Kevin Garber: [00:01] This week on the "It's A Monkey Podcast."

Andy Molinsky: [00:03] The road diverges. Which road do you take? Do you take the avoidance road or do you take the "I'll try this" road? This "giving it a go" road? I think that's the tipping point because when you actually give something a go and you actually try it out and maybe make it your own a little bit too, people are often very surprised.

[00:22] I talked about that in the book, the epiphanies people have that for instance, "You know what? This wasn't as hard as I thought it was. I'm actually a little bit more capable than i thought I was." On the other side of fear, there are some pretty amazing discoveries that can happen, but nothing can happen if you don't take the leap.

[00:39] [background music]

Kevin: [00:48] Good evening. Hello. Good afternoon. Good morning, wherever you are. My name is Kevin Garber. This is "It's A Monkey Podcast." We talk about everything related to the tech economy, startups, entrepreneurship, being the best version of yourself. Thank you for joining us.

[01:06] I am the CEO of ManageFlitter. With me as usual is my co-host, Kate Frappell, who is the design lead at ManageFlitter. Kate, thank you so much for joining us.

Kate Frappell: [01:15] Thanks for having me back again.

Kevin: [01:17] How's your week been?

Kate: [01:19] Not too bad, pretty busy. Just finished with the Social ROI chat this morning.

Kevin: [01:24] It's actually something we should tell our podcast listeners about. Every Tuesday, America time, Wednesday, Australia time, we do a Twitter chat called #SocialROI, where we invite different guests.

[01:41] We have a topic around social media and we have a Twitter chat, which we won't get into now, but it's essentially people tweeting around a topic and using a common hashtag. They're really fun. Join us at 8:00 AM Sydney time, which is about...What is it on the West Coast time?

Kate: [01:57] 4:00 PM Eastern time.

Kevin: [01:59] That's 4:00 PM on the East Coast and probably about 1:00 PM on the West Coast. Check out the ManageFlitter blog. The times are there. As always, thank you so much for joining us.

[02:09] We have a great show lined up for you. Coming up later on in the show, I chat to Andy Molinsky. Andy's a Professor at Brandeis University in International Business and in the Psychology department.

[02:21] He's written a book. His first book was "Global Dexterity," but he's also written a brand new book which only came out in January. That's "Reach -- A New Strategy to Help You Step Outside Your Comfort Zone." I chat with him about his research into what holds us back into trying things that we find difficult.

[02:42] I talk to him about strategies, well-defined methodologies that you can use to actually stretch yourself. Not just words of encouragement saying "You can achieve anything" or anything like that -- something more concrete.

[02:57] That's coming up later on in the show. We're actually live on Periscope as well at the moment. We try to go live on Periscope. We record this on Wednesdays. At the moment, it fluctuates during the day sometime on Wednesday, and the podcast goes live on Friday or Saturday.

[03:16] We're going to try eventually lock in a fixed time where you can join us on Periscope. We've got a few people popping in and out to the Periscope feed. That's great. Otherwise, if you're listening on your podcast app, thank you very much.

[03:31] Please, if you can, take a moment to review us on iTunes. That helps people discover us. It takes two seconds. Just tell them that you love the podcast and we'll be appreciative.

[03:42] As always, tech news, lots and lots happening. Kate, let's talk first about Facebook. We haven't spoken about Facebook for awhile. We've spoken about WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, and their new status feature, which I've been using and trialing out. Sort of a Snapchat Stories for WhatsApp. It's quite interesting. They've executed that quite well.

[04:01] Facebook seems to have now opened up the ability for companies to list jobs that they have open, something that is the bread and butter of LinkedIn, is recruiting. Facebook are slowly trying to get into that territory. Tell us a little bit more about Facebook Jobs.

Kate: [04:25] Small businesses now can create a status update on Facebook but mark it as a job. These jobs go into the newsfeed of potential candidates -- people that fit the criteria or that work in the field. You can apply straight from the newsfeed on a card. Similar to what you would see an ad in your newsfeed.

Kevin: [04:49] Let's say for argument's sake you're Toyota. You would see just an ad for jobs at Toyota?

Kate: [05:05] No. Facebook have a job board, essentially, now. You can also search for jobs. You would search for "automotive jobs," and Toyota's listing would be there.

Kevin: [05:20] It's a job board service, essentially.

Kate: [05:23] Yes, but in addition to this, if you, on your profile for example, are a mechanic, then the likelihood of you being presented that Toyota add in your newsfeed is likely.

Kevin: [05:33] They can target that using the usual Facebook targeting. Do they provide tools for the companies on the backend side of things to manage the applicants? Do you know how far they've gone and on that side of things for the companies that are actually advertising these jobs?

Kate: [05:54] Yes. At the moment, it's still very much in its infancy. Companies can obviously list the jobs and create the job ad. When somebody applies, some of that information is prefilled from your profile, your name, maybe your education and information like that. Then there's also a field to describe why you would be the best candidate for that position.

[06:22] After that however, all communication between the business and the potential candidate is done through Facebook Messenger.

Kevin: [06:29] Interesting. That's interesting. Facebook Messenger we've spoken about before as Facebook's long-term play so much. It's almost like the hub of a lot of what they doing. Why I asked that question is even if you're small business like ourselves, when you put a job at out there, managing the job ad's applicants and that whole process, it's actually really tricky to not get into yourself into a tangle.

