Nonviolent Communication in the Workplace: Is it Effective?

Episode 56

Episode Overview

In today’s episode of the Hire Calling Podcast, Pete and Ricky sit down to discuss a recent news article that listed phrases of nonviolent communication in the workplace swaps that a Silicon Valley company created. They run through this list and are shocked and amused by some of the words considered violent language. Instead of saying, “Let’s not beat a dead horse,” the tech company suggests using, “Let’s not focus on that anymore” as a less offensive alternative. Both Pete and Ricky agree that this terminology is far from offensive, but what do you think?

They also explore the topic of employers bringing their teams back into the office. Pete and Ricky both feel there are pros and cons to this situation and talk about the difficulties of communicating remotely.

Join us for another entertaining and insightful discussion on the latest hot topics in the workplace!

37 minutes

View transcript

Examples of Nonviolent Communication in the Workplace Swaps

  • “I’ll bite the bullet” to “I won’t avoid it any longer”
  • “We can soften the blow by…” to “We can make it a little easier by…”
  • “I was blown away by that presentation” to “I was impressed by that presentation”
  • “I was kicking around the idea” to “I was thinking through an idea”
  • “That was overkill” to “That was a bit excessive”
  • “That’ll kill two birds with one stone” to “That’ll feed two birds with one scone”
  • “Did we jump the gun?” to “Did we start too soon?”
  • “Can you shoot me an email” to “Can you send me an email”
  • “I’ll take a stab at it” to “l’ll take the first pass”

Our Thoughts on Remote Communication With Your Team

Miscommunication is bound to happen when working remotely. Tone and inflection are missed, and it’s unfortunately easy to send an unintended message. Businesses are struggling with this part of the evolution of remote work, and it’s challenging for an employer to decide what’s perfect, right, and best.

Whatever tools you have, make a good and honest effort to make sure you’re there for your team. Make sure you give them every tool they need and be genuine with them. If they’re performing, give them praise. If they’re not performing, let them know about it. These communication tools exist; it’s just a matter of how they are used.

Additional resources

Pete Newsome

About Pete Newsome

Pete Newsome is the president of 4 Corner Resources, the nationally acclaimed staffing and recruiting firm he founded in 2005. His mission back then was the same as it is today: to do business in a personal way, while building an organization with boundless opportunities for ingenuity and advancement. When not managing 4 Corner’s growth or spending time with his family of six, you can find Pete sharing his sales and business expertise through public speaking, writing, and as the host of the Hire Calling podcast.

Ricky Baez

About Rick Baez

Efrain “Ricky” Baez Jr. is a published human resources professional specializing in strategically aligning HR competencies to business goals with a down to earth, common sense approach. Ricky is a four- year veteran of the United States Marine Corps and holds a Masters degree in Human Resources (MHR) from Rollins College and an SPHR certification from the Human Resources Certification Institute. Ricky is also a faculty member for the Master of Human Resources program at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida.


Pete Newsome  00:00
You’re listening to The Hire Calling Podcast, your source for all things hiring, staffing, and recruiting. 

Pete Newsome  00:06
I’m Pete Newsome. And I’m joined by Ricky Baez today, Ricky, how in the world are you?

Ricky Baez  00:12
I don’t think people truly understand what it takes to do a podcast.

Pete Newsome  00:17
 What it takes to do an intro based on the few false starts I just had. Ricky, you couldn’t be referring to that, could you?

Ricky Baez  00:23
No, no, all I’m saying is when the DVD comes out, watch the blooper reel, it’s gonna be awesome.

Pete Newsome  00:28
Yes, we are your source for all things hiring, staffing, and recruiting not your horse for it as we just discovered.

Ricky Baez  00:36
Throat clearing all kinds of things. 

Pete Newsome  00:41
But here we are, nonetheless. 

Pete Newsome  00:42
And we have a few things to talk about in the job world. We decided, however, that we’re not going to do more layoff talk, because we know that’s happening. 

Pete Newsome  00:53
And well, that gets sort of old to talk about the week in and week out, doesn’t it?

Ricky Baez  00:59
It does it? There’s just too much of it. And we’re doing it, aren’t we? 

Pete Newsome  01:04
Well, let’s change the subject. Let’s go to one that, you know, is certainly going to be different. 

Pete Newsome  01:11
And as the world continues to evolve, we have to evolve with it, and the question at a time like this, with a topic like this, becomes how much we really need to evolve can you go too far? 

Pete Newsome  01:26
And specifically, what I’m referring to here is some of the languages that we’ve used for a long, long time that in certain areas are now being considered offensive or even violent. 

Pete Newsome  01:39
That’s such a serious way to put violent language in the workplace and things we should cut out. 

Pete Newsome  01:45
Do you have any immediate thoughts on that? 

Pete Newsome  01:48
Before we get into some specifics, an article that was published a couple of days ago about violent language? 

