, as we were doing during the pandemic, but you know, less extreme conditions. But still, there’s still a lot of diamond dynamism in the environment. And that’s going to continue because of the pace of technologies. So in a more human centric environment, you noticed that when I look at the technology, and the talent balance to the technology environment, is that we need to be focused on focusing on people because though we’re the people who are using these, this protected sophisticated technology and tools and all of that. So they

Al Elliott  26:27  
got the second thing that’s affected the workplace changes is technology. Number three is this idea that we no longer have this linear career path. I know that my dad, for example, whose Boomer generation struggles to understand the idea of someone just working somewhere for five years, and then going off because he spent 40 odd years in the same not the same job, but the same company. So I think that it is very different for millennials and Gen Zed,

Leanne Elliott  26:52  
it is my dad was saying when he started his apprenticeship with Manuel electricity company, they trained him up to come to university electrical engineering, he said that with that company until he retired. Yeah, it’s, it’s not like that anymore, you know, times have changed. And as Sophie explains, this is one of the aspects of work that is really, really different for both millennials and Gen Z kids.

Sophie  27:15  
That’s one of the big things that’s really different for millennials, and Gen Z’s is they don’t have these linear careers that they have to be much more proactive about. And when I see with all, you know, the parents or or, you know, their bosses don’t necessarily don’t necessarily recognise how much has changed and how nonlinear it is. And so they’re not really, they can’t be as helpful to them. Yeah, and

Leanne Elliott  27:39  
you know, taking the idea further, we’re starting to see people that will have more than one career, they’ll have multiple careers or portfolio careers. I mean, even or as I’m an old millennial, alza young Gen X, how many careers have you had

Al Elliott  27:55  
that worked on the railways or worked in restaurants? He really did. So that’s not as a NaVi, you know, well, I was not that old.

Leanne Elliott  28:03  
No, exactly. I’ve had three, I think, three distinct phases that I would say different careers.

Al Elliott  28:09  
Yeah. And we’ve talked, we like, from our personal point of view, we’ve talked about this, you said, right. Now, podcasting is almost like another career. We spend a lot of time on it on a weekly basis, maybe in 10 years time, if podcasting has taken off, then we stopped doing our consultant stuff and just talk for a living. And that’s our new career. And that’s how we retire is we just talk on a podcast, which be quite good fun.

Leanne Elliott  28:29  
Yes, I love doing the podcast. So yeah, absolutely. And you know, your Sophie advice that we should, not only just being aware of this, but we should be planning for this as individuals. And as business owners.

Sophie  28:39  
There was an article published in September 2017, in the Financial Times, which said that every individual should plan for having five careers over their lifetime, everybody. So this is my second career. My first one was sort of strategic development, finance to building business models and financial plans and helping people raise money and all that kind of stuff. So what’s going to be my next one, and it makes it easier also not for millennials or Gen z’s? Because when they’re exploring different elements, different types of roles, you know, marketing or strategy, or finance, or, or being influenced, or whatever, it’s like, this is my next career, or this is my current career. And it doesn’t have to block you in and sort of limit you in terms of what you’re thinking about. Because there you can have, you know, you can build transferable skills, and then use them in different ways, which I think really opens up the possibilities because, you know, when we were coming into the workplace, you know, if you picked marketing and then you didn’t like marketing, yeah, you’re kind of stuck.

Al Elliott  29:41  
So the fourth change is this shift in what work actually means to us because we all know the pandemic was sick of hearing the word pandemic has completely changed what work means to us, and a lot of us are looking about whether work shapes our identity, and fits into our life. Is it like a transaction So is it something we do as an identity, something we are? What does work actually mean? from a human perspective? Here’s Sophie.

