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Michael and Audree Sahota: Oh My God, I Love Being Here

This episode is an interview with Michael and Audree Sahota. Michael and Audree are the authors of the book, Emotional Science. We chat about intentionality in creating your organization’s environment, including meditation as a form of “Check In on steroids.” Find their book at emotionalscience.com and on Amazon, and learn more about them at agilitrix.com.

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Richard K.:                    00:00                Hi, friends. Welcome back to With Great People, the podcast for high-performance teams. I’m Richard Kasperowski. This episode is an interview with Michael and Audree Sahota. Michael and Audree are the authors of the book Emotional Science. We chat about intentionality in creating your organization’s environment, including meditation as a form of what they call check-in on steroids. Find their book at emotionalscience.com and on Amazon, and learn more about them at agilitrix.com. To support this podcast, sign up for my newsletter at kasperowski.com. Thanks for listening.

Richard K.:                    00:52                So I’m here with Michael Sahota and Audree Sahota. Hi, Michael and Audree. Thanks for being our guests today.

Audree S.:                     00:58                Hi.

Michael S.:                    00:59                Hi. Glad to be here.

Audree S.:                     00:59                Good to be here.

Richard K.:                    01:01                Yeah, awesome having you. Will you introduce yourselves to our listeners?

Michael S.:                    01:06                This is always a tricky one. Probably the best description is that Audree and I do culture and leadership training worldwide. We help not just managers and leaders in organizations, but people who had some change as Agile coaches. Have a deeper understanding of how to make those changes [inaudible 00:01:27] shifting mindsets, shifting consciousness.

Audree S.:                     01:31                We train together, we develop curriculum together, we live together, we travel together. Yeah.

Richard K.:                    01:41                Beautiful. And you have an amazing-looking backdrop behind you. So tell us where you are. Describe the space you’re in.

Michael S.:                    01:50                We’re in the great hall.

Audree S.:                     01:50                Yes, the great hall.

Michael S.:                    01:53                So this is used in our home as a training space where it can take about 10, 12 people.

Richard K.:                    02:02                Mm-hmm.

Michael S.:                    02:04                It’s got windows on the sides.

Audree S.:                     02:06                High ceilings.

Michael S.:                    02:07                Yeah. Molded ceilings, those got a nice shape to it.

Audree S.:                     02:12                Yeah. Stone fireplace in the back, and the other end has a giant television projecting the key notes that we use.

Richard K.:                    02:25                Alright. So, this is the podcast about great teams. I like to ask the people about the best team of their life and different things that went into that. So, listeners can reproduce some of that great team-ness for themselves and their people. What was your best team of your life, or your best team of your lives?

Michael S.:                    02:47                It’s right now, and it’s evolving.

Audree S.:                     02:52                It’s cheesy!

Michael S.:                    02:55                What? It is the truth, so I don’t know.

Audree S.:                     02:57                I was going to say the same thing and then I didn’t want to sound so cheesy, so [inaudible 00:03:02] with other teams-

Michael S.:                    03:03                I think you’re supposed to be authentic here.

Audree S.:                     03:05                And other experiences that I’ve had. Which I think have added to the experience that we’re having now.

Richard K.:                    03:13                I know these nice trainer coach people from the Toronto area who say authentic is ridiculed.

Audree S.:                     03:20                Yeah.

Richard K.:                    03:20                I mean, you of course. When you say right now, and it’s evolving specifically, what do you mean?

Michael S.:                    03:29                Audrey and I have been working together for two years. [inaudible 00:03:33] 24 by seven. Doing our work in the world of shifting mindset shifting consciousness working to inspire new way of working and really having huge success. And our team has changed because we had one person Abby, come on, who is our Director of Operations, she’s just taking care of everything operational. It’s like, Oh my gosh, this is incredible. And Ron, come on, who’s come on actually, as a partner in the organization. He’s managed teams of 500 people he’s the head of Agile for IBM and so he’s coming in to really … Just seeing how powerful the work is, accelerate and amplify everything we do. And so it’s very, very humbling to have that happen. And what’s happened is that all these bad habits, Audree and I were getting away with his team members. We get away with our stuff anymore because there’s a larger system so that the injection of these two new people has really caused the school system to gel, and put a lot of the stuff we teach worldwide into a very deep practice. So it’s been incredible.

