How to Master Your Mindset as an Entrepreneur with Dr. Lauren Tashman, Performance Coach
Dr. Lauren S. Tashman, CMPC is a Performance Coach based in New York City. Through her private practice, Align Performance, LLC, she works with clients on mindset, leadership, and team/organization culture. She is also a Master Coach with Valor Performance, providing leadership and performance coaching to ignite and sustain peak performance.
Lauren received her PhD in Educational Psychology with a major in Sport Psychology from Florida State University while also researching expert performance in SWAT police officers and critical care nurses under the direction of Drs. K. Anders Ericsson, David Eccles, and Paul Ward. She has almost 20 years experience performance coaching, with diverse clients in sport including 6 years at the international/Olympic level as well as clients outside of sport in various sectors of business, tech, law, healthcare, and the performing arts.
Lauren was a professor in Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology at Barry University for almost 8 years and continues to teach and mentor graduate students for John F. Kennedy University and Holy Names University. She has co-edited three books and has delivered workshops, webinars, seminars, lectures, and panels both nationally and internationally to a wide variety of audiences. She is also the co-host of The Path Distilled podcast which aims to explore diverse stories of success, failure, and greatness as well as examine the development of and science behind high performance.
In this podcast, Lauren and Cindra talk:
- How to manage the emotional rollercoaster of 2020 and as an entrepreneur
- Ways to “play bigger” when we feel like we are “playing it safe”
- 3 pillars of developing culture
- How leaders can craft their own identity
The power of values based leadership vs. emotional based leadership
Cindra: Welcome to the High-Performance mindset podcast Dr. Tashman thank you so much for joining me today. I’m really stoked and looking forward to our conversation today.
Dr. Tashman: Thanks so much for having me on the show. It’s great to be here. And I’m really looking forward to the conversation also
Cindra: I’m looking forward to talking to you more about your work and what specifically you do. And so let’s kind of just get a start in and maybe just tell us a little bit about your passion right now and what you’re doing right now.
Dr. Tashman: I mean my passion. I always ever since I became aware of this field or even actually before, that is, I’m just, I’m a nerd. Honestly, I love the science of human psychology. I have loved and continue to love exploring the role it plays in performance and I’m passionate about helping people leverage that to their advantage, whether that’s for themselves as performers as a leader or in a team or organization kind of standpoint.
Cindra: That’s great. So tell us maybe just briefly how you got to your like, How’d you get to where you are now in your career?
Dr. Tashman: As I’m sure everybody that comes on, right. We all have these long-nuanced histories. But long story short, I actually grew up doing the equestrian show jumping at a pretty high level. And that was going to be life and that did not work out. I had a summer of really bad falls that I just never recovered from and it was really quite challenging because obviously I had this identity of you know, this was my life but also I had been. I didn’t know anything about the idea of the mental game prior to going to grad school for it. But as I look back I realized I had a really strong one. But when that happened, I didn’t have any tools to be able to get past that experience, so even then I didn’t know that sports psychology existed. But I had started to explore psychology. So I was actually really interested in going into maybe behavioral analysis. So I actually did my senior year internship experience in a prison, and it was my job to interview people for their bail hearings and then was told about this field and that was it. I was like, Okay, this, this sounds great. I have no idea what I’m getting myself into. But it sounds like it lines and so that’s how I got there.
Cindra: I think you and I are similar. You know, like I got into the field because of my own struggles as an athlete and now I’m doing more work outside of athletics. But you know, it’s like I was I got into it, just to try to figure myself out.
Dr. Tashman: I want to say it’s funny because now I still you know do graduate education and mentoring and I tried to explain to students, things that I didn’t have explained, but I didn’t even say, I don’t even know that I knew what I was getting myself into. I actually know that I didn’t, I just was kind of like, all right, this sounds interesting. Let me follow that along and yeah, it’s it’s turned out to be a wonderful very fulfilling and also challenging space of work, but always very fulfilling when you get to help someone, the way that you didn’t have that help
Cindra: Absolutely. So, Lauren. One of the things I always ask people is to describe what failure means to you and to tell us about a time that you failed. So let’s dive into that. What do you think, failure is
Dr. Tashman: So I work with a lot of clients on perfectionism, and I am a perfectionist myself in some ways not and others. But to me, I think I fail. Every day you know there are small failures, you know, just little mistakes you made or things you didn’t think through and then of course there are the bigger failures of whether that’s something that was in your control when you could have done better or different or wasn’t and now you have to learn from. And for me, a time that I failed is actually why I’m now here in New York City. It’s funny to maybe call it a failure, but the way I look at it is one way I kind of failed myself was getting to a place of what felt like inertia in my career, like I felt like I’d plateaued and I felt like I was kind of playing at small I had gotten to this field at a time when people didn’t think applied practice was an actual job pursuit. Right. Like I clearly remember being in my first grad class and asking the question of you know, why haven’t know the career tracks that you just mentioned, why isn’t working with people. One of them. Oh, that’s not a real job. So, but I had gone into it for that. Right. And so I was teaching and I love teaching. That’s why I still do it. And I was consulting while teaching, but I felt I felt like I was being an authentic because I was talking to all these clients and my graduate students about being bold and you know being courageous and and leveling up and all these things. And I’m like, wait a minute, I’m not doing that right now. Like I feel like I’m, I’m not actually I’m playing it safe. I’m keeping myself safe and so I took the leap. I gave myself basically a semester to get some stuff in order and then I jumped ship.You know, to New York City, which yes granted I grew up in the northeast. So it was like coming home, but I didn’t have any ties here anymore. So I literally. It was like coming to a new city trying to chart a course. Obviously, having a little bit of career background, you know, to stand upon at this point, but it was completely new and completely outside of my comfort zone. But exactly what I had
wanted to do at that point.