Pete Newsome  01:57
What are your thoughts on that?

Ricky Baez  01:58
Let’s jump right in because I know the article that you’re talking about. 

Ricky Baez  02:02
And I think you and I are going to be in the same sheet of music on this one, because I read this and I’m like, I cannot wait to go live.

Pete Newsome  02:08
So what so there’s a company we’re not going to name names. 

Pete Newsome  02:11
But then as the article goes, there was a company that who was recently put out a list of phrases that they don’t think should be used anymore, and offered alternate suggestions for these phrases. 

Pete Newsome  02:27
And these are things that have been used throughout my lifetime. For sure. They may I don’t know how far back are the I don’t know the specific origin a lot or a lot of these phrases. 

Pete Newsome  02:38
But I do know that we take them for granted in terms of not having a violent meaning, I thought, but yet, I think what this article is trying to say is that there’s danger in doing that. 

Pete Newsome  02:53
Is that fair to say?

Ricky Baez  02:55
The name of the article is woke tech company seeks to replace violent language. 

Ricky Baez  03:00
This is by Steve Watson from 

Ricky Baez  03:05
So yeah, so there’s this, this organization that put out this guideline, apparently this a guideline that talks about words that were that we have come accustomed to seeing in the office. 

Ricky Baez  03:18
And let’s not use those words anymore. And let’s change them to other nonviolent words. 

Ricky Baez  03:25
And it sounds weird to say that that’s what they mentioned on the article about nonviolent words. 

Ricky Baez  03:30
But, Pete, I’m sure as soon as we started talking about these a lot of our audience, they’re going to agree these are not that bad.

Pete Newsome  03:36
Well, first of all, do you know Do you know the history of Summit news? 

Pete Newsome  03:40
Because I do not. I know that they’re a news website, it looks like I don’t know if they’re sensational in nature, and in what they typically print, but I think we don’t know who I want to. 

Pete Newsome  03:52
I want to caveat this by saying that we’re taking also for granted that this is accurate reporting, and there’s a company that is really saying this and it’s not just you know, to provoke conversation or outrage, which seems to happen a lot today. 

Pete Newsome  04:10
You know, anytime you hear the word woke, or anytime I hear the word woke, it’s usually associated with something polarizing that is sometimes used almost in an antagonistic way. 

Pete Newsome  04:23
And so I confessed months ago on air that I don’t necessarily even know what the word means. 

Pete Newsome  04:32
And I still don’t know if it has to do with what I just associated with the change of rules that I don’t necessarily feel like I’m keeping up with and in this particular example, is as good as anywhere. 

Pete Newsome  04:47
We’re being told that these phrases are no longer safe. So you want to just talk about them but I did want to put that caveat out there because who knows I don’t know anything about somebody.

Ricky Baez  05:00
If it’s luck, I mean, I know, I know, we are a world-famous podcast, but even our top-notch research team couldn’t find any information on that. 

Ricky Baez  05:08
So we’re gonna put them on their p but let’s just jump right in. So this is, so I’m gonna name a few. 

Ricky Baez  05:14
I’m going to name a few, let me know how you feel about it. Right? So this is an actual guy, this is from the guide that the public. 

Ricky Baez  05:21
So instead of using the phrase, we’re going to pull the trigger, they want to change that to, we’re going to launch. 

Ricky Baez  05:32
Now I’m pausing there for a second because they’re saying, we’re going to pull the trigger that phrase is violence, or if it lives in a violent type of world, and we should stop using that. 

Ricky Baez  05:47
I mean, I get I mean, a gun has a trigger. I understand that. But everybody knows. That’s not what it means. Right? I don’t know if anybody will get into a fizzy because somebody said, we’re going to pull the trigger. I mean, do you?

Pete Newsome  06:02
Well, perhaps there is someone who would maybe there are multiple someones and I think whenever I hear whenever a topic like this comes up.

Pete Newsome  06:12
And it seems to come up with increasing frequency lately, I think, is it our job? 

Pete Newsome  06:19
Or should we strive to not offend anyone, which seems almost impossible today? 

Pete Newsome  06:26
And so how someone chooses to interpret it is, I think, the question, and then what’s realistic? 

Pete Newsome  06:35
You know, in terms of, okay, someone may associate that with a gun, and I could see why. But is one? 

Pete Newsome  06:47
I mean, some number of people, right? And then how do you determine who should be the arbiter of whether that is offensive or not? Right? It’s not offensive to me. It’s not offensive to you. 

Pete Newsome  07:01
It’s offensive to someone. I generally think that you know, you choose what to be offended by, right? 

Pete Newsome  07:08
I mean, but yeah, I don’t I don’t we’re, we’re going to pull the trigger. I don’t I’ve never thought about it as violent. 

