Co-founder of Traitify, Josh Spears, joins Talent Talk Radio to discuss AI's place in helping recruitment become easier, smarter, and less effort than ever
VP of Product, Paradox
Josh focuses on developing best-in-class assessment experiences and actionable insights within the Paradox platform.
Founder, Salomé Trambach | Leadership Coaching & Training
Salomé's mission is to elevate and empower leaders & organizations to lead courageously, authentically and intentionally with well-being, self-awareness, trust and growth mindset at the forefront.
Routinely consults and speaks, and Inc Magazine ranked him as the #1 Leadership Speaker on Culture.
Transcription was automatically created. Please excuse any filler words, punctuation errors, or misspellings. Review and updates are in progress.
Good afternoon, and welcome to Talent Talk. Thank you for joining us. And as always, we have two fantastic guests lined up for you to talk about talent talk about how they're managing talent, and hopefully you know, give us a few secrets on what the cool stuff they're doing, what they're thinking about, and how they're being successful. And that really is why this show exists. I love talking to business leaders, CEOs, authors, consultants, thought, you know, futurists, whatever it may be, and what we're, should be thinking about what we should be doing around talent. So we've had so many incredible stories and inspiring leaders over the years. I've been really fortunate to be able to put a lot of their stories into some of my books. the first one, the Power of Company Culture was a bestseller when that came out.
And then, of course, this year we released Remote Work, which was also a bestseller. Love to have you check those out. If you wanna catch up on those stories, find out what some of the best stories were from guests from our show, as well as, you know, the stuff that I try to do talent Talk is live every Tuesday, 1:00 PM Pacific Standard Time. A lot of, you know, you can tune in through the Tune in Network OC Talk Radio, but we're also broadcasting this now on YouTube, Facebook LinkedIn and Twitter Live. So on LinkedIn and Twitter, we are live interacting as well. So if you comment there, if you're retweeting we will bring in the questions, we'll comment and, and sort of keep the conversation going as well. So don't forget to follow the hashtag at People g2, or excuse me, the, the Handle at People G2 or the hashtag Talent Talk.
And we will make sure to try to catch your comments, catch your suggestions and, and keep that conversation going. My guests today are the Vice President of Product at Paradox. Josh Spears will bring him in first, and then after the commercial break, we'll bring in Leadership Coach solo, may Trombe and see what he's got got to say for us. So, but let's go ahead and get started. Our first guest today, as I mentioned, is Josh Spears, co-founder of Stratify. Now try to by Paradox and as a part of the Paradox family, they continue to simplify the way business by business, job seekers, and employees connect using the power of Human insight. I definitely wanna learn more about that. That sounds like a really good elevator pitch. But welcome to the show today, Josh.
Josh Spears (02:18):
Hey, Chris. Thanks for having me.
Chris Dyer (02:19):
Yeah. So how are you? And, you know, tell us a little bit more about you. What's important for us to know, you know, for our conversation today?
Josh Spears (02:26):
Yeah, so I am doing fantastic. It's it's been a great year as you kind of alluded to earlier in the year around August, we actually were acquired by Paradox. after a 10 year journey of kind of starting Tradify with my, my co-founder Dan Sines back in 2011, and then taking that through to now joining Paradox. So it's been, it's been quite a year for us and the team. and we're, we're super excited for the the path ahead with Paradox.
Chris Dyer (02:57):
Yes. I know Dan is a past talent show guest, and we had him on and you could gone through this, you said this acquisition together you know, why was this the right fit for you guys? You know, it's, it can be, it can be a great thing, it can be a terrible thing, it can be a hard thing, but it sounds like it's been a good thing for you guys. So what, why was it a good fit, and what do you sort of ex, you know, what does the future look like?
Josh Spears (03:21):
Yeah, I, I think, you know, of all the possible scenarios, this is potentially one of the best outcomes for us in that we really found in Paradox a partner who kind of shares on a fundamental level our vision of kind of what product should be, particularly in this talent acquisition space. and also our passion for just creating what we refer to as magical experiences. So from day one core DNA and tradify has always been how do we create fastest, most accurate, accurate predictive assessment in the market? How do we create something that is engaging for candidates and, and allows them to kind of go through the process in seconds versus many, many minutes? So I think what Paradox has done, which is really quite fascinating, is develop this conversational assistant, Olivia, that has conversations with candidates and through this conversations can help them apply for positions, search for positions even ask questions about kind of the role and the company over time.
So, as we partnered with Paradox initially we saw there was a tremendous amount of overlap between kind of our shared vision and shared values in terms of what we built. and in a great way, this kind of happened organically. So we initially did start as partners servicing kind of mutual clients together. And then through that relationship saw there was a natural kind of union that could exist between the two of us, and that we could be stronger together. And frankly, from, from my perspective from Trade five perspective, we've always been looking for a, a company like Paradox that had a platform by which all of its great assessment product and content that we've developed could be could be delivered and administered throughout the talent life cycle.
