From a flourishing career in personal development spanning over two decades to catalyzing growth in more than 3000 individuals, Bobbi stands as a beacon of self-improvement and human thriving. Through her popular podcast, The Unyielded Show: Thriving No Matter What, Bobbi explores the core elements that breed a winner's mindset and a rewarding life. In this insightful conversation, she reveals the profundity of her learnings gathered from a mishap during the initial phase of her speaking career.
She is the author of Travels of the Heart: Developing Your Inner Leader, and she was a contributing author to the Amazon and NY Times best-selling book, Masters of Success.
Delving deeper into the episode, we unfold a valuable lesson, a testament to the idea that our ways of confronting errors can greatly shape our path to success. On a day of staff training at a credit union, Bobbi was given the opportunity to conduct two 90-minute sessions. The two experiences stood in stark contrast. The first was well received with audience engagement validating Bobbi's skills as a facilitator. However, it was the second one, with less participation and ending early, that became a tipping point in redefining Bobbi's approach to public speaking.
Why did she label this as her mistake instead of blaming the audience or the circumstances? And how did she adjust when facing similar situations in the future?
Questions and Topics:
- Didn’t have a backup plan?
- Did you run into the same situation again?
- What are some of the common roadblocks that keep people from moving forward – how do we get unstuck?
- How to get past the fear of mistakes?
- PQ – “Positive Intelligence”
- What’s the worst that could happen? An exaggerated sense of that?
- Why do we need to “help shine a light on the value of mistakes?” And how can we do that?
- Why do you believe that there is always a way forward?
- Pfeffer / Sutton – “knowing-doing gap” book
Scroll down to find:
- Video version of the episode
- How to subscribe
- Full transcript
Find Bobbi on social media:
Click on an image for a larger view
Subscribe, Follow, Support, Rate, and Review!
Please follow, rate, and review via Apple Podcasts, Podchaser, or your favorite app — that helps others find this content, and you'll be sure to get future episodes as they are released weekly. You can also financially support the show through Spotify.
You can now sign up to get new episodes via email, to make sure you don't miss an episode.
This podcast is part of the Lean Communicators network.
Other Ways to Subscribe or Follow — Apps & Email
Written by Toasty.ai
Unyielding to Success: Embracing Challenges and Overcoming Mistakes with Bobbi Kahler
For more than two decades, Bobbi Kahler has been a dynamic force in personal development, helping individuals see new possibilities for themselves and their lives. Bobbi not only possesses an impressive track record as an entrepreneur, but she has also coached over 3000 people and presented to tens of thousands more. A testament to her passion, her undergraduate degree in Human Performance Improvement and her graduate degree focused on the science of human flourishing demonstrate her commitment to helping others grow and improve. In her much-loved podcast, The Unyielded Show: Thriving No Matter What, Bobbi explores key elements that contribute to a winning mindset and a fulfilling life.
From Mistakes to Masterclass: Reaction to Challenge Shapes Success
From her wealth of experience in personal development, one poignant lesson emerges: The way we react to our mistakes can shape our journey to success. This lesson prominently featured in one of Bobbi's personal stories from the start of her speaking career. Assigned to conduct two 90-minute sessions at a credit union staff training day, Bobbi experienced contrasting responses that transformed her approach to public speaking.
Her morning session was well received, abundant with audience engagement, and seemed to confirm her capability as a facilitator. However, the second session presented a different scenario. Perhaps influenced by the post-lunch lethargy, or simply due to the character of the different audience group, the session ended 15 minutes early due to significantly less participation, and it felt like a failure to her.
The legion of gratitude expressed by the event coordinator suggested otherwise, but Bobbi was still troubled by what she perceived as an inability to sustain her audience’s attention. This episode, she realized, was precipitated by her lack of proper preparation for such a scenario rather than strictly the participants' disengagement.
Learning from the Unexpected
Bobbi's response to this perceived failure was proactive reflection and the cultivation of an approach centered around continuous learning. After each presentation, she would ask herself, “What went well and why?”, “What could have been better?”, and “What surprised me and why?” Through these reflective practices, Bobbi used her experiences to identify opportunities for growth and build her ‘toolbox' to handle unexpected situations better.
This incident served as a valuable lesson, facilitating her understanding of the necessity of adaptability in her trade. Years later, during an all-day presentation, Bobbi was able to use these insights to deftly change her presentation in response to surprising feedback from the group. She deactivated her PowerPoint and improvised, sourcing material based on the room's energy. This session went on to be one of her most successful, reinforcing the importance of her earlier lessons.