Cindra: Yeah, I appreciate the vulnerability there Lauren and for people who are listening. You were in Miami in a faculty position and then you know, just that took so much courage to actually just say I’m done, I’m going to New York City. I’m trying something different and I have felt like that that’s actually kind of how I got into a lot of the work I do right now, is I was teaching about performance psychology and mentoring students. And I thought, you know, I’m talking about how to do this front and really do this. Yeah, so, you know, I felt in authentic and that kind of what I said equal what I was doing so. So that’s great that like that allowed you to get to where you are now and I know you do a lot of work with entrepreneurs. So I want to talk about that. I want to talk about startups and just kind of the mindset that it takes, I think as an entrepreneur, you must choose courage every day, it feels like.
Dr. Tashman: Every minute.
Cindra: And it is really easy to kind of like play small. So I want to talk a little bit about that and you know when you and I were chatting earlier. A few days ago, we are talking about how like entrepreneurship can feel like an emotional roller coaster as we both know so kind of just tell
us what are you seeing in your clients about this emotional roller coaster and, like, how do you think it’s best to manage that?
Dr. Tashman: I mean, I think you and any entrepreneur solo printer whatever version of person you want to call them. That I’ve talked to experiences this because if we borrow a concept from the military of Buddha right that acronym of, you know, volatility, uncertainty complexity and ambiguity that is the world of an entrepreneur, you know, you have this idea and for a business or for something you want to pursue and you decide to go do that. Now some people do it. As a side hustle. And that’s kind of common these days and other people take the leap and decide to kind of put all their eggs in one basket. And that can be really challenging and it can be really scary. And so you’re constantly experiencing these kind of wins some small some big and then so you know some valleys, where you can get into a pretty negative mindset. I have one personal example. You know, when I first moved here I was walking out of a meeting, you know, you’re starting network trying to meet all these people right and I met this guy and he was perfectly nice, but it wasn’t going to kind of turn into any sort of business opportunity and I walked out the door. And I remember I was on the phone with my mom just being she was my informal performance coach during all this and I was on the phone with her just being like completely like worried and negative and anxious and literally, I’m on Park Avenue and this guy passes by me and he’s got a backpack and on the back of the backpack is a printed laminated white piece of paper that basically said his wife, you know, needed. I think was a lung transplant, something like that, if you are willing to do this. Here’s this number, and I just remember seeing that and being like, right. Okay. So that’s all the mindset shift. I need for today, like, you know, I’m really prompted me out into that space of gratitude and purpose and, you know, being able to reframe where I was. And I think that’s a huge piece of what I see and entrepreneurs and what I tried to work with them on is, first of all, you know, building self- awareness and the skills to be emotionally agile, because that’s so important and then being able to regulate themselves. And have you know this toolbox that they can make use of you know a lot of people obviously want to feel confidence and develop that. But a kind of side of confidence or a type of confidence that people forget is this idea of self-regulatory confidence, your confidence in our ability to shift ourselves to manage ourselves. And I am particularly, you know, to motivate yourself and do the things that are difficult or hard, so I think that that’s a huge piece of being an entrepreneur and navigating that emotional roller coaster. The other thing I work a lot with entrepreneurs on that actually is where the name of my company aligned performance comes from his values alignment and getting really clear on values and trying to reorient yourself in times where things are tough towards aligning with your values versus our natural human response, which is to come from a more emotion driven reactive place and so I think that they you know those skills can serve them well and then last but not least, I think, is obviously a very hot topic right now for good reason is resilience, you know, having the ability to use intentionally every single thing that happens to you for the better, which is why I love that question that you start with of you know, how do you define failure and talking about a time that you failed because we know that there’s this idea of adversarial growth that if we can look at anything that happens to us as a way that we can become better for having experienced it, then that’s going to serve us you know really well.
