Do you struggle setting up efficient systems so you can get things done? Do you have a hard time establishing and building a culture in your office or within yourself? Are you uncertain on how you best function in the workforce? Then you probably want to listen to today’s interview with Kyle Dobbs, who owns Compound Performance in Saint Louis, Missouri and this is his thing.
Aside from being an awesome coach, he focuses with personal trainers, coaches, physical therapists, as well as gyms on building exactly what I just said: establishing the culture, making sure that leaders are in place in managing people effectively, making systems efficient so we can maximize revenue streams and results. And he talks a lot about personality archetyping as well in this very long but very awesome interview. I hope that you like it, I hope you get as much out of it as I did. And without further ado, let’s give Kyle Dobbs a shot.
For more information on Kyle, he can be found
Here are the links mentioned in the show:
Enjoy the video and audio below, as well as the modified transcript.
Zac: You have an incredibly unique skill set that you are offering to folks like us in the industry in regards to setting up system building, organization, creating a healthy culture within companies and businesses, and I think that that’s something that is vastly underappreciated within our field. You can have a wonderful idea, but if your execution is lackluster, whether its business in-person or online, you’re likely going to fail. And I think a lot of people fail because they just don’t have those systems in place. So that’s why I wanted to bring you into this show. Tell me though, how the heck did you get into this? How does Kyle Dobbs, a yoked bro with a better beard and better hair than I, get into building systems, building culture, with people? What’s your story?
Kyle Dobbs: I started as a trainer, just like a lot of other people out there. And as I grew with that, I got really passionate into development. Mostly from the training and physiological side of things. That development and education did eventually lead me into leadership and management and with that I started building a lot of the organizational skills and general communication skills that I try to use now.
As I got into upper management, and managing managers and directing departments and things of that nature, I got into a position in my last job where I was consulting with not only trainers and fitness facilities, but high-level executive teams within the finance community, which within large real estate companies and the New York market. I was working with a behavioral psychologist at the time on interoffice relationships and communication to decrease, essentially, autonomic stress. So locating environmental coherence within both the office space and their home lives and trying to also integrate an intelligence training into that. We took a ninety day blood work with people, looking at stress markers, looking at endogenous sex hormones, micronutrient deficiencies, whatever, all that good stuff. And then we were also measuring HRV on a daily basis, so looking at autonomic hyperactivity and HPA access hyperactivity, within the client base themselves. Those were the diagnostics we were testing from a physiological standpoint.
At the same time, we were running personality archetypes on them and seeing what their actual environmental and communication preferences were. And with that, developing the tools and awareness within the individuals themselves first; understanding how they prefer to be communicated with and how they perceive other archetypes.
A lot of this stuff is very subconsciously driven. It’s very subcortical. You’re not necessarily aware of what those preferences are. We find that people, instead of working within environments that they’re more acclimated to. Instead, they acclimate and adapt to work environments and work demands that drive money. And finance, and all those things that we want from a social construct stand point. And that’s fine, humans are the great improvisers. We adapt better than anything else, ever.
Even though we have the ability to adapt and to do so very well, we were finding that those adaptations still drove high levels of autonomic stress and sympathetic tone. So, people are running around all day — and night, if they’re not regulating at home — with higher blood pressure, higher heart rate, higher core body temperature. And then looking at higher cortisol levels, higher adrenaline levels, lower testosterone levels, especially in men, and also decreased cognitive function. There were overly sympathetic. From a work productivity standpoint, that was also suffering. So that’s how we got the buy-in from the corporate institutions themselves.
First, bringing out the self-awareness and then working with them in groups as teams on building out communication strategies with one another, peer to peer, and then with management to employee. Finding out how to actually speak to one another in a way that was both efficient and effective given their archetype and also setting an environment that is conducive to those archetypes working well together with one another. And then also leveraging people’s unique skill sets based on those archetypes for the success of the whole, giving them more purpose within the team but doing so in a way that really leveraged their individual strengths rather than maybe what their job demands might have been. So doing a little bit of reorganization from that standpoint as well. And for me that was incredibly intriguing and satisfying.
When I left that company and did my journey back to the midwest, I essentially started a consulting company. I work now with the strength and conditioning facilities, personal training facilities, and then individuals within the mentorship program where I use a lot of the same tools to help them with their teams and their client basis on a smaller scale which is great for me because it blends fitness with the actual leadership and community building of what I was doing before.
Zac: I like that you were very scientific about making the changes with your previous job. With your clients now, are you still tracking some of those variables? Are you having them measure HRV?
Kyle: If they want to, I make that an optional thing. What I work with the most, with the people I work with now, is just looking at work performance. Especially being in fitness, a lot of them are tracking autonomics somehow anyway. It’s something that more so where they’re actually doing the tracking because they’re excited about it. I offer the blood work as a third party option, I work with Inside Tracker based out of Austin, so I offer that as a third party at cost for them. Just to look at beginning, middle, and end numbers and I look for improvements over time there. But it is a pretty hefty expense and not everybody takes advantage of it. The majority of them do measure their own HRV or at the very least measure morning heart rate and look for changes off of baseline. They know that if they’re plus ten to fifteen beats per minute, for a week, that they’re probably going under some systemic stress. So we look for just trends going lower with that. Same thing with HRV, we don’t look at it that acutely, it’s always looking at trends and looking at maybe environmental changes we can make prior to changes in the way they’re training because all these individuals are also knowingly and willingly, , proactively accruing stress on a daily basis as well. So you have to differentiate at that point the physical and mechanical stress of training to the psychological and cognitive stress of incoherence from a lifestyle standpoint. There’s a lot of reading data and then asking a lot of questions, looking at what their lifestyle is going through at that point rather than looking at maybe increase training demands or things of that nature acute-ly.
Zac: As long you track some type of key performance indicator (KPI), in this case, work performance, everything else is gravy.
Kyle: That’s what it all boils down to. , HRV and the physiological metrics with people that are in fitness are so multifactorial. That, one, I don’t want to get a false positive, but I also don’t want to get a false negative based on some of those other things. At the end of the day, they’re coming to me for work performance, not for improved HRV. So that’s what I’m going to be looking at and we do that through a series of objective key results (OKRs) and some other principles that we’ll talk about in a little bit but that’s really what I’m looking at.
Why personality testing?
Zac: In terms of you getting into change or establishing these archetypes within the people you worked with in the past and having that be the intervention that you did at work, what led you to thinking that that was the big change that needed to be made in order to positively impact both work performance and these variables? For example, did you notice a difference in terms of the HRV measures when they were at the office or at work days versus just days they had off if it was the weekends or vacation? And if so, how did that lead you to going with communication as your primary intervention?
Kyle: It was a little bit of both. we definitely saw that over weekends, systemic stress really wasn’t going down. A lot of it was because these people also had terrible lifestyle habits and they also, especially being in New York, they didn’t leave work at work. Their weekends were still stress filled, they’re still answering emails, they’re still thinking about work all the time. A lot of them actually dreaded weekends because of the work they might lose once we started actually talking about that process. But we did notice when people weren’t on vacations we’d see a little change early on but the longer the vacation went on, the more it would go back to normal because they’d start getting stressed about missing work. Their lives were being determined and dictated by their work rather than the other way around.
