Ep. 2 – How do we help the people we work with when the world is on fire?

August 4, 2022
by Cameron Carrick

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Show Notes

We see the news and feel the trauma of what is happening in the world right now, from violent mass shootings to climate change, and then we go to work.

How are leaders supposed to navigate the impact our ever-changing world has on people at work?

This week we look at why it is important to notice, name, and facilitate conversations that matter at work so that people can do the hard things while working in a world on fire. We share how we do it in our workplace, where we have messed up, and how we plan to keep showing up.


Moe Carrick 0:02
In a world where workplaces are toxic for people, and humanity has been squeezed out by outdated rules, how do leaders who care create enlivened workplace cultures?

Moe Carrick 0:13
This show has the answers on Let’s Make Work Human, we discuss how companies can meet their mission and make a profit without squeezing the life out of people. The path to how lies and unbreakable connections, clear purpose and real partnerships that debunk and demolish old mindsets about the world of work.

Moe Carrick 0:33
I’m Moe Carrick, and I’m a beekeeper mother of adults CEO, culture expert, award winning entrepreneur and best selling author. And I’m joined on this show by my colleague and friend, awesome coach, mother of a toddler, award winning, creative-DEI facilitator, and Millennial Mei Ratz.

Moe Carrick 0:52
Together we tackle teams that gossips leaders who are bad for people parenting while working, belonging and so much more, with an irreverent and honest look at what it takes to make every workplace fit for the human beings who work there. We are on a mission to stop the suck and restore humanity to work. This show will warm your heart challenge your thinking and leave you laughing out loud.

Mei Ratz 1:26
Good morning, Moe.

Moe Carrick 1:28
Good morning.

Mei Ratz 1:29
How are you?

Moe Carrick 1:30
You know, I’m okay. Or as they say in the world of therapy, I’m fine–frustrated, insecure, neurotic, and emotional. How are you?

Mei Ratz 1:42
I said it yesterday in our team meeting, but I feel a little deflated. There’s a lot going on in the world–for some context for everybody listening. This is the end of the week after another school mass shooting a whole bunch of fourth graders. And so we’re feeling a little heavy at the end of this week. To put it lightly, I guess. So we’ve decided that the question–Oh, go ahead.

Moe Carrick 2:03
Well, it’s the two year anniversary of George Floyd’s murder, right. And then many other dynamics.

Unknown Speaker 2:09
Yeah, yeah. And the rest of the world. Whatever else is happening out there. Yeah. So the question that we have today is how do we help the people we work with when the world is on fire? We’re saying the world on fire in the loose term. It is also partially on fire, but we mean it in many other ways.

Mei Ratz 2:26
Moe, start us off.

Moe Carrick 2:27
Well, I think it’s such a great question. And something I’ve been thinking about so much this week. And I feel like it’s increasing as a CEO. It’s increasing in terms of how often I’m thinking of that question of for my own people, including you, Mei, but the rest of the team as well. I am hearing it from clients, as well, both in terms of like recent events, or should I say like public events such as the war in Ukraine, the shooting in Texas, the you know, persistent acts of racism, the Asian murders in a church–it goes on and on–climate change.

Moe Carrick 3:06
I’m hearing it from clients as well, like, how am I supposed to show up and lead with my people in regards to these pieces? And I hear from clients sometimes, two extremes. One is I just pretend that that’s not happening, or like I, I don’t pretend like I keep it in a box, you know, as though they’re coming to work as a refuge. And I don’t have to necessarily address it because they’re dealing with it at home all the time. Or do I, you know, honor and acknowledge, you know, what’s happening? And if so, how do I how do I do that.

Moe Carrick 3:39
And so I think it’s a, it’s a really good topic for me what I’ve been sitting with, especially this week. So I didn’t know the news of the shooting this week, until after I was done with all my meetings. The way I learned of the news actually was a Slack message from you, which, you know, as my employee said, I’m going home to hug my child because of the news of the shooting. And my, you know, my initial feeling in seeing that Slack message was, oh, no, we’ve had another one. And here it is already impacting my team who are feeling the need to go home and take care of someone that they love. And so I of course, went online and looked to see, you know, what, what had happened, and felt the just gut punch of the impact of that news on me, you know, on 21 people, 19 of whom are children, being killed.