Audree S.:                     04:52                And just the past two years, just the two of us being on a team, not only working, but living together as a couple has been tremendous amount of growth. It really has a large impact on not only our relationship, and the work that we do in the world, but it’s been affecting our family relationships, and our relationships with our friends as well. It hasn’t been easy, I think, if I was going to say anything to anybody is that being on a team, however large or small that it would be, is that don’t expect it to be easy. It’s work.

Michael S.:                    05:37                It’s a catalyst for growth. And if you use it, it can lead to extraordinary. And it’s ups and downs and it’s a journey.

Audree S.:                     05:48                I wouldn’t have it in any other way. But I say that relationship is for wake up. And what I mean by that is that you can really shift your entire way of being or your behavior patterns, the way you think, your beliefs or actually, your whole entire life is affected by the work that you do in relationship. And being on a team where both of us are committed to showing up the best that we can be every single day, that’s not easy. That’s a lot of inner reflection on how I’m showing up in the moment. Am I being emotionally triggered? Am I-

Michael S.:                    06:35                Blaming.

Audree S.:                     06:36                Blaming, yeah. How I’m I taking responsibility for my own stuff. What am I creating in the world by my behaviors?

Michael S.:                    06:45                I’m I irritated, I’m I frustrated, I’m I annoyed, I’m I not in my most resourceful self that I want to bring forward?

Audree S.:                     06:54                Yeah.

Michael S.:                    06:55                Hopefully [inaudible 00:06:55].

Richard K.:                    06:55                Well, this is all so beautiful. I want to dive deeper into every path, every sentence that you just shared. Before we do that, this best team of your life that you have right now, starting with the two of you, and it’s recently grown into a group of four people. If you could summarize the feeling, the sensation of this team and so into one word. What one word would you use to describe the sensation of this team you have together?

Michael S.:                    07:36                Did you get your word?

Audree S.:                     07:37                I think I got my word.

Michael S.:                    07:38                Okay. So I’ll go first. The word I got is love.

Richard K.:                    07:43                Love?

Michael S.:                    07:45                Yeah. It’s just a very deep sense of connection and caring.

Audree S.:                     07:52                I would say catalyst.

Richard K.:                    07:57                When you say catalyst, what do you mean?

Audree S.:                     08:02                It’s more like a sensation of being like a rocket ship taking off. So there’s a lot of power and excitement and projection. And at the same time, there’s this deep sensation of, like, sick to my stomach. Yeah, because there’s a lot of growth that’s happening.

Richard K.:                    08:28                Of course.

Audree S.:                     08:29                A lot of fast changes. And having the step up.

Richard K.:                    08:34                Well, yeah, choosing to step up.

Audree S.:                     08:36                Choosing to step up as a leader, and a leader-

Richard K.:                    08:41                Take responsibility.

Audree S.:                     08:42                Yeah, owning my stuff. And being really present in the truth of who I am, like, in my power, I think that’s what I’ve been learning, is my role. My role got reorganized, stepping into this new team? It’s not like these two people are joining our team. But we’re actually all of us together stepping into something very different. And it’s watching how I react to that. I had a lot of fear and anxiety, like, what’s my role? What’s my purpose? Is this person now … Michael would go off and have a meeting with somebody and I’d be like, what? Right? I used to have those meetings with him-

Richard K.:                    09:27                Oh, yeah.

Audree S.:                     09:29                Where’s my place?

Richard K.:                    09:30                Let’s talk about that for a moment. As your team grows, okay, it’s four people but your team has ground by 100%. It’s twice as big as it used to be. It used to be the two of you. A couple living together, spending all your time together. And now you’ve brought in people from outside.

Audree S.:                     09:51                Yeah.

Richard K.:                    09:52                Did you define the roles ahead of time? Did you intentionally decide to keep things loose and discover the roles in the right places? How is this happening?