From a communication standpoint, a lot of that information came from the behavioral psychologist I was working with. She’d been doing a little bit of work on this prior to working with me, she was already consulting with a few other companies and really taught me a lot about that process. As I was learning it, it was also really becoming applicable to the training that I was seeing from managing trainers and managing managers and looking at what makes a trainer successful from a professional basis. A lot of it, that I notice throughout the years, had more to do with how they interacted with their clients, how they engaged with them, and how they set that environment, rather than the amount of technical expertise they actually possessed. This is something that’s always frustrating to trainers that always value education, and we have a bias towards education because that’s our interest. This is something that’s always frustrated people and, to be truthful, frustrated me in the past as a trainer. , I’m a very introverted individual, and communication has been something that I always had to really work at as far as being able to speak to different people. Especially to different people of different personality types and interest than that of myself.
A lot of trainers are so highly focused on the aspect of training and not the aspect of the other 165 hours a week that their clients go through that they speak to them as if they might be trainers themselves. Trainers that maybe were missing or lacking of education that maybe were extrovert in personality, I noticed were talking to these clients about their lives. , about their communities, about their relationships, things that we might think are trivial from a training perspective, but are actually really important in setting the tone for lifestyle coherence and recovery and just purposefulness. We’re having all this success in setting the environment for training. They’re making it an anticipatory event rather than an obligation for the clients. It was something they were looking for and coming to. And it was all based on the relationship they were forming.
As I was learning more about the archetypes, more about environmental coherence, it really started a lightbulb that went off in my head that these principles are the same thing. Whether you’re in an office building or whether you’re an executive or whether you’re a trainer is really irrelevant when you start talking about relationships. It’s still people to people. Social norms play a role. At the end of the day, people want to be communicated with in a language and on terms that they understand. If you can get people to do that, and make them aware of that process and educate them on strategies to do so, they’re going to be more successful in any endeavor they’re in. The process for myself has made me a better husband and father, has made me a better friend, which for me is way more tactful than being a better trainer or manager in a sense. But it all crosses over, its principle-based so it applies to everything.
Zac: Yeah, and I think one thing that most everyone is lacking in some degree is connection and I think especially to with technology and how we’re always glued to phones. No one’s ever taught the soft skills of how to have a conversation or how to build connection or rapport or anything. I mean, you’ve trained countless people, Kyle, and it eventually comes to the point where you’re doing the same shit but the reason why they’re with you is because they think you’re a good person and that is their one time they get to hang out with someone that they enjoy.
Kyle: Yeah, I mean, what’s adherence? From a contextual standpoint, the vast majority of the clients I’ve trained over the years have no knowledge of program design, or periodization, or anatomy and physiology but they do know what a good experience looks like. They do know what engagement looks like, they do know what communication looks like, and they know if they’re enjoying themselves or not. That’s what gets people coming back and if the trainer can combine technical expertise with those soft skills, they’re going to crush it. That’s what it comes out to be and the downside of that is I’ve seen way more people become successful with soft skills and little to none technical expertise than I have the other way around.
We really might be fooling ourselves with what’s actually the most important for the client. We feed that bias of educational law and we justify a lot of our actions by it. I’ve invested a lot of money in education and I value education, I’ve been an educator, but you also have to think outside the box and how you approach a demographic that is not fitness based. If they were fitness based, they wouldn’t need you. If they understood anatomy and physiology and training and periodization and the required ownership to get to their goals from a physical standpoint, they wouldn’t be paying you to train them. And I think that’s something that trainers have to understand, that training is a choice for their client base. And they have to enjoy the experience. You’re not necessarily educating them on how to become a trainer, you’re not teaching them Latin with all the anatomy and physiology that you may know, you’re providing them a path to fitness that they actually enjoy so you can build habit change within their lives and they’re no longer intimidated or scared by fitness or physical activity, but they actually look forward to it and start integrating it into the other parts of their lives as well.
Zac: Yeah, I can’t agree more, and hearing that as a trainer should excite you because I think we do spend so much time, effort, energy, learning the training side of things to the nth degree of depth. No one gives a shit about that if they don’t like you, so that’s why I think what you offer is so essential in that regard. I think that the personality tests that you utilize is probably an easy barrier to entry for someone who wants to expand on their communication skills with others.
The DISC Personality Test
So why don’t you talk to us a little bit about the DISC. I know that’s one of your initial intake things that you utilize. Tell me a little bit about what the letters are about, how you use that to inform your decision making in terms of what people need to speed up their systems and how that’s useful to help someone from a communication standpoint.
Kyle: Yeah, in a broad sense the DISC is definitely my weapon of choice and most people, once they get their report back, are extremely surprised at just how accurate it is. There are four archetypes:
The D and the I are more extroverted archetypes and the S and the C are more introverted. The D and the C are more analytical archetypes and the I and the S are more novelty-based. Based off of those two things, I actually don’t dive super deep into it with trainers because a lot of them aren’t going to be running the DISC itself on their client bases. It’s more so, if we can get even a fairly superficial view of what the archetypes prefer from a communication and environmental standpoint, and how to identify them and the people just through how they interact with their own environments. They’re going to have enough strategies at that point to have a more efficient and effective conversation.
I don’t think everyone who takes this needs to become a psychologist. I’m definitely not one but I do think it’s very similar to a movement assessment. We go to a movement assessment and we start analyzing gait and then we’re walking down the street and everybody in front of us, everybody we see, has a hip shift or internal rotation or their pronating, There’s a winged scap here, an elevated shoulder blade here and we’re just picking all these things out and we really can’t turn it off. With that, there’s going to be a lot of different interventions that we might be able to use. The DISC is very similar. You can go into a room and see where people are positioned within that room and how their interacting with the other people in that room and have a pretty good idea of what archetype they are. From there you can start building out communication strategies if that is somebody that you want to communicate with.
“D” archetypes are usually found in leadership positions because they’re naturally drawn to leadership and not everybody is. They are very analytical, but they’re also fairly dopaminergic in the fact that they want challenge and they want to win a lot of the time. They sometimes push and rush through things in order to get to the end of the project. You can find them in a room fairly easy because they’re extroverted and they’ll usually be in the middle of the room, dominating conversation. They like to challenge ideas but they are people that you really have to provide evidence to if you’ve got ideas or something to bring up.
They are people that like to win more than be right a lot of the times, so arguing with them is typically not something that is going to yield return for any of the other archetypes.
“I” archetypes are very novelty-based, they’re very extroverted. They’re usually the life of the party. They like to be the center of attention and they like to be entertained and they like to entertain, in that respect. And if you’re training an I, a linear program where they’re isolated in a corner of a room, using maybe one modality for an extended period of time, is not going to be something that works well for them. They’re going to get bored very quickly so you can set up your programming and your periodization around that archetype and that personality type to keep them engaged with the program. They’re a little harder to train because you have to look at their needs based on the assessment and look at their goals. You have to implement enough exercise selection variation while still trying to accommodate the same outcomes throughout their programming to keep them entertained and keep them happy, which is not always an easy task to do because we’re trainers. , reps are everything. If you want to get good at something, you have to practice, you have to repeat it, you have to be able to scale it with progressions and regressions while you got somebody who gets really bored really easily, you might never get to all the reps needed to actually see the outcomes you want because they’re off doing boutique fitness or spin class.