Sophie  30:07  
So in the past, you know, when I joined, it was more true actually in the 50s, and 60s, but it was still at the Gen X ray sort of still felt it was true that when I joined an organisation, you could possibly stay there for a long, long, long time. And you’d put in these very, very, very long, hard hours working, you know, toiling to the wee hours. And you know, over time, you would build up, you could build up a little nest egg, and then you’d retire at the end. So there was a reason to put up with this, you know, really boring work. And then eventually there’ll be a payoff, that equation doesn’t exist anymore, like those life, that lifelong employment that ends with retirement. You know, Gen Z is a very, very dense, it’s a very, very aware that they, one who don’t have any job security, and no company is going to even pretend to guarantee them any kind of job in four years time, never mind, you know, you know, 20 years time, and they all believe that they won’t be able to retire.

Leanne Elliott  31:11  
I think what Sophie’s explained there is really the, the fundamental shift we’ve seen in what work means towards work used to be more transactional, when we knew we were getting a guaranteed paycheck. Every month, we knew that we have a job for life, we knew we had a safe and, and enough of a pension pot, that doesn’t happen anymore. So we need to find more from our work. If that transaction doesn’t have the value it used to we need to find more. And this is why you know, gen xers and millennials are looking for work that gives them meaning that gives them purpose. Because doing work with no meaning during work that doesn’t add value to us or doing work that is boring, makes us miserable. And equally, having work with a purpose that aligns with our identity with our values, with our beliefs with our ethics, that serves as a huge motivator, but also huge sense of fulfilment, meaning and purpose in the literature, core aspects of psychological well being. So work without them for too long, is just a certain path to poor mental health and burnout.

Al Elliott  32:18  
The other thing that’s changing is the actual structure of workers in organisations where there needs to be a change, or that needed to be a change after the pandemic because of the remote work. But also now, as we’ve just talked about, with the layoffs earlier, that we need, we need to just change the way that agile workplaces physically work. So Sophie talks about extended talent pools, and what this really means to millennials and Gen Zed,

Sophie  32:41  
the extended use of the talent pool and the fact that I do see where we’re going in terms of ultimately going, you’re likely to have smaller core, full time employee talent pools, and much more use I mean, this has been trending for a while, much more use of the extended talent pool, which is sort of outside of sort of familiar freelancers, and independent contractors, because that makes sense for companies who are having to pivot and be more nimble, but also for people who don’t want to be beholden to one company, if if I’m a Gen Z, and I know that I have no job security, I would rather not have one employer, I’d rather have many clients that so if one person if one company, you know pivots, and I’m not needed anymore, I have, I still have, you know, income. That’s why, you know, around 60% of millennials and Gen Z’s have a side hustle. For most of them, it is about hacking in some kind of incomes to build stability.

Leanne Elliott  33:45  
What surveys given a really good example of that is how the shifts and work can actually benefit both organisations and employees. Again, what we’re looking at with extended talent pools is really dipping into, into skills that we might need more periodically, or on an ad hoc basis, rather than skills that we need all the time. And equally for millennials and Gen Zeds. It provides them with an opportunity to have control over the money they earn control over the work that they do, and gain back some of that control and security that we’ve lost over the past 15 years. So yeah, I think it’s, I think it’s smart. And particularly, you know, when we get times of, of peaks and troughs if if organisations are able to to adjust and pivot in a way that doesn’t result in huge layoffs that we’re seeing now in the tech industry, and the you know that the trauma and mental health challenges that come with that, that can only be a good thing, not only for individuals, but also for, you know, the reputation of organisations and their capability in terms of responding to changes in the economy.

Al Elliott  34:55  
Yeah, and I think the the next change which is really sort of taking a bit of thinking We have an impact is this idea of on retirement? I think Did you say it was called The Great on retirement is that another? It is. And so, so older people left the workforce during the pandemic, but obviously, since that’s hopefully all disappeared, and behind us, there’s there’s this cost of living crisis, which is pushing the pushing the price of everything up. I mean, if you’ve ever bought eggs or butter recently, or chicken, you’ll know that you’ll know that they are maybe twice or three times the price as they were before the pandemic. So what this is meaning is that older people are either staying on in jobs for longer or aren’t even considering retirement.