[06:58] If you just get emails and you're trying to flick them onto other team members etc, you can get yourself into a tangle and lose track really, really quickly. It's quite a big industry providing these type of platforms to help manage the candidate application process.

[07:14] We use a product called Workable which does a fantastic job. It's not perfect. Wish there was some other things that it could do, but it had it really helps the different stages. You can collaborate and different team members can comment on a candidate.

[07:32] I think Facebook would really need to take care of that side of things if they are to actually provide any value to companies that want to use their platform as a job board or to advertise for jobs.

Kate: [07:46] Yeah I agree. I think that's where the biggest gap is at the moment. Speaking of getting into a tangle though, I think the candidates themselves can also get into a bit of a pickle.

[07:56] Your potential employer has access to see your profile and now has more reason to look at your photos on Facebook and the information status updates that you've made in the past. If anything, it's a warning for people to clean up the public posts, at least on their Facebook profile.

Kevin: [08:19] I've been cleaning up mine over time every day when the Facebook memories comes on. I've been looking at all the memories of those couple of days. Just cleaning up and seeing...I've never had anything significant public at all but I'm still, even the private side of things...

[08:35] When Facebook first started and it was...You're only friends on Facebook with some of your closest friends. You were a little bit more liberal I guess, about what you said and shared. I'm, over time, cleaning up everything. It's interesting that some people might even start new Facebook accounts or things like that.

[08:57] Definitely, it's become more relevant as to what you tweet or share publicly on social media or blogs or YouTube. It's very significant and most employers do have a look at that. If Facebook's integrating the job side of things, it's going to be easier if you apply through Facebook. They're going to have your Facebook account right there. They're not even going to have to search for it.

Kate: [09:21] Exactly. The other thing is as well, that Facebook already have all these sort of tools to segment who you can share with. You can create favorites or groups. You can categorize people as acquaintances.

[09:36] When you make a status update, you can choose who gets to see them. You can be just close friends, or just friends and acquaintances. It's all there but it's not often that I hear people using those features.

Kevin: [09:48] No, most people don't. As far as I know, most people don't use targeting. I did once. A friend of a friend she shared something about a sign she saw in Sydney. It was bit of a controversial sign. She shared it on Facebook and she noted that, "I've only shared this with six targeted people, and I'm interested in your opinion." That's the only time I've actually really noticed.

Kate: [10:14] That's a nice way to put it. If you let people know...I've fallen into this trap too. I credited the close friends, and then made a status update. I thought it would get more engagement. My close friends would reply more often, but they don't know that you've only shared it with them.

[10:33] They still think you shared it with everyone. I suppose if you write or note at the bottom to say, I'm only sharing to six people...

Kevin: [10:40] They might be more encouraged to comment about that. It will be interesting. Apparently, this Job Board side of things, only launching in the North America for the time being. It will be interesting to see what happens. Obviously LinkedIn, who's owned by Microsoft now, will be keeping a close eye on this.

[10:58] Also, Facebook have been talking about their Facebook At Work platform for quite a while, which is in competition with Slack and other type of products. It will be interesting to see how this fits in. It's going to be hard.

[11:14] Their brand is not exactly an enterprise brand. Not to say that it's going to be impossible, but it's going to be a little bit of a hard sell initially to have companies start using Facebook services on the enterprise level.

Kate: [11:27] Sure. Interestingly as well, I was able to find the Jobs Board. They have released in Australia.

Kevin: [11:38] They have?

Kate: [11:38] Yes. There's a minimum amount of jobs there, and there's a lot of jobs overseas. There's a lot of American jobs listed there, but I can see it on my profile.

Kevin: [11:52] Interesting. Look, it's a big business, jobs and job boards. It's all different niche job boards. LinkedIn just built on recruiting. Let's keep an eye on that one.

[12:05] Other news story, which is exciting. A few months ago, we had Roy Benbenishti from an Israeli startup called Sesame Enable, which had a terrific app for disabled people to navigate around their mobile phones, using their head. Accessibility in helping people is definitely an interest of mine. The Internet is such a wonderful world for everyone. We should try to help everyone gain access.

[12:31] I stumbled upon this article of "Mind-reading typing tool for paralyzed people is fastest yet." This is one of these articles that I love where you're just, "Wow, the future is here."

[12:42] Kate, they've got some technology where you can almost just think and move, or type just by thinking. This is designed, at this stage, mainly for people that are paralyzed, that have degenerative diseases, or been in accidents. Tell us a little bit more about what's going on with this development.

Kate: [13:05] Three people with paralysis have learned to type by thought alone. What they have done is they've put a silicon patch covered in hundreds of tiny probes onto the primary motor cortex. That's a region of your brain that controls movement. Basically, you can direct a cursor around the screen by thinking about moving your body parts.

[13:34] There's a case study on the article will be on the website, which says that one of the guys who tested it, when he wanted to move something to the right, he had to imagine his hand on a ball, and then rotating it to the right. Obviously, he can't do that, but if he can imagine it and think about doing it, the cursor will move to the right.

Kevin: [14:01] Fantastic. Obviously, the first stage is helping people that desperately need it and want to access. You can almost see a situation where people that are able-bodied, there may be an interface option where you train the mind around certain...Every time you think of hitting a tennis racket with your right hand, that moves something.

Kate: [14:25] It triggers it. Another thing is this guy could think about selecting a particular letter on the screen. Essentially, on the screen with the cursor are letters. He's typing out an email, for example. He's going to move the cursor to the letters on the screen. To select the particular letter, he thought about clicking his fingers. He uses the ball motion to direct and then thinks about clicking to select.