Embracing the Journey, Navigating the Obstacles
Bobbi's experience underlined the importance of patience, adaptability, and embracing the journey. The path to mastery is inevitably filled with obstacles, yet these must be viewed as prime opportunities for learning and growth. The fear of making a mistake can often stifle our creativity and hinder exploration of new strategies or ideas. Instead, we should strive to foster a culture that encourages learning, acknowledging that mistakes are inevitable and inextricably linked to the learning process.
Learning should not be burdened by the fear of failure or the anxiety of achieving perfection. Instead, it should embody an atmosphere of curiosity, exploration, and growth. By taking small steps to approach a larger goal, adopting a testing mindset, and implementing the practice of active reflection, the journey becomes a source of enrichment rather than an intimidating pursuit of an elusive goal.
In a larger sense, these practices are equally applicable at an organizational level. A culture that penalizes mistakes discourages initiative and adaptability, creating a wide gap between knowing and doing. To bridge this gap, active measures should be taken to reward actions, even failed ones, and encourage a proactive approach to problem-solving.
Ultimately, the power to succeed lies within our capacity to learn from our experiences and navigate the challenges and obstacles that line our path. As Bobbi Kahler illustrates, by embracing the process and learning from the journey, we open doors to unimagined possibilities and successes.
Intentional Action: Striking a Balance Between Initiative and Assumptions
When it comes to organizational culture, the term “bias for action” might be coined frequently. However, just as Bobbi pointed out in her recent transcription, a bias for action should not translate into hasty decision-making based on assumptions. Instead, it should denote thoughtful and considered action. Failing to strike this balance disregards the critical importance of thoroughly vetting ideas, thus potentially leading to easily avoidable errors and flawed implementations.
The Learning Curve: Embracing Missteps and Adjusting Along the Way
Every journey to mastery, be it individual professional development, organizational growth, acquiring a new skill, or even cooking a sophisticated dish, entails inevitable bumps and missteps. Noted chef Gordon Ramsay didn't perfect his famed Beef Wellington dish in one go. Understanding the value of learning from these inevitable stumbles cannot be overstated. It is these very missteps that facilitate understanding and eventual improvement.
It's worth noting that we need to encourage supportive learning environments where mistakes aren't met with ridicule or harsh criticism. Instead, understanding and support should guide the process of refining and fine-tuning efforts. This approach applies not only to individuals, like Gordon Ramsay honing his culinary skills, but also within team dynamics in corporate settings, where failure should be seen as an investment in learning, not a detriment to morale or progress.
Navigating the Learning Landscape: A Gracious and Supportive Approach
Encouraging embracing a journey, replete with inevitable learning curves, requires a coaching approach that fosters the love of learning while tempering the fear of failure. It's crucial to differentiate and respect an “eager learner” who admits they aren't perfect and someone who demonstrates “unearned arrogance”, as Bobbi noted in the transcription. We all strive for success, but understanding that success comes with time, practice, and patience is essential in navigating the journey of learning.
Amplifying Success: The Inner Game, Outer Results
Bobbi Kahler's podcast, The Unyielded Show, delves into the power of the ‘inner game' – the mindset and behaviors that influence ‘outer game' results, happiness, well-being, and success. Each episode offers a unique perspective to enable individuals to cultivate an unwavering drive toward self-improvement and success. Bobbi's podcast becomes an accessible learning hub that weaves together human performance strategies, coaching tips, and her guests' unique stories and lessons learned, empowering listeners to take action and move forward.
Harnessing the Power of Self-Coaching and Positive Intelligence
Another essential aspect that Bobbi highlights is using self-coaching resources to leverage personal growth and success. Leveraging her vast experience as a coach, she endeavors to give back through her podcast and her e-mail education, offering free resources for anyone to explore and use.
One of these resources is Positive Intelligence (or PQ), which sheds light on how much time the mind spends working for or against you. Two free assessments are available on her website – the first identifies potential ‘saboteurs' while the second reveals your PQ score. Such practical tools offer an eye-opening insight into the mind's potential pitfalls, making the journey towards success more manageable and less fraught with self-deception.
Automated Transcript (Likely Contains Mistakes)
Mark Graban: Well, hi everybody. Welcome back to my favorite mistake. I'm Mark Graban. Our guest today is Bobbi Kahler. She's an entrepreneur.