The way you also approach the different archetypes with praise and feedback is very important because everybody likes feedback but not everybody likes public praise. Some people get very embarrassed by it so you also want to make sure that people are very comfortable with how you’re communicating with them from that respect. An “I” wants you to throw a parade for them every time they accomplish a new metric or hit a new goal of some sort. They want everybody in the room to know it and that’s great. An “S”, the next one down the line, they just want a fist bump and to move on. They’re more novelty-based, but they’re also more introverted so they want to be engaged, they want a little bit of structure, little bit of uniformity, but they also want room to work within that structure, a little bit of autonomy.
Again, you’re going to program an “S” different, you’re going to manage them differently from a management leadership standpoint because they love feedback but they have a hard time asking for it. If they feel like they are appreciated within a company or within a client-trainer relationship, they’re going to work as hard as they can to make everybody happy. They’re very much pleasers, they’re people that usually work in service. A lot of trainers are “S’s” and if they didn’t love fitness, they would probably be teachers or nurses or something of that nature because that’s what their archetype is typically drawn to outside of fitness. If they’re not getting the feedback and the appreciation, they really withdraw within a company. They’re not going to cause conflict or friction within a company, they’re just going to become disengaged and apathetic which is just as bad.
I think we’ve all seen that happen in clients before, if they’re not getting the feedback and they just become disengaged and apathetic to not only the program but maybe the trainer. They move on, they’re either moving on to a new trainer or maybe they’re just out of fitness. They had a bad experience and now they’re intimidated by it and they’re done with it.
Then you’ve got your “C’s”. “C’s” are very analytical. They’re the people that come to every conversation or every Facebook thread with five Pubmed articles ready to cut and paste into a conversation and link to. , they’re the science-based. They want everything backed up, but the problem is sometimes they don’t get anything done because they’re too busy researching. There’s never enough information, so they end up paralysis by analysis. They’re also a very introverted and analytical archetype, and when you’re talking about training them, that’s where a linear program works really well. They have the patience to look at change over time and they don’t want to skew the variables. They think novelty is distracting and chaotic and frustrating. So they’re the people that, yeah, we’re going to do barbell workouts for the next eight weeks and we’re going to look at your percentage maxes, and we’re going to look at bar speed. You can bring data and analytics anywhere into a session, they’re the people that are actually going to be interested in it.
There’s definitely different communication strategies and different ways that you can implement environment and communication into training when you’re working with those people as well.
From a manager perspective it’s all about utilizing their strengths and putting them in positions to succeed and then offering support in the way that they actually want support. Because what might feel like a nice structured environment for a “C” or an “S” is going to feel like micromanaging to an “I.” So when to push the gas and pull the brakes a little bit for a lot of these people. And then how to get the feedback that’s actually going to promote progress rather than maybe too much reflection and frustration. It’s definitely something that I use a lot and that I think the people that I work with find very applicable to the demographics that they work either as a manager with their employees or a trainer with their client base.
Using Personality Testing to Build Systems
Zac: It sounds like the DISC allows you to stratify how you want to interact and manage specific people, and just the little bit that I have learned from yourself and just some of the stuff that Lucy has told me has been very informative about just why people are the way they are, and it is pretty crazy how accurate it is.
Let’s say that we have the fam. The fam is listening, they fill out the DISC, and they find out which archetype they are or the mix of these specific archetypes. If they’re looking at maximizing communication with others, but also they want to make themselves more organized and efficient, where do you see common pitfalls in system building? Let’s say you are the one who’s guiding them into becoming organized AF, where would you start with each of these people in terms of designing a system for them?
Kyle: From a system perspective and from an organizational standpoint, obviously they all approach that a little differently and they all have unique pitfalls.
With your “D’s”, they typically are so hard-charging that they don’t weigh all their options ahead of time, they don’t look at return, and they don’t look at cost as much as maybe they should. They have a little bit of the shiny object syndrome that you also see with “I’s”, but they will drive harder for it and they will be more focused on it. They’ll leave everything else on the back burner, they’re very prone to specificity and thought. A lot of that with them is making sure from an organizational standpoint that they dedicate enough times to the other things to keep them on track and don’t just let those things fall behind. None of us live in a specific environment where, from a demand standpoint, we can chase one thing over all others without incurring a cost of some sort.
From a systems perspective, we do a lot of OKRs with everybody, but how they interpret those strategies are going to be different given calendar work, making things automated, which works well for “D’s”. Automation is a good way to make sure that things get sent out, whether it’s newsletters or whether it’s reminders, calendar events, things of that nature. Those are going to be very effective for programs potentially for their clients from a trainer perspective. Those are going to be good ways to keep them on track without having to always lose their focus as well.
The positive aspects of a “D” are that they are so hyper-focused. If something is important, they’ll get it done and they’ll work really hard towards that. You also don’t want to take away that driver, you want to find ways to accommodate it and support it with other means so automation works really well for them.
Objectives and Key Results (OKRs)
Zac: Quick question, you mentioned OKR, I don’t think we defined what that is. What is an OKR?
Kyle: Objectives and key results. Simultaneously, we’re learning about the DISC when we’re working with people. They’re also filling out OKRs, which I usually keep it to three objectives. I tend to find that if there’s more than three, they’re not necessarily big rocks anymore. So people will have two to three main primary objectives that they want to work on either from a professional or from an individual lifestyle standpoint. People I work with will put things that relate to obviously their business, and their finances, and their professional accomplishment but they’ll also put how to free up more time for their families. They’ll put fitness goals on there and that’s fine. I’m not judging what your objectives are, I just want to make sure that we actually set up an intelligent strategy or system to get there.
So we identify the objectives and then we identify three key results from each of those objectives. The key results are the outcomes and how I work with outcomes of people is identifying what their definition of success for those objectives actually is on an individual standpoint. So we look at it, if it’s quantitative, we look at metrics. If it’s qualitative, we look at it emotionally. How do you want to feel, ? What’s this going to lead to? What’s this going to free time up for? From a quantitative standpoint, it could be anything. It could be money, it could be weight, pounds lost, it could be whatever. Metrics are super easy to work with, qualitative aspects are a little harder. So we have to be really honest and dig deep into those.
Within these, most people will fill them out and they’ll inherently be very vague or very general about their key results so I always have the question that just get as detailed as possible. Like, we’ll talk about them and people will break into more detail and conversation. One of my big cues for people is to literally talk it out and then write down what you say. Speak it because you’re inherently going to tell a story rather than having to write something down, and you’re going to have more detail in the way you explain it than how you write it typically. That’s usually how I get people to dig deeper and actually define success in a way that we might be able to measure.
Then we set up strategies for all of those key results. The strategies are going to match the archetypes in a way because there’s probably going to be things that those people naturally tend to lack. From a system standpoint, it’s great because I usually don’t have to identify systems for people, they can really look at what they’re doing and what they’re not doing and they identify them themselves which tends to lead to much more adherence than me telling them what to do.