Chris Dyer (05:14):
Right? Well, I mean, MNAs happen all the time. We, we hear about that, but I think what we hear about a little less is the sort of challenges that leaders face in, in, in that regard, right? So whether that's how do you maintain your culture, how do you, you know, help your people maybe, maybe suddenly things explode, right? And you're, you're, you're now selling a lot more than you ever did before, right? And there's a lot of different types of things that are challenges. What, what was the experience like for you guys and from a leadership perspective, and maybe how have you helped, you know, your team manage that, that change?
Josh Spears (05:49):
Yeah, so it, it was it was very challenging, I'll say, particularly leading up to the point at which deals closed. We went through obviously a very extensive diligence process paradox team. And as part of that we were able to bring certain members of the company in who were, who are part of that diligence. But generally, we had to kind of keep things underwr wrapped because, you know, with, as these things often happen, they, they don't always go through. And we didn't obviously want to get our team's hopes up prematurely. So I would say from a leadership perspective, that was fairly agonizing for, for myself and for Dan, who was our CEO and my co-founder. just because we, Tradify always adopted a very kind of transparent above board style with our team, want to share with our team both the highs and the lows of this journey, because we're asking exceptional, exceptional effort from them to build what we're building.
So I think that was certainly a relief when we were finally able to make the announcement and let everyone know that this is happening. And then from that point through today, what we've really made every effort to do is just to kind of keep that communication going in terms of making sure that the transition, the inter the deeper integration into paradox is, is well communicated across all the teams so that everyone kind of is in the loop with what's going on, and that there's always open channels of communication. And I think that particularly for, for us, those have been myself and Dan. So as leaders of tradify, we're still kind of making ourselves available even in our new roles of paradox that our team can come to us and kind of bring to us any issues or any questions or comments, and that we can kind of make ourselves available to serve in that purpose, which I think has been greatly appreciated, but by our team and has actually assisted in making kinda the transition happen much more smoothly.
Chris Dyer (07:45):
Right, right. Well, I mean, one of the things that you know, I think all leaders have been thinking about, talking about, or even impacted by is this, you know, great resignation or the great reshuffle that we've been seeing, and it was c it was work from home and now, you know, people are willing to, to move to change. I think some of the, the movement was just maybe halted, right? It was just sort of paused for a while during covid, and now it got kind of pent up, and then it's all sort of happening at once, but nonetheless, it's happening. there may be two or three things that you think talent leaders should be focusing on, especially around the recruitment efforts, and maybe how do they maybe kind of translate that into their, hopefully an improved hiring and retention, you know, strategy for new employees?
Josh Spears (08:34):
Yeah, absolutely. I think that there are a few things that are top of mind for me and for paradox when it comes to helping our clients and helping others kind of deal with this, this challenging labor market. And I think, again, something that's core to our DNA is how do you create a very engaging easy to use, low friction candidate experience? I think candidates have the power now. They have, you know, the optionality in the market to take any role. So when they are applying for a position within the organization it's a, a necessity that you make that experience as easy as low friction as possible. which is obviously something that we at paradox take very seriously and, and, and build all our products with that lens. I also think communication is essential. So I think this is changing, but historically you've seen an experience where a candidate will make, will apply for a position, and then their application goes into a, a black hole ofwhere.
So they really don't have any insight into the process or where things stand or what they should be doing. I think the expectation now is that communication should be constant are consistent at very least in that candidates can get the answers when they need the answers to the questions that they have, and they should understand where they're in the process and what next steps are. I also think that carries over to kind of post-hire. So communications, communication is essential, particularly with hourly employees. so again, traditionally hourly employees have kinda been a bit forgotten, I think, in the conversation around things like learning development and engagement, and something that we've seen over the years and we've actually built product and will continue to build product to adjust this, is that companies aren't doing a lot to engage and develop hourly employees. They, they, again, forgotten in the conversation. So I think the more that organizations can do to, for those employees to offer them opportunities to be plugged into the company, to be a part of what the company's doing as well as giving them opportunity to kind of see what path they might have in the company I think that is, is crucial to keeping an employee engaged and retaining them longer term.
Chris Dyer (11:03):
Yeah, I mean, it, it, it's, it's really important and I don't know, I feel like there's sometimes a disconnect. Sometimes there's a maybe a lack of thought and, and like a holistic effort right across that entire process for everybody. We, we hear from people on this show that are top employers that really have it going, that, you know, they're thinking about every angle. They're thinking about it from, from every sort of stakeholder, every employee's sort of perspective. And, and trying to create the be you can't, you can't do it perfectly for everyone, but trying to create the best experience that they can and even insert some sort of individual choices in that, right? To let employees sort of select how and when and where they, they sort of dive into things and how they become exposed to things in that process that seems to be the best. And yet we're talking to people who are struggling, right? It's clear that some major part hasn't been thought about, some major part hasn't been dealt with. you know, so do, do you have any suggestions there? You know, I mean, it's great to say you gotta have it all figured out, but if you don't yet <laugh> Yeah. How do you cross that chasm? You know?