Mark Graban: She has been for more than 20 years. Bobbi has coached upwards of 3000 people. She's delivered presentations for tens of thousands of people. Bobbi helps people see new possibilities for themselves and for their lives. Her undergraduate degree was in Human Performance Improvement and her graduate degree was based on the science of human floor.
Mark Graban: So we have a lot to talk about beyond her favorite mistake story. Today. Bobbi has a podcast. It's called The UnYielded Show. Thriving no matter what.
Mark Graban: She's the author of Travels of the Heart: Developing Your Inner Leader. And she was a contributing author to the best-selling book Masters of Success. So Bobbi, thank you for joining us here. How are you?
Bobbi Kahler: I'm doing great, Mark. Thank you for having me as a guest.
Mark Graban: So there's a lot to explore, but as we always do here, we talk about the mistake thing before we get into other topics about leadership and what people can do to sort of help improve their lives and their work. I'm going to ask you the question here. I'll quit stumbling my way into it. Bobbi, with the different things you've done in your work, what would you say is your favorite mistake?
Bobbi Kahler: I love that question because as we were talking beforehand, there's so many that come to mind.
Mark Graban: Sure.
Bobbi Kahler: But the one that I think is one of my favorites is something that when I was just getting started this was back in the early 2000s. I was getting started in my speaking career and I'd been hired to do this. It was an all-staff training day for a credit union and I was super excited. And I was going to do one session in the morning and one right after lunch. They were both 90 minutes long.
Bobbi Kahler: And the one before lunch, it was awesome. Everything went great. It was just wonderful. And then the one after lunch, it was like everyone was sleeping. No.
Bobbi Kahler: Whereas in the morning I got tons of participation. And after lunch, well, number one, it was near Thanksgiving so they served like a turkey and gravy and mashed potato sleeping. But also, I found out later the group after lunch was just a quieter group.
Mark Graban: I'm sorry to interrupt, but it was different people. Different people, different groups. Okay.
Bobbi Kahler: Different groups. Same company, but different groups.
Mark Graban: Okay.
Bobbi Kahler: And I was like devastated because it was supposed to be 90 minutes long and I think maybe we made it to 75 minutes because there just wasn't as much participation. And I went to the event coordinator, her name was Nancy, and I'm like, oh my goodness, I'm so sorry, blah, blah, blah. And she's like, I don't know what you're apologizing for. And she said the people from the second group, they'd already given her great feedback. It was the way I was perceiving it but I really did think that's a failure because I wasn't prepared.
Bobbi Kahler: I was so early in my career, Mark, I didn't know what to do when an audience wasn't engaging the way I thought they would. And so what grew out of that was every time I did a presentation and I still continue this practice, I started thinking about, okay, so what went well and why? And specifically, what did I contribute? What did I do to contribute to the positive result? Because it's one thing if I'm just getting lucky, right, that's hard to duplicate.
Bobbi Kahler: And then I started asking, okay, what didn't go as well as I wanted? Or what surprised me in this presentation and why and what could I do differently in the future? Because I made a promise to myself after that event, I'm like, I will never be in that situation again where this happens. And I've got nothing else in my toolbox. And so I started building out my toolbox, and then over time, I always had backup activities.
Bobbi Kahler: I always knew what to do. But that was you know, I was young. I was just getting started. So that would be that's one of my favorites.
Mark Graban: I appreciate from your telling of the story, the reflection, and I mean, it doesn't sound like you were being hard on yourself. Even though the client was happy. It sounds like it was more of just a healthy I want to improve. Maybe they won't be as understanding the next time. Maybe they will fault me.
Bobbi Kahler: Right, that's right. Plus, you know what? I still felt like even though the client wasn't upset, I still felt like I should have at least had something in my mind, something in my head, some kind of backup plan, because I didn't this client was very understanding, but I don't know. Not every client would be. And I don't know, I might have been I might have been a little hard on myself back then.
Bobbi Kahler: But on the other hand, I also thought, this is a great learning opportunity. It's a great learning opportunity.
Mark Graban: Yeah. And that's part of what makes something a favorite mistake, the learning. And clearly this is stuck with you. Hopefully it's not bothering you.
Bobbi Kahler: Oh, no. But what's so funny about it? When you look back at a quote unquote mistake, especially when you learned from it, it's interesting to me how quickly you'll have another experience where you're like, man, I'm glad I had that previous experience because it taught you something. You know what I mean? And I had something it was only like, I don't know, maybe five years after that.