Kevin: [14:53] It's fantastic. Obviously, these thoughts all have a unique signature. They all have a unique signature that the software analyses. Every time you think about moving over the ball, it triggers that unique signature.

Kate: [15:07] They are averaging about six to eight words a minute, which is two to four times faster than their previous efforts, which were used similar to the Sesame Enable, where they either use eye movements or head movements to direct something.

Kevin: [15:21] Fantastic. The applications for this technology is really, really huge. As I say, if it gets into the area of mature development, it might even be for able-bodied people, a real option of navigating around just by thinking.

Kate: [15:41] Yes, an interesting technology. The breakthrough here is the speed as well. The faster they can get the brainwave to talk to the computer and make that connection between what did the brainwave did and where the cursor needs to go. The faster you can do that, the faster they can type, essentially.

Kevin: [16:05] Fantastic. We'll put a link to this article. There's a video there as well. I'll try even reach out to these people and see if we can get them on the show. I find there's two types of academics. As a lot of academics are real quiet achievers. They're not big on talking on podcasts. There was a similar type of article around brain hacking that I sent you a while ago.

[16:33] I sent the lead researcher an email. She emailed me back and CC'd about four or five co-researchers and said, "There were lots of people involved and this. Is it possible if we can all come on the podcast?"

Kate: [16:49] [laughs]

Kevin: [16:49] I said to her, "I'd love to, and I can understand why you want to, but it will be really confusing for listeners if they hear lots of people." She didn't want that exclusive glory, but I'll try reach out to them and we'll put a link on our show notes.

[17:06] When I see articles like this, this is what technology is about. If you're the person that's struggling to interact with the computer because you don't have one of this degenerative diseases, and it just suddenly opens up the world, your whole life is changed by this technology. That's very exciting stuff.

[17:27] Anyway, you're listening to episode 83 of the It's A Monkey Podcast. We talk about everything relating to tech, startups, entrepreneurship, and being the best version of yourself within the professional framework and other.

[17:40] If you do like what you hear, send us a tweet @MonkeyPodcast. Tell your friends about us. Check out our previous episodes in our website. We have some fantastic previous episodes with people like Dr. John Demartini, David Heinimeier Hansson.

[17:56] Coming up in the next few months, we've got some great people we're going to be interviewing. I got confirmation. We're going to be talking to Kevin Kelly who's a really famous...He's one of the founders of "Wired" magazine, a very, very famous technology commentator.

[18:11] He's written a new book, and hopefully, we're going to be chatting to him in June. It's a little way away, but I've locked that in.

[18:18] Anil Dash, he's the CEO of Frog Creek Software. I'm hoping to chat to him sometime. It's semi-confirmed. We're working hard to bring you the guests. If you know anyone who wants to be in the podcast, drop us a line at podcast@itsamonkey.com.

[18:33] We're going to take a short break and we'll be back with our interview with Andy Molinsky, chatting about his new book, Reach -- A New Strategy to Help You Step Outside Your Comfort Zone. Stick with us.

[18:47] [commercial break]

Kevin: [18:47] You're back with "It's a Monkey" podcast. Thank you for joining us. My name is Kevin Garber. I am the CEO of ManageFlitter, also, the co-host of this podcast. Now, as you know, if you're a regular listener to this podcast, one of the areas that I am very interested in is what I call the human layer of our industry.

[19:23] Even though our industry is a technology industry in a way, but every business is actually a people business. Every business is made up of individuals with their own strengths and their weaknesses. One of my interests is this human journey and how to get the best out of yourself, how to get the best out of your team.

[19:44] I stumbled upon a great book a couple of weeks ago. I managed to get hold of the author who's on my Skype line. I'd like to introduce to the show Professor Andy Molinsky, who's the author of the book Reach -- A New Strategy to Help You Step Outside Your Comfort Zone, Rise to the Challenge, and Build Confidence.

[20:05] It's hot off the presses. Professor Molinsky is also a Professor of International Management and Organizational Behavior at Brandeis University's International Business School with a joint appointment in the Department of Psychology, and has also written a previous book called "Global Dexterity: How to Adapt Behavior Across Cultures Without Losing Yourself in the Process." Professor Molinsky, thank you so much for joining us.

Andy: [20:29] I am happy to be here. Thanks for inviting me.

Kevin: [20:32] Whilst I was researching this book, something dawned on me, this getting outside of your comfort zone. An image came to me of all of our ancestors many, many thousands of years ago, sitting around a fire, and most of them quite happy just sitting and chatting and doing a bit of hunting.

[20:49] Maybe one of them, just looking far out into the horizon, on to some hills, and thinking to himself or herself, "I wonder what's out there. It's pretty scary, but I'm just going to go for it." I think since the beginning of time, this tension between staying in our comfort zone and getting out of our comfort zone has probably been part of our makeup, right?

Andy: [21:12] It's funny when you said that, when you're talking about our ancestors, I immediately was starting to think about my ancestors, not my ancient ancestors but more...

[21:22] [laughter]

Andy: [21:23] America is a country of immigrants, and so pretty much everyone's ancestors...Not everyone, but almost everyone I know at least, has ancestors who were doing exactly what you're talking about. Probably, not sitting around a fire...