Josh Spears (12:12):
Yeah. I think the advice I would give for any organizations who are struggling now is to really kind of take a step back and, and process and kind of look at the end to end kind of workflow and experience that currently exists for your talent. and, and take some time to really audit that process and look at it from a can's perspective or our consumer's perspective. Because I think something that we've been seeing in HR technology for the past few years is this transition more to products that feel like consumer grade products. And really they should be, it should, we should be creating experiences that stand shoulder to shoulder with an Instagram, with a Snapchat. They should be as engaging, they should be as easy to use as those products. And historically the applications that have been built to the space have not been, they've been clunky and hard to navigate and, and boring.
So I think an organization really needs to step back and take kind of stock of what that workflow looks like, and then find find vendors, find solutions that that kind of meet that, that need for this modern candidate. and that, that does require some change, I think, in some ability to invest in, in researching what's out there. But I do think it's something that candidates do expect today, and it could very well be a reason that the candidate chooses not to apply with their organization if they have a poor experience applying for, for a role with an organization. So I think all these things need to be taken into account, and you really, in many ways are making that first impression with that candidate when they're applying. And you need to take advantage of that, of that opportunity to put your best foot forward, much like the candidate is putting their best foot forward as they're applying and, and interviewing.
Chris Dyer (14:08):
Yeah. Well, I know during the last, you know, year and a half or so we, we have some people in our society that have done some amazing things, these front frontline workers and people who've really been out there. But I think one of the unsung heroes of, of this time has been recruiters. they have had to do so much and when they have been effective, right? They've been able to we've had people on the show that, you know, they were able to staff 5,000 nurses in New York right? During, when New York had like the, was the worst of the pandemic, right? They've been able to sort of do some things and really help companies out. They've been that lifeline, right? To find the people that, that we need to ultimately fill those positions to do that really difficult work. But I think one of the concerns is, is that these recruiters, they're getting harder to find especially good ones. and they can be getting burnt out. you know, they, they might be at risk to leave. So what should companies be thinking about and trying to help them, you know, create some sort of balance, avoid the burnout, be able to, and be able to retain those, those those key people.
Josh Spears (15:16):
Yeah, I'm glad you brought that up, Chris. Cause it is something that we see consistently in the market in terms of organizations having less and less resources to recruit, which means smaller recruiting teams and, and longer hours and more burnout. And I think what's important again, is that an organization finds the right solutions and tools that can assist their team. And I often think there, there is some, some fear from recruiters when, when an organization is looking at solutions and tools, a fear that potentially their, their role could be replaced or, you know, they could somehow be kind of shoved out of the organization. And I think actually what, what we try to do at Paradox and tradify is create solutions and tools that can get the recruiter away from what we call the BS work, the boring stuff. We want recruiters to spend time actually talking to candidates and doing things that drew them to recruiting in the first place.
Things that they love, the human elements of recruiting, and take all the things like scheduling and all the administrative work and offload that to technologies so they can spend their time on what really matters and what's important. So I think that's the best thing, honestly an organization can do, is to really give their team a robust suite of tools that they can deploy that gives them time back, gives them the opportunity to again, really focus on the things they love about the role versus all the things that really just suck up time and make them right. Ultimately unhappy with what they're doing,
Chris Dyer (16:52):
Doing well. It's fascinating that, you know, technology is supposed to make us, you know, more efficient and do all these great things for us so we can spend more time doing the human things, right? Right. And yet I feel like, you know, every person I know is looking for a job, is sort of the process. The whole thing is like not helping with that, right? It's essentially completely automated. No one's really talking to each other. There's just sort of this complete disconnect in the process. So, you know, I, I know your, your company's on the leading edge of using technology to support a very, you know, person driven you know, area in every business. So from talent recruitment and engagement, i, I, I guess how do we support HR leaders in, in, in, I guess, embracing the right technology and helping them eliminate the BS so we they can have more of those conversations?
Josh Spears (17:41):
Yeah, I think for us, you know, education is key and, and removing some of these I think unfair misunderstandings of, of what some of these solutions do and what they offer. And again, I think we never want to kind of replace a recruiter or take away someone's job. We, we want to build solutions that, again, allow them to get back to what really brings them joy and happiness in their work as well. and we also believe that by giving them time to spend with candidates that it will be a better outcome not only for the organization, but for the candidate as well. The candidate feel more engaged and more listened to and, and not spending as much time having to interface solely with the technology as, as they're now. So again, I think it's, it's just that education piece and, and also listening. I think listening to recruiters, listening to the challenges they have and organizations really spending the time and effort to try and figure out a plan to use technology to, to help those recruiters use their time more efficiently.
Chris Dyer (18:56):
Yeah. Yeah. Have you seen you know, sort of an uptick in, I guess, maybe the struggles or in the retention of, of hourly workers
Josh Spears (19:09):
We have, yeah. So we, we are seeing struggles with retention in the hourly space. again, I just think we're in this interesting time where there's certainly an abundance of, of optionality for the hourly worker in the market. There's, there's a tremendous amount of of roles they could take. I also think the, this isn't something that has been talked about a ton as part of this, this labor shortage conversation, but I think the gig economy is also significantly contributing to to these changes that we're seeing because it offers that, that flexibility and that ability to kind of set your own hours and, and kind of work for yourself, so to speak. So and that's really for us, I think our sweet spot from a paradox trainer, her perspective, we, we do focus on kind of hourly space, not exclusively, but we prioritize it, and particularly for what we're doing with kind of post-hire in terms of, you know, learning development and coaching that is gonna be a focus for us in the hourly space because again, that, that audience I, I believe has been traditionally underserved and kind of forgotten.