Leanne Elliott  35:37  
Yeah, it’s true. And you know, it’s a trend that, that, you know, we’re we’re more than likely going to get to see over the next few years and older people either staying in the workforce or return the workforce. I mean, just in general, the proportion of the population aged over 50, in advanced economies is, is projected to rise from about 37%, which was in 2022, to 45%, by 2050. So yeah, I mean, yeah, add that into kind of like, like you say, are, we’re living longer countries are raising the retirement age, and all completely abolishing it, if people want to continue to stay in work, then, of course, you know, under underfunded pension schemes, and that lack of security that we have, you know, older workers are more likely to remain in the workforce, but also they have a critical role to play in helping to address the, you know, the talent shortages that that we’ve seen in and we continue to talk about, Sophie has a really interesting perspective on this. She doesn’t just think that reimagining how and when we retire is good for business. But she also thinks it’s healthier for older workers.

Sophie  36:39  
So there are a lot more possibilities. Now, yes, many corporations, many large corporations particularly need to change some of their how the how the contributions to pension plans and stuff like that, you know, need to face down because they only have sort of 100% contributions of zero. So there are a lot of different and different elements that need to change. But this has been ongoing, ongoing when I wrote my first book five years ago, and I’m saying this is something that we can do. In order to help those transition out, it also means that that all the folks aren’t hanging on because they don’t want they want to sort of stay involved, but don’t want to drop from 100% to 0%. And so again, they can, their expertise can still be enjoyed all the the understanding they have about the business and the things that have been tried, we’re in a very, very different phase of business, different ways, ways to think that things are working with all the different technologies and, and changes around the world. But there are lots of things that have been tried, that can be useful to be thinking about to be to be sort of sharing some of those experiences to be coming up with new ideas. So so that’s why I think retirement is something we can look at differently now.

Al Elliott  37:50  
Which makes really good point, those people retiring, take all the skills knowledge with them. And of course, there’s going to be a transition. But you know, the other thing is that now people are living longer living more active lives, then when they do retire, you know, they’re like, Well, what do I do now I don’t have to get up at six anymore. And I’ve been doing it for 40 years. So it makes perfect sense from both ends from both people who are retiring to have something to do and upscaled and what they’re doing, but still be involved. And those companies have got over invested 40 years and X, you know, millions of pounds in their salary, to keep those skills and knowledge in the company

Leanne Elliott  38:23  
and your person. So I think, you know, they’re the main shifts that that we’ve seen in in the workforce over the last 1520 years. And all of these changes are understandably impacting how we all think about work. But particularly for millennials and Gen Z as it were growing up emits these changes. It’s really influenced our attitudes towards work. So just to recap them quickly. We have the Great Recession, as the financial crisis in the naughties, which massively brought into question, what work means the insecurity of being in jobs with organisations, second technology, analysis facilitators to work from anywhere in the world? So why are we still clinging on to the office idea that was found in the 1900s, the early 1900s, the third shift that we’ve seen, we know we no longer have a linear career, again, that security isn’t there. So people are much more likely to have portfolio careers or more than one career within their working life. And then of course, work has changed it for us in terms of what it means to us, the pandemic has had a massive influence on that. And not just what it means to us, but how work actually fits in to an organisation. So for example, individual roles don’t have to necessarily be be full time all the time. They can dip into these extended time pools to make sure they’ve got the agility they need to stay competitive. And finally, people are working longer, and the nature of retirement is changing and will continue to change. So that in itself as well is going to have a continued impact on our work. He lives.