Bobbi Kahler: And I was doing an all day presentation for it was a client that I had for many years. And I'd met with the stakeholders ahead of time, and we had the whole thing planned out. And I was, like, 15 minutes into this presentation, and I asked a question to the group, and there was, like, this silence. And I'm like, oh, man. I just asked a question that none of us are going to expect this answer.
Bobbi Kahler: You can kind of feel that we were not expecting this answer. And so finally someone spoke up. And I'm like, wow. And I could see, like, the CEO and the manager, they were all at the back of the room, and they looked surprised too. And it completely changed the direction of what was going to be helpful for that group.
Bobbi Kahler: And I'm like, okay, so it seems like we need to shift a little bit. And everyone's like, yeah. And the CEOs at the back of the room agreeing like, let's shift. So at that point, I'm like, all right, I closed up the computer, shut down my PowerPoint, went the whole rest of the day just feeding off of what was in the room. Best presentation, one of the best presentations ever.
Bobbi Kahler: And I'm like, I'm so glad that I had that experience earlier because it prepared me for that.
Mark Graban: Yeah. And being able to learn from a mistake isn't a given, right? We all make mistakes. But I love those questions that you talk through, similar questions that I've been taught and I've tried to share. When it comes to thinking about a mistake or even problem solving, these weren't your exact words back, but I think this is the gist of it, of like, what did I expect to happen?
Mark Graban: What actually happened? What was the cause of that difference? What did I learn? What am I going to do differently next time? I know you were more of like, what went well?
Mark Graban: What didn't? What was the surprise? But I think the spirit of those questions is the same. I think it's good to have a framework, whatever the framework is, whatever the.
Bobbi Kahler: Framework, just a way for you to reflect and not just get caught in the I'm just going to beat myself up from here till eternity because there's no real value in that, or I'm just going to protect myself from it. I'm just going to say, well, it's their fault they picked the wrong lunch.
Mark Graban: They should have given me a more engaging group.
Bobbi Kahler: Yeah, exactly. No, I mean, those experiences are co created, so we're just looking at what did I do and what could I do differently in the future? And that's powerful.
Mark Graban: Yeah. Now, did you run into that exact situation? What about next time, whether there was Turkey involved or not? I imagine we've all been with some groups that are, like you said, more talkative than others, all other things being equal, and it's not always your fault. It could be the dynamics of, like, are they quiet or are they just kind of afraid to speak up because of something that has nothing to do with you?
Bobbi Kahler: That's right.
Mark Graban: Did you run into that again in a very direct way, or did it just reinforce the need for backup plans?
Bobbi Kahler: I did run into it again. And I think because a lot of the work I did, a lot of it was with either sales teams or sales managers, and they would have like two day workshops followed with coaching. So you're always going to have the afternoon lull. It doesn't matter. Number one, what I learned there is, you know what, it's really good to plan it out so that shortly after lunch you have them up moving around the room in group discussions.
Bobbi Kahler: Right. That's easy. That's an easy thing to do. But also to your point about sometimes groups are quieter when that happens and it's like, okay, well, if I have a quieter group, a lot of times you know what they need? They need time to talk amongst themselves or time to reflect before they're ready to share with the group.
Bobbi Kahler: So it just became that recognizing what's going on with the learner what's going on with the participant and not just taking it personally, like, oh my God, they don't like me. No, they just have different learning styles. Guess what, Bobbi? It's not all about it's just it's going to happen. Those things are just going to know.
Bobbi Kahler: So you have to adapt yeah.
Mark Graban: After lunch activities of anything that gets people up and standing and moving around. That's a great time of day if you've got some sort of simulation or exercise or something. And I can even think of a time recently where we kind of had a schedule agenda planned out, but sometimes you read the room, you're like, you know what, let's do the exercise now. Yeah, I think we need that now.
Bobbi Kahler: Right. Pull in another have have one in your back pocket that's like, hey, if I need to, we can do that here. But also, Mark, it goes to what you're talking about greeting the that's obviously everyone knows you're supposed to do that when you're just getting out. I think that can be harder because you're more in your head versus, hey, I've seen this before. I'm not surprised by it.
Bobbi Kahler: It's okay, we can get through this in a powerful way.
Mark Graban: Yeah. We can get through it and we can learn and be better prepared. I love the way how you stated that you're almost happy that that happened because it prepared you for future success completely.
Bobbi Kahler: Yeah, I think that's the way it is often with your mistakes or can be.