[21:36] [laughter]

Andy: [21:39] Some degree of poverty, deprivation, some not-so-great situations somewhere else in the world, many times in Europe, and decided to take a leap. It's tremendously courageous when I hear the stories of my ancestors coming from Europe here, the travails that they endured to get here, and what it must have been like to absolutely step outside their comfort zones.

[22:07] Yes, it's an apt image, [laughs] and I've never heard that before, so it's a nice way to start.

Kevin: [22:13] Now, what I found quite interesting is we all have a sense of what's in our comfort zone and what's outside of our comfort zone. We're all different to what we find quite challenging. What I found quite interesting in your book is you actually break it down into why people find it tough to step out of a comfort zone.

[22:32] You actually unpack it into a few specific reasons why it jars them. Can you talk about some of those findings that you talked about in your book?

Andy: [22:43] Sure, absolutely. I know a lot of listeners are entrepreneurs or working in tech businesses. I certainly spoke with entrepreneurs and in tech businesses. I also spoke with and interviewed and observed managers delivering bad news, delivering negative performance reviews.

[23:02] Doctors performing painful procedures on children -- I could tell you about that -- police officers evicting people from their homes. Actors, students, priests, rabbis, teachers, even a goat farmer, all sorts of people.

[23:16] To get to your point, what I found and what was so striking and what, for my perspective, was really exciting is that the challenges of stepping outside your comfort zone across all these cases really did boil down to five different things that I've found.

[23:32] The first was authenticity, the idea that me stepping into this role into this situation. This just doesn't feel like me. Because it doesn't feel like me, it's very uncomfortable and anxiety-producing. For example, I actually spoke with a bunch of young entrepreneurs here in the United States, who struggle to pitch their ideas to venture capitalists to get funding for their businesses.

[23:56] They told me about how they never...They'd have to put on a suit. They'd say, and they never would wear a suit or they had to pretend to put their grownup voice on and really act in a way that just simply didn't feel authentic. That's very uncomfortable, so authenticity would be one.

[24:11] Another one is likability, the idea that worrying people won't like or even hate this new version of you. There's a very poignant story in the book about a woman who was being undermined by a male colleague. It was so off-the-charts inappropriate that she simply had to confront him.

[24:33] She was afraid to because, believe it or not, she was worried that he would hate her even though, of course, he was the incredibly unlikable one. We got authenticity, likability. Another one is competence, the idea that you're afraid you'd look like a fool, like giving a speech.

[24:50] Another one could be resentment. A lot of people do feel resentful that they have to adapt. Logically, they know they do. "When in Rome, act like the Romans," or in a new role, I know I need to adapt logically, but psychologically, they felt resentful.

[25:05] Finally, morality. I did find several cases of people who really struggled almost on moral grounds. I opened a book with the story about a young entrepreneur who ended up having to fire her best friend from her startup.

[25:19] Authenticity, likability, competence, resentment, immorality, and of course, you're not going to experience necessarily all of these, but even one can make it hard to step outside your comfort zone.

Kevin: [25:30] I found in our industry, tech startups, especially on the developer side of things, the engineers, authenticity is a really, really big one for them, and you see this where they don't like to do things like networking events a lot of the time.

[25:47] I know you mentioned an example in your book of one of your MBA students from Israel who found that the networking events felt quite superficial, and was struggling with that. In our industry, developers and engineers, they've got big bullshit detectors.

[26:04] As soon as that starts going off, they struggle to just even convince themselves. Also, in the tech industry, the resentment actually can...I've seen it rear of its head very, very quickly. If there's team changes or that someone who's being promoted that they think doesn't deserve to be promoted, I see the resentment building up very quickly.

Andy: [26:28] I also see it in my experience in the tech world of people who have to go into sales who aren't salespeople by nature, and they feel it's almost slimy and dirty and just they feel so uncomfortable trying to convince someone of something.

[26:45] They just want to create the product and make it just like the perfect product. When they have to sell, people I've talked with feel very uncomfortable.

Kevin: [26:56] If someone feels uncomfortable, when is it a good uncomfortability? When is it a bad uncomfortability? Obviously, there's your hard and firm boundaries, like illegality and things like that, which should always be, in my opinion, a hard boundary.

[27:15] Beyond that, if someone's working as a engineer in a company, and they start feeling butterflies in their stomach or uncomfortable, how can they self-reflect to know whether this process of pushing themselves, they're actually going to be better for it in the long run or they should remain true to their own selves and path and perhaps just shrink back?

Andy: [27:37] That is a very good question and that's a dilemma that a lot of people struggle with. Actually, surfacing that dilemma is really important, because people unconsciously feel that and oftentimes, just veer towards avoidance.

[27:53] The question I always suggest to people is if you could wave a magic wand and you could not feel any anxiety, not feel uncomfortable in the situation, would it be something that you'd want to go for? Would it be something that you'd want to improve at? Would it be something that would be valuable to your career, for instance?

[28:11] If the answer is yes, that to round up my set of skills as an entrepreneur, I really do need to learn to network. I do need to do sales or whatever it is that makes me feel uncomfortable. I might feel like they think I'm a jerk, I might feel unauthentic, etc. but there's some value here.

[28:31] If that's the case, and the answer is that this is a case where it probably is worth applying some of the tools and techniques I talk about in my book to really try to step outside your comfort zone. If the answer is no, if it's, "You know what? I just am not interested in this. This is just not me. It's not important. I don't want it to be part of my career," then you've got a different pathway.