Al Elliott  40:01  
So clearly the world of work has changed. The workplace is changing. Literally every single day more and more millennials and Gen Xers are in the workforce. So there are opportunities for businesses to benefit from these shifts. So why do you think the resistance is Lian? Pete,

Leanne Elliott  40:17  
I think there is a resistance there. And, you know, it does feel a little bit surprising. And I think Sophie feels the same,

Sophie  40:25  
I thought that we would have, I thought the future work was going to arrive in 2017. But it took a global pandemic, that sort of shut things down, that sent everybody to be working from home, to really shake things up and make a huge difference. So because human beings like habits, we have our own trenched way of doing things, and we’re not comfortable, we’ve been straining against making the changes necessary. Because it does require a huge amount of change, which is why it’s so painful what we’re going through now, because so much is changing at the same time. And so that is, that has been absolutely fascinating. To me a quote

Leanne Elliott  41:08  
comes to mind owl, necessity is the mother of invention. I like it, because I think it is, you know, certainly right there, it doesn’t seem to logically it doesn’t really make sense when we’re not embracing these changes, because there are huge benefits to them. But equally, change sucks. We really don’t like change, our brains don’t like it, you know, we enter this, this threat state this fight or flight state, our brain chemistry changes, we spiking cortisol, blood flows away from our, our thinking brain, our prefrontal cortex, and flows towards our emotional brain, our amygdala. So there is, you know, a lot of focus on on the change itself, how do we make remote work work in the pandemic, or is actually with with change, the pain that Sophie is referring to there is the is the actual psychological transition that we need to go through to be comfortable with a change and accept the change. And typically, you know that the change can take quite a long time. But the traumatic situation of the pandemic was that everything happened overnight. We didn’t have time to make that psychological transition. It’s still lagging. I think that’s why we’re seeing leaders switch back to office working, calling people back in, you know, because environmentally during the pandemic, we made the change, psychologically, some of us never actually transitioned.

Al Elliott  42:29  
So what do we say to these leaders who don’t want to do the whole remote thing? We have lots and lots of people who talk to us and say, I want people back in the office. And you have to ask why. Because as we discussed before, the office is kind of an almost like an archaic sort of construct. We now have all these amazing ways of, of collaborating remotely. So why are people use? Why are people resisting this? So we talked about a client that asked this question in one of his seminars,

Sophie  42:56  
I had with him was it a middle of a pandemic, I think it was sometime during 2020. And so it was very much based on what he was comfortable with. And he would, he would like to do that again. Because that was sort of comfortable. And I think for lots of people who’ve been working the same way for a long time. That, you know, once you can see everybody it feels more manageable, you can kind of like, feel like you can get your arms around it and control it. And in you can feel sort of prone if every everybody’s spread out, and you can’t see them. However, in the new, this new era of business and the work, that isn’t that kind of relatively rigid structure and mindset that goes with it, or not helpful for being able to be adaptive and flexible, to how we need to be working. Now, you know, customers are our competitors. They’re deploying new technologies, which means their customers are changing their behaviours, which means that our customers might be going over to them, we need to be thinking about keep updating our

Al Elliott  44:03  
technology, I think we just need to remember that remote work. It’s not a kind of nice to have anymore. It’s what Millennials and Gen Zed want. And it’s what let’s be honest, if you’re a Jet, if you’re a Gen Zed, it’s a large percentage of your of your work. Life has been probably using almost exclusively zoom, and not going into an office so we can, we can no longer sit here and go. That’s not the way we want to do things because it’s not up to us anymore. It’s up to our workforce. Okay, so now we know all this we know the reasons why it’s changing. We know what the different generational, different generations want from work. What do leaders need to do to kind of navigate this new era? What superpowers do we need to develop?

Leanne Elliott  44:44  
If I understand what what Sophie is saying and in terms of empathy, and empathy being a leadership superpower that we need in this new era? I guess it seems to follow for me that if we’re removing the human from kind of workplaces in In terms of, of more technology in terms of working remotely, then we need to some, then we need to put some back in, you know, we need to reinvest in that relationship. And you know, this isn’t a new thing, relational approach to leadership has been around for a while. And empathy, you know, has been identified as a trait that does result in more effective leadership. Your empathic leadership builds on this and it looks a bit deeper at the impact of empathic behaviours. You know, like we saw it that that learning culture from Pepsi, you know, how do I as a leader, and what I do, and what I say is acceptable, not only shaped the culture, but shaped the individual and the work environment I’m creating. A more recent research has also shown us Empathy helps to build resilience in our people. Studies show that empathic leadership also translates into higher levels of innovation, high levels of retention, greater inclusivity in the workplace, and also an improved work life balance. We have the human and business case for empathy, I feel so the question is, how do we develop it? How do we develop empathy? Well, luckily,