So we wanna create tools that can not only help with selection of those hourly workers, but also help organizations retain those workers and provide engagement opportunities for them as well as development opportunities.
Chris Dyer (20:33):
Well, I've got a, a teenage son, and I can tell you I've sat with him and worked with him on, you know, as someone who's, he's an hourly employee, right? Coming in and trying to get jobs, and it's been pretty, it's pretty disastrous. It's pretty terrible. I, you know, the, the, the terrible automation, the, you know, having to repeat things over and over again, the communication, the, I mean, it's like, could you, could you have designed anything with, with user experience less in mind, right? and it's crazy. Like I thought we've so much farther along. I mean, we've been far better off. When I was a kid, written an application and walked in and handed digital manager, I had far better experience than what he's having, you know, filling out hundreds and hundreds of these forms and using all these different, like, recruiting sites and things where the disconnect, right? And the noise is just immense to where he, he is having a hard time navigating it, you know? and, and when we went against the grain, we literally went into a place and filled out a nap, and he got a job on the spot, right? Wow. We bypassed all of the junk that's supposed to be there that never got him anything, which, yep. So to your point, we have a long way to go <laugh>.
Josh Spears (21:47):
We do. We do.
Chris Dyer (21:49):
and, and, and I don't know how much of that is, is generational either. I mean, I was certainly willing to go do all that work. I think he's, he would prefer to do it all on the phone or do over text. I mean, we have five generations in the workplace right now. what are some of the challenges, or I guess even opportunities that, you know, come with managing that many different generations?
Josh Spears (22:10):
Yeah, so I really think, and I kinda look at this from, from a product lens, because that's, that's what I do. But I do think you know, often in kind of our industry, there's this this view that there's vast differences between the different kind of age demographics and, and frankly what we've seen is that there's actually more similarities in kind of how people use products and technology than there are differences. And and again, an easy kind of frictionless experience is appreciated by people of all ages. You know, whether you're a young person who has been using an iPad from the age of three, or if you're someone, you know, in your, your fifties or sixties that has been learning technology over the last few years, I think it's important to create, again, these, these touchpoints that allow people to get more quickly to, like you were describing with your sun, Chris, this human interaction, this human experience that in some ways has been lost from our current, our current kind of workflows and experiences.
So both from the candidate side and the recruiter side want to create that opportunity to kind of engage and to get kind of something back for all the effort that's put into all these experiences. So, an example there that is something that we actually did a few years ago is we created a, an output from our assessment that is taken as part of the apply process that could be shared with candidates. So most of the time when you take an assessment as part of the apply process, it again goes into the void and you're not really sure how you did or what it means for your, your next steps. Well, we actually have a report that we give back to the candidate and an organization can share and say, Hey, thanks for doing that. Here's your your report. Hey, learn a little bit about yourself.
What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? What are things you can improve upon? and I think that's something that for us, we've seen candidates of all ages appreciate, you know, something that, that feels like, again, a human touch that can give back to them, that can say, okay, we're not just a faceless organization that uses you as a warm body. We actually care about you in this process. whether or not we actually do hire you, we still realize you're a human being, right? We wanna respect you and your time put into this. So I think just, again, building good products that kind of simplify these experiences and allow people to get back to the human interactions yeah, applies across the board.
Chris Dyer (24:52):
So important. It's definitely so important. Well last and most important question, how can people get ahold of you? How, how can they find out more about your company?
Josh Spears (25:01):
Sure. So you can visit paradox.ai is our website to get more information. And then I'm also on LinkedIn and my email is josh dot spheres paradox.ai.
Chris Dyer (25:16):
Josh, thank you so much for being on our show today and being a guest some fantastic insights and love to see the trajectory and the, the progress you guys are having over there. So, love to have you come back at some point and keep us up to speed with what you guys are doing.
Josh Spears (25:29):
Thanks so much, Chris. Appreciate
Chris Dyer (25:31):
It. All right, we're right back after this quick commercial break and bring in my second guest, Solome trombe.
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Chris Dyer (26:43):
Welcome back to the Talent Talk Radio show in fa in case you miss my first guess. Don't worry, you can get Josh's interview on our podcast, we'll have it up in a few weeks. Or don't forget, we are live streaming right now on Facebook, on YouTube, on Twitter, on LinkedIn. You can go and watch the interviews as well for this show or any other past shows in the last maybe six months or so, we've been doing this live thing. and don't forget, you can also go to talent talk radio.com. You can subscribe there, of course, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, iTunes, wherever you listen to podcasts. We're there. Don't forget to subscribe, so you never miss an episode. All right, we're gonna bring in my next guest, whose name I've been practicing all day, so hopefully I get it right. Salome Trambach we'll see how I did. Public speaker and leadership coach. she's a personals, growth and leadership coaching who coach who empowers leaders to lead with impact through self-awareness, mindfulness, and courage. welcome to the show.