Kevin: [28:53] Also, it's about what ultimate outcomes someone wants to achieve. For instance, if someone is working as a senior developer in a tech company, but they'd like to be CEO one day, the outcome of being a CEO and having to be able to deal with different scenarios and have different skill sets...

[29:10] It's going to require them to stretch and evolve and develop all sorts of other talents, which is going to mean that they need to get out of their comfort zone. I guess, it's what their end game is about as well, right?

Andy: [29:22] Yeah, absolutely. It's what they're striving for. It's funny when you were talking about that, I was just thinking of an article I read in "The New York Times" magazine this weekend about how in the United States, and I imagine elsewhere in the world, there has to be a lot of personal reinvention now.

[29:38] There are a lot of people who don't have certain skills and can't find jobs. This is on the lower end of the economy. There are actually jobs, but there's a misfit between the capabilities of the applicants and the qualities that employers want.

[29:55] Of course, some of it's retraining, but some of it also is learning to step outside your comfort zone. It actually is a critical skill to bridge that gap, so that's at that level. The level you're talking about, absolutely, if you're striving to become a CEO, you're going to need...A lot of companies require their would-be senior leaders, their up-and-coming stars to have this rounded-out set of skills.

[30:21] I know that from working with HR professionals, so I know that acting outside your comfort zone is critical.

Kevin: [30:27] What's so exciting is human capability is so bendable in its potential. Sometimes, I look at my team and I've even had a couple of team members that have just grown into their roles so well. We're just this bundle of potential that if we channel our force and energy for good, I know it's a cliche, but really anything really is possible.

[30:50] It really is true sometimes. It really is as simple as that. With some application and some focus and importantly, some motivation and interest, anything really is possible.

Andy: [31:03] I agree and I think that's...My book is really oriented around helping people actually take the leap because that's the tipping point. It sounds sort of clich├ęd and obvious, but it's not actually that obvious to try to deconstruct and unpack what the critical capabilities you need to actually take a leap, to actually go for it.

[31:25] The road diverges, and which road do you take? Do you take the avoidance road or do take the "I'll try this" road? The "giving it a go" road? I think that's the tipping point, because when you actually give something a go and you actually try it out and maybe kind of make it your own a little bit, too, people are often very surprised.

[31:45] I talk about that in the book. The epiphanies people have that, for instance, "You know what? This actually wasn't as hard as I thought it was and you know what? I'm actually a little bit more capable than I thought I was." On the other side of fear, there's some pretty amazing discoveries that can happen, but nothing will happen if you don't take the leap.

Kevin: [32:03] That's what I find so interesting about the mind. The mind serves us in many ways and it's engineered to protect us. But in this case, stretching ourselves, I don't think it always does the best job.

[32:15] In a way the opportunity cost of not taking the risk, so to speak, of not stepping outside your comfort zone, is higher than the potential downside of whatever it is you're trying to do not working out. Somehow the mind gets that the wrong way around.

Andy: [32:33] Yeah, I think that's the cognitive, cold side of the mind, but I think in these cases, the hot, emotional side of the mind wins the day. It trumps cognition and self-threat looms large. Those are the self-threats we talked about before. You're feeling inauthentic.

[32:53] You're feeling anxious. You're feeling ashamed. You're feeling uncomfortable. You're feeling whatever it might be. All those types of anticipatory emotions that result from those, what we talked about, authenticity, likability, and so on. That's what dominates. You can't sort of bring to bear your logical structures because the emotions, I think, loom larger.

Kevin: [33:13] There used to be a school of thought that if you wanted to be a CEO, you should start out doing some cold calling at some point in your business life. I started my first business when Internet was only still flapping its wings and I did do some cold calling to get my first few customers.

[33:28] What was interesting is the psychology around that is you did have a lot of fear of rejection and you thought a lot more about that fear than the excitement that this could be the customer that could really launch your business and change everything.

[33:44] You would get a real palpable sense of that. I still recommend people, if you want to be a CEO and get control over your mind and observe your mind, do some cold calling. You learn a lot when you cold call.

Andy: [34:01] [laughs] It's true and that makes me think of yet another reason why it's critical to take the leap, which is the idea of sort of desensitization. The idea that you're afraid of doing something, but then you do it, and then you try it again, and then you try it again, as you're talking about with cold calling.

[34:21] It doesn't mean that you're numb to the experience, but it means that you start to develop some control and confidence over it. It's not some sort of scary thing in the distance. It's something that you actually are sort of involved in. I think it loses some of its power over you in a sense.

[34:37] That's why I think when you're learning to step outside your comfort zone as well, it's critical that you have multiple occasions to actually do it. If you're afraid of delivering bad news, and you only do it once a year, [laughs] it's probably not going to help to step outside your comfort zone. It's interesting about cold calling.

Kevin: [34:58] What I found with cold calling, and now I try to apply it to any moments where I have that type of fear, is if I started thinking about it too much, I would paralyze myself. "What if this person gets annoyed? I'm annoying them. They've had a bad day. They're going to think I'm a sleazy salesperson," etc. etc.

[35:17] But if I would almost just count to four, dial, chat to them, I found that technique has stood me in good stead. We'll chat shortly about you've given some resources of how people can sort of move ahead beyond their own comfort zone.