Al Elliott  46:10  
you’ve got Leanne, that’s super Lea here, because she has identified five ways to incorporate empathy into the workplace, I’ll go through them quickly. And then we’ll go through each one in depth, and we’ll listen to what Sophie’s got to say. So the first one is to listen, the second one is to have clear purpose and values. The third one is to stay curious. The fourth one is to transition, the change. And the fifth one is to apply empathy and everything. So let’s start with listening

Leanne Elliott  46:34  
to the first way to incorporate empathy within the workplace and as a leader is to listen. Empathy starts with listening, listening is so important. It’s not an easy skill to have, or to practice owl, you are an incredible listener. Tell me about your how you listen, your listening technique and why it’s so important.

Al Elliott  46:59  
The temptation there was make a dad joke and go, I’m sorry, I wasn’t listening. I won’t do that. I want that we’re better than that. We’re better than that. It all comes down again, back to under Samaritans learning how to listen to people. I think just if you want a couple of quick, quick hacks, and by way, thank you for saying that we’re but I think you’re very good listener too. And we’re both good at it. But a couple of quick hacks. First of all, don’t be thinking about what you’re going to say next, when someone’s still talking, the number of times what you say conversations, were really everyone in the conversation just waiting for their turn to talk rather than actually listening. And secondly, just allow silence. What’s what’s amazing is when we do interviews, or the handles any kind of like, recruitment work or whatever, or I do customer interviews, when you ask a question, and at the end, you leave a gap. If you leave it long enough, then often what will happen is someone will say something they either didn’t mean to say or wouldn’t have otherwise said. And that’s what the goal is, I think it’s called a golden pause, I think in the interviewing world. So just two quick tips there. But listening is not something that you can pick up straightaway do do a two hour webinar and go I’m great listening now. You need to practice it in every single day.

Leanne Elliott  48:06  
Absolutely. Let’s hear from Sophie, about listening to

Sophie  48:09  
what you said and what I understand me very different. So then you can clarify and even maybe clarify what you say collaborate? Oh, well, this is what he was trying to say. And I kind of go oh, okay, so that’s what i. So that interaction, just there really shows mutual respect, because we’re trying to we’re showing each other we’re trying to understand each other. And we get them to a place where we are, literally just have a better interaction, we can have better outcomes, because of more information being shared more detail being shared, and then getting to a more productive results. So the leader isn’t being creepy or intrusive. I mean, there could be some if you sort of go too far, why? Well, you know what, but the empathy is really just about sort of reading someone trying to understand their body language as well as their face, you know, if we’re, if we’re doing virtual interactions, but really listening to what they’re saying. So there’s a lot of different clues, but listening to what someone is saying, and and just trying to sort of, you know, show that respect for somebody, and then with more information, being in a strong position to make better decisions based on on that information and understanding.

Al Elliott  49:17  
So my thought only might be yours, too, was what happens if when you listen, and you don’t actually like what you hear or people tell you. Yeah, we want this in the workplace and you can’t do anything about it. I asked Sophie about this too,

Sophie  49:31  
but it doesn’t mean you agree with them, but you’re hearing them so I think it’s always valuable to allow someone to be hurt. It doesn’t mean you know, you kind of go Yeah, yeah, we’ll do exactly what you want. It also doesn’t mean ignoring it. Because I think yes, if you if you have somebody speak up and then you completely ignore, did we think about it, I think then transparency is kind of like Okay, so I’ll I hear what you’re saying. But For that isn’t very confident, very helpful. But, and these are some of the reasons why we, we may not be able to do that now, or never. But let’s