Audree S.:                     10:03                I know, for me, there was a moment where I really understood that our organization, our company, and what we’re doing in the world, I could have been … I no longer had the skill that was needed and necessary to grow. And I had been thinking about this for a while, and when the truth really landed in me, and I knew that it was time, then people started showing up. And we never had an external discussion. Like, what’s our role, what’s going to happen, what are their roles? We just kind of knew the people that were coming on board weren’t necessary for growth. And then because of their expertise, and their experience, we kind of let everybody decide what they wanted to do.

Richard K.:                    11:01                The company culture is fascinating. And it actually informs the question, it’s a page from Semco, the company, Ricardo Semler, I guess evolved to its current state. That self interest is seen as the highest form of corporate alignment. I’m going to repeat, self interest is the highest form of corporate alignment. And essentially, the idea is that if you have people who love what they do, they’re good at it, and they enjoy it, and it adds value to the company, then those people are on fire, and they’re going to make awesomeness happen. And that’s like the secret ingredient. So for all of us, it’s about finding those places where we’re doing those things. And also it’s a start up. So it’s like oh, somebody needs to get this done. Okay, I’ll step up and do this and take like, honoring the whole system so that … And having most of our time being spent with what we love doing, what we are good at and would add as value.

Audree S.:                     12:01                And letting go of control.

Richard K.:                    12:05                Yeah.

Audree S.:                     12:05                That as your roles shift and change, that you’re open and willing to allow your ego to dissolve enough that you can say, you know what, I’m not that great at doing this part. And allow other person that loves to do it, that they’re really great at it. Allow them to pick up the role. So you’re dropping one role and stepping into another role. And I think for me, it was a very growth orientated.

Richard K.:                    12:43                I love that. So I know both of you pretty well, personally. And I’ve done this for myself too and Molly talks to me about this sometimes. I love that body language right there, listeners can’t see what just happened. But it was sort of uncomfortable moment for you, I think, from the body language. You could have said something like, and sometimes it just sucks. But instead, what you actually said was a positive spin on all that. So what have you been doing to … I know this is intentional practice, what sorts of things do the two of you do or the four of you do, in the bigger company to sort of align things with positivity to guide things in that sort of direction, to practice that mindset together?

Michael S.:                    13:34                I’m a big heed of the positivity mindset people. Because positive is a good thing, but false positivity is corrosive and destructive. Right? When it’s actually coming from this place of like, oh, I’ve got lemons, let me make lemonade. There’s joy in the making the lemonade, right? And the result of action on that. Then it’s a real genuine, positive perspective. I think where we are here that when there’s something uncomfortable going on, it’s actually a signal there’s something there for our learning and growth, and personal evolution as a human being. And the thing with growth is that it’s usually less than comfortable. And we get through the discomfort, we get the benefits for the rest of our life. Right? And as human beings, we’re so optimized for avoiding the pain, we just keep on getting trapped in a recurring pattern. So we all of us … We call it hero’s journey of liberate better development, and saying yes to looking through those places. We do this in our … It’s like a basic teaching in our basic Agile cultural training or CAL 1 training, foundation of going to those places to clear beings, to show up as the people leaders we want to be.

Audree S.:                     14:54                And you caught me in a good day.

Richard K.:                    14:58                I don’t think I’ve ever caught you on a bad day.

Audree S.:                     15:03                I think actually going through the growth journey itself is very difficult, and it feels like crap. I’m on the other side of a lot of the big pieces. What I can say right now is in this place, I feel really good. Like, I’ve grown a lot. And in doing that, I was able to see more of who I am. My potential to take responsibility for my own stuff, for not blaming other people, it actually makes me feel better about myself. That I feel like I’ve matured a lot in the last few months, because of this experience in joining this team, in particular. As we were doing our culture, like what we wanted for our values and our culture, and who we are as an organization, is personal growth and development. That’s our foundation. So we’re all on the same page, that we’re all growing, and that it’s a journey for all of us. And I can actually be open and honest and say I don’t feel right. This doesn’t feel good. I feel left out of that conversation, that I have the open space to be able to say that.

Michael S.:                    16:28                That space of deep psychological safety, right?

Audree S.:                     16:32                Yeah. And the people that are coming on to our team they haven’t worked like this ever.

Michael S.:                    16:38                They’re like, “Oh, my God, this is so different than everything I’ve ever experienced, oh my God, I love this.”