Mark Graban: And I think part of that is how we react individually and I try to work on that myself. And then when there's a team dynamic, there's how your colleagues or how your manager is reacting to mistakes, that throws another thing. Yeah, well, maybe we can talk about both of those pieces, like when it comes to individuals or to teams. So one thing that you talk about a lot I was looking to explore here is when people feel stuck.
Bobbi Kahler: Yeah.
Mark Graban: In some ways, I don't know if that's a mistake of like we're paralyzed or we're just stuck. We don't know how to break through this. What are some of the ways that you help individuals or teams with that kind of situation?
Bobbi Kahler: Yeah, and here's part of it. We get stuck for a lot of different reasons. Sometimes we're stuck because we just continue to see things in the same way. Right. We continue the same self talk and we kind of expect it to go one way.
Bobbi Kahler: And what we know from neuroscience is if we think whatever we look for, we're going to see. Right. So that's one way of being stuck. Another way, and this is one of the most common ways I've seen people get stuck is they want to try something new, let's say. But they think, but I have to have the whole plan.
Bobbi Kahler: I have to know all the answers before I get started. And that's a trap. You can't know all the answers before I mean, it's impossible to know all.
Mark Graban: Except maybe in very simple situation.
Bobbi Kahler: Very simple. So it's always so much more powerful to get started and trust that you can learn what you need to learn along the way. And I've coached more than 3000 people over the course of my career. And I can promise you, you can learn what you need to learn along the way. We're incredibly resourceful that way as learners.
Bobbi Kahler: And then I think that the way it also ties into getting stuck to your podcast. My favorite mistake is we're paralyzed at the thought of making a mistake or failing. We can be paralyzed by that. As though our self worth is tied up in oh my God, what happens if I make a mistake? And I think you're going to make a mistake.
Bobbi Kahler: And that's like I love cross country skiing. Love it. We have a place in Colorado just so we can go cross country skiing as much as we want. And my husband, he always reminds me because he's a better skier than I am. When I was first getting started, I didn't want to fall.
Bobbi Kahler: Like, I don't want to fall, I don't want to fall. So what did I do? I stayed on the safest trails where there was virtually no chance of falling unless I just lost my balance. But that meant I didn't go up any hills, I didn't go down any hills. There was no variance in the terrain.
Bobbi Kahler: And at one point he's like, you know what? If you're not falling once in a while, you're not pushing yourself hard enough. One time he told me that after I'd gone down this big hill and I landed in a snowbank, and it's like, wait till I get on the snowbank before you remind me of that. I think that's part of it. We have to become comfortable with the fact that we can make a mistake and we're still okay as a person.
Bobbi Kahler: You know what mean?
Mark Graban: Yeah, yeah. You're making me think of times I fell. So I grew up in Michigan, and we would go up into northern Michigan and go cross country skiing. My dad still does that. He's quite avid cross country skier, even up in Canada.
Mark Graban: But when I think I'm thinking back now of times I fell, either coming down a hill or just being in a situation where, okay, you fall. None of us really consciously remember learning how to walk, probably. Right. But learning to ski or learning to ride a bike or learning to do something new as an adult kind of brings in all sorts of different feelings of shame or I shouldn't fall. It's just that babies, thankfully, they're not saddled with that.
Mark Graban: I mean, I'm not a child psychologist, but it seems like no, babies just go and they do it and they fall and they either laugh or they cry and they try again.
Bobbi Kahler: They get back up. Yeah, that's a great example. I'm really glad because that triggered a memory. This was back, oh, gosh, I don't know, 14 years ago or something like that. It was a while ago.
Bobbi Kahler: I was going to say a couple of years ago. I'm like, no, it's more than a decade ago. I got to go to a coaching conference at Harvard, put on and John Whitmore was there. And John Whitmore wrote coaching for Performance. He's kind of a legend in coaching circles.
Bobbi Kahler: And he was on the main stage, and he said, why is it when a child is learning to say and they fall, we don't say, oh, my God, they made a mistake. They failed.
Mark Graban: No, we don't laugh at the baby.
Bobbi Kahler: No, we say, oh, they're learning how to walk. And he said, Why don't we give ourselves and the people around us that same grace when we're adults?
Mark Graban: Right.
Bobbi Kahler: But we don't. I mean, if you're learning something new, you're going to make a mistake, right? And it's not even a mistake. It's just everything's not going to go perfectly.
Mark Graban: So what have you found helps people really try to embrace that if they are paralyzed or held back by that fear of making mistakes, it's one thing to kind of mentally process and I hear you, okay, right. I shouldn't be afraid of mistakes. But if that's easier said than done it is. How can we help people try to work through some of that?