Moe Carrick 4:34
And so it right away, it started for me, like, what should I do about this? Like, obviously, I reacted to your slack, like, good job, you know, take care of your people. And but I also started thinking about what else do I want to do with this news? How am I going to integrate it and then am I going to mention it to my clients who I’m meeting within 15 minutes am I going to mention it to my team in any more of a format? How am I going to process this? So it’s it’s real for me both as a coaching consultant to organizations, but also in our own practice.

Unknown Speaker 5:05
I’m interested in those two tactics. One is like [inaudible], no. The other one is like, Yep, we’re going, we’re diving in. There’s no middle ground. And maybe that’s a reaction to there not being much of a middle ground. It feels like to me personally, that there’s not very much space between events to like, take a deep breath and deal with what just happened that before another one comes, you don’t feel a little bit like being in the in the ocean? You’re like gulping for air. Are you seeing a benefit with our clients on one of those tactics?

Mei Ratz 5:39
Like should work be a refuge where we don’t have conversations like that? Are you seeing that pay off? Or are you seeing it pay off where it’s like, we got to pull the brake on a train real quick, we got to do this.

Moe Carrick 5:50
I think we have to talk about it.

Moe Carrick 5:53
I don’t think it’s possible to segment it. And of course, you know, this is an underpinning value of all of our work where we, you know, we say people make companies great, and that a Bravespace Workplace is one where people can bring their full selves to work and do great things together. And so if, you know, if we’re experiencing a trauma from news, or an event that happened in our town, or our nation or our world, we can’t just cut it off like a limb, and leave it at home.

Moe Carrick 6:24
Now, I believe that’s true about everything, you know, if we have a sick relative, or we have a pet who’s dying, or, you know, lots of other things also are impossible to segment. But I think the world of work has acted for decades, as though that’s exactly what we should do, which is we should like turn that switch off and leave that at home. And I think COVID, you know, has turned that on his head for good around any myth that we held, that people had a box that they could close the lid on, when it came to work. So I don’t think that that works.

Moe Carrick 6:59
However, I think a lot of businesses and a lot of People Leaders in particular really struggle with the area between those two extremes. So the two extremes being like, I don’t talk about it, and I just assume that people are here to do a job. Right, and that they’re that they’re getting the support they need on these other issues outside of home, or that I stop my whole business. And all we do is process, you know, current events or tragedies. And and then and then we’re a therapy group. And you know, that the I don’t think that’s helpful either. Because I think it causes people to feel overexposed–it’s another repeated microaggression, around the assault of having to base and process these events, perhaps in a timeline that doesn’t work for them, you know. So I think we have to find a middle road. And I think the middle road is really variable based on each leader and each human.

Unknown Speaker 7:54
Instead of pulling the brake on the train, and just stopping the trip–what are some subtle nods that you’ve seen that can hint to like we’re dealing with this, and we are also doing business? What are some tactics that you’re finding useful for a leader to just nod to their people that like, I haven’t forgotten. We’re doing ICU. I get it. We’re doing it. And also, thanks for coming to work.

Moe Carrick 8:19
Yeah. It totally does. And I’m curious–I’ll answer the question for sure–but I’m curious about like your experience, because, you know, we’ve worked together long enough that we’ve been through multiple macro and micro issues of the world being on fire, that we’ve navigated together and kept the business open, you know, throughout. So I’d be curious about like, what have you seen us do as a company or me do as a leader that’s been helpful, or not?

Mei Ratz 8:45
Great answer.

Moe Carrick 8:49
Did you like how I threw that right back on you?

Mei Ratz 8:53
The solution to every coaching, we’ve seen it, right now.

Moe Carrick 8:58
Alright, so while you ponder what’s worked for you–when I think about your question of like, what do I see working? I think there’s two things that pop up.

Moe Carrick 9:09
For me, one is like for leaders to notice what’s happening inside of them first, right? And like, this recent event, for me is a powerful one, because I’m all stirred up, you know, I’m–and it’s going to be hard for me not to be emotional, but I’ve been an advocate for gun control for my whole career. And as a younger person, I was identified as a pacifist, you know, and, but these these guns, these AR-15 have no place in times of peace and in places of peace. There are weapons of war. And so I’ve been anti those guns for forever.