Audree S.:                     16:45                [inaudible 00:16:45] going, “Oh, my God, is it too much for them? Are they going to want to quit?” Because it is a different way of working. And most organizations don’t allow this full part of us to be exposed or be vulnerable, or know that it’s a transformational journey. And that we’re all working together as a team, not on just tactical stuff. But the cultural aspects are our own personal growth journey.

Richard K.:                    17:21                Hearing people say something like, Oh, my God, I love this. So one of the questions that I like to ask people is how do you know it’s was the best team ever? How do you know that your team is so great? And that might be an objective metric. You can count the number of times in a week or in a day people say, “Oh my god, I love this.” How many times people use the word love when you’re working together? That might be a nice metric to use. What do you have for subjective opinions, sensations or objective metrics, anything that gives you information that this is definitely the best team of your life.

Michael S.:                    18:00                So for me, one objective thing that I can say, in my being is like having Abby take on a whole bunch of things that are operational, like, I don’t think about these things anymore. I used to, like literally feel like an air traffic controller with 50 airplanes flying in the air and trying to make sure that all understand which was in jeopardy and pay attention. And it’s like, now I feel like my radars, I got like five things, I go, this, this and it’s like there’s ease, there’s such an ease that’s come into my life because there’s stuff that’s fully looked after. With Ron, I can say the feedback we’ve been getting from clients, the level of response and clarity, because we’ve gone through it and he’s really helped with this. Clarified the client journey and what’s happening on that. It’s been like a huge response from clients. That’s been the last week. It’s only his third week here. It’s been pretty incredible.

Audree S.:                     18:55                I think that’s the other thing is that-

Michael S.:                    18:57                We’ve been seeing results really fast, like things are just happening.

Richard K.:                    19:01                What does that mean? Seeing what kinds of results?

Michael S.:                    19:03                I’ll give you an example, business results like what are we going to do about this challenging business unit where people have diverse opinions on it. We just had a meeting, it took an hour and a half to talk about what we’re doing with our online training product. Abby said, “Oh, my God, I love being here.” Any other company I’ve been at it would have taken weeks and weeks and weeks and we’d still never resolve this. We just have meeting after meeting, after meeting. And she says, we not only resolve but we resolved in such a powerful way and we’re also aligned and so clear in what we’re doing. And in that meeting, just to be clear, two people want to go in one direction, two people want to go in the opposite direction. It’s not like we just like oh, Kumbaya, everything’s fine, it’s like we actually have real challenge. And we have a space in our being-ness, to listen to each other, and to explore and to understand and from that place of understanding, gain the clarity of what to do.

Audree S.:                     19:56                With our powerful evolutionary purpose. I think our purpose is very, very profound. And we actually stop together and we meditate together. And we feel the energy of our organization and our purpose, and then we listen in a very different way. We’ve been able to teach Ron and Abby, both this technique. And at first, it was a little weird for both of them. And they’re like, well, we’re not used to working like this. And they were open to trying it.

Michael S.:                    20:31                So at the third objective, I was thinking about the four of us. Let me go back to Audrey and I. Really objective metrics, we can show you a photo or a video of myself two years ago, nightmare.

Richard K.:                    20:46                And what would we notice?

Michael S.:                    20:49                I am not speaking so fast. It sounds like a measurable on speed. Way more present, there’s something because my energetic properties are very different that people like but they can’t understand what it is. Sometimes people describe it as presence. Two years ago, what was I? I was starting to do some training, I’d ran a couple experiments, running trainings and different places. Audree and I are regularly consistently training worldwide and having incredible success. We’re actually migrating away from being public trainings into doing private corporate trainings because there’s there’s so much demand. The quality of the training, it’s like, every time we teach a training, we take a training because there’s that very deep nature of the work. Do this constant evolution of class after class of running experiments, the quality of the product is incredible. Like somebody who took the 50 class and then we took it, and he’s like, Oh, my God, this is like, night and day. Even the guys who are videographers have an online version of this. And they’re like, Oh, my gosh, we do like training all over … We do videotaping all over the world for Agile. And you guys are like, very, very different from anything else happening out there. They go like, this was not that … We’re noticing it now. We didn’t notice this two years ago, it’s just automatically different.