Pete Newsome  07:22
I don’t know what’s your take on that. Because it’s a slippery slope, right? I mean, I think we could all agree on that. 

Pete Newsome  07:28
This has a pretty long list of similar phrases. We’ll read some more, but what’s your take on it?

Ricky Baez  07:35
I’ll give you an example. Because I have a perfect example of something and actually went through with something similar to this, where this question would come up. 

Ricky Baez  07:42
And I don’t know if I shared this with you on the show before. But a long time ago, a long time ago, I was working for an organization. 

Ricky Baez  07:48
And okay, so you’re from Florida, and it’s a here in Florida, they call soda. Pepsi, right? And I think you and I talked about this scenario.

Pete Newsome  07:57
No, no, no, no, no, no, Coke was a coke. Oh, no, it’s coke by default, because we’re in the South.

Ricky Baez  08:02
Got it? Yeah. Okay. Yeah. See, I was wrong. I’m sorry. I you know what, we need to change that language. Pete? 

Ricky Baez  08:07
That was very violent towards me. Oh, no. No. So so check it okay? So you correct him? Because in the south, we call it code. So but what do they call an Ohio?

Pete Newsome  08:20
I don’t know. I know, a pop right pop is use soda. Okay.

Ricky Baez  08:24
So we had a situation where I had an employee who is from Florida, who was reporting to a manager who was from Ohio, and the manager kept referring to soda as pop. 

Ricky Baez  08:35
And it drove this employee nuts. This employee came to my office and HR in downtown Orlando, to file a complaint. 

Ricky Baez  08:44
And I’m like, Oh, my God, what’s the complaint and I’m listening to what she has to say. 

Ricky Baez  08:48
And she is saying, You need to stop Susan from using the word pop. It is not pop. We are in Florida.

Ricky Baez  08:56
This is what it is blah, blah. He was as serious as a heart attack. So regardless of how passionate she is about how that word offends her, she is the exception, right? She is the outlier. 

Ricky Baez  09:10
I’m not going to force this manager to stop using a regular word that’s called Pop well, from where she’s from. That’s what it’s called. 

Ricky Baez  09:19
And I’m not going to change her way of talking just because this one employee feels like they’re harassing us in a hostile environment. 

Ricky Baez  09:27
In the legal world. That’s called the prudent person rule. 

Ricky Baez  09:30
And the prudent person rule says, what would the reasonable person think and what would the reasonable person feel the reasonable person would not think pop is a derogatory term? 

Ricky Baez  09:42
Just what I would think the reasonable person wouldn’t believe that we’re going to pull the trigger is going to be a violent term. 

Ricky Baez  09:49
Now, I agree with what you’re saying, as far as maybe somebody has PTSD, but look at the replacement, we’re going to launch. I wasn’t a Marine. Right? 

Ricky Baez  09:58
I worked exactly on The line with our artillery cannon, maybe I got PTSD for that, do we have to change that term? Now? 

Ricky Baez  10:06
It is I agree with you, it is a huge, slippery slope. So, to me, the prudent person rule should always apply when we’re about to make a decision.

Pete Newsome  10:14
Well, you know, language is being been in the spotlight a lot these days in terms of drilling into intent and meaning and the definition of words, you know, we have, of course, there’s a lot. 

Pete Newsome  10:32
There’s been a lot of talk about the use of pronouns lately and changing, you know, what I consider to be traditional definitions, right people, they, and then being one of those where that’s a plural phrase. 

Pete Newsome  10:45
That now is, individuals have chosen to want to be referred to that generically right, I think tonight associated with them with a specific gender. 

Pete Newsome  10:57
And so it’s changing the language as we’ve used it, right? And so there’s a lot of sensitivity around that right now, we know that they know their gender, in general. 

Pete Newsome  11:12
And I don’t know if this is just like I said, once you go down this path of saying, I want you to use a different phrase because I don’t like the phrase, right? Not not, it should be an individual. 

Pete Newsome  11:27
Not not, I’m taking the choice away from you, Ricky, and I’m going to tell you which phrases to use. 

Pete Newsome  11:32
I think that’s dangerous, it’s a dangerous thing to do. And it’s also at some level, I think, you know, it’s hard to, it’s hard to take it seriously. 

Pete Newsome  11:50
It’s hard to want to spend with all the challenges of all the difficult things we’re facing and our economy and our society and life as a whole in the year 2023. 

Pete Newsome  12:04
To worry about whether we’re going to pull the trigger is a bothersome phrase. 

Pete Newsome  12:09
I mean, you have to have your life. It’s gotta be pretty good, where you’re, you have time to focus on that, right? I mean, like you don’t have pity.

Ricky Baez  12:17
Oh, hey, Pete, you want to see how much time this person has? There’s more? Are you ready for this? All right. I’ll take a stab at it. Right. 