Al Elliott  50:11  
understand why. Okay, since the first one is to learn how to listen, the second one is all about clear purpose and values. Now, we’ve talked before about empathy and understanding others, but we need to invest equal time and effort into understanding how selves, in addition to having a clear vision and value, that translates into the role within your business, both as a leader and then also all your employees, having the same vision and values that translate into their roles is really going to be the cornerstone of effective leadership in this new era of work. So if you’re struggling with hybrid, or the remote thing, right now, it could be that you’re missing something, could be you’re missing these values, as Sophie explains,

Sophie  50:51  
companies are doing that, because it’s the values that that sort of ground people that connect people, but make them allow them to feel sort of connected and part of, of an organisation wherever they’re at wherever they’re working from. And they do look for, you know, look for skills, but often skills can certainly be taught, but if they, if they have, if they’re sort of aligned and the purpose and the direction of the company, and they have the values that are going to allow them to work together effectively, I mean, Atlassian has a value, one of their values is sort of radical transparency, I think they call it and so they’re very, very open and have these strong debates about a new feature, or what they’re going to do. And so, you know, you need to be prepared for that, because this, this, this can be quite, in this case, these discussions can be quite tough. And somebody who is, you know, very low in the company can and it’s not very hierarchical, but can really question you know, somebody much higher up, are much more experienced. And, you know, they won’t have the same waiting if they don’t have the same experience, but they can certainly speak up and are welcomed, and some, you know, their opinions that are solicited. So that’s, that is that very much how things are moving forward for many companies is, you know, focusing on the values and looking at and recognising that the skills are changing so fast that if I have if I were to hire you today, great, but you’re going to need new skills in the future anyway. So you know, where you are now is not where you were not where I need you to be in five years time or two years time. If you have the mindset that you are interested in learning, you want to develop and grow. And it looks like those like where you want to go is probably aligned with a company where you know, where we think the company is gonna go. And you don’t mind, you have the mindset, you flexible and adaptable. If we need to pivot and go in a different direction, okay, you’re on

Leanne Elliott  52:50  
purpose is equally important, especially when the meaning of work is shifting, and not just for Gen Zed, but for all of us.

Sophie  52:57  
The idea of purpose and mission and vision on the rest of it. Every human being actually wants that and people engage, whatever age whatever, whatever arc they are, wherever they are, they are in that sort of career arc, in terms of if they’re, if you help them align with the purpose of the organisation, the mission of the organisation, and help them understand how what they’re doing on a daily basis connects with the, like moving the company moving the mission forward, they need to find more meaning in the current work, like why am I doing this, because it’s not going to get me in this nest egg is not going to get me some, you know, sunset, beach and cruises. No, in my 60s. So it needs to have I need to connect more with what I’m doing now. To to make it have any meaning whatsoever to make my life have any meaning. And to give me security. So I want to if I that’s the other piece of the puzzle, I want to have, I want there to be meaning that in it. And I also want to, to have some feeling that I was talking about values like what are the what are your what is the company’s values that I can connect with, that I can feel comfortable that you’re going to be transparent with me, you’re going to sort of give me some understanding of how the business is maybe pivoting so that I can make some decisions about what I need to do or where I need to go or what how what skills I might need to develop because of where we’re seeing the company is going.

Al Elliott  54:30  
So the third thing is to stay curious and genuinely care. I mean, if you’re an entrepreneur, if you’re listening to this and you’ve started a business, you’re already curious. That’s the reason why you started your business. However, it might mean that you need to learn actually how to care about people as individuals because entrepreneurs are very good at solving problems. But when a problem well, it’s like sort of a market problem or a technical problem, the greater good, but people are really complex as Liang keeps saying they’re individuals and they have this massive impact on your business. So, so you need to stay curious about basically curious about people about individualised or the empathic leadership,

Sophie  55:07  
like, if that’s where we’re going. Great. And then it is very interesting to me that, you know, we’ve got this very challenging, you know, relatively painful period of change. And, and that is something I don’t mind change, I like learning, I sort of enjoy change. And I’m comfortable with it, but a lot of people aren’t comfortable with it. And so I’m passionate about trying to help people with the information that I have, you know, I’m trying to sort of communicate that this is a good place we’re going, it’s gonna be a bit messy getting there. But it is a good place that we’re going.