Audree S.:                     22:30                I think there’s been a dissolving of your ego and not letting go-

Michael S.:                    22:34                If he’s talking about observable metrics.

Audree S.:                     22:38                I can observe that. I think you could see it in the picture, though, it’s photographable. I believe it’s photographable.

Michael S.:                    22:47                Yeah, can we talk about that in terms of company revenue and so on more than doubling and so on.

Audree S.:                     22:52                Oh, yeah, after you.

Richard K.:                    22:54                Yeah. Right. So easy objective things as company revenue and other objective things? Look at a photo of me now and look at a photo of me two years ago, and you will see a difference. Talk to somebody who’s watched us two years ago and now and they’ll tell you that they notice a difference.

Michael S.:                    23:11                I’ll give you another one. We have Ron who was the Vice President at CGI, the CANE version of IBM, a consulting company, leave his job to come join us.

Audree S.:                     23:22                For no money.

Michael S.:                    23:23                For no money. And we just figured out. Why are you doing it? Well, because you guys are doing incredible work in the world. And I want to help you be successful.

Richard K.:                    23:34                That’s incredible.

Michael S.:                    23:35                Imagine that, a senior vice president who is no slouch. He was head of the Agile practice for North America for IBM. I don’t know what concrete observable criteria are to signal. If that’s not it, I don’t know what it is. I’m still kind of speechless about it.

Richard K.:                    24:03                Alright.

Audree S.:                     24:03                Yeah.

Michael S.:                    24:05                Yeah.

Richard K.:                    24:05                One of the things you mentioned as one of the concrete practices or behaviors that you have, as a group is you meditate together. Will you share more about that meditation with the people in the company. And what other practices do you have? What other behaviors do you have that might lead to this best team ever?

Michael S.:                    24:29                I’ll share it in a structure that may be familiar for listeners that know the core protocols. It’s like check-in on steroids. So it’s really simple. In our meditation everyone to close your eyes … People won’t do this right now until you make note. Close your eyes, we’ll just do this together, take three deep breaths. As you’re breathing, this activate your relaxation response system to put you into more resourceful state. Let me say, notice how you’re feeling now. The physical body, your emotions, thoughts. What’s the one word that summarizes how you’re feeling right now? And what’s your intention for this time ahead of us in this meeting, or listening to this call for people listening in. It’s your intention, we hope to get from this. How do you want to show up? Then take a deep breath in and out, then come back to the call the room here than wherever you are. We should put a disclaimer people shouldn’t close their eyes if they’re driving.

Michael S.:                    25:59                And then we just go around the circle, just checking my name is [inaudible 00:26:05] I’m in. And whenever it does that everyone has equal voice and it builds psychological safety. People who speak seven times are more likely to speak again. It gives people a chance to take a moment to listen to themselves. And understand that what they’re creating is coming from the place of where they are. So as teammates, we can be supportive of each other.

Audree S.:                     26:30                The other thing that happens is that we are naturally energetic beings. So the fact that we’re breathing together, we form a harmonic, our heartbeats actually start to align with each other, and our heart start beating the same. And so when we’re in this, time and space has no effect on it either. So somebody could be on a zoom call, and other people can be in the room together. But just by breathing together as a team, you form an energetic connection where you become like one. And actually if you’re intentional, your limbic system hooks up with other people’s limbic systems, and it becomes one limbic system. And now you’re in alignment in this very powerful way. And there’s more focus and intention for working together.

Michael S.:                    27:28                Yeah. So for those scholars who are familiar with Frederic’s work of, Green Teal Organizations, we’re actually going beyond Teal, I will say what we call it, there’s a code name for it. Into producing and leaving in energetic practices, as part of the workplace.

Richard K.:                    27:49                Yeah.

Michael S.:                    27:51                So that’s into this more than that.

Richard K.:                    27:54                Yeah. And I’m thinking back, before we started recording, you showed me your yoga room that you mentioned for listeners. And now I’m sort of flashing back to group yoga sessions where we’re all breathing, inhaling exhaling at the same cadence as each other. So we’re really getting physically aligned with our breath, our lungs our heart rates, it really is a powerful sensation.