[35:33] I've found that there are times in life where overthinking doesn't serve us. I would almost just count to four and go, "Right, on the count of four, I'm just calling them." There's nothing left to think about. One, two, three, four, call. [laughs]

[35:45] It was just quite a simple technique that helped me get over the hump. I still use that one-two-three-four technique. If I have to have a difficult conversation that I'm gnawing, just say, "Right, on the count of four, let's bring them into the boardroom. Let's go for it and let's have this conversation."

Andy: [35:59] [laughs] It's almost like a technique for getting past the final few paces, the final few steps. Although I think there are probably other strategies you might have used to get to the point where you were able to use the one-two-three-four technique.

Kevin: [36:15] Perhaps. Well, let's get into your three critical resources for moving ahead that you chat about in the book, which are quite useful.

Andy: [36:23] Sure. The first one's conviction. That might connect to your one-two-three-four. Before you even get to that point where you're on the cusp of doing something, you need to find the conviction, that sort of deep sense of purpose.

[36:37] It's almost like giving yourself psychological permission to do something when every bone, metaphorically speaking, in your body is saying no. You need to say yes. That sense of conviction comes from very different places.

[36:49] It might mean, this is something we talked about, people striving to be CEO, for example, or just to move up in their careers, or to round out their set of skills. You might decide, "Networking is really uncomfortable for me but if I want to achieve what I want to achieve, I've just got to do this." That's an example of conviction.

[37:07] For some people, it's about helping others. "I've just got to do this to be able to help others." I remember when I spoke with Lily Chang, who is a young entrepreneur at the very outset of the book who had to fire her best friend, her source of conviction was...It felt awful.

[37:22] Imagine having to fire your best friend. Maybe some of our listeners have had to do something like that. I certainly haven't. For her, in the end, she came to the realization that this is what she needed to do for her business, for her investors, and also for all the other employees who had sacrificed higher-paying, more stable jobs to join her startup.

[37:46] With that in mind, she had the sense of conviction that got her to the top of the hill when she could then apply your one-two-three-four technique. Conviction. That's really critical. Another one was customization.

[37:59] I'd have to say that this is probably the most surprising and maybe even the most exciting finding that I had is how much power people have to sculpt the situations that they find themselves in. I think in a lot of situations outside our comfort zones, we feel a little bit helpless and powerless, but if you think about it, you have more power than you think.

[38:24] You can make subtle little tweaks to make something just that little bit more comfortable, just that little easier for you to get up the hill, push yourself up the hill.

[38:33] You can change your body language. You can bring a prop. You can wear that power suit. No one else knows you're wearing it, but you know. That lucky charm. When I talk about it in the book, I'm pretty sure I do, how earlier in my career, I was really uncomfortable with public speaking about maybe 15 years ago.

[38:52] Now, I'm very comfortable. I do it all the time, but I used to wear a lucky ring. That ring was actually a ring that my great uncle found on the beaches of the South Pacific during World War II. He was in the Navy. I always thought to myself that, "Gosh, if he could do that, I can do this."

[39:10] It was sort of this little memory of courage for myself. No one else knew it. Anyways, there are all sorts of things. I have a student. This is not a work context, although it could be. This is really a social context.

[39:23] She's very introverted and very awkward, but she really wants to meet friends and expand her social circles. She brings a prop to social situations like to a party or a get-together. Her prop is a selfie stick.

Kevin: [39:35] I read about that, yes.

[39:37] [laughter]

Andy: [39:38] I love that. I love that. She went in great detail about how it sort of facilitates her social interaction in all sorts of ways, even to the point of enabling her to gather email addresses, to sort of connect after the fact and share the pictures and so on.

[39:56] I think there are many, many, many more ways and I detail it very clearly in the book all the ways that you could do this, but I think it's really cool to know that you actually have more power than you think. That's some of what you can do to overcome the barriers.

Kevin: [40:14] I think, as you mentioned, they don't have to be overhauls. They just can be tweaks. Right? You don't have to become someone you're not. You can stretch yourself. The beautiful thing about compounding is that it compounds. If you stretch yourself every week just a little bit and by the end of the year, boy, you've really shifted.

Andy: [40:39] Absolutely. I think the point you made earlier is really important. I deeply believe that you should not be feeling like you're not yourself. In fact, the goal of these customization techniques is quite the opposite. It's actually to try to feel more like yourself in these situations that otherwise you might not feel very comfortable and you might feel ill at ease.

[41:03] Try to make it that little tweak to make it feel just a little more comfortable. I was talking the other day with a colleague of mine, who's a very experienced banker, and he read my book. He emailed me and he said to me, "You know what? I just realized I did customization 20 years ago when I started out."

"[41:21] I had to give this really big speech and I was terrified. I had a buddy of mine fly in from New York and sit eighth row center and have a big smiling face as I was talking. It eased my tension and it enabled me to give the speech." It's funny, there are all sorts of ways that people do this maybe not even thinking.

Kevin: [41:40] You have to do what you need to do to sort of trick your mind. I think our mind's this wonderful, powerful machine, but in a way it can have these biases and these self-protective mechanisms that sometimes are not in our best interests that we've got to grapple with.

[41:57] I've got one of my business mentors. He's very experienced, been in the industry for a long time. Our industry is very weighted towards younger people, obviously. He says sometimes if he's in a meeting and he starts thinking too much about the fact that he's the oldest person in the room by far, this is his words, I'm quoting him here.

[42:20] He says, "I can feel the power drain out of my fingers." Often these biases about ourselves that we have, no one else notices and no one else cares. They're our own complexes.