Leanne Elliott  55:42  
And Tip Four is transition, the change. Like I said before, our brains aren’t great with change. And the speed that you have changed that we went through the pandemic might mean, psychologically, we have a little bit of catching up to do, change will only be successful if we address the transition that we are experiencing. And coaches are a really great way of doing this. So the live transitions are basically key turning points. That could be something like losing your job, it could be getting married with buying your first house, it could be a global pandemic, and the varying degrees of challenge and opportunity that come with them is going to get to inform how disruptive we experienced that change to be. And it can happen quickly. Whereas transition is an internal psychological process. So changes external transition is internal. So understanding alive transitions in this internalised way, and normalising the emotions that we’re feeling can often facilitate our ability to change. So working with the courage to look at life transitions, look at changes is a really effective way of making successful changes. And if you’d like some more information on that, we do also have a free self coaching guide on this to get in touch by email or LinkedIn. So what happens if we don’t do the work and we continue to resist the change here, Sophie,

Sophie  57:06  
if I have a Gen Zed, it doesn’t make sense. Because I’m like, I can’t stay competitive, which harms my ability to actually maintain, you’d be able to pay my rent, be able to buy food, because everything is moving so fast. I need skills I need to so that’s sort of the the connection of values, like do you Does, does my potential employer have values that I connect with? Is the company in that place? Is it competitive, because otherwise I’m worried for myself. And so it’s not that it’s not sort of self absorbed, but it’s sort of, I need to be thoughtful about myself, because, you know, my employer is looking out for themselves. And not much. I mean, that’s kind of the reality where we are these days.

Leanne Elliott  57:48  
So I think it’s ever really sums up there. If we continue to resist this change, of remote work of harboured work of, you know, investing in development in skills based training of making sure that we have, the technology is within our business that that people want to work with. You know, we are making ourselves less competitive, we’re making all of our decisions, everything about our business about Bose, when it should also be about our employees. That’s how we engage great talent in this new era of work.

Al Elliott  58:17  
So here’s some final words of wisdom from Sophie,

Sophie  58:19  
one thing, the reason I came up with the idea or other reason that empathy ended up being the solution that I found, it wasn’t I kind of went, Oh, empathy, we all need to be you know, hugging and kissing, and, you know, being kind and nice to each other. That’s not what it’s about at all. When we’re going through so much change, when we it is there’s so much less predictability, there’s so much uncertainty. And we don’t know where we’re exactly going to be going. And we need to be supporting each other more, really leaning into that empathy and listening to each other and remembering some of those, not only just typical learnings that we actually did learn a lot from the pandemic and the conditions of pandemic, but some of that raw vulnerability that we shared was very helpful in connecting us in understanding that, you know, you’re a three dimensional person, the people on my team, they’re there, they’re all people and, you know, with the with the good and the bad that goes with with all of them and me too, and that can really help us get through this challenging period of change, which is going to take several years for sure. So I think it’s really like why does empathy matter and how can it be applied it can be applied in everything that you do just in terms of taking a little bit more time connecting you don’t have to be best friends with your team members, but having deeper relationships forming that you know, developing trust based relationships, you know, sharing you binge watch TV shows all this type of thing. As it can really help you have better interactions more productive and better outcomes, but also make everyday work that much more enjoyable and flows much more easily. So I think the reason? So the question will be about empathy and kind of like, you know, it’s, I look at it as being a company value, a corporate value, and a mindset, being more open minded and inclusive about people about you know, it across every dimension, and then being the skill, the practice. So it is fundamental, I believe, to getting through this period of change and getting as painlessly as possible. out the other side,

Leanne Elliott  1:00:41  
I love that Sophie said that the empathy is something that we can practice, just like investing in deeper trust based relationships is something that we can practice. It’s something that isn’t, should be an active practice in what we do as a business leader. If you are locked in when it comes to remote, or hybrid working, and that reluctance comes from a place of like, it’s harder to build these relationships is trust based relationship is collaborative relationship. But are you actually investing the time and building those relationships? I think that’s an important distinction.