Moe Carrick 9:45
And I’m also really, really troubled personally, right now as the mother of two grown men, three grown men, really, with my stepson and watching who are the perpetrators of the use of these AR fifteens being me Mostly young men, mostly white. And I’m so I’m sitting with that personally around a tremendous disruption that connects, as you know, to my TED talk on women’s role and healthy masculinity and what we are not talking about, about how do we help men process there are really hard feelings of disenfranchisement and anger, and, you know, and all of that. And so I that’s, that scares me.

Moe Carrick 10:22
And then the gun thing, the AR 15 is being allowed to be purchased, are devastating for me. So for me, as a leader, I feel like I’ve had to get my head around fairly quickly, like Moe, what do you what are you feeling about this? What loss what grief? What fear?

Moe Carrick 10:35
And what are you going to do with those feelings, you know, at home and in community, which for me has included like, talking to my family getting more educated for me about what is it I am going to do? Where am I going to take a stand publicly? And where am I going to my energy and frustration? So like, for me, I feel like I had to do I have had to do that work before I could be much use for helping you all process what’s happening.

Moe Carrick 11:01
The other piece that that has been important, I think, for me, and what I see work well for leaders is to get their head and heart around the fact that their employees are impacted by these things, whether they want them to be or not, and that the impact is different.

Moe Carrick 11:16
So I remember, for example, May when the Asian shooting happened in California not too long ago. I remember being aware in our staff meeting, you mentioned it in a staff meeting. I didn’t mention it. And I realized that I didn’t know that news. And why did I not know that news? And you did? Well, probably because I don’t identify as Asian. And I don’t have to know that. And it was like it doesn’t, it didn’t affect my people in the same way. And so I think that it’s important for us to know that people are impacted differently by different kinds of news news that we may not even notice. And when we learn about it, we are obligated to like least acknowledge that is impacting you. I hear you that is impacting you.

Mei Ratz 12:02
One of the most poignant examples of how you’ve navigated really well is when I came back from maternity leave, and the world was–I hadn’t been out of my house in six, seven weeks–and I was like a completely different person when I went in. When I went into baby hiding. Nothing had really changed. There was like weird news, but nothing had nothing really happened.

Moe Carrick 12:29

Mei Ratz 12:29
Yeah. So then when I came out on March 17, I was like, hello, I like showed up to a team meeting. I remember being like, do I still have a job? Do I still have a job here? Do all of us have jobs? Is this still a company? What are we doing? Hi, what’s your name? My name is Mei and I used to work here Do I still work? And everything was cool. I remember it being very calm and collected. And I essentially remember, I remember you essentially being like, get a paddle. Like we are in a boat together and the ocean is drying up. And we got it’s time to go right now. And I was like, Okay, got it. Like the calmness paired with rigorous honesty around how hard it was going to be. I was thankful for it. Because I was like, do I need to start looking for another job? You need to tell me right now. Or are we in it? You know, like, how hard do we have to sprint. And the fact that you didn’t sugarcoat it for me was I was thankful for that helped me process them. Like what we were actually–the depth of the muck that we were in. And that also we were not done, you know?

Moe Carrick 12:35
Let me just say how hard that must have been for you. Because you also had a brand new baby.

Unknown Speaker 13:41
I had a very depresed partner It was like COVID my, yeah, my baby was like, great, but a new human, like, human should get more parents, just to be clear. They should not be given one or two.

Mei Ratz 14:03
I think the rigorous honesty and the calmness around like, Yes, this is the reality, and maybe we might be not in business soon. But we’re not going down without a fight. You know, and like welcome to the fight.

Mei Ratz 14:14
I was really thankful for that and that has continued. I think the thing I felt the most was that we are united front, like one of us is going to take a larger hit than the other for sure. Because it’s someone’s business and I work for that someone but together we are on a united front inside of the situation and we are going to do it together. Which has become one of you and is like rally in crisis that we’re in the boat together. We’re in this boat together. And that I think has carried me through a lot of really hard things.