Salomé Trambach (27:43):
Thank you. And you did pronounce my name more or less, really good, <laugh>.
Chris Dyer (27:48):
Okay. Close enough. Close enough.
Salomé Trambach (27:51):
I think so. Close enough. Very good. Right?
Chris Dyer (27:53):
All right. I did completely slaughter it, so I'm sure you get that all the time with both your names. My last name seems to trip people up sometimes
Salomé Trambach (28:01):
Chris Dyer (28:02):
Yeah. Yeah. And it's funny, there's a street in my county that people know is Dyer Road, and yet when they come and ask me my name, they always say Dwyer. They say it wrong, even though they say the street name, right? <laugh>. So it's this weird, like, mental thing. So I've always just, I just gave it up. Okay, yeah, that's me, you know? Yeah,
Salomé Trambach (28:21):
I know what you're feeling,
Chris Dyer (28:22):
<laugh>. Well, how are you? And what, what, what, what else should we know about you for our conversation today?
Salomé Trambach (28:29):
Yeah, I'm good. I am actually in Copenhagen. So in Denmark, far away from you. And it's, yeah, it's late evening here, around 10:30 PM and I guess what I would love to kind of share with the audience, which might be relevant for our conversation today is that I am multicultural. So I am Danish on my mother's side, and I'm French on my dad's side with some extra roots from a lot of other places. But it's important because I do think that it defines me, both my multiculturalism, but also having lived in a lot of different countries growing up in an international environment. And it's really had a huge impact in how I view the world. And it's also played a role in my passion and dedication towards personal development and leadership and just, you know, the journey within and wanting to get to know myself better in order to understand the world better and to show up better as a human and as a coach, which is what I do on a day to day basis.
Chris Dyer (29:37):
Yeah. Well, first, thank you for staying up so late to talk with us, us a live show, so it's hard to move it around. But yeah, we, we always enjoy having guests from all around the world, and sometimes the timing works, sometimes it doesn't. But you know, I, I think what you just articulated is, is the kind of guests, the kind of person that I really enjoy talking to someone who is, you know, enjoys understanding different people and different environments and different situations and why they work or why they don't work, right? And is inquisitive enough to say, I wanna know more about that, or I wanna know more about that person. I think the other end of that spectrum are those kinds of people frustrate me, right? That just don't care, care to know why this works or why that manager is good, or why that employee worked out, right? They just think it's luck and happenstance, or they just don't care. I don't know. So I, I <laugh>, but in, in your own words, since you work with so many you know, specific people and great leaders or maybe maybe even some not so great leaders, so you know, what not to to do, but how would you describe a great and an empowering leader?
Salomé Trambach (30:48):
I think that, to me, a great and empowering leader is really three key things. There are a lot of things that can play a part, but I think the first main thing in the starting point is self-awareness. So really having that courage to kind of look inwards and, you know, dare to question yourself, you know, about, you know, how good you are or just how it is that you view the world, like you're, like you're mentioning before, right? I think that it's being self-aware also means that you're very aware of your own values and you're able to be, you know, congruent and you're able to live by them. And also you invite your external environment to kind of come in and play a part in that as well. So you value other people's opinions and you, and you, and you are curious about what the world has to, has to say.
I think a number two really important if you wanna be a really great leader is actually understanding your power. So having an awareness of power dynamics, because it's really something that is key to creating trust in a team, an organization in life in general. And so I think that that is super important and not talked about enough in leadership today, if I had to be honest. so yeah, I mean, I think, you know, those things lead to the third part, which is really around creating trust. and that means, you know, creating a safe space, creating environments where people feel like their voices are heard and their opinions matter. Yeah.
Chris Dyer (32:17):
Yeah. Those are really important. And I, I'm not sure we've ever even talked about that, that that idea of power on this show. I know we, I read with my book club a couple years back, you know, the 48 Laws of Power, and it was really interesting how uncomfortable they were even discussing, like, you know, the book, the book has no ethics applied to it. It just says, here are the laws, here are the situations where power can, can happen, and here's how you should deal with it. It doesn't really tell you whether you should or should not implement those strategies, right? That's, that's your own conversation to have. But it's like, you know, the simple one is, you know, don't make your boss look bad, like rule number
Salomé Trambach (33:00):
One, I dunno, <laugh>,
Chris Dyer (33:01):
Right? Your boss has power over you don't make your boss look like an idiot, or you're gonna have a problem, right? I mean, it shouldn't be that way. You should be able to be totally truthful and transparent, but like, if you're gonna make your boss look like an idiot, you're gonna have a problem, right? Your boss has some power at some level to, you know, decide what you work on, or if you get promoted or do you get a raise or whatever. So,
Salomé Trambach (33:23):
And that's so interesting because that's actually like a problem, right? And that's why we need to talk more about that, because that is not the way it should be at all. And this is also where cultures play a part because everybody views leadership in a many, many different ways, depending on your business culture. And yeah, it has a lot of, a lot of aspect, and I'm sure you can create a great show about that in the future, <laugh>,
Chris Dyer (33:45):
But I think it's fascinating that it's like maybe almost something we don't wanna talk about. I think, you know, there, there was some conversation in the last two years, I think, around the me Too movement, especially in the United States, about the level of power that certain people had over other people, right? And then how that maybe impacted those situations or maybe created more opportunities for them to happen and less opportunities for, for the victim of those to, to be able to stop it, right? So we know that power dynamics are out there. are there situations where, you know, the power dynamic is good? I mean, I can think of the negatives, right? But I think other places where, where the leaders can use their power for good and, and, and it's something they should be leaning on.