Al Elliott  1:01:13  
Definitely, I think it’s all about thinking about what is it you want? And what is it your employees want. You might want people in the office because you want to feel like you’re important because you always go around you. Because you perhaps you are an extrovert where you you get energy from other people being around you. Perhaps you just want people to look in the window and go God, look at them, they’re doing well. But that’s about you. It’s not about them. And just as you wouldn’t go out there and sell or sell a product that you knew was brilliant, or you were like, Yeah, this solves my problem, but doesn’t solve the customer’s problem. That’s not going to work commercially. So why would you try and enforce your opinion on the people who work with you?

Leanne Elliott  1:01:49  
And that I think sums up empathy beautifully.

Al Elliott  1:01:52  
Lovely. Well spent another beefy episode, thank you so much to Sophie, we’ll put all of her details on the show notes. Definitely go and check her out at Sophie She’s on LinkedIn, obviously. And we’ll put a link in there. She’s also got a podcast called Transforming works and fantastic episodes on there. And if you’re interested in learning, then why don’t you go and look at her courses on LinkedIn. I think if I remember they’ve got over half a million people have enrolled, we’re almost half a million people have enrolled in these courses. There’s three or four of our members one great one about sales. So if you have got some salespeople go out there and have a look at the sales ones. We will link to that in the show notes.

Leanne Elliott  1:02:31  
We will some really great resources there. And if you are convinced empathy is the next leadership superpower. Empathy is the secret to leading millennials and Gen Xers and do check out surfeys brand new book empathy work the key to competitive advantage in the new era of work.

Al Elliott  1:02:47  
Well, that’s been a long episode has been a lot of work putting it together. Thank you, Liang, because you put together all the clips that was brilliant.

Leanne Elliott  1:02:54  
Can I do I did see your slide at LinkedIn first the other day? What was that when you were like oh, when I’m when I’m putting the show together and when I’m editing and when I’m putting out the clips. And I feel like I know you by notably on the didgeridoo, but I feel like I know because I spent so much time on the podcast.

Al Elliott  1:03:13  
You know, I actually deleted that. After, after you pulled me up on it. The next day I reread it I was like yeah, I’m a bit of a knob. So I deleted that one. Anyway, right talking.

Leanne Elliott  1:03:23  
I was just more thinking of but again, I’m clearly clearly duplicating work here. I’ve got it in hand.

Al Elliott  1:03:30  
Yeah, that’s backfired on me. All right. So we’ll see you next time. Next week for another episode. In the meantime, go to truth, lies and If you get all of the if I got that right,

Leanne Elliott  1:03:42  
perfect time because it’s the first time you ever have

Al Elliott  1:03:46  
built the website. I still get it wrong. So go to work lies truth, workplace And you’ll and you’ll see all the episodes in the show notes for this. And also we are looking to start off a new LinkedIn group around this. So look out for that. Make sure you follow Leanne on LinkedIn or me if you want, I’m a little less interested in Lilianne.

Leanne Elliott  1:04:07  
That is true, to be fair. Now it’s not really I was really cool. One thing that I meant to mention at the top so maybe you could actually cut this out and put it a bit further up because I worry at this point people won’t still be listening. Likely. We’re actually reading some research or oblong HQ at the moment, our consulting company on what it takes to be a great leader in remote and hybrid environments which feeds into the theme of this episode quite quite importantly. So if you have 10 minutes to complete a survey if you are employed, if you work remotely some or all of the time, then please go and check it out. We will leave the link to that in the show notes.

Al Elliott  1:04:47  
See you next time. Bye

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