Cindra: Lauren. I could go so many different ways. I love it, I love it. So, okay. Two questions I want to ask you as a follow up there. I really think it’s important that people are hearing coming from a place of your values versus like this emotionally driven place so let’s start there. Talk about how you might help somebody identify their values and as people are listening. I’m hopeful, they’re thinking about what are their values you know, if you haven’t done a values exercise like you know that maybe you could help us to scale more clarity on how you might do that and how you can help people listening?
Dr. Tashman: Yeah, and so we know that people oftentimes think about personal values. But what I like to work with people on is their, their performance values or their leadership values and there’s a number of ways that you can do this, you know, there’s that values card sorts out there and all sorts of things, but I like to start. Usually there’s one of the things I love about what we do is the creativity. You know that this can look 7 million different ways with clients but one of the ways I try and get people to start thinking about this is I literally I give them a list of words that I’ve come up with, it’s probably like 100 to 200 words. It’s so overwhelming. Um, but I asked them to scan through the words thinking to it with two questions in mind what’s most important to me. Okay, not as a person, but in my professional kind of career space and roll. And number two, who do I want to be. Hmm, because when I think about values. Certainly, we can think about what the word signals which is what’s important. But really, actually, what values are. If we’re going to use them as a performer as a leader you know for a team or organizational culture. It’s actually really more getting at who we are who we want to be. And so I asked them to start kind of looking through the words through that lens and then we start to narrow down and try to get them to a place of choosing just a couple values and it’s funny because a lot of times people will push back on that and then maybe have a list of 10 words that they’re like, No. These are all important to me. I want to be all of these things. And I tell them you know it’s not that you can’t be all of those things. But we’ve got to orient ourselves around some prioritize kind of key themes to make sure that we have some clear kind of go to places or a good foundation and that might be choosing, you know, three or four of the words from the list or that could be in combining them and coming up with their own phrasing or their own kind of word that makes sense, across the board, but that’s usually where we start and then we might do things like thinking about kind of like an ideal performer ideal leader exercise. So we start to think about what this looks like an action because whether you’re doing this for yourself as a entrepreneur or as a leader, whether you’re doing this, you know, to work on team and organizational culture. It’s not just that old age is true words don’t necessarily matter. It’s the actions that do. So you’ve got to start thinking about what this looks like an action. What it could look like an action so that you start thinking about how you live out these values and align with them.
Cindra: Excellent. So the two questions that you ask people to consider is what’s important to you? and who do you want to be? Just those two questions are really powerful. And when you maybe let’s take a step back and tell us, like, what are you seeing with the people that you work with in terms of like why identifying their values is even important you know and like what good do you see coming from that so that we can really kind of act from more of this like valued base action versus this emotional driven place that you just mentioned?
Dr. Tashman: I think what you just mentioned, there is probably, number one, which is we’re built to be emotionally reactive. It’s a extremely important way that we are built, but sometimes I use this analogy other day on a webinar that I gave you know it’s like the fire alarm that keeps going off and sometimes it just keeps going off more and more and more and now you don’t even know why you’re reacting, but you are, and you’ve gotten into this habit right this habit of reacting, which may not be getting you down the road that you want to be going down. Um, I think. Number two, it serves for for clarity and intentionality, particularly when you’re in a leadership position. If you are really clear on what your values are and what that means, about how you’re going to lead then that’s number one day one, right. A lot of people talk about, like, what’s your long-term leadership plan. No, it’s the day one plan, how do I share with the people I’m leading day one. This is who I am. This is what that means. And then you can always leverage back to those values. So that there’s always that clarity and consistency.
Cindra: Excellent. So the second question I wanted to ask you, when we are talking about. You know, how do we best manage this emotional roller coaster and that was thinking about entrepreneurs, but really what we’re talking about real things to anybody and you said just this idea of resilience and you said using everything intentionally for the better tell us how we might do that?
Cindra: Because I i think that’s so important right now. I think it’s easy to kind of get in this victim mindset. You know, like that your business is terrible, or your life is terrible because you maybe aren’t able to do what you could do either six months or a year ago so I just like this idea of like intentionally see that you know everything for the better. Tell us a bit about how, from your perspective, we can do that?