Ricky Baez  12:25
Instead of seeing that, I’ll take the first pass at it. So taking a stab at an idea that’s going to be an issue. Here’s another one. 

Ricky Baez  12:33
Do we jump the gun? Right so that we jumped the gun? Don’t say that, you got to say that we start too soon.

Pete Newsome  12:39
Now, I don’t know this to be definitively true. But I assume jumping the gun is a phrase from the track where there’s actually a gun that’s fired to start a race. 

Pete Newsome  12:51
And there’s it’s the sense well, I mean, I don’t know if the I don’t know if it predates that. 

Pete Newsome  12:56
But you know, the track and field, but that is what happens. 

Pete Newsome  13:00
I mean, the starter’s pistol is a thing right there actually is a gun that shot I mean, there are no bullets in it. But it makes a noise. 

Pete Newsome  13:09
It’s used in middle school track meets all around the country in high school. So you quite literally do get penalized for jumping the gun in a track and field event and it makes sense. 

Pete Newsome  13:22
So I don’t so did we start too soon now? Does it mean the same thing? Yes, it does. It means you started too soon. 

Pete Newsome  13:31
But I don’t know that. I don’t you know, I’ll bite the bullet as another one. Right. I’ll bite the bullet. 

Pete Newsome  13:38
Okay, bullets so you know, are inherently bad. I think I know where that one comes from. 

Ricky Baez  13:48
I think that it is like Kung Fu from the old kung fu movies back in the day.

Pete Newsome  13:51
I’m gonna make this up and I may sound may be foolish as a result but I associated with gold western movies. 

Pete Newsome  13:58
Where you bite the bullet if you this is probably a student completely wrong. I shouldn’t even say it. I’m not going to say it. 

Ricky Baez  14:08
I pulled back to go ahead and see what you say. We got it from the summit news.

Pete Newsome  14:11
No, I’m gonna look it up. 

Pete Newsome  14:12
Now while we’re talking. I am. But I did notice one of our freight favorite phrases on here, Ricky and that’s and that’s not beat a dead horse. 

Pete Newsome  14:22
That’s the one that really caught my attention. 

Pete Newsome  14:24
Because you and I as we’re doing now, we’re quickly getting to that point where we’re beating a horse on this topic. 

Pete Newsome  14:31
It’s weird to think about why would anyone beat a dead horse. I think that’s the point. 

Pete Newsome  14:35
You wouldn’t do that. So I could argue that’s maybe nonviolence, right? We’re saying let’s not beat the dead horse.

Ricky Baez  14:41
And I’m like, if Pete and I work for that company, we will not only be fired we will be prohibited from returning on premises. 

Ricky Baez  14:48
I was gonna I saw that one too. And I’m like, that’s our phrase. But Pete here is the funniest one. Are you ready for this? I love this one. 

Ricky Baez  14:56
kill two birds with one stone. Don’t say that anymore. What you have to see now is that’ll feed two birds with one stone. That’s hilarious. 

Pete Newsome  15:12
You can’t say that’ll kill that. So now they just wanted to rhyme is that only much?

Ricky Baez  15:15
I mean, okay, so what you can see. So when he ordered a $20 Uber from Popeyes chicken, what do you think those birds come from? Right? 

Ricky Baez  15:23
Somebody killed them. That’s something that happened. That’s not a big issue. 

Ricky Baez  15:29
All I’m saying is if you and I are in a meeting, please never ever say that we’ll feed two birds with one stone. Please don’t say that. 

Pete Newsome  15:37
Yeah, there’s a problem, right? As much as anything else is it that someone decided to make us less than you? 

Pete Newsome  15:44
And I could argue you probably agree that someone’s, this, this would be considered first-world problems, right? 

Pete Newsome  15:52
Where do you have enough time to be bothered by this? 

Pete Newsome  15:56
And I actually saw there was something over the weekend, it was spread around on social media a lot, I won’t talk about it too much. 

Pete Newsome  16:02
But it was someone who’s popular, I think, and think it’s a popular YouTuber. 

Pete Newsome  16:09
My kids know who this person is, is when I start to feel like I’m out of the loop with some of this stuff. 

Pete Newsome  16:14
But he was talking about just different changes and phrases and terminology. And I’m worried I don’t keep up. 

Pete Newsome  16:24
I can’t I don’t, I’m not necessarily exposed to some of these phrases. 

Pete Newsome  16:29
And that is supposed to be used today, right? To not hurt someone’s feelings. And I just think there’s, like, the rules are changing too rapidly. 

Pete Newsome  16:41
You know, for this where I’m, I’m man, I’m just turned 52, I’m not going to be able to pull the I’m not going to be able to say stop beating the dead horse. 

Pete Newsome  16:51
I can’t, it’s too much of a habit at this point.

Ricky Baez  16:54
So here’s what I’ve learned. I’ve learned that is because I’m noticing that too, right? Um, I’m about to be 46. 