[42:39] This is what I like about even just the framework of always thinking about looking forward and outwards as opposed to contracting and being self-aware of things that are only really a problem to ourselves.

Andy: [42:51] Yeah, that's very interesting. I've felt that myself as I'm getting older. [laughs]

Kevin: [42:55] It is. We were chatting on last week's episode, when we were talking about work-life balance with Monique Valcour, an executive coach. She was saying that she's heard stories about people in our industry getting reconstructive surgery in their 30s to look younger, because they feel that they're looking too old for our industry, which I thought was really radical.

Andy: [43:17] That's incredible. I know Monique. You have to tell her I say hello. [laughs]

Kevin: [43:21] Oh, great. [laughs] Small world.

Andy: [43:23] Small world. [laughs]

Kevin: [43:23] Professor Andy Molinsky, thank you very much. Andy's book is fresh off the press. You can get it on Kindle, hard copy, hard cover, the works. I bought myself a Kindle version.

[43:39] The name of the book is "Reach -- A New Strategy to Help You Step Outside Your Comfort Zone, Rise To The Challenge and Build Confidence." Professor Molinsky is a professor of International Management and Organizational Behavior at Brandeis University's International Business School.

[43:49] Also, his previous book, have a look at that as well, "Global Dexterity -- How to Adapt Behavior Across Cultures Without Losing Yourself in the Process." I thank you very much for joining us. We'll put the links to your book on the show notes. All the best. I hope it continues to do well.

Andy: [44:09] Thanks so much. This was a really fun chat. I'm glad you had me on.

Kevin: [44:14] I appreciate it. Thank you very much. Bye-bye.

[44:20] [commercial break]

Kevin: [44:20] Kate, do you know what I like about Andy's book? There's a lot of books that are telling, encouraging people to extend beyond your comfort zone, be the best that you can, etc. etc. What I like about Andy's book is he actually breaks it down.

[45:18] He breaks down why people don't go beyond their comfort zone into this framework of people are worried about authenticity, competence, resentment, likability, and morality. There's a framework that people can actually reflect back upon if they're struggling to do something.

[45:35] They go, "Right, which one am I hitting against? Is it that authenticity? Is it resentment? Is it the morality?" Then he's got a framework to move forward from that. Bridge it by using clarity, conviction, and customization.

[45:55] I find I'm someone that I really work well with...Especially when it comes to slippery things like communication and managing your own psychology, I work really well with a framework and a methodology. Suddenly it's not abstract.

[46:09] You're not saying to someone, "You can achieve everything you can achieve," or, "Try something you don't like and well..." But when they say right, have a look, there's obviously...Doing something you don't like, it's obviously either fitting into an issue with authenticity or competence, etc. etc. If I hit right, yeah, I am worried about authenticity that if I push myself to do this, I'm not being true to myself.

[46:34] Yep, that makes sense. How can I tweak that to do that in an authentic way? Suddenly there's a formula and a methodology around that to move to the next state, not something just slippery when you say to people, "Right. Stretch yourself, do the best that you can." I find that really useful.

Kate: [46:53] Yeah, there's a common practice around having big goals and then breaking them down into smaller tasks. The idea is that you only need to think of the next three steps and that's all that you can afford to put brain space into.

[47:10] Even though it might take you 20 steps to get there, you don't worry about the other 17. You only worry about the next three. Then when you do those three, you go, "OK, what are my next three?"

Kevin: [47:22] Dale Carnegie. Have you heard of the author Dale Carnegie?

Kate: [47:24] No.

Kevin: [47:25] Very, very famous guy. He died a long time ago. He wrote a few famous books, "The Art of Influencing People," or, sorry, no. "How to Make Friends and Influence People" is a very famous book of his.

Kate: [47:36] I've heard the title.

Kevin: [47:38] There was some other book he wrote about stress or anxiety or something, I can't remember, but the one thing I remember he said, it was a real nice phrase, "Live in day-tight compartments."

[47:48] Meaning deal with today today, as a compartment. Don't worry about tomorrow and the next day, and the next day, and the next day. It's back to your point of only worry about the next two or three steps, as well. As I mentioned in my interview with him, I certainly find that overthinking things when you're trying to go beyond your own comfort zone can work against you as well.

Kate: [48:15] Oh, definitely. I think there's a big, I guess, conversation lately around impostor syndrome and people feeling like they're not capable of doing something or not having the confidence to be in a certain role or pull off a certain gig, when really they are.

[48:33] All they need very minimal training to be there type thing. It's mainly just sort of hacking your mind to believe that you can do these things if you really want to.

Kevin: [48:41] What would you like to do that's beyond your comfort zone that you find difficult?

Kate: [48:45] Oh, that's a tricky one.

Kevin: [48:47] Don't mean to put you on the spot.

Kate: [48:50] Yeah, no, you have.

[48:51] [laughter]

Kate: [48:54] There's no one thing that I would do. There's lots and lots of things I would do.

Kevin: [49:00] Yeah? Give us one.

Kate: [49:01] One would be I would really like to be a mural artist.

Kevin: [49:09] Oh, yeah?

Kate: [49:10] Which is kind of strange.

Kevin: [49:11] Interesting. Of course, you come from an art background, so ties in with that, right?

Kate: [49:16] Yeah. I'd love to just get away from a computer altogether, which is a scary thought, and paint murals all day. I've tried painting things at large scale before and it's much harder than you would think it is. Small scale's a lot easier. But yeah, something like that. You could set up a small business and target preschools or something that would want things painted on their walls.