From another standpoint, it’s a lot of me helping them understand and come to that realization themselves. “Oh, maybe I should start automating things or putting more things into my calendar, setting up backend sales leads or formals or whatever, building up more spreadsheets for tracking and automating my payroll!” There’s a lot of things that as we’re going through this and they’re looking at strategies, like, “Oh yeah, I’m not sure why I ever thought about that,” but it is. Think about it because, from a coherent standpoint, they’re usually looking in the other direction. There’s a lot of realization typically with that and then we try to map it out, we look at it what actions they can take from a weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual standpoint to get these things done and how the best way to track them is. Whether it’s through channels regarding organization or structuring within their company or business if they’re trainers.
Zac: If someone comes to the conclusion themselves, they’re more likely to execute it as opposed to being told what to do. Can you just give me an example of a typical objective and then the key results you might get from someone, from one of your clients. And let’s keep it from an organizational standpoint.
Kyle: If I’m looking at trainers, it’s increasing their client base, say getting two new clients. From a key results standpoint, that’s going to lead to X amount more money. That’s maybe even going to lead to upping your price and dropping a lower paying client in some cases. That’s going to lead to some financial goal of moving — for people, the key results will differ a lot — that might lead to being able to live in a different apartment if you’re in New York city or living in a different neighborhood where you no longer have to commute thirty or forty-five minutes into the city.
The key results are very individualistic. If you want to make more money, how much more money? We’re going to identify what clients are going to bring in. Maybe, fifteen hundred dollars a month? That’s how we’re going to track it so if we’re going to look at strategies, what’s the timeline we’re going to put on this? Two new clients by when? Two months, so we’re looking at a client a month. What steps are we going to take from a marketing perspective, are we going to look at referrals? Are we going to look at communicating with other scopes of practice for referrals? You can look at client streams and you can look at, maybe a physical therapy team in the city that you can go and talk to and look at as being their third-party outlet for training after someone is done rehabbing. Maybe you can talk to a massage therapist and look at them or a nutritionist, same thing, and build an actual team of practitioners that you might be able to be a part of where you can share clients and build referral networks and things of that nature. There’s a lot of different avenues from a strategy perspective that we can start looking at. Maybe you’re going to email all of your old clients that you’ve lost or call them. Depending on the trainer there’s going to be different avenues there.
Another thing that I get with a lot of people is building up additional streams of revenue. Not everybody wants to take on more clients because that’s more time training, you want something that might be more passive, so we work on building up their remote business or we work on building semi-private training channels where they can train more people with one hour and work more efficiently. Then we set up the strategies to utilize that to lower price points. So who can we reach out to that maybe fell off one on one training because they either moved or the price point was no longer agreeable with their budget? Are there options for them? Can we start reaching out to those people? How do you market yourself? Are you looking through social media? Are you building up newsletters?
There’s a lot of different options from that perspective but we start looking at things that would actually fit their skill set and options they may have. Then we start setting timelines and scheduling out those things from an organizational standpoint.
Zac: Essentially what you’re doing is you use the objectives and key results as your skeleton, and then you are helping your clients build the rest of that out by having them figure out what type of systems need to be employed, and then taking into account their personality in terms of potential pitfalls they may have in building the system so they ultimately get the outcome that they want.
Kyle: Yeah. If you look at OKRs, it’s very conceptual and then the individual looks at it very contextual from a key result standpoint. Then strategies are going to be all your applications, so it really goes conceptually, contextually, and then applicably down the line. The objectives are usually pretty broad and then the key results we try to individualize as much as possible like I said, either qualitatively or quantitatively, depending on what that objective is. Then from a strategy standpoint, then it’s all application based on their environment, their past, their unique circumstance, and their archetype, how can we build out strategies that are going to be beneficial for you and not have a high cost but a high return instead.
Zac: Sounds very systematic, Kyle.
Kyle: That’s the idea.
The pitfalls of personality types
Zac: Let’s go back to the four personality types and pitfalls. We went through “D,” which is dominant. The big thing they probably need to focus on is automation as well as looking at problems more in-depth so they don’t do something with a huge cost. I got like a little hint of “D,” and the automation thing has been huge for me. I mean I automate just about everything from a blog perspective, emails, everything because it takes too much time if you don’t do that. But what about, say, someone who’s an “I” and then “S” and “C?” Let’s go into the pitfalls of those three would have.
Kyle: An “I” is usually the archetype that has the most trouble with any organization at all. They’re sometimes described as chaotic in nature, where they thrive in environment with a lot of novelties. So because of that, familiarity becomes boring and organization is a way to increase familiarity with your environment. An “I” is typically are a little organizationally adverse.
I work with them on minimal effective dose. How can we implement just enough organization within your life that you’re able to get things done when you need to get them done but not overwhelm you into an adaptive quality. We don’t want to turn you into a “C.” Automation also works really well with them, but it’s also prioritizing what they actually need to organize. For them, developing hierarchies within their lives is very important. Like what are we going to prioritize based on your needs and wants from a lifestyle professional standpoint.
A lot of it with them is laying out an awareness perspective: What is going to have the highest return? What is the most important? And what to focus on because focus is limited, it’s a limited individual quality for them. Then we’re going to automate the rest as much as possible. We’re going to set alerts on everything that’s important from a calendar standpoint, or a note standpoint, whatever. We’re going to set deadlines for people, as they don’t do well without a structured deadline. They won’t create a deadline for themselves usually. They’re people that need more ownership and accountability within their own personal frames.
As I’m looking in OKRs and strategies, the way it works out on the form that I use is you essentially have three objectives and within each objective you have three key results potentially. Within each key result, you have three unique strategies that you might be able to employ. So you got an option of 27 different strategies at the end of this thing. I may be going to be doing one or two of those at any given time effectively. So it’s looking at which strategies can we even implement that are going to have the biggest bang for buck. Can we find strategies that are going to positively affect any of the other outcomes that we’re looking at? It’s either, you’re looking at low hanging fruit things that are easy depending on the person’s lifestyle or you’re looking at more of a bang for buck strategy that might positively impact additional strategies. The reason is especially we’re looking at objectives and some of those key results for just a little bit of crossover within the process for people.
Zac: Setting up a lot of the exact systems that you’re talking about has been essential for myself as an “I”. So then, what about the “S” and the “C” in terms of their common pitfalls and where you work with those types of people?
Kyle: “C’s” need a lot of structure. They’re pleasers by nature and they tend to put their own needs behind the needs of others, and they’ll let a lot of their own personal growth go to the wayside a lot of the times and be over accommodating to the people they’re working with or to the clients they’re working with. It’s, again, a lot of structure. They do well typically with full calendar setups with task lists, things of that nature, but you also want to give them a little bit autonomy, so there has to be some flexibility in there as well. So doing a very good job of balancing the needs and the wants works very well for them.
With them from an objective standpoint, I always try to have at least one lifestyle objective that coheres with their professional objectives as well and making sure that those things both professionally and lifestyle wise, respectively, have a lot of coherence and alignment. If they’re not aligned, neither one of them is going to get done and that’s going to lead to a lot of frustration and withdrawal within the systems.
From a communication standpoint as well, because they’re so accommodating, try to also, again, prioritize their personal needs and make sure that they feel heard throughout the process and throughout whatever environment they’re in relationship wise either with clients or their employers or employees or peers. , working on getting them a voice within that community as well in an outlet of sorts.