Ricky Baez  17:01
So I’m, I’m learning that there are some things out there that I gonna be just don’t make sense to me. And I was confused for a while. 

Ricky Baez  17:08
And I’m like, you know, this is exactly what my parents were with me growing up. Right? At some point, they were at their prime. 

Ricky Baez  17:16
And now this is their ideals are set, and they cement them in their foundation. And now they’re starting to see a different generation with the same thing. 

Ricky Baez  17:23
And that’s why I and my parents clash, and a lot of people clash with their parents. 

Ricky Baez  17:27
Were there, right? We used to be the kids to be yelled off the lawn now we’re the ones yelling off the lawn. Pete.

Pete Newsome  17:35
Yeah, I think and I wonder if that’s what the says right? 

Pete Newsome  17:37
I mean, is this a lot of these YouTubers over the weekend, what they did that I saw interviewed was saying how all this was a product of being bored. 

Pete Newsome  17:48
During COVID People had too much time on their hands and started coming out with all of these new rules and, and things you can say and can’t say, and it does kind of line up, right? 

Pete Newsome  18:00
Yeah, with the timing. So all right. So this so we can look at this and say, you, you may have gone too far with us. Right? 

Pete Newsome  18:10
Like, it seems like it’s gone too far. 

Pete Newsome  18:13
To identify these words is is is being violent in nature. You know, by the way, bite the bullet does come it is what I thought I should have gone with it because I would have looked like I was a little more sure of myself. 

Pete Newsome  18:29
It was a phrase that was from you know, old battlefields. 

Pete Newsome  18:33
When they’re pre-anesthesia, you would, would literally bite a bullet if you had to be sutured or stitched up. 

Pete Newsome  18:41
And so it was a way of just like you bite a stick, you know, to prevent seizure. You bite a bullet if someone’s going to cut it to operate or something like that. 

Ricky Baez  18:53
Yeah, no thanks around. He just got ammunition across the US. He was giving me money now.

Pete Newsome  18:57
Well, I mean, I think you can probably still use the bullet if you don’t bite through it. But so yes, so bite the bullet. Let’s move on.

Ricky Baez  19:06
I think we’ve beaten a dead horse. Let’s move on.

Pete Newsome  19:09
We have. 

Pete Newsome  19:10
So here’s another topic for today that once again, seems to be common, you know, right and talked about every, every time we turn around lately, but I was at a client meeting last week. 

Pete Newsome  19:28
And they were talking about their staff coming back to the office and how nobody wants to go back even though they now see some business benefits to coming back. 

Pete Newsome  19:40
And they’re dealing with that issue where we want you to give freedom of that nature and it’s hard to take back. 

Pete Newsome  19:52
It’s hard to tell the analogy that I always use because I’m a father of four and always, you know, I think I’ve coached A lot of sports and I, over the years, and I, of course, have four kids.

Pete Newsome  20:04
So I’m always using analogies from parenting and sports because they all seem to really resonate, and with things that happen in the workforce.

Pete Newsome  20:14
And the one that comes to mind here is if you tell your child that, hey, your bedtime is now 10 pm, instead of 8 pm, everyone’s happy, right? 

Pete Newsome  20:23
That’s to say, Hey, you don’t have to come to the office anymore. 

Pete Newsome  20:25
You can go home. But then if you say, hey, bad, bad news, your bedtime has been 10 pm. Now it’s 8 pm. 

Pete Newsome  20:32
That’s not gonna go, well, that’s gonna you’re not gonna have fun with that, so you can do it. But it’s gonna be ugly. 

Pete Newsome  20:42
So what do you think about that? Is that a good analogy?

Ricky Baez  20:46
It’s a great analogy. But I’m wondering because I do have obviously, I wish I would have known this back then. 

Ricky Baez  20:51
But let’s continue on with that analogy. What if you told your kids hey, you’re now your, your bedtime is no longer eight. 

Ricky Baez  21:00
It’s gonna be 10. Yay, for a few months. And you set that expectation? And then you’re like, on this day, we got to come back. Are we good? 

Ricky Baez  21:07
Do you think the kids would be more receptive when that time comes? If they know this was coming?

Pete Newsome  21:14
Why don’t they Yeah, I mean, in theory, but if they could go next door and the bedtime till 10 pm.

Ricky Baez  21:25
Then I mean, true. Right? 

Pete Newsome  21:27
It means you’re the movers. Yeah. That’s, that’s the reality, right? You’re not the only game in town, you know, with work. 

Pete Newsome  21:35
So, no, yeah. But it’s interesting to point out, right? If you had said, Hey, we’re doing this temporarily. Well, that was two years ago. 

Pete Newsome  21:44
That was the shoe that was three years ago. Now. It’s not possible. Yeah. That was three years ago. 

Pete Newsome  21:53
Wow. Which, which seems impossible. March 2020.