Kevin: [49:42] Or even startups. You did our mural with some help.

Kate: [49:46] I did, with some help, but even that's not very complicated, it took us a very long time.

Kevin: [49:50] It's tricky. Interesting, interesting. I don't know, I'm obviously a little bit older than you, and over the years, I've stretched myself to do things. I've actually got a bit of, I wouldn't say...I don't want to answer that question with, like you know when you ask someone in an interview, "What are you weaknesses?" and they say, "I work too hard?"

[50:11] I don't want to answer it like that, but I do have a little bit of a challenge and another aspect is I'm a little bit of a sucker for punishment, as well. Sometimes I make my life tricky because I actually put myself in environments. Like when I was in year one or two I decided to try out for the big swimming carnival, the youngest kid. I didn't even make the one length and I didn't...

[50:36] [laughter]

Kevin: [50:36] I did two extra subjects for HSC and then I end up with all this extra work and stress and I'm, "What am I doing this for?" You obviously stretch yourself into it a little bit.

Kate: [50:54] Another example for me would be this podcast. Initially, "No way. No way I'm going to public-speak. No way I'm going anywhere near a microphone." Even now it's not the most comfortable thing, but I just feel like I've come a long way since the first episode.

Kevin: [51:10] Absolutely, you've done great. To your credit, I've worked with you for what, three years?

Kate: [51:15] Something like that. Nearly three.

Kevin: [51:17] Yeah, feels longer. You've definitely always risen to the challenge. One of my jobs as CEO is to actually see the potential in people that you can stretch. Definitely when you see someone that you feel that can stretch beyond where they're at, you throw them a few little extra pieces and see how it goes.

[51:48] To your credit, you have dealt with a lot of tricky bits and pieces. Dealing with a tech startup where you're dealing with a lot of technical people whose language is a specific language and doing the podcast. It's exciting to be able to look back on the year and see how you've grown in certain ways, right?

Kate: [52:07] Yeah, it's a good thing in terms of...I'll give nearly anything a go but at the same time, if someone says to you, "Do you consider yourself a podcaster?" I'll still be, "Uh, probably not."

[52:23] [laughter]

Kate: [52:23] I just sort of do one in the office boardroom sometimes.

Kevin: [52:27] You've got the wonderful Australian quality of humility. It's definitely what Australia's...One of the many things it's known for is the humility. I think one of the challenges I'd like to take on is to get really, really fit. My fitness is OK, but I'd like to get really, really fit. Even just do whatever, fun triathlons or biathlons something like that.

[52:53] I've never been that level of fitness. It's something that...I love that feeling when you start getting fit, addicted to those endorphins, and you start fantasizing about your exercise. The fittest I've ever been was after yoga retreat a few years ago and I was running and doing yoga at the same time.

[53:11] I would think about the running when I was doing the yoga, and think about the yoga when I was doing the running. [laughs] That was quite interesting. I was enjoying the buzz of it all.

Kate: [53:23] They do say with exercise one of the ways to get hooked, I guess, and really enjoy it is to dedicate yourself to doing it every day for...I can't remember.

Kevin: [53:33] Six weeks?

Kate: [53:34] I think six weeks.

Kevin: [53:35] Eight weeks?

Kate: [53:35] There's a particular time frame that...

Kevin: [53:38] Breaking habits and creating habits.

Kate: [53:41] That first time period is super hard, but don't break it. Push through. After that it becomes easier and you end up wanting to exercise.

Kevin: [53:48] That's the only time I've actually been...I think when I was a teenager with working at a gym, I did get to that stage as well as pushing weights. In terms of the fitness side of things, that was the first the first time.

[54:04] At first it was quite strange. It was really strange that I was...I've got a friend who's a runner. She's a real runner and she says when she's driving and she sees someone running, she actually has pangs of jealousy because that person's running and she's not, and she's really addicted to running.

Kate: [54:22] That's true. I sometimes get that feeling for swimming, actually. I swam a lot when I was younger. Now, I still say that I love it but I can't even...I mean, to swim laps has been a long time. The day when I watch other people or I will see Olympics or something, I'm like, [scoffs] . You do. You get this pang of jealousy like, "Look how good they are."

[54:43] [laughter]

Kevin: [54:44] The amazing thing with fitness is that it is just about commitment and dedication. Sure, to be an Olympics swimmer's all a different story, but to get to a level of good competency...I love many things about Sydney, but the one of the things that I do love is that there is such a culture of getting fit here and being active.

[55:03] Of course our weather lends itself so wonderfully. You go to the beach at 6:00 AM in the morning, any beach around Sydney, and you'll just see that at 06:00 AM, just chock-full of people doing all sorts of exercise. Some of them are triple your age and four times your fitness levels. [laughs]

[55:19] Anyway, that's episode 83. Thank you for joining us. My name is Kevin Garber. I'm the CEO of ManageFlitter. With me has been my co-host Kate Frappell who's the design lead of ManageFlitter. We try to put together a entertaining, informational, conversational podcast every week.

[55:37] We've committed to doing this every week, talking about getting outside our comfort zone as well. It's just many weeks, we're so busy, we'd like to just pass it over, but then we know that we'll never come back to it.

[55:49] Thank you for your support and check in every Friday or Saturday for a new addition of this podcast. As usual, we will see you next week.

Kate: [55:59] See you.

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