Dr. Tashman: I think that’s, you know, that’s actually a core piece of resilience, because people get resilience wrong. They think it’s this idea of bouncing back and, you know, like a rubber band that has been pulled and it just goes back to the way it was. But what we see about resilience is that it’s not actually that it’s about bouncing forward right and so simple way to do that is to do an after action review after a failure. It’s actually an exercise. I have one of my grad classes do to practice that this idea of resilience is let’s take a failure. And let’s do a little after action review of it. You know what will we intending going into that scenario for that situation. what happened, right. And how did we feel and what do we think and you know was that typical to us in our tendencies or not and then we know what are, what are the lessons and the takeaways from that. Right. How can I become better. How can I find meaning in that experience, how can I find benefit and I know that might sound hard right to hear like that idea of benefit? But there’s always you know a way that we can shift our lens, a little bit. I’m really big on this idea of kind of vantage points that we’re always sitting in a particular vantage point and we have this habit of the way that we see things and it’s useful to us to switch into a different vantage point, sometimes to try and think about what’s a different lens I could take on this experience to try and find a way that I can use this you might not be able to take that failure back. And that’s often the case, but you might have something invaluable in there about how you can approach things better or different in the future.
Cindra: Absolutely. I like that. After action review after a failure or difficulty and bouncing forward. So I like this quote by Byron Katie and she says, like, things don’t happen to us. They happen for us.
Dr. Tashman: I think I heard you say that before. I remember you saying that before and I’ve used that with some clients and you know it’s funny because in the podcast that I do with my longtime friend and colleague, Kevin Harris, the path distilled that’s one of the things that we’ve heard quite a bit actually from the people that we have on there is that they have this even though they have worked hard and they’ve gone through difficult experiences and they’ve all done a number of stories. A lot of them point to this idea of seeing opportunity or feeling like you know, for lack of a better way of saying it, the stars just aligned in that moment, but recognize that and were able to use that to their advantage. So I definitely agree that that’s an important lens to take on it, butyou know, I’m really, I really love exploring the notion of optimism and I think some people get it wrong and think that it’s, you have to expect, everything’s going to be amazing, but when you really look actually at optimism. It’s really more about understanding that things can be amazing that there can be a positive lens, but that you have to prepare for reality right so I can hope that I’m going to be successful. As an entrepreneur, but I also have to prepare for challenges because I know that that it’s not going to be an easy road.
Cindra: Absolutely. And so we were talking earlier about how entrepreneurs can feel like, you know, we want to play it safe and that can hold us back from kind of thinking bigger or moving towards a bigger vision. What do you think it takes from a mental standpoint, or what are some dental practices that you think we can all use, I think, to play a little bit bigger with our lives and really move forward towards our potential I think one of the things is it’s actually twofold. So I think on the one hand, it is getting a better understanding of the voices in your head and trying to ideas dare say be in control of that voice because I know we can’t control it, but you have to have an understanding of those voices.
Dr. Tashman: How you’re going to leverage that voice that’s going to serve you, but at the same time kind of pulling from the recent interest in mindfulness is this being able to deal with whatever voices in your head, whatever’s in front of you, without getting caught up in it and so I think that the best performers, the best entrepreneurs work on both of those skill sets they work on understanding their mind and their voice, the kind of self-talk and thoughts that pop up in their head and navigating that, but they also work on being able to just say that’s not what’s important right now. Let me focus myself on what is important and developing that skill as well. So, you know, I think one of the I’ve been asked this quite a bit is you know recently because there’s so many thought leaders out there and books and all these things. And so I’ve kind of been asked, like what’s the value of a coach, and I think it’s really that you know things sound really simple everything we’re talking about today sounds really simple.
Dr. Tashman: But doing it is really hard work. And so, you know, doing those intentionally, you know, daily like mental reps getting that in and having a coach who’s helping you to figure out which things you really need to use and how that applies to you. I think I see you know, the, the entrepreneurs who kind of go after big things. They are willing to explore that they’re willing to do what it takes on the other thing that I think we’ve already kind of hit at the perspective piece, which I think is a big part of it, and the other thing I think about is this idea of grit that Angela Duckworth kind of put out there. I know that some people are huge fans of that but the one time I heard her talk about this treadmill analogy, she used it resonated so much with me when it comes to entrepreneurs and she talked about this idea of grit isn’t about getting on the treadmill and staying on it. It’s about choosing the treadmill. You want to be on getting on it and staying on it when it’s hard. That day coming back with energy and excitement to get it the next day, the next day and the next day.And I think that that’s really resonant for entrepreneurs and I think it requires like we were just saying investment in, you know, some mental training, but also having a sense of, you know, developing that toolbox, but also having a sense of your go to’s and what really, you know, works for you. And what you’re going to use in those times when you kind of get in that those valleys on that that roller coaster.