Ricky Baez  22:00
That means next year, we’re going to see the first college graduates from when the pandemic started. 

Pete Newsome  22:09
Well, that would be my eldest son who’s a junior in college. Now, he was a senior in high school, when this all kicked out. 

Pete Newsome  22:18
And yeah, it was his last semester. And like many, it was a really interesting thing to witness as off-topic.

Pete Newsome  22:27
But because he was a freshman, living away in a dorm for the first time, we heard from lots of parents in those situations that it was a huge shift for children. 

Pete Newsome  22:38
Now, he was fortunate where he was, he was involved in he was playing football at the time, so he didn’t have to be in the dorm. 

Pete Newsome  22:46
But otherwise, you didn’t go to class, you didn’t really have social events you can go to. So that was a whole different, different deal.

Ricky Baez  22:54
No different for the workforce. No different at all. It’s people. And okay, I’m, I’m, I’m gonna say this right. It’s easy to Monday morning quarterback. 

Ricky Baez  23:03
That is the easiest thing to do. We should have could have would have done. But you know, three years later, now, we’re looking back. 

Ricky Baez  23:11
Yeah, I think I think maybe if we would assess and expectations, but you know, what, we were building the sailboat as we were sailing in it. 

Ricky Baez  23:21
That’s what we were doing. We didn’t have a playbook, the last playbook for something like this to happen. What was it the Spanish flu? Right back in the early 1900s. 

Ricky Baez  23:30
So we didn’t have a playbook for this for our workforce today. There’s a playbook. But it hasn’t been updated in 100 years. 

Ricky Baez  23:39
So I guess what I’m saying is, is, you know, for all the employees that are being asked to come back into the office, I see I’m on the fence on that. 

Ricky Baez  23:50
Because my question is, if the employees are working, they’re performing right now. What is the reason to bring them back into the office? 

Ricky Baez  24:00
Now, if you have shown that their performance is dropping, nothing is happening, and you’re trending the opposite way. 

Ricky Baez  24:07
I would definitely understand what you want to bring them back into the office right to make sure you’re managing that process, make sure you are the captain of that ship. 

Ricky Baez  24:15
But what if it’s not? Why bring them back to the product don’t understand.

Pete Newsome  24:20
I am almost without exception. When I speak with people about this, it’s not one. There’s not one simple answer to it. 

Pete Newsome  24:29
There are there pros and cons and just there were having to weigh things differently than we did in the past where I can just use our own staffing company as an example.

Pete Newsome  24:42
Where we were given the ability to work at home is sort of a rewarding thing, because it was it’s a given that people who would like to be remote would like to be virtual.

Pete Newsome  24:55
So we were experimenting with it.

Pete Newsome  24:56
And we were working towards potentially giving it to senior employees, senior staff who’ve really earned, I guess, earned the not trust of not being in the office, but earned the ability to function autonomously and independently remotely. 

Pete Newsome  25:18
And so it was a milestone thing where once you got to a certain point of competence and expertise in your role, then you could do that because you didn’t need to be in the office. 

Pete Newsome  25:28
So we were heading in that direction as a company, and this fast-forwarded everything for us. 

Pete Newsome  25:33
And it got us to a point we thought we’d get to anyway, just a lot faster through COVID. 

Pete Newsome  25:39
But what net but we’re also realizing, okay, we do lose something through this you do lose some camaraderie you do lose the ability to learn, I’ll give you an even more real-world example that just happened where we have a weekly meeting. 

Pete Newsome  25:57
And it’s the only time that I get to interface with everyone as a whole. And it’s over zoom. 

Pete Newsome  26:02
Now we get together on a semi-regular basis in the office, and we gather. 

Pete Newsome  26:08
But I delivered a message, and I realized after the fact the message wasn’t received as exactly as I thought it was I intended for it to be. 

Pete Newsome  26:18
But I didn’t get to read the room, read the room upfront. But then I also didn’t get to interact with the individuals. 

Pete Newsome  26:27
Throughout the day as I would have I didn’t get to see them in the hallway. I didn’t get to see them. at their desks or in their offices, or in my office, it was just I made a statement. 

Pete Newsome  26:39
It didn’t. It didn’t come across exactly as I intended. 

Pete Newsome  26:43
A week went by. And it was only by circumstance that I found out hey, I don’t I needed to clarify that statement. 

Pete Newsome  26:50
So I was blissfully ignorant. So that’s not a good thing. 

Pete Newsome  26:54
But anyway, that’s just one example of things that Weibo would not have existed, that that problem wouldn’t have existed if we were all in the office. 

Pete Newsome  27:01
So is there a benefit? Yeah, but is there a drawback? Yeah, there is that too. 

Ricky Baez  27:05
a good point. It’s so so it’s, I hear that I hear that you’re right because there it’s like I’m an extrovert, you’re an extrovert. 