Mei Ratz 14:45
I actually don’t need to process all the things in a staff meeting. I just know that if I show up and I’m like is not grayed out here y’all, but everybody else will be in the boat with me. They’ve got something else so it’s very hard for them. You know, we’re not ignoring people’s hard things.

Mei Ratz 15:02
And I think if we did stop the train, and we stopped business for the entire day to process, I would not bring things. You know, like, that’s just too much exposure, like you’re saying, it’s too much. Like, stop, go stop, go stop, go stop, go–it’s much easier to process and integrate while we’re in the flow of doing the thing.

Mei Ratz 15:25
Which brings me back to our last conversation about that there are more than money reasons to go to work. And one of them is community. Yeah, like, I didn’t realize this. But during COVID, like the very beginning parts of it, my partner, and I did not leave the house for so long. No one touched our baby, except for us, for four months. Not even the doctor, nobody, nobody touched her, it was just us. And later, he expressed to me feeling very lonely, because I was in a room, which I felt very sequestered, like I was in a room, working my tail off with you, but I was laughing, and I was having community conversations with you. And it was hard, but we were in it together. And he wasn’t having that experience, because he wasn’t working, you know, and he was just with this baby that was not laughing.

Mei Ratz 16:18
And that has drawn me through, too. Like, even when things are hard, we’re gonna show up to this meeting, and we’re gonna see each other and something is going to be funny, you know, like, something is going to make sense to us about what we’re doing. And that has buoyed me through many things. So being honest, letting humor be there. And being on a united front.

Mei Ratz 16:40
I think that piece about why we go to work or being supported and taking risks is there’s one part but the other half of that I would say is like being supported when things are really hard. When it’s like the adult, I don’t feel good. The world feels scary, you know?

Moe Carrick 16:55
Well, I don’t feel good. And also, I do think that there is the sanctity of work. Which is a term my sister and I have often used. My sister has two disabled sons, and she lost her first child to stillbirth. And her feeling about work–she’s retired now–but her feeling about work was always like, “It’s a place I can go and put one foot in front of the other and make progress.”

Moe Carrick 17:17
I think that as leaders, we need to remember that we have work at hand and that it can be healing to have a routine, to have a place to go amidst trauma. And so if we just stop that, and we stop everything, I think that that puts some of that at risk. And at the same time acknowledging it and being real about what’s happening, and also understanding that people might have different needs. Like, I think about even you know, this is, of course, the world being on fire, but also like little fires. And I’m reminded of I mean, certainly like your story about coming back to work with such a new baby in COVID. And having a business trying to re pivot and the rest of the team being already knowing what’s happening, and you have anything come up to speed and you know, just so much there.

Moe Carrick 18:01
And then it wasn’t long after that, that we had George Floyd, we had a team member who had had to retreat to Canada during COVID and was not able to come back to the country, you know, of origin for some time. But I’m also thinking about–do you remember when one of our team members had a series of incidents in her town around their pets ingesting marijuana?

Moe Carrick 18:23
And like, that was horrible!

Mei Ratz 18:26
Yes, it’s really bad.

Moe Carrick 18:28
But it was like, it’s not funny now to think about, but I think about how like, that’s a crisis that’s closer to home to someone.

Mei Ratz 18:35

Moe Carrick 18:35
And it was it meant that somedays he was at work, but he also was like, my dog got poisoned twice yesterday from eating somebody else’s rejected marijuana. Yeah. I’m bereft about that.

Mei Ratz 18:46
Public service announcement: Keep track of your buds, y’all, because they hurt your fluffy buds. Not so good.

Moe Carrick 18:53
People don’t think about this in terms of you know, how marijuana is legal.

Moe Carrick 18:58
But I think that there’s macro and micro level of trauma and impact. And we have to recognize at work that people are going to deal with that in different ways. And to give people space to process it their own way I

Moe Carrick 19:13
I’m reminded, Mei, as well–we know a lot of our clients have also had traumas that have happened, you know, in their workplace, we work in healthcare, we work in schools, I’m reminded of a museum that we worked with at one time years ago, it might have been before you joined, but they had a stabbing at work.