Cindra: I think what you said is really important that it’s, you know, understanding your own voice. What does that sound like? But doing the work on yourself and I, you know, we’re both coaches. I have had a coach for 10 years. There’s no way that my business would be where it’s at without her. And I think that’s important to say is, because we know these practices. You know, that doesn’t sound like you, or Cindra, what did you say that you are going to do two weeks ago and I talked to you? Right, so
Dr. Tashman: I figure intentionally practicing this mindset training. Yeah and that you know you can’t we just talked about the voices but you can always be that person that you need to yourself, right, like when I think about what is my role as a as a performance coach. I kind of put it in this idea of like I’m a mirror and a guide, right, like I get to put the mirror in front of someone and help them see the things that they may be couldn’t see themselves and guide them along in that process. Certainly, I’m a teacher, there’s all this cool stuff we know about psychology and performance that we don’t get taught and so I get to help people explore that, and how it applies to them. I’m a dock connector right like after especially you know, getting when I was at Florida State for my PhD. I got to study expert performance under Anders Ericsson and just learning so much about expertise and how our memory kind of develops and what makes an expert. Since then, my brain is like this big flow of dots and like flashing lights a client is talking to me, it’s like, oh, that study. I read several years ago, or that theory or that exercise I did with someone, or that story. And, you know, and even within themselves. The more I hear them talk, the more I can connect things you just can’t do that for yourself, right, and then certainly that last piece, you were talking about. I don’t think about it as holding someone accountable. I think about it more like emotional challenge, right, like certainly, I can be that person that provides emotional support sometimes. But sometimes, my job is to be the person that they actually don’t like in that moment, like the one that’s kind of calling you out or
asking you the tough questions because this stuff is hard and it’s important and it takes a lot to be able to look at yourself in this way and to make those changes.
Cindra: One of the things that I know that you do that, I really want to learn more about, and I’m sure as you know people are listening their leaders themselves that I think about right. We can’t lead others until we lead ourselves first. So, tell us about first maybe just tell smell like what do you see kind of the best leaders do.
Dr. Tashman: This is my favorite question but also a question I can’t really answer because one of the things that we’ve learned from exploring leadership over the years is that there is not one thing that best leader that leaders do or who they are, but there are these principles to leadership that we have learned and that we continue to learn and so the best leaders take those principles and turn them into intentional practices that they’re going to use for themselves and the people that they lead right because there’s no direct tie from leadership to other people’s performance.The, the mediator in there is the perceptions of the leader. So a leader has to know who they are, they have to know the principles underlying performance and team culture and all these things and then I’ve got to say like these terms of who my people are and okay, now I’ve got to figure out how to connect to all this to be able to figure out how I take this and translate this into how I’m going to lead and be authentic to myself and be considerate of all those number of factors that I have to take in. So, that’s why it’s an easy question, but a hard question to answer.I think the other thing about some examples of like one or two leadership principles that you see, you know, great leaders move into intention yeah, I think one of the things that they do, which is extremely difficult thing to do is they figure out how to prioritize both Performance and Results and relationships. And a lot of that, as I said, comes back to the values piece right if you have clarified your values and you have clarified them to others. It allows you to develop the ability to create the relationships with people that are going to serve you. They’re performing well and serve people performing together. So I think that’s one thing I see the other thing that I see that comes out of what’s been called the new psychology of leadership is that that instead of positioning them so obviously in front of the group, like, hey, here, follow me or behind the group like there’s that that notion of leaders eat last which certainly there’s something to be taken from that. I’m not saying that that doesn’t apply, but this new psychology of leadership is about implanting yourself within the group and saying, being the best model for the group and creating that that shared kind of collective this is who we are. In within that. And so I think that really good leaders do that they know how to maneuver themselves around that, hey, sometimes I have to be out in front, charting the vision, saying, hey, follow me. Sometimes I have to be behind allowing my people to shine and to chart the course and the overall though I have to be like implanted within my group so that we have this sense of we that we’re doing this together.
Cindra: Yeah, that’s good. And I know you also help leaders craft and their identity in their approach. And I just think this. This is a really interesting phrase to say like craft your identity. And I’m like, how can I craft my identity tell us a bit about that process and what you’re thinking there?