Bobbi Kahler: Yeah. Here's what I suggest. Now, some people naturally embrace that they have no problem with it. But if you're not one of those people, that's okay, first of all, don't be upset with yourself. Right.
Bobbi Kahler: It's natural. It's a very natural thing. So what I tell people is, or what I have over the years, in some situations, is to pick something small, right, that you can try. And if you fail in quotes, air quotes, if you fail, it's not going to have big repercussions. But then to also journal about it.
Bobbi Kahler: Right. So the worst just happened right, the worst thing just happened. You actually failed at something, no matter how small it was. Now what? How do you feel?
Bobbi Kahler: I had a guest on my show. He grew up with really severe speech problems. And his biggest fear in life when he was a kid, because he has a very difficult last name to say, is that he would stutter over his own name. He was at camp and he stuttered over his last name and couldn't say it. And he went back to the little bunk house thing and he was like, wait a minute, the very thing I was so afraid of just happened and I'm still here.
Bobbi Kahler: And he said it was the best thing possible. So sometimes when we can experience it and then journal about it, reflect on it, like, wait a minute, I'm still okay, what did I learn from it? And I think the other thing is to add in the what did I learn from it or what could I learn from it? But it's hard to get past the shame. And that's where there's a science called positive intelligence, PQ for short.
Bobbi Kahler: And beforehand we're talking about those assessments, the self sabotage assessments that I have on the website. This is where that could come in handy because each of us have what neuroscientists have learned is all of us have a judge inside of our head, right? The inner critic, judges ourselves, judges, others, judges circumstances. We also have they've identified nine different inner saboteurs and depending on which one you have, it can make it harder for you. Like one is the stickler, the perfectionist.
Bobbi Kahler: For a stickler, a mistake is like driving nails through their hand. I mean, it's so hard. So part of it is understanding what kind of self talk you have going on. Recognizing that in the moment and that takes a little bit of practice. And that's called the Saboteur interceptor muscle.
Bobbi Kahler: But intercepting that thought, stopping it and then replacing whatever that talk is with the hey, I'm okay, I'm still okay. So it's recognizing what's going on in our head. Does that make sense?
Mark Graban: It does. And it seems like it would help not just to have some awareness there, but some coaching or somebody or a colleague or I don't know if you ever have people coaching each other of asking like, hey, if I'm not being mindful of, let's say, judgmental language. One thing I think is interesting is when people judge themselves and people sometimes use this language on the podcast and I wish they wouldn't of like, oh, that was a dumb mistake. Oh no. And I catch myself, I caught myself a couple of weeks ago and I'm like, that was really dumb mistake.
Mark Graban: Now at least I had the awareness and I kind of caught myself and tried to remind myself these ideas we talk about here on the podcast of it's okay, we all make mistakes. We can better choose in a way, our reaction to the mistake. But I could see, like, maybe some sort of buddy system where if I wasn't being mindful Bobbi, let's say you might call and say, hey, oh, Mark, wait a minute. I don't think you realize, but you just said this thing that you maybe didn't want to be saying.
Bobbi Kahler: I'm not saying, but I get what you're saying. And it's a great so with the positive intelligence, there is a book that people can read. And number one, once you start becoming aware of it, awareness is key. Got to become aware of it. As for the buddy system, you can have an agreement with someone like, hey, let's say that you work in an office and you're close to one of your coworkers and that this would feel comfortable.
Bobbi Kahler: But you could say, hey, when you hear me beating myself up, or when you hear me using judging language towards myself, would you just gently raise it? And you can gently raise it like, my husband and I went through the PQ program together, and so you don't really want to come across and say, hey, Rick, that's my know, I just heard you say blah blah, blah, blah, blah, but you can hmm. I just heard you say X and just repeat back, it's called a neutral observation, like, hey, Mark, I just heard you classify that as a dumb mistake, and that's it just kind of raise the awareness, no judgment. And then you can say, oh, yeah, I did.
Mark Graban: Yeah, don't judge the judgment or shame the shaming.
Bobbi Kahler: Yeah, it's just like, oh, I heard you say X, and you can leave it at that. It's just a way to raise it because other people can sometimes hear it quicker than we do. But you can train yourself at the same time.
Mark Graban: Yeah. And I think you raise a lot of good points. And this applies, I think, to say, individual situations or entrepreneurship of the idea of making a change small. If the idea of change is scary, make it small. Start somewhere.