Audree S.:                     28:25                And when we have that understanding that we’re all in this together, working as a team, everybody has a purpose, everybody has a place. It allows for this powerful connection to start to dissolve the ego, and to let go, and now people are working for the purpose of the organization instead of against each other or as individuals. And I think that’s why even this morning, our meeting went so quickly, we were able to make decisions, these are big, huge decisions that were made very quickly, was not a lot of conflict. And I think too when we’re connected in this way, we want to have conflict resolution. It’s almost like the if there’s a conflict, the energy between us doesn’t feel good. And we want to resolve it for the highest purpose of the organization and in our own selves.

Michael S.:                    29:30                Yeah, there are other deeper practice, which we won’t go to around meditation that we’re just going to give you a bit of a sample or flavor. And as you know, from coming to a CAL 1, even that started with a deeper meditation to set an intention for the whole day, the whole room, which very, very powerful effect of creating a great environment. The other thing, we are talking of practices. Notice very simple practices is just sharing, share first talk later. And it’s a very simple construct that everyone can use. Whenever exploring a topic, just have everyone share. No discussion, no questions. It can be like a hardcore facilitator, sometimes it’s very powerful.

Michael S.:                    30:13                Because when everyone shares and makes notes later, it means that the number of questions go down, the amount of discussion goes down. So we’re able to move much quicker to decision making. And when we do that in multiple rounds, and then have some exploration, and then share what’s changed or use any sort of things, or what do people think we should do, working those ideas on what we could do rather than go to, I propose right away, everyone just write down, what do you think we should do and how strong is your feeling? We did that this morning, and then suddenly created a place for great listening and discussion. Whereas if we try to move towards decision making too soon, we don’t spend the time to honor that perspectives and the listening. We actually make things go slower.

Audree S.:                     30:56                There’s a lot of joy that happens, because it’s almost turning it into like a little game. And the fact that nobody feels left out everybody’s heard. It’s very clear on whose decision is it going to be, and who’s going to give advice-

Michael S.:                    31:13                Everyone said, like a little bit different thing. What was your pattern in the group? So then it becomes hey, let’s listen to the voice of the system. And it becomes a game of like, oh, what are the other people saying? How is it all I know?

Audree S.:                     31:23                Patterns.

Michael S.:                    31:25                And then anybody can call it right? It’s like a dissolution of elevating of equality.

Audree S.:                     31:35                And we have one person, she’s in North Carolina. So we bring her in. We fire in when we can and then she’s on video the rest of the time. And the only sad thing is she’s like, I wish I was in the room with you guys.

Michael S.:                    31:53                So what’s going on with that is like, often the Agile people are very, “Hey, you ever need to be co-located below?” Well, that’s to support relationship. But once the relationship is there, and the commitment is there and the connection is there, we don’t need it. Linux is built by a distributed team, because they were connected by a shared purpose. So in some ways, I just wanted a rant or a tangent here, but the other committees got a bit overexcited about that. It’s really good to have that connection to build the trust, the connection. And I think part of it, it maybe getting to other practice here is that we’re very intentional with a company retreat last week, which was incredible. And there’s a very intentional thing to undertake things to build connection. And to build the trust, and to support the safety and create a shared connection with the group. This is our first I guess, remote meeting-

Audree S.:                     32:53                Yeah it’s our first remote-

Michael S.:                    32:54                As a team, and that work really well. It’s like the stuff works and pays off very, very quickly.

Richard K.:                    33:02                Yeah.

Audree S.:                     33:02                And everybody is excited to come to the meeting.

Michael S.:                    33:07                Yeah. Because they know they’re not going to get hurt, they’re not going to get judged. They know, we’ll just talk about what we need to do and the people of it. Well, that’s the other part is everyone in the company is right emotional science.

Richard K.:                    33:17                Okay, yeah.