Moe Carrick 19:27
They had a customer who came in and stabbed an employee. There wasn’t a death, but there was an intervention–somebody grabbed the person and stuff, and the whole thing was processed by the client pretty well. They had a trauma team and everything.

Moe Carrick 19:41
But about like three weeks later, we were doing a leadership experience and the leader of that team was in the leadership experience and brought up what they were still dealing with around their own feelings of trauma from that event, and I needed to allow her to have some space to process that event, even though it took us off our agenda a little bit. And I think that she was the only one that needed to process it. But when she did process it, it helped her team. And I think this is sort of the discretion that leaders have to constantly calibrate is like, who needs what? And if one person needs one thing, am I going to bring the team into that? Am I going to segment that and help them get support alone? But the point is, like, I’m not going to pretend that this is not happening.

Unknown Speaker 20:29
Do you remember early on when I was like, very early, when I joined the company, and you said these words: “it’s okay, if it doesn’t happen, because we do not launch rockets.” And I was like, huh, all right. And I can hear your voice whenever things get really hard saying that. Like, is the thing that this team member is trying to process more important than this document that I’m trying to make right now? Yes. You know, can we take a minute? Can we pause so that that gets processed? Because we’re not launching rockets.

Moe Carrick 21:03
Right? Absolutely–or cutting into patients and stuff.

Moe Carrick 21:07
And even if we are, a lot of that can be postponed can be navigated in different ways.

Moe Carrick 21:14
So there’s another issue that we haven’t touched on. We’ve we’ve talked, we’ve touched on it, but we haven’t been as specific is that especially around the world being on fire, metaphorically, and literally, there are groups that are disproportionately impacted by the news. And you know, groups can be around dimensions of difference like race, around gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or even location like I live in Oregon. And we’ve had, I had a client who had, I think 30% of their employees had to evacuate from a fire in the River Valley.

Moe Carrick 21:49
There’s disproportionate impact. And I think we have to also notice that.

Moe Carrick 21:53
I’m reminded of a white leader that I worked with–a white woman leader–who was in a city very near the Milwaukee protests and what was happening around race after George Floyd’s murder. They were in the financial services industry and her colleagues at a vice president level were national, they were nationally located.

Moe Carrick 22:15
And so there was some discussion about these events. But for her and her team, they were much more primary, you know, offices had closed employees were sequestering because of fear of violence. And so she actually had to really negotiate many more scheduled changes and open forums and practical intervention than anyone else in the company. And I think in that way, she felt really alone, because it was like it. Everybody else knew the news, but nobody was feeling it as intensely as she was. And I think that it was powerful that her General Manager recognized that and paid some special attention to her around how are you doing? And how can I help you navigate the logistics even of the crisis, it’s happening very close to you, in the impact on the black people who work for you.

Mei Ratz 23:03
I think, too, with a world that’s more work hybrid, you know, and remote, it becomes even more important that everybody’s news is different right now. Your whole team has different set of news, what is a better question to ask then, “how are you?”

Moe Carrick 23:19
Thank you for asking that question. How are you?–Let’s talk about why how are you is bad.

Mei Ratz 23:25
Yes, sucky question. I also asked it to you in the beginning of the session. So here we are.

Moe Carrick 23:29
Well, that’s okay.

Moe Carrick 23:30
I answered you with the way we often answer it, which is like I’m fine. Which is the reason we joke about fine not meaning fine, is that it’s just it’s a question that almost always invites armor. How are you usually invites, “Well, how am I supposed to be? Good? Great, fine. Okay.”

Moe Carrick 23:48
And what we really are asking is more like, “are you okay?”

Moe Carrick 23:51
And I think what we it goes back to something that we talk a lot about in our firm, which is that the best questions are ambiguous and personal.

Moe Carrick 24:00
So rather than saying, “How are you?” I would ask something more specific to that individual or that group of people like, “what is surfacing for you, in regards to the news that we’ve all been seeing about the recent shooting in Texas. I want to take a few minutes in this staff meeting to acknowledge the traumatic events that have happened in one of our states and to create space for anyone who would like to comment, right?”

Moe Carrick 24:26
Or to ask an individual, “is there anything I can do to support you knowing what’s happening in the meta environment and reference what it is the fire down south, the riots that happened?”