Salomé Trambach (34:29):
Absolutely. I mean, I think with, with anyone in power, if you do, if you do create that self-awareness, if you do question yourself, then it's an opportunity for you to use your power in a positive way. And if you are self-aware, and if you are, you know, a leader, that that is authentic as well, you use your power to kind of equalize power. So to put everybody at the same level it's really just about understanding it. So knowing that it has an impact, knowing that you as a leader will be seen in a different way in that your words, your actions have impact. And so you need to use it in the right way. You need to include people in the conversation. You need to create a safe space so that people feel that they can trust you. And it's, it's really an art, but it's possible. And so it's just about actually just acknowledging, okay, this is the situation. I'm not running away from it. I'm embracing it. How can I make a positive impact?
Chris Dyer (35:24):
Well, I I'm sure that you have learned a lot about leadership working in seven different countries, you know, probably more, more cultures inside of those, those, you know, countries from a traditional cultural sense. And then you have your business cultures that are rapidly different, right? From business to business. So maybe what are some of the big things that you've learned as you've sort of, you know, run across the globe, working in all those different places?
Salomé Trambach (35:50):
Yeah, I mean, it's definitely fun and it's super challenging to go and, and work you know, in a lot of different places. But I've been fortunate enough to, to be able to do that for a lot of different reasons. the last places that I worked internationally, because Denmark is my home, and that is where I am now. were Mexico and then China. Wow. And I think that what you really realize is that the way that you see the world is definitely not the same depending on, you know, where you are. And so what I learned specifically is, is really to, like you mentioned at the beginning actually, you talked about curiosity. And so one of the leadership traits that really become important from working across the globe or working with people that are sitting in, that are sitting in all sorts of different places around the world is, you know, the need for traits such as curiosity for humbleness, for presence courage.
And I have a, you know, an interesting story is that when I was working in China a couple of years ago, I was working for a Danish company, and it's a company where half of the team was Danish and so from Denmark and the other half were Chinese. So from China. And you cannot find two cultures that are more different. you know, in China, or at least traditionally in the business culture, it's not normal to voice your opinion. You follow your leader, and you definitely do not question their authority. In Denmark, it's very flat hierarchies in most companies. And so it's much more normal and much more common to give your leader feedback and to, to share your opinion. And so I was initiating a feedback session which involves all team members, and everybody had to on a one-to-one basis share feedback with one another, and management was a part of that.
And I really, and I had done it several times before, and I really had to realize, okay, <laugh>, this is not gonna work in the same way because, you know, you need to adapt. If I wanna get the results that I, that we need out of it, then we need to reassess what is that needs to be done. So I think it's really about, you know, taking a step back, you know, asking the questions, asking the question, what is it that we need to get out of, what is that we need to get out of the situation? How do we get their best? How do we make people more comfortable? and, and you have to start with yourself, and that's a key lesson in everything. It's, if you want people to be honest, if you want people to share their opinions, if you want people to be vulnerable, you have to start with yourself. So as a leader, it's really great if you can start by, you know, looking at yourself and being like, this is where I would give myself feedback. And you do it in front of people who you want, if you want them to give you feedback, for example. So it's it's great. I think it's just about being open-minded, you know, and, and regardless. So I learned a lot of those lessons living abroad, but I think you can learn them, you know, also just working with people that are just different. Yeah.
Chris Dyer (38:51):
Yeah. And I, I've noticed there's a certain connection between great leaders and, and those that are authentic to themselves or their style or, or what their belief system, their values, right. but I, I will, I will say, I wanna kind of ask you, and maybe even challenge you here on this, the idea of being, you know, totally vulnerable and totally like, critical of yourself in front of your team. Because I have seen a disconnect with that because I've seen a lot of people get very fearful if their leader is too vulnerable, <laugh>, <laugh>, like, and, and then it comes off as like they're sloppy. They don't know what they're doing, they're, you know, so like, what is that balance between being authentic, being willing to say, you know, yeah, I made a mistake, or maybe I wouldn't have done it this way, or, you know, I've learned from this lesson as, you know, there's, there's kind of a balance between like, just telling them everything and, and, and, and oversharing to the point where you're, you take up too much space in the room, right?
There's not enough space for the team members to be there, right. To, to support them. I always feel like when they say the, the crap rolls downhill, right? So it's like, you know it, but I feel like, I feel like with, with, with vulnerability, it actually, I feel like it goes uphill. Like you can go to your boss and say, oh, do I feel like I need it? I feel like I totally struggled on this thing, but do you, you know, do we tell that to our, to our team, right? Do we, are we that authentic with them in that way? So what are your thoughts on how do we, how do we deal with that?