Michael S.:                    33:19                And that’s like a minimum for our company. If people are not in a place where they’re ready to take responsibility for their emotional charge and work through it, like, once you have that as a foundation, everything’s unlocked. It’s a game changer. Everyone’s at a high place of personal responsibility for the behavior. There’s no more of this anger, judgment, frustration. Instead, it’s like a job. It’s like, hey, you’re in charge. It’s like, you’re in charge and it’s okay. And there’s compassion around it. Right? It’s like, oh, they’re just having their moment. So it’s like, oh, it could be me next time. Right? And it also a sense of ownership of like, not trying to … Because this is where the destructive energy comes in, when people are expressing their charges. And going back to core protocols, right? I will not accept an incoherent transmission from another person or something like that. Right? It’s just like, in some ways, it feels like-

Audree S.:                     34:15                Everyone’s human.

Michael S.:                    34:16                Yeah, everyone’s human and is bringing the core protocols live in a much more human way, right? Some way is deeper way, and some way is different way.

Richard K.:                    34:28                Yeah, I love this.

Audree S.:                     34:30                I think for leaders who are working with teams, and maybe multiple teams, I think the go to, an easy go to in our society is to take everybody out for beer. And that is not healthy team behavior. Although it creates a bonding experience, it’s not authentic and in a very deep way, it’s kind of a surfaced level socialization, of being on a team, but not everybody is going to come into the bar, and bond with everybody else, just because they’re drinking. Them it’s alcohol induced and there’s a whole bunch of other staff going on with that. So to be able to find ways to create the bonding within a team, that’s healthy on site or off site that’s-

Richard K.:                    35:37                Aligned with the work and the purpose.

Audree S.:                     35:38                Yeah, aligned with the work and the purpose instead of some other social things. Other social things are good to help, but they shouldn’t be used as that’s the end or be for team bonding.

Richard K.:                    35:53                Yeah. You mentioned your book, Emotional Science, can you tell us a bit about that.

Michael S.:                    36:02                So yes, there’s something that Audree, and I created together [inaudible 00:36:07] with essentially as somebody who worked as … Was formally trained as an engineer and scientist and work in technical rules. Essentially, I would argue that my emotional system was shut off for most of my life for some [inaudible 00:36:24]. Essentially, what happens when we’re young, our emotional system says, oh, for this environment in order for you to survive, we’re going to make these adjustments. Here you go. So my environment was shut off for my survival and ability to function. And so when I was turning it back on, I was realizing I went through all this discovery, this theory deep inner journey.

Michael S.:                    36:45                And I came to the point where I realized, like, well, people don’t know the truth of what’s going on with their emotions. It’s like they don’t understand, but it’s so obvious. It’s like this, this, this and this, right? Because things seem obvious to me that, anyway. So I’m going to go. It’d be really useful to write a book on this. And it’s like, oh, why should I read this book? It’d be much more natural writing my book in culture leadership and the work I do professionally. It’s like, no, no, no, just write this book. And then I just started on it and then Audree joined the team, that became our book. And this deep integration of both of our understanding of traditions today. Because most people, the truth is, most people, no matter how much time you spent reading psychology books and so on, do not actually understand how emotions work in a highly accurate way. There’s some things that help us kind of sort of understand them. And so this takes the people on a deep dive and it’s not a reading books, it’s not-

Audree S.:                     37:38                It’s not academic.

Michael S.:                    37:40                It’s an experimental thing to say here, look, run these experiments to diagnose how your system actually works. And you’ll discover you’re like everybody else in the planet, and your emotions work in this way. So it’s a workbook and it’s not like I can just tell you, hey, this how your emotions work. It’s like something that people need to discover for themselves.

Audree S.:                     37:59                And not only that, but I am a big advocate of shortcuts. So in my work, which is a lot about based on psychology, and the psychology of disease, and the psychology of pain and suffering. My theory is that we don’t have to go back into the past and figure out what happened, how did I get hurt? Who did what, how did I create this, blah, blah, blah. It’s more like okay, I have a situation, I’m being emotionally triggered, I find the trigger in my body, and I breathe through it. And within 10 minutes of breathing, it actually dissolves. It clears up a lot of the old wounding just by noticing the wound itself, and how it’s activating in your body in the moment. And we have a kind of an exercise or technique to help you deal with emotions, and the triggers in the moment. And when you start to do those on a regular basis, or have a practice around it, you can be in a meeting and be emotionally triggered. And just breathe by noticing and breathing through it. You can actually be talking to somebody and dealing with your emotional charge at the same time.