Dr. Tashman: I think they’re really, I always get the question of, you know, from a leader. Let’s say that maybe is not having success right now with leading their people, for whatever reason, the inevitable question I get is, do I have to change and the challenge with that is that there may be some ways. You have to change or do things better or different, but if you become someone not yourself. So if you shift out of being authentic to yourself, then that’s going to breed more challenges than it is going to create success. And so I think that’s what I try to work with a lot of people on is helping them understand who they are. Who they want to be as we’ve talked about what the values and then trying to think about how that can be brought to bear aligned with these principles that we understand about performance teams leadership and all that. It’s not easy work right because and we see in sports, for it has great examples of this right of like that really brash like hard leader who just yells a lot. Well, that person can be successful. And now we could argue if we kind of look underneath the surface. They’re like, are they, are they really being successful in that, um, but then we also see like the nice kind of leader who is successful. So I think it’s more about figuring out who that person is, and how they align with what we know to be true about creating those good relationships with their people and really trying to drive success in the people that they’re in. And the industry that they’re in which, you know, brings in challenges of figuring that piece out
Cindra: Yeah, for sure. Well, and I think right now. Culture is a really interesting topic. A lot of people really talk about and at least the leaders that I’ve been working with you know they’re things that are impacting the culture like their people, their people are working from home or maybe they’re not getting raises and they, you know, because of fight you know the finances and the economy right now and you know intentionally building culture the way that you want to as a leader. So how do you think, do you have any best practices or any thoughts on how leaders can intentionally create the culture that they want?
Dr. Tashman: Yeah, this has been pretty much, I love working on mindset and all that stuff. But this has been the majority of what my career has focused on is really helping people to design intentional cultures and enact them evolve them when needed to change them when needed. And I think we see a couple of things here, again, it’s about principles, you know, we understand that there are certain principles to optimal team cultures, you know, having trust. on your team, having psychological safety where people feel like they are able to be themselves to say, you know, things even the difficult things having a sense of belonging. When it comes to what that looks like, though. Again, it’s taking that and being intentional about it. Right. So it’s not that idea of, well, because Google has a great culture supposedly and has written about culture. Now we’re going to have pink table ping pong tables to or Open Office basis to right? It’s not about taking what other people are doing. It’s about understanding the principles behind that are underneath that and saying, All right, what is that going to look like for us. And then, to your point about you know where we’re at now. It’s not about always doubling down on those, but thinking about how do I have to adapt those right and so if we have these kind of values and we’ve been we’ve made our values kind of real by understanding what they look like? And we maybe have some non-negotiable around that. Okay, so how do we make sure that we have a sense of belonging. When we’re all across the country of the world. How do we make sure that we’re continuing to develop trust. How do we make sure if connection is really
important to our people. How do we make sure that we are you know get delivering on that if creativity is really important to our work or to our people. How do we make sure that for us, it makes sense for us. And so I think you know great leaders who develop strong cultures. Intentionally, think about what it’s going to look like an action and work really hard to both promote and protect that culture, you know, so they hire for culture they look and try to find ways to make sure that everybody who’s in the culture is contributing to that culture. I remember years ago when I started this work. I used to go into teams and say that on a team. Everybody has to feel valued and feel like they have a place you know in a role on the team. And I realized, actually, after several years that I was kind of only telling half of the story. So yes, it’s true that everybody has to feel valued and feel like they have a place and they’re making an impact and have meaning, but it’s also important that everybody create that I have to be a value add to my team. I have to think about how I’m going to make an impact on the team. And so it’s really working at things from multiple directions and making sure that we’re all working for the team together.
Cindra: And how everyone contributes to this culture, right, like maybe people might think, well, I think, on a sporting team, I’d be like, Well, I don’t start you know i’m not important. The culture or I’m you know I’m not the vice president or CEO. I don’t contribute to the culture, but how everyone plays a role in that.
Dr. Tashman: Now it’s like puzzle pieces right everybody’s a piece of the puzzle and a valuable one, even if it’s just a perspective or to be there. If a backup is needed. Everybody has a role to play and, you know, they have to be given that role. And there’s got to be clarity on that, that everybody is seen as important, but they also have to contribute to that too.
Dr. Tashman: I think that that’s a, that’s a kind of an important piece of this, of making sure that that’s what happens on a day to day basis. And over time, and what that often means, particularly in a time like we’re experiencing now where everybody is kind of it’s this what’s I’ve heard being called not work from home but live at work. We’re seeing a lot of actual productivity right now but everybody’s starting to get worried about burnout, right, because we’re overworking I know myself included. So I often use the term of everybody on the team has to figure out a way that they can be unselfishly selfish. I gotta do what I have to do to put myself in the best position. To be impactful and to show up with my A game for my team, day in and day out. And sometimes that antithetical to what we think, or what we think is going to be preferred and to our culture and what we ascribe us kind of valuable right like I’m the one that works late I work until all hours of the night. That’s always been seen as a positive quality, but that’s not necessary. And actually one of my colleagues Dave Eccles who’s back at Florida State now has been starting to study this idea of psychological rest and recovery to contribute to that, at least in kind of the sport realm of making sure that we’re trying to shift that culture.
