Cracking the Communication Code for Your Organization

In this episode of The Faces of Business, Jill Valdez, Founder & COO, LINK Consulting discusses how to transform businesses through effective communication.

In this episode of The Faces of Business, Jill Valdez, Founder & COO, LINK Consulting discusses how to transform businesses through effective communication.

With her extensive experience, Jill specializes in helping leaders overwhelmed with daily operations build stronger teams. She understands the challenges of balancing employee engagement, retention, and positive workplace culture. Jill is a partner who navigates these complexities with her clients, transforming their teams and organizations.

In this session, we explore:

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How to place the right people in their ideal roles to minimize profit loss from employee turnover.
Strategies to shift from motivating underperforming staff to nurturing employees with an ownership mindset.
Balancing the focus on people, systems, and pipelines while managing your workload effectively.

In her previous experience leading LINK Consulting, she developed the 4 Absolutes of Organizational Health: communication, cohesion, clarity, and consistency. These principles are the key foundation she uses to minimize office politics and confusion while boosting employee morale and productivity.

The conversation begins with Damon’s wonderful energy. He asks Jill to relate her background with her today’s role and journey into assisting organizations in enhancing their communication strategies.

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Jill talks about her 17-year tenure as a director of operations in the nonprofit sector. Transitioning to the for-profit sector, she expected business leaders to excel in leadership and employee motivation. However, she discovered the opposite and found her passion in helping organizations engage their people effectively. After serving as an associate director of HR, she was encouraged to start her own consulting business in 2018.

Despite initial challenges in marketing, she gained valuable experience and worked with several companies. In 2022, Jill temporarily “shuttered things up” to focus on family and a new role as a director of business operations for a hospice agency. Following a restructuring in 2023, she seized the opportunity to return to her passion for helping businesses enhance their operations and employee engagement.

Acknowledging Jill’s unique journey and her continuous learning and application of skills, Damon questions the guest about the insights and lessons gained from this cyclical process.

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Jill reveals that she has learned, despite initial reluctance, that how important the process is for it aligns people, vision, and goals. She stresses the need for a balanced approach, combining passion with a duplicatable process for success. The guest shares a transformative workshop experience addressing personality differences. Moreover, she reveals that the applicability of her teachings in the current COVID-influenced work environment resulted in holistic success in personal and professional spheres.

Damon further shares a relatable experience from a client site, where discussions centered around training employees on productivity and life organization. Success at the workplace benefits the administration and workers alike. The host asks about Jill’s common challenges as she works with various organizations.

In response, Jill identifies that a common challenge in organizations is the assumption that communication occurs just because emails are sent. The limitations of written communication, lack of nonverbal cues, and loss of tone and facial expressions are among common challenges. The guest discusses the potential loss of connection and misinterpretation of emails and texts. Similarly, effective communication goes beyond the mere exchange of words and requires thoughtful consideration of the medium used.

Jill shares a great client experience where her communication workshop had a transformative impact. An associate reached out, expressing how the workshop changed the dynamics with their manager. They had faced challenges in email exchanges where the manager’s brief responses left the employee with unanswered questions. In Jill’s view, a common breakdown in communication is the use of inadequate or unclear words.

Jill uses the DISC (Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness) assessment to focus on communication rooted in understanding personality. She appreciates its simplicity, which makes it easy for people to remember and apply in interactions. She enjoys witnessing individuals discover the driving forces behind their behavior, creating a sense of identity and understanding.

Damon requests Jill to share simple tips for individuals looking to improve their communication skills.

Jill says that it is foundationally important to know oneself in communication. Using the DISC profile again as an example, she shares her experience as a high-D personality and how understanding this aspect helped her adapt her communication style. One must be aware of one’s communication tendencies during moments of stress. Jill hints that the first step to improving communication is self-awareness, followed by understanding the people in one’s surroundings.

Praising Jill’s wise advice about understanding oneself, Damon asks her about her excitement for the future, specifically mentioning the past six months and the upcoming year as they transition into 2024.

Jill reveals that she is excited about the growing recognition among companies for the need to bring in experts to build cohesive teams. She anticipates a positive transformation. Effective team-building strategies, better communication and understanding team dynamics can improve workplace culture. Jill looks forward to witnessing how these practices reduce turnover rates and create a healthier workplace culture. Workplace culture involves more than social events. Businesses must implement comprehensive strategies for building strong, cohesive teams.

Damon discusses the evolving trends in workplace culture over the past five to 10 years. He notes the shift from extravagant perks and events, like tap beer and party Fridays, to a realization that such offerings alone don’t guarantee good retention or a positive work environment. However, healthy conflicts are a part of workplace culture.