Michael S.:                    39:23                Yeah, and the feedback we’re getting from people is incredible. It’s like, everyone should be taught this in grade school.

Audree S.:                     39:30                My mom’s reading it.

Michael S.:                    39:35                I gave my dad for Christmas. I haven’t heard anything since, I think he blew up.

Audree S.:                     39:41                My dad said, I like your personal story. Did you [inaudible 00:39:48]?

Michael S.:                    39:48                And that’s the other responses that people start reading it they go, “Oh, I actually discovered my emotion. I have to look at what’s going on in my life.” They’re like, “Oh, I’m not ready to do that today.” And they put the book down.

Audree S.:                     39:59                But they should pick it up because it’s not really about … It’s so easy.

Michael S.:                    40:04                [inaudible 00:40:04] and then they go like, oh, my gosh, why did I wait?

Audree S.:                     40:08                Yeah, make it really easy. Because it really should be easy.

Michael S.:                    40:17                It’s kind of back to where we started the story. When we look at the things that are uncomfortable. There’s that moment of discomfort and effort and so on. And then we get the benefits for the rest of our life.

Richard K.:                    40:31                Yeah, that’s a beautiful sentence. very concise, lovely way to wrap things up. As we wrap things up, is there anything else that you’d like to share with listeners, any advice for listeners anything else about yourselves, your work that you’d like to share?

Audree S.:                     40:47                I like to share something. I think one of the most important things that I’ve learned is, as I see the brilliance in other people, I become more open to working with them and allowing unfolding to happen at a team level. That’s extraordinary. That’s been an extraordinary growth and learning opportunity for me.

Michael S.:                    41:11                I’d say for myself, is just seeing all the places where I was blocking and still in some ways, other people from shining, their brilliance. Which is at the core of leadership is really about developing other leaders around us. Other people to have their brilliance and shine themselves. Really becoming much more conscious of all these destructive behavior patterns and conscious behaviors and so on. Actually creating my life the opposite of what I really want to be creating and I have to do one thing. One thing that to add is to invite people to look at the places where we don’t look positively or not really fully have 100% supportive of other people, and then being successful then being [inaudible 00:42:00].

Michael S.:                    42:02                Other things going on I’d say we teach probably not just the corporate teams, but for how to create high performance organizations that are [inaudible 00:42:15] is to we are very deep Eastern philosophy and wisdom traditions, into corporate business. We get a very conscious approach of business that’s very practical and applied or CAL 1 or Agile Culture and Leadership training. And we’re just getting extraordinary feedback where the trainer talk about [inaudible 00:42:39]. And also we will be launching the very … I guess, I’ve been embossed wanting it to apologize [inaudible 00:42:50]. Really having people develop their capabilities to be … And very powerful ways to become extraordinary leaders. But what’s going on for this year. That’s super exiting.

Audree S.:                     42:59                Awesome.

Michael S.:                    43:10                What kind of [inaudible 00:43:10] are 2018 on culture leadership in this on Agile [inaudible 00:43:16] organizations. Not just in … Because Linux is a just little baby organization.

Richard K.:                    43:22                Exactly.

Michael S.:                    43:24                What is our view is that we stopped talking about teams and focus on organizations, everything applies for teams as well. So it’s a great, great source for the general case.

Richard K.:                    43:37                Alright, awesome. And how can listeners contact you if they’re interested?

Michael S.:                    43:42                For the book go to emotionalscience.com. For our work just google Michael Sahota website.

Richard K.:                    43:52                Alright, and I will include those links and the podcast episode description, so it’s easy for people.

Audree S.:                     43:59                Thanks you.

Richard K.:                    44:02                Audrey Sahota, Michael Sahota, thank you. Thank you so much for joining us today on the podcast. Really appreciate it. I really feel the love. Thanks for joining.

Audree S.:                     44:11                Thank you for having us.

Michael S.:                    44:12                Thank you, I loved doing this, we discovered so much.

Richard K.:                    44:17                Hi, friends. Thanks for listening. And remember, to support this podcast, sign up for my newsletter @kasperowski.com.

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