Zac: It seems like the common trend is you’re still getting all of them, and we haven’t even talked about “S” yet so maybe I’m wrong, but it seems like the trend with all these is you’re still getting them to a similar point of having a goal in mind or an outcome they desire and then setting up systems whether its automated or whether it’s a calendar of some sort to help them keep them on task essentially.
Kyle: What you find is “D’s” and “I’s” have no problem outlining outcomes and key results but they typically try to go into action without setting strategies. And then you’ve got “C’s” and “S’s” will typically strategize quite a bit but it’s hard to push them into actual action. So you prioritize those things differently depending on what side of the line they are from an archetype standpoint.
Zac: Gotcha. So ”D’s” and “I’s” are great at figuring out what the outcome is, but take a terrible, inefficient path to get there.
Kyle: Sometimes, yeah.
Zac: Yeah, “S’s” and “C’s” take a beautiful path but to where? Who knows.
Kyle: Yeah, they might just be spinning in circles.
Zac: Tell me about the “S” then. What are some of the pitfalls that they have in terms of building out those systems?
Kyle: ”C’s” and “S’s” are very similar in the fact that they have no problem building out strategies and building out systems. I’m the one who’s the “CS” hybrid, so speaking about myself is a good example. I have excel sheets that I’ve created that I’ll never use like it’s a hobby of mine to build out systems that aren’t really needed in any way. It’s sometimes as a distraction of actually going to work and doing things, of being in action.
From a strategy standpoint, a lot of “C’s” and “S’s” lump together, and “S’s” especially must cut down on the strategies and figuring out which ones are going to be the most important for them because rather than getting distracted by all the potential outcomes, they’re getting distracted by the strategies themselves. That’s where that whole analysis by paralysis comes about with is. They’re just going to keep doing research, keep building out models, and some of these things but they never actually take action. So they must set timelines. Once a system with an objective is built, let’s put a timeline on it. How do we keep you accountable to a timeline? Because otherwise they will stall themselves by doing more research or building out more spreadsheets so it’s when can we take action? It’s then more of a time push than anything else.
How to navigate going off task
Zac: Then as you progress and work with these people, because it seems like you have to instill new habits with everyone and, as we all know, old habits die hard, sometimes we falter back into our own, I don’t want to say bad habits but maybe, habits that aren’t going to push you towards your goals. How do you instill coming back to these when someone does falter? So me for example, I’m pretty good at staying on task for most things but I definitely do find myself sometimes procrastinating or doing something that’s going to be more ineffective towards me getting my stuff completed, so what things do you use to cue them back into getting back into the system when they do fall off the wagon?
Kyle: Well the good thing is as we go through the DISC itself, is it’s usually creates enough self-awareness that they know when they’re fallen off the wagon. They’re very aware of that fact. With both the consulting I do and the mentorship that I do, I’m on the phone or I’m on a Zoom video with them every week so we’re always rehashing what their weaknesses would look like, what their OKR and development progress looks like. We also build out models, like actual business and training models, how that’s going? I share everything through Google Drive so I can see live what’s being worked on, when it’s being worked on. If I see that their OKRs haven’t been touched in two weeks or three weeks, we’re going to go back and ask why. That’s the good thing about some of those shared documents, is there’s built in accountability within that. They know what I’m going to ask when we’re on the phone. They know the structure of the conversation is going to be.
We spend a lot of time talking about the DISC upfront then we eventually move into OKRs and auto-development and anything else that might’ve pop up within their lives or work environment that they want to talk about. I don’t necessarily have to pull them back on track because within the first few weeks, they have enough self-awareness within their archetype, within their organizational needs and structural needs that they know if they fall off track and they’ll usually actually bring that up before I get a chance to. Then we just talk about why.
And the biggest thing that I work with all of the archetypes, regardless of who they are, is letting know that that’s okay. At the end of the day, these are all tools that are going to be used to help them and we’re all going to go about it in different ways. Whether we’re talking about weekly progress or monthly progress, it’s still progress. They’re still doing things much differently than they would’ve done in the past and they’re having good positive outcomes based on that. Some of the archetypes like a little more accountability from me. Particularly usually the “D’s” and the “C’s” prefer that I hold them a little more accountable. Whereas the “I’s” and the “S’s”, I need to handle a little differently with my communication and make sure that they understand that I’m empathic to what’s going on within their lives and within their work environments. From a time perspective, they might not have gotten it done, so we decide to set up ways that we can work through the next week a little more efficiently. We look at what those pitfalls were in the prior week and we try to find out ways to work around them in the week upcoming. Were those pitfalls novel and acute? Was something where you got sick or you had to take your dog to the vet or your kid had multiple school events or sports events? Or was it something that’s going to be more global that’s going to be happening every single week that we really have to be adjusting for within our strategy? Identifying whether or not it was a one off thing or whether it’s going to be continuous is also a big part of that conversation.
Zac: Essentially what you’re acting as when you’re setting this up is some form of social support.
Kyle:There’s a lot of that.
Zac: You’re lauded if you are someone who is considered self-made and really, no one is self-made. I mean, people think that I’m doing fairly good things, but we wouldn’t even be having this conversation, Kyle, if it weren’t for someone like Bill Hartman in my life or other people in my life who have pushed me into such a high esteem and high level and high drive. I think that even someone maybe on the “D” and “I” side of things, they tend to think of pushing others by the wayside because sometimes I do that. I think that having someone not necessarily to hold you accountable but just to be there with you as you’re going through the process and keep you on track is just absolutely critical. And I think it’s awesome that you’re doing that.
Kyle: Yeah, there’s definitely a lot of that, and the good thing about my career path with a lot of the people I work with is, I’ve been in a role that they’re in or a very similar to for most of them as far as being a trainer, being a manager, being a multi-location manager to being a department head to being in a national level position. There’s a lot of things that I’ve done in that respect where I can sympathize and empathize a lot with the needs that they’re seeing and give them some usually pretty good real world advice with that as well, especially from a management leadership perspective if they’re a gym owner. I haven’t owned my own gym but I do know the things that go into running a space and managing a team and handling the daily operations.
From a trainer, same thing, I’ve done two hundred sessions a month as a trainer. I’ve lived that seven-day-a-week life and the three thirty alarm going off in the morning and working till eight pm at night. I’ve lived a lot of the struggles that they’re going through. And can look back on it with a hindsight eye of understanding the things that might help them that I never had access to when I was in those roles and work with them from both from an archetype standpoint but also from an experiential standpoint.
Zac: Now, we’ve discussed overarching principles on how you build out these systems, you have your OKRs, and building their systems in such a manner that you can get the outcomes that they want.
Let’s get into some specifics, what type of things and I mean we can get into software, we can talk if you’re using paper, what type of things have you found most successful? It can be apps, it can be anything from organizational standpoint that you tried to employ with the people that you work with? Do you use google calendar, do you use iPhone calendar? What we got?
Kyle: With a lot of my clients, I try not to task them with a lot of apps. I try to keep everything as a one stop shop, so I just use Google Drive for the majority of them. For one, it’s a free service and that’s something that I think is important for a lot of my clients.