Salomé Trambach (40:23):
Yeah, I mean, it's a really, really, really valid point. And I know that it is, I mean, you said it, it's all about balance. And honestly, it's all in moderation. So we can never go to an extreme, and that's why we always have to assess certain situations. Vulnerability can create miracles in many ways because it can really create a lot of connection, a lot of engagement, a lot of things. But you have to be aware of your environment and understand where is what fitting. So of course, that requires a little bit of, first of all, reflection. So when it comes to being an authentic leader self-awareness, as I mentioned as well, it's really a key aspect of that, you know, being a great empowering leader. And it's really about, first of all, reflecting within yourself. Cause I think what often happens with vulnerable leaders who kind of spill a little bit too much is that they haven't taken enough time to really spend, you know, first think about it within themselves and figure out, okay, what makes sense to actually share?
So first you need to, you know, do a lot of self-reflection and assess, okay, what's been going on in this situation? What is it, what is it that I feel I need to share? And what value is gonna come out of that? So how is it going to be potentially received? So really being aware of what the impact might be. And it's, I think in any case, it's, it's impossible to know whether or not you're gonna a hundred percent go too far, because you will always be in a situation as a leader where you're not gonna be able to please everybody. You're gonna have very different team members on your team. Some people might think that you haven't gone far enough, some people have think will think that you've gone too far. And so it's really about reigning that in and saying, what am I comfortable doing? And what do I feel will be, will feel good, honestly? Like it really is about that. And then, you know, taking the consequences that they come, because you're not gonna be able to please everybody. So, you know, feel it out, test it out potentially with a person first, you know, a co-leader potentially.
Chris Dyer (42:29):
Right? Right. Yeah, we, we've done exercises with, with teams where, you know, you go around and have everyone share, but I always push on the leaders that they need to go last, right? Because if, if they're, it's
Salomé Trambach (42:43):
Hard <laugh>, it's
Chris Dyer (42:43):
Hard, but they, if they show up and say, I'm in a great mood, or I'm in a bad mood, people feel pressure to, like, they say, I'm in the best mood ever, or I had this great thing happen. And then you go to someone on the team and they're like, oh, but my dog just died. Like, do they really wanna share that? Because they don't wanna disrupt the great energy that the leader just brought up. So I'm
Salomé Trambach (43:06):
Always push, and I hear it here, it's like, I guess it's also really sensing your team. Where are you in your team dynamics and your team development? Because at some point the team is going to be comfortable enough to just share by themselves, and then definitely go laugh. But if you're in a team where nobody dares to say anything, you have to go first.
Chris Dyer (43:24):
Salomé Trambach (43:25):
Right. So you assess.
Chris Dyer (43:26):
Yeah. And, and maybe you can kind of show them how it's done and all that, but you know, we've also seen where excuse me, there, I had a sneeze and I was able to mute it so everyone didn't
Salomé Trambach (43:41):
Hear it. No, that's what happened. Amazing.
Chris Dyer (43:43):
That was, that was the pause. So I thought dead air was better than me sneezing on air. So anyways. but yeah, I think, you know, it's, if, if you go around the room and people are struggling, then I've always suggested to leaders, you need to shut up <laugh> and deal with their stuff first. Right? We need to show them that if they're struggling, if they're having a hard time, that we can help them support them and be there for them. If then they're all okay and they're, and they're generally doing well, then that's a good opportunity to share or you're at, right? Or maybe where you're struggling, where they could help you. Right. And so, so you made the point of it being balance. And that's the only sort of way I've been able to balance it, is by kind of making that rule of they're struggling. I need to shut up. If they're okay, then I can talk a bit more. so cuz you, you can't just be one way all the time, right? Or else you're no one's, no one's ever getting what they need. overall, I think that's,
Salomé Trambach (44:42):
Yeah, yeah. No, I agree. And I think it's good to, you know, to have, you know, different types of practices. I mean, we need to try different things out in leadership and see, you know, what, what works and, and different things will work for different people. so, so also, again, being authentic, you know, don't just do whatever some book is telling you to do. Like feel it out, try it out, and if it doesn't feel right, don't do it.
Chris Dyer (45:04):
Right. Right. So, you know, other, other ways you think that that leaders can show up more authentically or, you know I you're, if you're, if you're trying to coach someone who's maybe been struggling with this, what are some of the things that they should be thinking about right away?
Salomé Trambach (45:24):
I think first of all, what I've seen a lot is that there's a lot of there's a lot of comparing. So, so as a leader, sometimes you can struggle a little bit with your own, you know, confidence and your own ability to really show up the way you want to. And I think it's really important for everyone to really just acknowledge that nobody's perfect and that it's okay to, in that way be more real. and that it's okay to, you know, acknowledge what it is that you're really good at your strength and really focus on those and at the same time be open and honest about some of the things that aren't that great. I mean, you were just having a conversation as well about recruitment and when it, what it comes back to as well with, you know, great leaders is that if you are aware of what you're good at and what you're not so great at, you can also hire the people that really you know, match you in the best way possible. And so I think it's, it's really about focusing on, on that as well. Right. And, and and opening up to, to, to wanting to learn more about what other, you know, blind spots do you have, what other limitations do you have? Asking, asking for feedback is, is a great way of becoming smarter about yourself,
Chris Dyer (46:39):
Salomé Trambach (46:40):
Yeah. And to be honest, I think also, I mean if I, I use a lot of I use a lot of meditation in my coaching as well. cuz that's something that's very dear to my heart and something that's worked for me. And I would honestly recommend any leader out there as well to find a mindfulness practice that works. Because once you take that time for self-reflection, whether it is to meditate or just to journal in the evening about how, you know, you're, you think your day went, or you know, just asking yourself a couple of questions and writing them down, it can really help creating that little break in the day to just reflect and see, you know, where is, where is something that I should be proud of and where is something where I need to be better.