While talking about workplace conflicts, Jill appreciates Damon’s mention of “healthy.” She believes avoiding conflict altogether is unhealthy conflicts. Healthy conflict produces better teamwork, where individuals share their thoughts, work through differences, and collectively arrive at the best solutions.

Damon discusses challenges in communication within organizations, particularly during the COVID-19 Pandemic, which prompted the adoption of tools like Slack and Teams for video conferencing. He raises questions about the long-term integration of these tools compares to traditional email communication.

During onboarding, she recommends asking two foundational questions: preferred communication method and preferred way of receiving gratitude. By obtaining these answers upfront, teams can better understand how to communicate and express appreciation to new members.

At Damon’s request, Jill discloses her plans for 2024. She is enthusiastic about working with businesses and executive directors on enhancing employee engagement, retention, and workplace culture through the “Done for You” program.

Additionally, Jill’s goal for businesses in her program is to build the Dream Team without starting over. By doing so, she aims to achieve increased employee engagement, reduce employee turnover, and establish a stellar workplace culture.

The conversation closes with Damon thanking Jill for her time.

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40:05
SUMMARY KEYWORDS
people, work, communication, organizations, talking, companies, communicate, email, damon, business, team, shuttered, years, challenges, today, great, questions, conflict, workplace culture, life
SPEAKERS
Jill Valdez, Damon Pistulka

Damon Pistulka 00:03
All right, everyone, welcome once again, of business, I just about forgot what I was supposed to your host today, and I’ve got Jill Valdez here today from link consulting, we’re going to be talking about cracking the communication code for your organization. Welcome Jill.

Jill Valdez 00:27
Damon, it’s so great to be here. Thank you for having me.

Damon Pistulka 00:31
I am extremely excited, because this is something I tell you that you are passionate about. I see how important this is, and the organizations that I’m blessed to work with, I hear others talking about it. And it’s just gonna be a lot of fun. Yeah,

Jill Valdez 00:50
I’m excited. I’m excited to talk about it. I can talk about it all day long. There

Damon Pistulka 00:56
you go. That’s a good thing. That’s a good thing, we got that much passionate means we are going to do good things in the world. So Jill, as we like to start out. Let’s talk a little bit about your background, and what really got you into helping organizations improve their communication? Yeah.

Jill Valdez 01:16
My background is that for 17 years, I was a director of operations in the nonprofit industry. And when I left that, and jumped into the for profit sector, I really thought that business leaders already had all of this stuff figured out, I thought that they knew leadership. And I thought they knew how to bring out the best in their people and how to motivate them besides just a paycheck. Because nonprofit world tends to be a little bit behind for profit. And I quickly discovered that that was definitely not the case. And, and so I, I just intuitively, care about people so much, and want to see organizations be their best and recognize that it’s about the people, not in an HR way, like I’m not an HR person, but but about how to how to activate people how to engage their hearts, how to tie in and connect who they are, and the work that they’re doing with the organization and bringing that all together. And it’s such a win win situation. So I was doing that I actually was an associate director of HR for a company, and the president of the company came to me and he said, Look, what you’ve done for my people, and for my business, he said, You need to be doing this for multiple companies at a time, not as an employee, go out and start your own thing. That was in 2018, I had no clue what I was doing. It took a year and a half to really figure out the marketing. And because I, I foolishly thought that when people heard I was available, my phone would be ringing off the hook, that did not happen. I will freely admit that. And so I had to learn about marketing and messaging and how to put this all together was less to take care of and tip to work with some great companies along the way who, who worked with me fumbling through the messaging and what I was doing. And then in 2022, and I’d always been, you know, like anybody starting a new business. It was part time it was on the side, as I was continuing to grow. And then in 2022, I actually shuttered the business, my husband was getting ready to donate a kidney to his brother. And I was offered an opportunity to be a director of business operations for a hospice agency. It came totally out of left field, but I walked through that door and said yes, and knew that I couldn’t do all three of those things at the same time. So I shuttered things up and focused on family and on my new career. But in August of this last year, the company went through a restructuring, as many of the large companies are doing and and they laid off about 12% of their workforce and eliminated my role across the organization. And I said, Great, I know exactly what I’m gonna get back to be doing and that’s working with businesses again.

Damon Pistulka 04:46
Nice, nice. Well, and it’s, it’s great for you to be able to continue experience in organization practicing what you learned earlier, and then come back again and practice again and now you’re out, helping other organizations do it again. So, what? As you’re doing this, you know, because you’ve got this you, you, you started out you were developing and like you said fumbling through a learn some of it. I mean, this is really good, good experience because you were able to go then apply some of it in a real world situation, and then coming out now, what do you think that, that those process steps doing it like that and then shuttering your business, but being in the situation where you could actually apply those things? And now coming out, how do you think that better prepares you or taught you some things that you didn’t know before?