Ricky Baez  27:12
And one of the things I really enjoyed about coming into the office on a Monday morning is just checking in with my team, how was the weekend, what you do I love, I love to see what they did for Unit Four for the weekend. 

Ricky Baez  27:23
And I love that Monday morning chat that I had with my team every now and then because even if you’re stuck on a project.

Ricky Baez  27:29
And you’re like God, I’ve been at this for hours, you want to break away and then you go find Sally or Mike and let’s go get some coffee somewhere to kind of recharge. 

Ricky Baez  27:38
You’re right, you don’t have that. 

Ricky Baez  27:39
So I mean there are pros and their cons. 

Ricky Baez  27:42
But all that means is that look, the pandemic, the pandemic force, this organization and hundreds of 1000s of other organizations nationwide from turning this benefit into an almost a necessity. 

Ricky Baez  27:57
And see, I’m even uncomfortable saying that we’re necessary because you don’t need to work from home. The norm, almost the norm. 

Ricky Baez  28:05
That’s the word I’m looking for. 

Ricky Baez  28:07
And although I do understand that piece, technology keeps evolving and evolving and evolving.

Ricky Baez  28:12
And eventually that human interaction that we’re missing now is going to be replaced with AI here in a few years. It’s gonna happen, this happened.

Pete Newsome  28:22
Wait, so you’re thinking the AI is gonna replace human interaction at what level?

Ricky Baez  28:28
I mean, not completely. I mean, but at some point, it is you got to admit all this AI stuff we’ve seen.

Pete Newsome  28:38
What do you what is it going to replace in terms of human interaction now? That is because AI offers a lot of things, but human interaction? Is any one of them?

Ricky Baez  28:50
No, okay, so, all right, I’m just pulling this out of the air. Let’s see if this works. I don’t have any rhyme or reason about it. 

Ricky Baez  28:56
Right? I’m working from home here I am. I got everybody in a meeting. Ah, man. Hey Siri, start asking Siri who knows that.

Pete Newsome  29:05
You actually asked.

Ricky Baez  29:06
Siri actually activated. Let me wait for it to stop. So I’ll say hey, blank. I need some I need some help. I need a break. It can have a conversation with you.

Pete Newsome  29:18
Okay, there was a movie about that. There’s been a couple of movies about that, I believe. Yeah, yes.

Ricky Baez  29:26
Yeah, Terminator. 

Pete Newsome  29:29
I mean, oh, no Ex Machina was one where the guy built a robot to keep it was kept him company and it’s not for the office. 

Pete Newsome  29:36
And then there was No, but then there was one. Oh man, the guy who fell in love with his Siri App. 

Pete Newsome  29:44
I didn’t see the movie I can’t even think of who was in it. 

Pete Newsome  29:48
But in love with the app. 

Pete Newsome  29:50
Yeah, like you fell in love with the Siri-like app that where was talking back to a more as Alexa like our life imitates I guess I guess but.

Pete Newsome  30:00
But, what why are we talking about this rookie because we think that this, this is going to

Ricky Baez  30:08
come home. Yeah, and AI replacing human interaction.

Pete Newsome  30:11
Okay, you know what that that leaves us at Walley land pretty soon is is what we’re talking about. 

Pete Newsome  30:17
So no, I don’t think AI is going to replace human interaction at any great level, I think.

Ricky Baez  30:27
Your best friend Siri?

Pete Newsome  30:29
Well, I mean, I don’t know how that translates into improvement or detriment in the workforce. 

Pete Newsome  30:37
So make your make bring that back to?

Ricky Baez  30:40
Well, here’s how I bring it back because you’re seeing that there’s, there’s a human element that’s missing. 

Ricky Baez  30:46
And I agree with you today there is a human element that’s missing for about 10 years. 

Ricky Baez  30:51
I don’t know if we’re gonna say that. I don’t know if we’re going to be able to say that, because technology is evolving so rapidly. 

Ricky Baez  30:58
And I mean, rapidly. I mean, I’m going to get a mention of Chat GPT not because we beat that dead horse. 

Ricky Baez  31:04
It’s, it’s going so fast that later on, it is going to be very difficult to tell what’s real and what’s not. 

Ricky Baez  31:12
How did that difficulty level is going to be how it doesn’t measure into them, and how well, these things are going to be built? 

Ricky Baez  31:20
So that’s why I’m saying, later on, we’re going to have more tools to fill in that gap than what we have right now.

Pete Newsome  31:26
Well, if anything, you’re making the case, I do agree with you that it is, but even some of the videos that are advancing rapidly in the text to speech and are able to turn that into an avatar. 

Pete Newsome  31:37
And in all of that, yeah, I mean, if anything that makes the need for people to interact live even more important because you have to be able to, you know, to see touch, and feel them so to speak. 