Moe Carrick 24:36
The this recent shooting COVID-19–you know, so I think we have to ask better questions than “how are you” and we also have to ask better questions than “what can I do?” Because usually, there’s nothing you can do except listen. So I think what we what we want to try to get our get at are questions that invite people to share what it is that surfacing for them, even if it’s very small–even if it’s just a sentence or two, you know, but it’s about their experience. That’s how people feel seen.

Unknown Speaker 25:06
And don’t think the fear is actually that it’s not very small, what people are feeling? You say that and then someone’s like, “thank you very much for asking. I actually have 400 things.” Which you might be able to speak to you because I’m on your team. But that’s, I hear that as a fear from some of our leaders that like, I opened my can of worms. And then what am I supposed to do? Because I’m not actually a therapist. I’m their boss.

Moe Carrick 25:30

Mei Ratz 25:31
What is your advice, then if they can get opened?

Moe Carrick 25:34
Well, earlier, when we were talking, I was thinking about the role boundaries play in this. Right?

Moe Carrick 25:39
And boundaries, I define boundaries, the way that I’ve heard others define it, which is that boundaries, define what’s okay and what’s not okay. And so we need to understand what’s going to be okay in this situation. So for example, as a leader of my team, I am not a trained therapist. I was at one time in my life, but I’m not now. And so if one of you were to unpack or mention a trauma or family of origin issue that was beyond my scope, I would want to draw a boundary around that.

Moe Carrick 26:05
And I would do that by saying something like an empathy statement, like, let’s say it was happening with us, I might say, “Gosh, Mei, that sounds really, really hard. I want to just remind you of the resources that our company offers to support you, and your partner, or your family, or whatever to get the help that you need.”

Moe Carrick 26:21
And I might even validate like, I’ve used resources like that in the past myself, and they’ve been extremely helpful. So I’m saying like, we’re not going to process this here. I’m not your therapist, but there is help. And I think the help might really support you. I think that’s one piece.

Moe Carrick 26:35
The other piece is I think we have to trust people’s own capacity to self correct. Like, the gig is up–like we know, we’re at work. We know. We know there’s stuff to do. Yeah. And so it’s not like we’re going to just open up the can of worms. And all of a sudden we’re going to be in this, you know, because we’re all thinking like this miasma of mess that we can’t close. I think we all know like it’s working. I’ll give you an example.

Moe Carrick 26:59
This week around the Texas trauma in every group I was with, I mentioned it. In our LPP sessions. In my sessions with clients, I was working with Harbor Foods, I said, “I want to acknowledge that I personally am sitting with some trauma and grief right now about the recent shooting event in Texas. And I wanted to create just a few moments if anyone else wants to share any of their feelings before we open because it’s certainly on all of our minds.”

Moe Carrick 27:20
That’s all I said. I think in the LPP, we talked about it for four minutes. With my client, we talked about it maybe for six minutes. It did not digress to a political debate. We didn’t get into gun lobby rights. It was really just done in such a way to validate like, if you’re feeling a heaviness that is coming from the news. It’s real. We did the same thing when the war in Ukraine broke out. So I think that part of what we do as leaders is we show up with clarity about why we’re mentioning it, and then also with the boundary around how we’re mentioning it so that people can feel seen and acknowledged that this is real, but we’re not going to make this into a psycho analysis session. Right now. We’re not that’s on our, that’s not what we do at work.

Unknown Speaker 28:00
And then trust them. And trust that whatever they bring up is like, that’s their thing. That’s their bit. And they’re in charge of that.

Moe Carrick 28:07
Yes, yeah.

Moe Carrick 28:08
And if they get if they get teary, if they get emotional, if they really do appear to reveal a trauma, then we support them as we would any other work circumstance around they are not well right now, and we need to help them we. And you know, in a real crisis, if someone really has, for example, gets into a crying jag and can’t stop or describes that they desire to harm themselves, we would intervene the same way we would in any other such circumstance at work, which is, I’d like to recommend that we bring some help in for you right now. I’d like you to go home and call your spouse or you know, whatever, we’re going to intervene in a way that draws boundaries around them getting the help they need, just like we would–

Mei Ratz 28:46
I mean, yeah, if someone showed up with a broken leg to a meeting, you would be like, Okay, wait, hold on, we’re gonna deal with that.