Jill Valdez 05:42
You know, probably the best and biggest thing that I learned from all of that, Damon is the idea of process. I’m not a big fan of process, I’m not a big fan of enjoying the journey, I am, hey, there’s a problem. Here’s the solution, let’s just get it fixed. And we’re gonna get it fixed now, and we’re gonna power through, but I learned about process and, and the importance of making sure that you have things lined up in place, that you have the right people in the right roles, that you have a clear vision and a clear understanding of what is being done and where you’re going. That was probably the biggest takeaway from all of that was, was learning how to, to still be passionate and accomplishing what the goal is of anybody who works with me. But also having a system in place and a process in place, which makes it even more duplicatable, to duplicate, double, because the idea of when when somebody works with me, I don’t want to be in their business for the next 10 years. That’s not how I roll, I don’t want to be in their business for the next five years, frankly. So the idea is, I want to teach people, that’s, that’s part of how I work with them as equipping them with the knowledge that I have. So that then if they were to switch companies, they could then take what they have, and be able to apply it in any situation. You know, I do this, I do a workshop, and it’s the cracking the communication code workshop. And I and I, when I first was starting this, and I had this was, gosh, this was four years ago, yeah, four years ago. And so I’d like post on Facebook that I was getting ready to do it. And an acquaintance of mine, she saw the post, and she called me up and she’s like, You have to come and work with my company, you have to come and work with my team. They’re the worst, she went on for like 10 minutes about how they didn’t want to be accountable and how they didn’t respect her. And they would come in and do their own thing. And I was like, I don’t know that I going to be able to solve this problem. But I’m always up for good challenge. And so I went in, and I was teaching this workshop, and it was really eye opening, because of the fact that we were talking about personality. And she’s one she’s a very task driven, driven, super, let’s get things done now. Similar to me, personality, and the rest of her team were very people focused and very slow, but steady and consistent and cared about the experience of it all and, and making sure that things were lined up, right. So about halfway through the workshop, she looks at me, she goes, chill. I’m the problem. And there was a part of me that was very relieved that I wasn’t gonna have to go back and have that conversation with her. But again, I told her, I said, it’s not that you’re the problem. It’s just that you both you have very different personalities. And so we did some coaching through on how to work together. And I went back about six weeks later, and the dynamic that the atmosphere in the office was so incredibly difference that you need, everybody. She had moved some people around so that they were doing some different things. She understood a little bit better about why they behave the way they did. They respected her, they were able to communicate that to her and tell her that and she was willing to accept that as being true and genuine. So it was really good. That two years ago, she texted me and she said, Thank you for saving my marriage. And I called her up I’m like, What are you talking about? And she said, Well, I took that thing and I went home. I met my husband take find out what his personality is. And I made him go through this stuff and made him listen to what you had said. And she said, it totally transformed our marriage. She said, What I didn’t know is that he had already met with an attorney, and was getting ready to divorce her. And so all that to say that the things that we that I get to teach, this is applicable, whether it be in your personal life in your work life, you know, we’re seeing that now so much, Damon, if you read posts about how employees aren’t happy, and the struggles that they’re having, it’s because especially after COVID, I think we were headed this way, and COVID just accelerated it. But people no longer go to work, and leave their personal life at the door. You know, we all have our phones all the time, we’re always connected. And so there isn’t that, that separation like it used to be. And so we have to learn as business leaders, how to how to keep people engaged, and how to make sure that we’re taking care of them in the workplace, and also in their personal life. Because they are, they’re connected, and they impact each other. And that’s just a truth that we can’t get away from.

Damon Pistulka 11:21
Yeah, yeah, you know, it’s funny, you said that, because I was I was at a client site today. And we were talking about some of the same things. And in some of the training that we’re offering employees around productivity and just organization organization of your day, but not only organizing your day, organizing your life, and utilizing the same productivity techniques into saying, Listen, if you’re out what we have to get done today, at work, we can use those same kind of tools, calendars and task lists, or whatever, to help us at home as well. So we’re not so rushed, and, and things don’t just hit us in the face. We know, okay, this is what I have to do tomorrow, or this is what’s happening next week. And, and it is right, because if we can make things better give people the tools that helped them work a lot of these times, like your example will help them in their personal lives, which only benefits us more in the workplace as well.

Jill Valdez 12:26
Yeah, absolutely. Yes.