Pete Newsome  31:50
Versus wondering if, if you’re talking to a real person at all. 

Pete Newsome  31:54
I mean, that’s kind of a terrifying thought, isn’t it?

Ricky Baez  31:57
But I’ll give you a great example real quick. I, I saw this app the other day, that is a video app for zoom just like this. 

Ricky Baez  32:04
You see how I’m looking at the camera right now. But what happens is the camera takes my face. 

Ricky Baez  32:10
And they project my same face to you but my eyes looking at you. But in real-time my eyes are looking down here looking at a teleprompter. It looks real. 

Ricky Baez  32:20
Right. So Real. I can look like that. I can look like this. Somebody maybe come in, but I’m still talking. And look, it’s it’s

Pete Newsome  32:28
it’s I’ve seen it I saw it. I saw it. I did it. Well, it No, it didn’t look real yet. You could tell that it will soon time very soon. 

Pete Newsome  32:38
But I still think I think the interaction that I think is missing now is really for younger professionals who still have to have a lot to learn in terms of professional development. 

Pete Newsome  32:56
And it’s just hard to replicate when you’re virtual that that’s really what if there’s something missing from just those little small hallway conversations.

Pete Newsome  33:06
Overhearing other people reading their body language like I didn’t, I wasn’t able to do in the story I told earlier. 

Pete Newsome  33:15
And as a career salesperson, I have realized over the past week thinking about this like, man, yeah, that I’m just talking not knowing how it’s received. 

Pete Newsome  33:29
To a group that’s dangerous. I mean, like, that’s a bad idea, because we missed the mark, and then go away and not know it. 

Pete Newsome  33:40
You could, you could just cause a lot of unnecessary challenges. 

Pete Newsome  33:43
And I think that’s what companies are dealing with right now is just examples like that playing out over and over and over and over, throughout the day where people are typing things a lot more than they used to use slack.

Pete Newsome  33:59
Which we’ve started to do a lot of, and there’s a great benefit to that. 

Pete Newsome  34:02
But you miss tone and inflection and depending on if you put a comment in the right place, it could be sending the wrong message, an unintended message. 

Pete Newsome  34:12
So those are really those are real issues. 

Pete Newsome  34:15
And I think businesses are now struggling with that, where we’ve gotten to that part of the evolution of working remotely where there’s a lot of unsolved challenges that need to be resolved. 

Pete Newsome  34:29
And there’s gonna be tools and software and new businesses, I think, have already seen some cropping up about how to do that. 

Pete Newsome  34:37
So big, big entrepreneurial opportunity there. For sure. But in the meantime, it’s a challenge as an employer to decide what’s perfect, right, what’s right, and what’s best. 

Ricky Baez  34:51
I even target thinking as a leader for anybody out there listening. 

Ricky Baez  34:54
If you’re struggling with anything, what Pete and I are talking about today as far as how to how fulfill you.

Ricky Baez  35:00
Just how to fulfill that, that human connection when your team is spread out because let me tell you, it’s this organization, the team is spread out, right? 

Ricky Baez  35:08
But we do a really good job at bringing everybody together, yes, sometimes we do drop some communication balls here and there as any other organization would, but we strive to make it better. 

Ricky Baez  35:18
The best thing, the best advice I can give all leaders out there is whatever tools you have, make a good, honest effort to make sure you’re there for your team. 

Ricky Baez  35:27
And you make sure you give them every tool they need, and be genuine with them. 

Ricky Baez  35:31
Be genuine with them, if they’re performing, give them praise, if they’re not performing, let them know about it. 

Ricky Baez  35:36
The communication stuff is there. It’s just a matter of how we use the tools that we have right now to communicate with the team. 

Ricky Baez  35:43
If they see that you’re that you really are looking out for the best interest. Doesn’t matter how far they are, they’re going to be loyal.

Pete Newsome  35:50
Ricky, I think that’s a perfect way to end it with a good deadline, if you will, back to the original phrase, or the list of phrases we’re not supposed to use today. 

Pete Newsome  36:01
No, but I think let’s see, I think I think you have that was you’re a straight shooter and that and so you?

Ricky Baez  36:12
Well, I’m just waiting for that letter from Peter. 

Pete Newsome  36:15
Well, in there, it’s covered, and yes, the four horses that we’ve beaten all over the country. Well, thank you for listening. 

Pete Newsome  36:22
Again this week. I think we may be due for a q&a later this week on our next podcast but as always, please reach out we’d love to hear from you at

Pete Newsome  36:38
I love taking any questions for our next q&a So please reach out and review and rate us thank you for listening Ricky anything else?

Ricky Baez  36:45
No, thank you very much. Have a good one. I got a tomato waiting for me if you get a Trader Joe’s nearby, get the tomatoes they’re good.

Pete Newsome  36:50
Alright, fair enough. Goodbye for now. 

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