A lot of them don’t actually understand all the functions that Drive has. Like, if you have the Gmail, you have a calendar, you have spreadsheets, you have Word Docs, you have Google Forms, you have things that you can set up and send to clients. You’ve got Keynote and some of those other aspects as far as setting presentations. You’ve got a lot of tools that you would need already at your fingertips, you just haven’t started using them yet.
What I usually work with them on is first making sure their calendar is always up to date, that they have as many things recurring as possible within that calendar. They have alerts set if needed. They’re added the event participants respective to the event. From there they can identify what might be flexible and what might be inflexible from an event perspective. What can I move and how can I move it? Then we can also add all of the one-off things that go throughout the continuous events. If you’ve got new clients coming in, if you’ve got different meeting being set up you could start identifying where you can put those within your calendar as it stands on a weekly basis.
Then from a Drive perspective, it’s all about building out folders, it might be built around your objectives or it might be built around other things, but you’re segmenting your business through revenue streams or departments, whatever it may be. And making sure that you have all the materials needed set up within those folders and you have the ability to share them with employees or with clients. If you’re a trainer, it might be all your training templates. It might be all the data that you record from a biometric standpoint. Your folders might all just be your client names, you’ve got your templates, you’ve got your materials in there.
I use the google forms a lot, my intake forms are all on them as well because I can send them via email so that’s another thing from an intake perspective. You can build out PAR-Q’s and intake forms on there to send to your clients ahead of time. You can build out feedback forms and daily questionnaires for clients.
If I’m doing consulting within a staff, I can also look at analytics based on the questions that I’m asking. Within those forms, I use a lot of numbered rating systems so I can actually look at analytics based on a number scale or numerical scale as well over an entire staff. If we’re talking about culture or leadership or things of that nature. A lot of what I use with people is Google. Instead of Survey Chimp, I use Google Forms. They’ll have some app within their system that somehow matches the needs of whoever I’m working with and it does it for free. It does it all in one spot. If you have the Google Suite, it’s even that much easier to utilize. From an app perspective, that’s how I set up all my materials. I build out the majority of my own and it’s all just shareable at that point so I can copy and share and create for all the people I’m working with.
Zac: In terms of automation on Google, say you have client so and so, can you automate it in a manner that all your intakes and all of that will automatically go to a folder on Google? Specifically to that person or do they have to fill out the form and you’re transposing it into that?
Kyle: You can do it one of two ways, you can automate towards where the forms actually will go into that client’s folder or you can keep all the forms together in one spot to look at analytics. So you can do it a couple different ways and that’s different people are going to have different preferences and different purposes regarding that. When I look at my intake form, I will basically have just an original copy that I’ll copy and create another one for the individual themselves that will live inside their folder once I send it and they fill it out.
For a lot of my consulting and feedback forms, I’ll keep them all together as one form where I can keep multiple responses at once and then look at analytics based on answers. So depending on the purpose, you can do either one of them.
Zac: I’m transitioning over to Google because I’ve had too many steps with transmitting information from one place to the next. I’ll give you an example of my current set up. Someone sends a Google Form to me and they want to work with me. They will go into the form and it’s just the whole analytical side of things where you can compare answers and whatnot, I’ll have my virtual assistant send that person an inquiry via email but it’s the answer via email as opposed to a Google Form. Then what I have to do is take those answers, because I can’t read it on Excel, because Excel is just atrocious for that. I have to put it in Evernote, read it on Evernote, and then I will summarize within the Excel. It’s just too many steps but it sounds as though, if you keep things in one place, you can keep things automated as much as possible and under one platform, it just tends to make life that much simpler.
Kyle: Yeah, it’s just less tabs. It’s less copy and pasting, it’s less transfiguring and reconfiguring from a data standpoint. And you’ve got everything in one hand especially when you look at different archetypes. The more you can keep things together and the less different avenues they have to continuously click on, the better off they’re going to be from a distraction standpoint. It also keeps everything on top aligned, to keep it all together in that manner.
Zac: Yeah, that’s really cool. I think you’ve officially sold me. I’m making the transition to the Google so thank you.
Kyle: They’re going to send me some money when they see this. It’s going to be great.
Zac: Yeah, they already put it into our brains somehow that we were going to transfer all things.
Kyle: You’re going to see a bunch of Facebook ads for Google and all kinds of things.
Zac: Google and Compound Performance that’s all it’s going to be. Interesting side note, did you know on your phone there’s an option that they will mark advertising for you automatically, and you can eliminate that. Yeah, I’ll link this in the show notes too but I don’t know if you went to check out that whole set up your phone for success thing.
Kyle: No, I haven’t read it yet. It is sitting in my inbox though.
Zac: Man, life changing.
Kyle: I’m on your newsletter, believe me.
Zac: I know, I know you are, Kyle. But I’ll link that. But there is an option somewhere in the settings in the iPhone where it says, “Yes, you can advertise to..” or “I can take your data and advertise it to whatever sites.” So you have to wonder, why is it that I look up leg lamps to buy someone for Christmas and all of a sudden I see leg lamps all over Facebook and Google and everything? And that’s why.
Kyle: Well, my wife and I will have conversations about something verbally. Like we might start talking about rugs, something like super boring in that regard, and I’ll start looking on my Facebook and Instagram. I’ll literally get rug adverts after advert for the next two weeks. It’s like this is insane. Especially if you talk about that brand, that brand is going to be there. You don’t even have to type it or look it up, you can just talk about it. That microphone is always on. You need a tin foil hat.
Zac: A tin foil hat and move out into the wilderness. That’s the only way you can circumvent Facebook and Google and all of them.
Kyle: Live that Ben House lifestyle, except cut off the phone too.
Build your model
Zac: Are there any other systems or nitty gritty tech that you like to use before I go into another follow up question?
Kyle: Yeah, the thing that I think I actually like a lot more and has been more meaningful for a lot of my clients is developing a model that’s based more so on experience, both the client and the trainers rather than methodologies. Especially for a training perspective is identifying what you want that client to feel and experience through each part of your training or their training life, their training program rather than just identifying how you’re going to train them.
Methodologies are going to change. We’re all doing X now, but we were all doing something differently two or three years ago. It’s pretty naive to think that we’re still going to be doing the same thing we’re doing now in the next six months even. The industry and the information changes so quickly. When I’m working with trainers, a lot of them tend to be very biased to one methodology or ideology over another and they like to talk in those terms. They have a hard time relating things to terms that clients will understand but they also have a hard time understand what that client preference might be and what they want their experience to be during session. I look at everything from a consult intake to the actual training session itself, movement prep, neural prep, strength training, accessory training, to aerobics and cool down to the macro-cycling of anaerobic and aerobic training and then to their lifestyle coherence and communication. What do you want that client to feel from an emotional perspective? What’s your outcome for each of those things and then what are the outcomes that you’re looking for as a trainer? Can we get alignment between those two things? If we can get alignment between those two things, you’re going to have a client that’s pretty happy. Or a client base or demographic that’s pretty happy.