Damon Pistulka 12:30
So we got some good comments here, James. Just say first of all, James, glad to have you here today. Great to hear from you. And then we got Curtis Curtis, old friend of mine.

Jill Valdez 12:42
Yeah, it’s doing such great stuff. I gotta give a shout out to Curtis what he’s doing for people. Man, he’s amazing.

Damon Pistulka 12:49
No doubt, no doubt. And then and then James James is the king of coatings, if you wanted to know how to what you need to put over a ship that you’re going to run long distance or over a runway are all different kinds of stuff like this tank line. I mean, the guy knows everything. You studied it forever. It’s awesome. Got a great podcast about it. So good stuff. So as you’re coming into these organizations, now you study this a while you’re in and out of them working with them. What are some of the common challenges you see, as people come in to, you know, when we talk about communication, we talk about communication challenges, difficulties that they’re having? What is a common theme that you you see,

Jill Valdez 13:39
the common theme that I see is the assumption that communication is actually happening? You know, there when you go to work, and you have 50 million emails. And so there’s just this expectation, well, of course, I’m communicating, I sent out an email, well, you may have sent out an email, but that doesn’t mean that all of the words that you said or the way that you put it together actually communicated the message. And I was having a conversation with a friend of mine about this last week, we were talking about the fact that you know, it used to be understood that 80% of communication was nonverbal communication. While in email and text, there is no nonverbal communication. So imagine how much is actually getting lost. You know, we’re losing tone. We’re losing losing facial expressions, we’re losing those those connections, all that nonverbal communication isn’t happening anymore. And so it how can how can more emails make up for that? Well, it it doesn’t you You know, and, and there comes a point where email is unproductive, people will set up filters and rules to be like, Okay, any emails coming from this person are going to automatically go to junk, any emails coming from this person are going to go into this folder that I’ll read, you know, a week from now, right? Any emails from my boss, I gotta mark those important. Maybe I’ll read them, maybe I won’t. But the the expectation that communication is actually happening. You know. And, and the other thing too, is, is some people are really good with words, and can craft these beautiful messages. And some people aren’t. And so they might be trying to say something, and they’re stumbling through with their messages. And, and so the whole thing, the whole point gets missed. So again, just because we’re exchanging words, doesn’t mean that communication is actually happening. Yeah.

Damon Pistulka 15:59
Yeah. And the other thing is, you said, the communication happening. It’s even if we use the right words, is it being understood the right as we want it to be? Yeah,

Jill Valdez 16:12
yeah. Oh, yeah. I, there was a client that I was working with. And we talked about communication, I did the workshop for them. And about two weeks later, one of the associates emailed me and she said, you know, this has completely transformed how I work with my manager. Because for so long, we would be emailing back and forth. And he, I would have more questions, but he didn’t want to answer my questions. And so he just be really short. And, you know, be to the point, but I needed more information. And, and so that’s a breakdown that I see all the time is that we’re not necessarily using the right words. Sometimes we’re not using enough words. And, and again, just because words mean, something to me, doesn’t mean that it means the same thing to everybody else.

Damon Pistulka 17:08
Yeah, you make a great point, though. Some people like a lot of explanations. Some people want day, just short to the point. Give me the highlights. And I’ll go from there. Yes, yeah. And you’re saying that you need to understand who you’re talking to, to communicate effectively.

Jill Valdez 17:25
Yeah. Because like, if you’re talking to somebody who doesn’t want a lot of words, and you’re giving them a lot of words, they have tuned you out. And you’ve wasted your time.

Damon Pistulka 17:38
Yeah, yeah. So when you’re doing this, and you’re helping these teams, I gotta believe that just helping people understand what kind of communication styles they have. And their team has is a big part of it. Oh,

Jill Valdez 17:57
for sure. Yes. Yeah, yeah.

Damon Pistulka 18:00
So what are some of the things that so I assume you’re going to do some sort of assessment or some tests of some sort? Right, so you’re going to do this? What are some of the things that people go, Wow, I never realized this. Yeah.