Chris Dyer (47:22):
So I, the, the, the, the mindfulness sort of technique or having that a meditation or something in there, I think really what it is, is the opportunity for your brain to be bored, right? To not be occupied and not to be stimulated. And so why do so many good ideas come to us in the shower or when we're taking a walk or, you know what I mean? Or we're driving in our cars because we are, we've limited the stimuli, right? And our brain has an opportunity to like go back and start processing things. So either you can take more showers or more more drives in the car with no radio on, I guess, but, or you could, you know, meditate. I think that's a really, really great one. And sometimes people feel unsure of how to do it or even concerned they're not doing it correctly.
I think if you just turn on one of those apps, you can do a guided one. You can do an unguided one, give yourself, just try 30 minutes, you know, I have seen sometimes you get really great, you know, kind of clarity in the moment, but I think sometimes you get it later on cuz your brain just had time, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it, it, it's like sleeping. Our brain does so much work while we're sleeping. yeah. And it's the same thing when we stop during the day to to journal, to, to meditate, to, to do something, to allow ourselves, you know, not on our phones, not watching tv, not not doing something where our brain has to be active. But does that, you bring up a really great point. Are are there any particular ones that you think are better than others that maybe someone might wanna try?
Salomé Trambach (48:57):
You mean in terms of of meditation techniques or, yeah, yeah. I mean, I think, okay, so first of all, I think it is like, like you're saying, you know, people can either be a little bit scared of it or have these expectation tos what is it that it's supposed to give me right away? So first of all, for anyone listening, really just leave out any expectation. You can sit, you can lie down. I mean, lie down, you might risk falling asleep, <laugh>, but you can stand up, I think, you know, take away all the noise of what you're here from the outside world and just kind of what, what feels right for you in that moment. You know, you can close your eyes, you can keep a soft gaze, whatever it is, and it doesn't matter what happens in those 10 minutes, doesn't matter if a million thoughts come to you.
Just accept whatever is coming, whatever you're feeling, accept it. I really think accepting is a key word when it comes to meditation is just, just letting whatever happens, happens. And not feeling like, oh God, it's supposed to be this way, and oh no, now I'm thinking about this and that's not what I'm supposed to do during these 10 minutes. Forget it. Because then you will never appreciate that break that you can give yourself in the day. And if you realize, you know, it's not for you. I, you know, I have some friends who are like, you know, I'm in awe of what you're doing Santa me, but it's just not for me. I go for a run. I'm like, great, whatever works for you. You know, you can take a walk in the forest, it doesn't matter. Don't get caught up with, you know, what people are saying.
If it feels right for you, that's what you do. I've tried a lot of different meditation techniques and I, I, I actually practice different kinds. So, you know, there's one called an Pania, which is just about noticing the breath and it's really easy because that's all that you do and it's something to, in a way focus on. But you're, you know, you're stepping away from your thoughts a little bit. And I mean, if anyone ever needs more advice on that, I can, you can always reach out to me, <laugh>, I have a load.
Chris Dyer (50:45):
Well, speaking of which, how can people find out more about you? What's the best way for them to, to connect or reach out?
Salomé Trambach (50:52):
definitely on my LinkedIn or on my website. My website is my name mero.com, and it's the exact same name on my LinkedIn. Definitely contact me there and, you know, let's have conversations
Chris Dyer (51:09):
<laugh> and, and if anyone is challenged when it comes to spelling spelling names like myself, s a l o m e the E actually has the little I don't know what you call it in, in French, but the little, yeah,
Salomé Trambach (51:23):
Chris Dyer (51:24):
In Spanish, but yeah, the little, the little
Salomé Trambach (51:26):
I something. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Yeah, but don't, so that one, when you, obviously, when you write the website forget about that one. So just s a l o m e t r a m b a c h.com.
Chris Dyer (51:39):
Perfect. Perfect. Well, thank you so much for being on the show, for staying up so late and talking with us. You were brought, brought so many wonderful ideas here, and I hope everyone else got some fantastic insights like I did, and we would love to have you come back on the show you know, sometime in the future.
Salomé Trambach (51:56):
Absolutely. Thank you so much, Chris. Have a beautiful day.
Chris Dyer (52:00):
<laugh>, thank you. Thanks everyone for tuning in today's show. Hopefully you've gained something you can use in your own career in a positive way. Until next time, do what you love and show the world how talented you can be today.