That’s the other big thing, the other big rock, that starts people off once we start getting comfortable with the OKRs, we start talking about the actual model itself and it can be easily modified into a company thing. What is your business model? How do you want your entire demographic to look like from a training perspective? To a personal training model and looking at the individual experience for clients as well. That’s also the big thing that I think has been eye opening to a lot of the people that I’m working with, is not deciding how you’re going to train people but also identifying how you’re going to treat people and how you want them to perceive what that training actually is. What’s that outcome? Not just talking about increasing internal rotation to a femur, we’re talking about their actual enjoyment of the process itself.
Zac: Just me setting up Human Matrix has given me an idea in terms of setting up models. I think in some of that other areas that you’ve mentioned in terms of creating a good experience or just giving a business model. Those are areas that I haven’t done but I think would be incredibly impactful. When you’re having people set up these models, is there a preference? Or are you using this in organization in anyway of using the good old paper?
Kyle: Well, I’ve got a template that I created that I help people set up. I’ve got, again, a base skeleton of the things I consider important but they have the option as well of adding additional columns or rows off of that template based on things that might apply to them individually and their businesses individually. I’ve got a base template that they all have their own copies, we share and we look at it. They can also modify it or I can modify it for them based on any changes or things that they want to prioritize within their own business. In addition, my columns are methodology kind experience and trainer outcomes. Different people are going to add an additional column or add additional rows based on how they communicate with people whether it’s both in person and you’re looking at actual like how are you communication, how are you greeting people, how are you greeting them at the door, how are you communicating with them, how are you cueing them, internal and external cues, hands-on and hands-off cuing, and then how are you communicating with them from a newsletter standpoint, from an educational standpoint, and then from an email, texting standpoint, calling standpoint, feedback forms, whatever. There’re also ways that we can start including those within that process as well from an experiential standpoint.
Zac: Essentially automating everything within the model just like you did with making processes.
Kyle: Yeah, and identifying what that actually means. If you’re sending feedback forms, what do you want that client to think? What’s the reaction that you want them to have? Are they going to just discard it? Or are they going to feel like you’re trusting them and valuing their opinion to improve the actual culture of the company? So what actual emotional outcome are you looking for and how can we generate that outcome through the process? Or through the environment itself as a whole?
The To-do list
Zac: To-do lists. Yay or nay?
Kyle: It depends, as everything does.
Zac: Always a default answer.
Kyle: I think they can become very valuable but I think they can also become very encapsulating. In that sense, if you’re a “C” that already lives on to-do lists, you probably don’t need to make anymore. You probably just need to prioritize and act on the top two or three things on that list.
If you’re an “I” and there’s really not a lot of rhyme or reason to what you’re doing and then you’re just chasing novelty all day long then the to do list is going to be very important for you. That might help you obtain a singular focus on the things that you actually need to be doing on a daily basis or weekly basis. Depending on who the person is, I think those are going to be great. If somebody is already super analytical, you’re just getting one more thing to feed on that’s going to delay the actual action and outcome that they’re seeking. So it might be a deterrent at that point, depending on who they are.
Zac: I think one thing I found for myself for the to do list is if you don’t prioritize the right things and there’s no temporal component, it’s pretty much a useless piece of…
Kyle: You’ll get this inception moment where you’ve got to-do lists on top of other to-do lists. That’s like what a “C” would do and it’s sometimes even a “D.” You’ve got a to-do list that lists out doing another to do list. It’s like the guy looking at himself in the mirror all the way through. Nothing ever actually gets done. Planning is a distraction in itself a lot of the times. Like researching is a distraction in itself when you start talking about actual outcomes. There’s always more studies to draw from Ebsco or Pubmed. You can always find more information, you can always look at more studies, you can always run more testing, you can always run more assessments in your training protocol. But If you’re spending all your time looking at assessments and not actually training somebody or not actually acting in the workplace, what are you really doing? A to do list is probably not beneficial for them.
We need to drive action, quit making lists and start doing things. It depends on who it is with a lot of the archetypes in setting up strategies, I look at low hanging fruit. Like what are easy measure that we can implement that are going to take very little effort to do but yield good results? Then I look at bang for buck, like once we’ve done that low hanging fruit, what can we now prioritize that’s going to have the biggest overall effect on all the other objectives? At that point, a to-do list might be applicable and it might not. For a lot of people, it’s just one more piece of paper.
Zac: From my perspective, what I do is I find out what movement someone can’t do and we get them to do that. We’re talking a movement alphabet. If they got A through F, we want to get ‘em G through Z, extra emphasis on the Z. You’re essentially doing the same thing. If someone is all about to-do lists but they don’t have a goal in mind, you’re giving them the goal and you’re trying to push them towards that. Whereas someone might be goal-driven but they don’t have that to-do lists then you’re just giving them a map.
Kyle: Yeah, we look at how to raise the floor in that perspective and give them what they don’t have. It’s also task driven, when you look at assessments and you look at interventions from a training perspective. Then you look at training protocols, is everything that you’re actually implementing into that session or that program even task or environment dependent on the client? Or are you just putting in things because you want to put in things? Or are you just testing things because a methodology told you to? Is that even important to the person? So it’s really raising the floor, it’s seeing what’s actually important for that individual and implementing it. Sometimes it’s more organization and sometimes it’s more doing. It’s completely dependent on the person. Telling a “D” or an “I” to do more without structure isn’t going to lead to anything. Telling a “C” or an “S” to structure more and strategize more without doing is going to lead to a lot of spreadsheets that nobody uses.
Zac: I hear ya, you either gotta do or you gotta structure. Give them a little bit of that and they ought to be in bidness.
How to minimize technology distractions
Last question ‘cause I know we’ve been talking for a hot minute. So you’re using a lot of technology to organize. That seems to be the key or I would say where you’re building the system. Makes sense because technology makes it easy but I know where I struggle, as well as others, is these things have a lot of distraction on them. You gotta take your hourly Instagram selfie like I do. It’s like you have a slot machine in your pocket at all times.
Kyle: It’s that dopamine! The iPhone is the slot machine.
Zac: It absolutely is. This is going to be a two part question. When you have someone setting up a system, how do you get them to stay on task within that system? How do we keep them in Google Drive without going into scrolling on Facebook or looking up kitty cats on IG?
Kyle: If we could truly figure that out, we would probably have a lot of solutions for major social drivers within our current environment as well. For me, I think, is setting a little bit of urgency on some of these things is usually the key and this goes back to even the way that I work on leadership in the past is I don’t necessarily care how long you work on something, I care about getting that something done. What’d you accomplish? So for a lot of people, if we can just prioritize the task itself over the internet surfing or schedule in like for someone who really needs a little bit of novelty in their lives and they can’t just work with the phone in the other room all day, let’s schedule out a social media break. We don’t need to overcomplicate it. Say hey, every two hours, take ten minutes or fifteen minutes to see what’s going on in the world around you and quench that FOMO a little bit and then go back to work. Can we organize even that aspect of your life if that’s what’s needed?
For people who are more introverted and overly analytical, I do the same thing as far as it’s like hey every two or three hours let’s take twenty minutes and go outside and take a walk. Let’s get off the computer and just take a walk, get out with other people if you’re isolated and make sure you’re feeding that bucket and you’re not just holed up in your office or your living room all day. But with social media, I think we’re to a point now where taking it away is not going to lead to any sort of adherence. Elimination of social media is going to be impossible for just about everybody. Everybody is so far ingrained in it now that they’ll choose it over a task for the most part. In my perspective, Let’s schedule in a time where you can get your minimal effective dose of Instagram.