Moe Carrick 28:51
Wait. Your bone is sticking out and there’s blood coming out? No, that’s so true.

Mei Ratz 28:58
Hold on, hold on.

Moe Carrick 29:00
I love that example. I love that example. A friend of mine is epileptic. And she describes having a seizure one time in a team meeting. And she’s like, let me just say that when I had that seizure, nobody ignored me. You know what I mean? She’s like, everybody, they they made sure I didn’t bite my tongue and then they called the ambulance because that’s what you do when someone has a seizure. It’s the same. It’s like someone comes in, they’re emotionally burdened, and they’re having trouble gathering themselves, we get them help.

Unknown Speaker 29:25
Like a broken leg bone sticking out. Very important right now.

Mei Ratz 29:29
So what I’m hearing is that, like the risk is very high. Actually, people think that the risk is actually high to open the can. But actually, the risk is very high for not opening the can. Because the risk that you run is that everybody in the room thinks either you don’t care, you agree with what happened, or the work is way more important than what’s happening in the world, which means it’s way more important than their trauma and feelings around it. So you might as well just open the can.

Moe Carrick 29:56
Totally, totally–

Mei Ratz 29:57
because that’s a very big risk.

Moe Carrick 29:59
Well, right! Or at least acknowledge the can–it shows that you’re not clueless. And I think this is the other risk for leaders, it’s like, we have to be able to tune in to what’s real for people, you know, otherwise, we are seen as like really not being human.

Moe Carrick 30:17
And, you know, employees want of their leaders more than anything, that they appear as human like them. That’s how we build trust. So when we act like nothing happened, we appear robotic or not human or not like we have a heart. And so we don’t need to be oblique, you know, the opposite of that is not to be a bleeding heart, or to try to therapy highs, but instead to just show up in that messy middle.

Unknown Speaker 30:42
Yeah, I’m struck by that, because of all of these–the way that CEOs have decided to announce how they’re going to deal with politics inside of their company, which feels similar to me of like, how much we’re going to talk about the thing. And I think your idea about boundaries and setting, you know, like guardrails around that situation is important, because I was reflecting also about our conversation about why I come to work as a millennial. And if I get a whiff of like, “Oh, we don’t care about people here.” Right?

Mei Ratz 31:08
I mean, they’re going to ask you a question about that, because they know you, or if, if it’s a new boss, I’m gonna start looking on Indeed, you know, because I’m like, Oh, we don’t care about people here. Okay, great. I don’t even need to ask a question about that. If I’m a new employee, I’m just like, Oh, you don’t.

Mei Ratz 31:29
And we often say that culture is how we do things here. And I would also argue that it’s how we don’t do things here. And then when you say, like, Oh, we’re not going to talk about that, or we’re not going to talk about that can hear because this is work, that there’s actually a much larger message there. It’s like, we don’t, we don’t care about you.

Moe Carrick 31:47
That’s powerful, Mei– Culture is also about how we, how we do not do things here. And you reminded me of maybe a nice place to close, which is that the I think oftentimes, when there are world on fire type events in the macro environment, I think a lot of times companies do go first to what are they going to say publicly, right? Because they’re trying to navigate their brand message in a way that makes sense. And they want to do the right thing. But they’re always on the precipice of looking like they’re just doing it for, you know, to sell more things. Right, or to do the politically correct thing.

Moe Carrick 32:19
And so I think a safe lane, for many of us is to start internally.

Moe Carrick 32:23
Start with taking care of your people in a way that is in in sync with your values. And then together–as people have felt seen in that–craft, how do we want to publicly stand for for this.

Moe Carrick 32:39
And it may be that we don’t it may be we’re not going to render an opinion on this or it may be that we do in a lot of ways or maybe we change policy, but I think that comes after the work internally.

Mei Ratz 32:50
Totally. What a great way to close. Thank you, Moe. Have a great day.

Moe Carrick 32:54
Enjoy this conversation, thank you.

Mei Ratz 32:57