Mark Graban: Like, I've heard people use the phrase baby steps. There we go, back to kids again.
Bobbi Kahler: That's right.
Mark Graban: There's something to it of kind of minimizing some of the risk or minimizing. If people say, what's the worst that can happen, making that worst kind of small, small.
Bobbi Kahler: And the other thing that's related to that and this was one of my favorite things that I've used in coaching, and people can use this for themselves. Don't ask yourself to change. Ask yourself to test it, because testing it, you're experimenting. Right. So when you test something, when you experiment, you expect that you might have some missteps.
Mark Graban: Yeah.
Bobbi Kahler: That makes it so much less scary.
Mark Graban: Well, back to your point from earlier. If we don't have to have it all figured out, by definition, an experiment means we don't have it all figured out and give permission for that.
Bobbi Kahler: That's right. And it's so funny because over the years, anytime I've said that to someone I'm coaching like, hey, I'm not asking you to change. I'm just wondering, is it something that you're willing to test? I've never had anyone say no. No one's ever said no.
Bobbi Kahler: I've had like two people who said I'll try it just to prove you wrong, I don't care. And then they tried it and they're like, okay, well I tried it. And you know what? It was actually okay, but that's okay. Make it fun too.
Bobbi Kahler: We make things so serious all the time. The journey should be fun. Learning should be fun. That's when we learn the most is when it's fun.
Mark Graban: Yeah, you brought up something. You made me think of this, go and test it and somebody saying, okay, yeah, I'm going to try it and improve that you're wrong. That kind of made me think of something you said earlier, of you get what you or you see what you are looking for.
Bobbi Kahler: Yeah.
Mark Graban: Kind of trying to paraphrase it back that if you're expecting it to fail, people will, I think, sometimes give up too quickly. Well, see, I tried it, it didn't work, so I give up. But from that initial stumble or struggle, one other thing I wanted to ask you about was finding a way forward.
Bobbi Kahler: Yeah.
Mark Graban: How do you help people realize that if we've tried something, if we're learning, if we're testing and if we've stumbled to look for the way forward, is there always a way forward? Instead of giving up and saying, well look, it didn't work.
Bobbi Kahler: Yeah. So first of all, I believe that there is always a way forward. Now we might not always like all the options, but that doesn't mean they're not viable options. So the first thing is we have to believe that there is a way forward. Because here's the thing.
Bobbi Kahler: If we believe there's a way forward, our brain will look for that way. If we believe that there is no way forward, we've ended the conversation. There's no point for our brain to scan and try to find a way forward. Back in 2003, I got really sick, almost died. A doctor gave me a 3% chance of a full recovery.
Bobbi Kahler: Yeah. Wow. And I'm happy to report that he was wrong because I now cycle mountain passes. But one of the first things that occurred to me when he said that was so that means that 3% of the people have the answer or their doctors do. So I need to find them.
Bobbi Kahler: And I share that because that's a really important piece. Number one, I believe there is a way forward. And number two, sometimes we mistake the fact we think, well, I don't know the way forward. That means there is no way.
Mark Graban: Right.
Bobbi Kahler: No. Right. We just have to look for it. That's our job is to look for it.
Mark Graban: Right.
Bobbi Kahler: And try different things.
Mark Graban: And that's the thing. Yeah. Trying that willingness to go forward and try things as opposed to knowing the answer. And a lot of organizations have this bad habit of, I think, really conditioning people, of, like, you need to know, or at least you pretend to know. And then I think that gets people in trouble when they end up having to double down on something that turned out to be a mistake instead of being able to acknowledge it as such.
Bobbi Kahler: Isn't it funny how hard it is in organizations? It all depends on culture, and it depends on the leadership. Some leaders are amazing at making mistakes okay. Right. Or just trying new things.
Bobbi Kahler: But others, it's almost like, you're know, there's a great book by two Stanford professors, feffer and Sutton, the Knowing Doing Gap. And they studied, why is there such a gap between what we know we should do and what we actually do? And one of the things they found in organizations that people get punished for failed action. Like, they try something, it doesn't work. They get punished or ridiculed or whatever it might be, and what they say is we should be rewarding it.
Bobbi Kahler: When someone has the initiative to take action and they said, don't punish failed action. Punish inaction. But we don't. Too often we don't. I shouldn't say we never do.
Mark Graban: Yeah. Well, think of how many organizations will say things like, having a bias for action is one of our traits or beliefs or principles, one of our values. But there's thoughtful action. Right. If we have a bias, that bias or action might include bias for making assumptions and rushing into things, which maybe that's not the right kind of action.