Cindra: Yeah, excellent. We’re going to have him on the podcast. Dr. Tashman: Awesome. So I guess that he’ll be happy about that.
Cindra: Since we’re talking about this idea of culture. And I think, first of all, I kind of want to summarize what you said in the three terms that you used was like trust psychological safety and belonging as kind of these three you know pillars to culture. I know you work with a lot of startups and I want to talk a little bit about how do you intentionally help, maybe leaders within startups, or just startups like set their culture or decide on the culture that they want and what role do you think this culture in general plays with startups. It plays the same role it plays in every other group which is a really important one, and even the challenge with startups or small businesses new businesses is that they don’t often think about this stuff. Right, especially in the startup world is it’s about the idea. It’s about getting the, the capital, you know, to back your idea. It’s about being fast pace and trying to show that you have a viable and sustainable business idea and you can grow it. And so I think culture is not often thought about at the start, because it’s not seen as a priority. But inevitably at some point if the startup does succeed past even year one, then it becomes important to think about, particularly as the startup starts expanding and you’re bringing new people on board and you’re now hiring and now having to look at. Wait, these people who are just as energized about the idea as I was when we came in or they could do they continue to kind of belong here in the culture. Do they feel that do we feel that, and so it continues to be this this very important part at some point that they really can’t discount. And so I get the opportunity, sometimes come in kind of early on, which is nice. A lot of times. Also I’ll be brought in limbo, maybe a few years under their belt and now they feel like, Wait a minute, like yep we now actually have to really think about this, you know, moving forward. And I actually have a background from Florida State in program evaluation. So a lot of times I’ll start there. Let’s get a sense of what your culture is because there’s no such thing as we don’t have a culture. It’s just that we haven’t set maybe an attentional one, there’s always a culture so we want to get a sense right of what is it what’s working, what’s not working. How does it align with kind of your original mission and purpose for what you were trying to do, how does that align with kind of the leaders, the leaders values, the people you’ve had on board. So there’s usually a lot of stuff we can get into there to try and help them think about I don’t know if it’s because I’m a Libra that I’m this way but I tend to look at things through a balanced lens. Right. Like I always want to look at, like, what’s working, what are the wins. And what are the things that need to be kind of changed or done better or different
Cindra: Well, I think all of these this conversation today, Lauren, like one takeaway. I just want to reiterate for people is, you know that these traits of entrepreneurs or in startups or companies. Those are very similar to the traits or the practices that are using the high-level sport and how we can really apply the same concepts in both areas which I think Is important for people to recognize and you might even if you’re a business leader. Look at some examples in sport to learn from?
Dr. Tashman: Yeah, and we’ve talked about that notion of like the corporate athlete. Right, but I think we could say like the dancer athlete. The, the, the entrepreneur athlete and when it comes from a team standpoint, I think they experience a lot of the same things, you know, year to year, things change.You know, if you’re working with an Olympic team for the quadrennial cycle your one has different goals and a different feel to it then year two, year three, and year for anything you see that in startups other analogy often uses that I had the opportunity wants
to work with a team for several years and the first year that I was working with them. They were pursuing the first ever National Championship title for that program and It was so fascinating because they had, you know, some challenges with dynamics and all these things right they ended up having a perfect season and won the championship The next year. Oh my goodness, all the things that hadn’t really been, you know, kind of working for their dynamic and all that and all the stress and all that of pursuing this big lofty goal were met with excitement. And kind of like a positive tinge. And then that next year. It was a completely different vantage point on it and it had turned from this kind of challenge perspective to more of a threat perspective, which we know makes a lot of sense. But I see that in startups to right like there, there have so much they’re trying to gain right there in that game mentality in the beginning, right, like I have, I have to gain I get these wins. Then it turns into more of a loss mentality at some point where it’s like, well, now I got to do even better. And I have these investors that I’m going to have their money I have chosen games on. I also have my not now maybe some employees and some people who I’m responsible for I have maybe a family that I’ve got to contribute to. And so this shift of the perspective that we take on you know what’s happening and what we’re doing is very similar, I think, to high level spore and to why high level sport really values, you know, this idea of working on mindset and culture and why it can be really beneficial for startups to get that that same experience and those same kind of assistance with those things.
Cindra: Excellent, excellent. Super great Lauren. I really love all of our, you know, the points that we’ve talked about so far and the questions and your answers to questions as we wrap up. You said that resilience was all about like using every day intentionally for the better or everything. I don’t know if he said every day or everything but what, how have you found this like during this time of CO, but how have you found the opportunity. How have you kind of focused on being resilient and kind of looking at everything intentionally for the better.