Zac: I might quote you on that, that’s awesome.
Kyle: Dude, it’s the bicep curl of functional training. If you work for an hour and forty-five minutes, you can look at social media for fifteen minutes that’s totally fine. Set an alarm if you need to. You can now set your social media on your phone towards where it will turn off after a certain amount of time. So give yourself ten minutes or give yourself fifteen minutes to surf your channels, take that selfie that we all enjoy, I enjoy it.
Zac: I enjoy selfies of you Kyle, that’s for sure.
Kyle: Then when it closes down, you’re back to work. Elimination of that strong of a driver for a lot of people is going to lead to just trashing the whole structure altogether. It’s going to lead to frustration over time. It’s like someone who stops a training program because they’re just not doing the arm work they want to do or they’re not getting the aesthetic results they want to because they’re so busy working on functional training or respiration or something of that nature. And they stop before seeing the results because those are more long-term adaptations.
Dopamine is powerful man, and if we need a fix then we need a fix, and that’s fine. I’m not trying to feed addiction, but I do think you can set it up towards where you still get your work done and actually truly make it a reward. You really truly want to maximize dopamine, and in this case social media, delay it two hours and get some work done. That anticipation is actually going to be a stronger driver than actually looking at it itself. So give yourself two hours of work, set an alarm, do whatever you need to do, turn on your phone, look at it and then go back to work. Hopefully you can feed both mechanisms in that way.
Zac: I’ve struggled with the social stuff myself. I’m more of an elimination guy than not, personally. What I have substituted instead was actually going out and talking to people. I live in small towns, and I think that a lot of times we look at that because everyone is busy. Everyone is so consumed with their lives, especially in our industry because we’re all trying to be successful. We lack that social outlet, and if you can tame social media in the way you are advocating, it could be potentially beneficial. What I do is I actually have the apps deleted off my phone and then I’ll load them back up when I need to post something. Then I’ll scroll for a little bit and that’s literally all the fix I need. What I had to do to really circumvent that was schedule conversations with people. I think if you get it one way or another, I think it’s good. Even though I would be more inclined to conversations.
Kyle: I would never supplement social media over actual real engagement. But also, what you’re saying as a more extroverted archetype, as a “D-I” hybrid, you feed off relationships and interacting with individuals. That might be terrifying for more introverted “C.” So again, my strategies are going to be a little dependent. What I do myself, I’ll spend the first three hours of my day in a coffee shop or in a library rather than at home ‘cause I work from home. Just so I’m around people but I don’t have to necessarily interact with people. I put my headphones on, I’m not a recluse, I’m not a hermit. And I’ll go drink a coffee, maybe have a little bit of breakfast, and I’ll crank out two to three hours of work from a social environment but I’m also not necessarily interacting with those people, having conversations ‘cause I don’t want to do that. It sounds bad but I don’t, it is what it is, but I do need to be in an environment where other people are. Whereas, an “I” or “S,” if you’re spending three hours in a coffee shop, you might not actually get that much work done because you’re talking to everybody. It depends on the person but I completely agree, I would never try to replace an actual social environment or social engagement with person to person with the use of social media even though that’s what it tries to do. I do the same thing, I delete apps and look at them only when I want to post something. You’ll see my post go up at five o’clock in the morning like when I’m training and then I try to delete the app and not be on it really for the rest of the day. I probably utilize a lot of the same strategies you do but for somebody who is more tied into that, I’d rather work with what they have and a lot of people can’t go cold turkey. I don’t want to lose them by trying to tell them that’s the only way to do it ‘cause that is a hard strategy for a lot of different people. That’s a much deeper conversation probably.
Zac: I just see so many people on their phones when they’re with other people.
Kyle: In New York it was the craziest thing, you would walk on streets with thousands of other people and everybody is on their phones. I would see people even in tourist groups trying to look at the city and they were on their phones talking to friends back home. It’s like you have the Empire State Building here, you got the Highline, or whatever, and they’re on Instagram looking at pictures from friends back wherever they came from rather than being in the moment, understanding that they’re in New York and enjoying the environment they’re actually in as a novel experience. It’s wild, but people just walk face down everywhere they go and don’t really appreciate the people around them. I’ve heard more than once that New York is actually the most socially isolating place in America. There’s more people there but there’s less actual interaction and engagement on a personal real level ‘cause everybody is doing their own thing.
Zac: It sounds as though even if, and I’m a little more of an extreme guy as I’m sure you envision, but even when you’re scheduling social media breaks, you’re still creating a sense of presence within whatever I’m doing in this given moment. While I’ve taken a more extreme approach to it because I know that if I go down that rabbit hole…It’s just like for me drinking and I was never an alcoholic or a big drinker ever, but I know that if I go too far down that path, I just would never be able to get out. So I just don’t.
But I think if you can create presence within the moment with whatever you’re doing, whether it’s you and me broing ou,t or I’m working on a task, or I’m on social media, I’m only focusing on that one thing and if I have that one thing in a moment then I’m more likely to hit my OKRs that are meaningful to both my business, myself personally and anything else.
Kyle: That’s the thing, the strategies are going to be different depending on who the person is and that’s part of the entire process is figuring what strategies work for you. This is a very good example, especially if you can look at it on a broader scale of being more than social media or more than distraction from apps of figuring out what actually works for you. Are we looking at elimination? Are we looking at substitution? Are we looking at a schedule intervention? There’s a lot of different ways that we can go about it and different things are going to work well for different people based on their experience, their environment, and their actual tasks.
Zac: Procrastination. Obviously sometimes with the scheduling stuff like social media, for example, we will use that to procrastinate. What type of strategies do you advocate? I’m sure it’s an individualized basis, but what type of strategies do you advocate to either get people started or to help break people from those distractions in order to complete tasks.
Kyle: For a lot of people in procrastination, if you can get them to enjoy the actual task itself and the process itself, they’ll do it. There’s a lot of assigning value to the things that we do early on and one reason we do OKRs is for them to identify that the strategies are actually leading to something that’s important to them.
Also with people that are more prone to procrastination, adding urgency to the mix. If you look at the continuing importance to urgency, the big difference starts adding a time frame for most people. If you can set deadline for people who struggle with procrastination, and have them also understand the importance and value of what they’re doing, you can typically get around that. The cost to contact, checking in on them, making sure that they’re on task, that they’re up to date, whether it’s my actual weekly call with them.
If I have people that need more than that, I’ll send them an email, or a text here and there to see how they’re going from an organizational and process standpoint because that’s another great way of think for the Google Drive stuff because I can see when they last checked into it, I can look at all their activity on any document that they’re supposed to be working on. If there’s no activity there, I know that I might need to check up on them, say hey. You just never know from that standpoint but I can always look at the documents themselves to see if they’ve been on them and then I can look through our conversation to see the correlation between their progress and how satisfied they are with what they’re doing based on their interaction with the materials themselves. Urgency and value are typically my two go-tos there.
Zac: Part of that was a selfish question because I am a big time procrastinator, and I will have to apply those a bit more.
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