Mark Graban: I see your point about not being just stuck with the comfortable status quo. Right. How do we find a balance there?
Bobbi Kahler: Yeah, because it's hard, but people who are actually trying to do mean I cannot think of a single thing, Mark, whether it's a sport that I've played when I tried to learn musical instruments. I love to cook. Learning, cooking, whatever it might be, you're going to have missteps.
Mark Graban: Yeah.
Bobbi Kahler: Gordon Ramsay probably originally did not come know, he probably had to work to get that. What's his famous one? The beef Wellington. Right. Beef Wellington is a technical dish.
Bobbi Kahler: I'm guessing he had a few that maybe weren't perfect along the way. You know what mean? Like, it's learning. It's not failing or making mistakes. It's simply learning.
Mark Graban: Yeah, but are we laughing? I don't know. Is Gordon Ramsey laughing or being mean to people who are new at something and trying in some of the shows?
Bobbi Kahler: Yeah, some of them. And yet sometimes he's so because I actually started watching him because at first I like, I don't like that. I don't like all the yelling. And I started watching it. And especially there are times when he's amazingly gracious and supportive.
Mark Graban: It's been a long time, but I've watched. I know he has a number of. Shows. But Kitchen Nightmares. Oh, God.
Bobbi Kahler: I know.
Mark Graban: Is one that we watched for a while. And if I remember right, I think what really upsets him is sort of like an unearned arrogance of somebody where there's a gap between they think their restaurant or their service or their food is really good or even really safe. And it is not. That's when it seems like he gets the most upset with people. If somebody was just an eager learner who admitted they weren't perfect, that's different.
Mark Graban: That's different.
Bobbi Kahler: Yeah. I think the arrogance does bother him quite a bit. I don't know. I don't even know the yeah, it's interesting.
Mark Graban: Yeah. So, again, we've been joined today by Bobbi Kahler. Before we wrap up, Bobbi, tell us a little bit about your podcast, The UnYielded Show.
Bobbi Kahler: Yeah, thank you so much for asking. So it's a podcast I started back in 2020. And it's about working on our inner game. Who we are and our mindset, our behaviors as a way to affect our outer game results, happiness, well being, and success. And so I've got two episodes a week.
Bobbi Kahler: One, they come out on Wednesdays. Those are interview formats where I interview interesting people who have both a story to tell and also what they learned from it with that. And then on Mondays I call it rise and thrives. They're ten minute little monologues where I share something that gives people insight and actionable things to work on. Yeah.
Bobbi Kahler: Part of the reason I started it, Mark, is, as I said this before, in my career, I've coached more than 3000 people. I've learned a lot about coaching, I've learned a lot about human performance, and a lot of this stuff we can do on our own. And so what I want to do with the podcast is really give back. I don't really coach very much anymore, only for very select clients. But this is my way of sharing what I've learned so that other people can take it and they can use it and they can coach themselves.
Bobbi Kahler: So that's my goal with the podcast.
Mark Graban: Yeah, that's great. I hope people will check it out. They can, I'm sure, find it wherever they are. Listening to my mistake. And Bobbi does have a website.
Mark Graban: I'll make sure there's a link in the show notes. Bobbikaler.com, people can sign up for a newsletter. You have some email education that goes out. Tell people about that real quick.
Bobbi Kahler: Yeah. So when someone signs up for the newsletter, which of course is free, it's a free five day email course, and it's kind of a jump start on finding your forward and preparing yourself for that inner game. So I tackle things like mindset, behaviors, and those types of things.
Mark Graban: Okay, well, I hope people will check that out. I'm going to go dig a little more into positive intelligence. PQ, that's a new term for me. And to go look at your assessment about looking for some of these inner saboteurs.
Bobbi Kahler: Do I have inner saboteurs? And on the website, on the resource page, there's two assessments. They're one to identify which Saboteurs you might have, and then another one will tell you your PQ score, which essentially tells you how much of the time is your mind working for you versus against you. And both of those, it's very eye opening. It was very helpful.
Mark Graban: I'm going to go sign up for that.
Bobbi Kahler: Thank you.
Mark Graban: Thank you for sharing all those resources. And thank you for being a guest here and telling your story, not just the mistake, but I think to share your thought process about reflection and improvement. Really helpful to hear how you talk through that. I know that's going to help others. So thank you for everything you shared and talked about here today.
Bobbi Kahler: Absolutely. Thank you.