Dr. Tashman: It’s a day to day thing, as I’m sure it’s for you and for everybody listening to us. Right. And I’ve actually for me. It’s been a lot about curiosity, which I know sounds really wrong and the time of such stress and challenge, but you know, that’s part of what I do for a living is I have to be curious. Right. And so for me it’s having been curious about my own response. You know, I was, I was kind of, I will, I will say in a it to me, it felt like a bit of a like I was fine at the, you know, first part of it, like, oh, okay. Well, now I have time to work on some business things you know a lot of people said it’s now time to work on some business things that I don’t normally have time for it. And then you’ve gotten to this place. And so I’ve just honestly been really focusing on being curious and kind of looking at my stress response on on thinking about us this idea of like thinking about what we are doubling down on and so just trying to remember that whatever habits. I’m getting myself into are the ones that I’m strengthening right and so let me make sure that I’m strengthening the good habits that I’m picking my kind of non-negotiable goals of things that I need to be unselfishly on selfish, you know, to make sure that I show up every day for the clients and the students and everybody until those have been, I think, a lot of things. The other opportunities honestly a podcast. Started and Kevin and I started the podcast in May and it was a great way to get through some of those challenging months here in New York City. When we were on lockdown because people wanted to talk and
we got to talk to some some fabulous people. And so that was a really good time for that. And I’ll say probably last thing I’m like you. I’m a lifelong learner. You have to be in this field, and I love doing it. And so for me, it’s been a lot about creativity. I love. One of the things I’ve always loved about working on team culture and working with groups is the creativity. You get to bring into those sessions and so I’ve been trying to really work on that a bit with my individual sessions of how can I just you know spark some creativity and some different ways of doing things and different ways I approach different things so that they can be of benefit to my clients.
Cindra: Yeah, thank you. Thanks for sharing your perspective there and just the personal stuff I think is really important. So Lauren pathsdistilled is your podcast. Tell us where we can find that where we can find information about your coaching and tell us a bit more about like how people can connect with you, either on social or whatever means you’d like us to?
Dr. Tashman: So you can find me a line performed com. That’s the website. It also has information on my website about our podcast. I am on LinkedIn and Instagram and Twitter, our podcast is on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook. And we’re also just now launching our YouTube channel. So head over to find that. And in terms of listening to the podcast we are on Apple Spotify, Google podcast and Stitcher. I think those are most of the more common ones that people find them.
Cindra: Excellent. Awesome. Awesome. Well, Lauren. Here is what I took from the episode today. I liked when we talked about values versus emotionally driven action and just to you help us think about how can we identify our values and more of these like performance and leadership values. I thought were really helpful for us to consider you gave us two questions to do that. What is important to me. And who do I want to be. I thought those questions are really powerful. I appreciate what we talked about related to culture and the kind of three pillars of culture that you talked about trust psychological safety and belonging and just this idea of that like your euro, you always have a culture, right, like people might not realize that you know you maybe you’re not intentionally creating it. But, but with this idea that you always have it. And then when we were talking about how leaders and entrepreneurs really understand their own voice what does their voice sound like and just kind of this idea of listening to that voice working with the coach, potentially, to help you understand that voice, but how you see that the best really like are understanding their own self talk and what’s important to them and then everything else we talked about a few things I consider is with what kind of final advice or thoughts, would you have for us, Lauren.
Dr. Tashman: I think, you know, as I said, For myself, I really believe in the idea of curiosity. I think that we can be really tough on ourselves, you know, have a lot of people talk about this idea of compassion and for me it’s not necessarily about being nice to myself. It’s more about being curious and think, you know, looking at things through that lens so I would say, you know, definitely. That is one of the big pieces and ties into that, you know, kind of need for self-care and thinking about how you put yourself in the best position to show up at your best or two to navigate the challenges faced view and I, of course, I’m going to say this because I am a coach I
obviously have my own business. I also work with a company called valid performance as a master coach, but I really do advocate for coaching. I mean, you said you’ve had a coach, you know, for years, I, I’ve made use of coaches as well. I think they’re invaluable. There’s so much good information out there, but having someone who helps you think about you know how to get how to apply that to yourself and how to understand yourself is really, really invaluable and is worth the investment.
Cindra: Absolutely. Couldn’t agree more. It’s definitely worth every penny that I have spent and I, you know, literally my coaching my business would not be where it’s at today and I wouldn’t like mentally be where I’m at today, definitely. Well, thank you so much, Lauren, I’m so grateful to have this time with you and thank you so much for just providing so much wisdom to the listeners today.
Dr. Tashman: Thank you Cindra. I’ve really enjoyed the conversation.