Jill Valdez 18:18
So I do, you know, communication, at the foundation of communication is our personality. That’s what drives how we communicate. And so I, I teach the DISC assessment. You know, disc, I like disc because it’s comprehensive, but it’s easy. It’s easier for people to remember, it’s easy for people to remember enough of the key points that when they’re interacting with somebody else, they can go, oh, you Yeah, you’re, you’re an S, I need to change. I need to slow down or, Oh, you’re a D, I’m just gonna give you the facts. And let’s get through. And so the fun thing is, is to see people all of the sudden learn about why. What it is that drives them. I mean, we don’t know who we are, but to actually hear like, Okay, this particular personality commonly behaves in this way. They’re, they’re task focused. And, and for some people, I’ve seen it be like, yes, that’s exactly what I mean. It’s almost like that they’re understanding their identity. Like I’m giving them an identity like, oh my gosh, somebody finally gets me and so that’s a lot of fun to see and then to see the the other ones it’s really fun is like, you know, when we’re talking about how personalities behave, and people are like, Yep, that’s me, you know, like up I read their mail kind of thing, you know, and then to see other people go, Oh, yeah, It’s really exciting to see I have tons of stories. I mean, I could tell stories all day long about just how things have happened. And it’s been really neat to see people get to know each other better, as they get to know themselves better as well. Well,

Damon Pistulka 20:15
I got to believe that that’s, that’s, you know, a lot of at the core of how you’re helping people or how people communicate better is to make sure that me as someone communicating something to someone else that I’m, I’m delivering it in the right way.

Jill Valdez 20:31
Yeah. Yep. Absolutely.

Damon Pistulka 20:35
And that simple understanding helps, for sure. So what are what are some of the, the simple things that you start out with and go? Okay, if you want to try one thing, to improve your communication? What can you do?

Jill Valdez 20:55
The one thing, the very first thing is to know who you are. Because that is, from my experience, and my approach is going to drive everything else, when I know, it’s so like, on the DISC profile, a very, very high D. Fortunately, for the people in my world, I’m also very high, which means that I’ve got enough people skills and passion for people that don’t lead people in my wake. And so if I understand who I am, then that helps me know how I’m coming across the people. So 15 years ago, when I was a leader, you know, I would just churn and burn through people, and I’d come in and I was soup, people would tell you, I was super great at barking out orders. And, you know, let’s get this done. My kids tell you the same thing up, mom’s very task focused today, you know, but, and I, I just knew that that was what I was doing. And I didn’t understand all of why. Once I get to understand that about myself, then then I can be aware enough of, like, if I’m super stressed, then I need to take a breath before I communicate. Because I can bold people over with just the power of words, and, and expectations. So the first thing really is about knowing who are you. And then who are the people around you. Because you know, my husband, he can also he’s also got a very high D in him. And we’ll we’ll joke from time to time, there’ll be times where we’re both working on stuff, and we won’t talk to each other. We’re very focused on what we’re doing. Sometimes we’ve worked on projects together, which hasn’t always worked out super well. And he’s like, he’ll come back to me and be like, I’m sorry, bad. I was acting like a D, and I completely ignored your feelings. You were right, blah, blah, blah. So understanding who we are and understanding the people around us, definitely foundational. Yeah,

Damon Pistulka 23:13
yeah. And you you hit on some great example, because understanding yourself enough and you describe it for yourself that if you’re in a stressful situation, you needed to think because you could just roll right over people and, and really go after it and, and that I think is wise advice for anyone listening is through, you know, understand who you are, and adjust it. Because you’re gonna go to the extreme in those high areas in the DISC profile, under stress conditions. And yeah, definitely can relate to that one, you know, that count to 10 thing works pretty well. Doing it. So as you’re as you’re moving forward with this, what are some of the things that you’re excited to see, you know, now that you see, or the last six months or a year and enrolling into 2024? Yeah,

Jill Valdez 24:11
I’m excited to see more companies recognize the need to bring people in to help them build their teams. And to, to say, you know, I may be great at what I do in the role that I’m in, but I need to be bring people other experts in to help us be a great team. And so I’m excited to see that I’m excited to see the transformation that happens for companies. And for these teams. I’m excited to see how it’s going to keep people in the same place as opposed to a constant turnover in some organizations, you know, some of the industries right now. Here’s really high turnover. And I think it can be avoided with, with putting into place these pieces like better communication, understanding who our team is, how do we work together? How do we hold each other accountable? How do we have healthy conflict, and, and then recognizing how all of those contribute to workplace culture, and that it’s more than just going out for drinks after work or having a pizza party. Like, when we bring all those things together. I’m super excited, I’m excited to see the transformation that’s going to happen for companies.

Damon Pistulka 25:37
Yeah, I think you brought up a few things there that I think that we’ve really seen over the last five to 10 years that are that are, you can’t have one without the other really, because you talked about the whole trend before COVID of hey, we’re going to have, we’re going to have tap beer and all the food you can eat. And we’re going to have, you know, party Fridays, or whatever the heck it is, we’re going to go out and do these extreme events, you know, that’s what we’re going to do. And so those same companies had really bad retention, they had, it was hard to hard to get people in there hard to keep them there, because some of the other things weren’t there. And then, on the other end of this, too, you have a lot of companies that thought that being a good place to work meant that you never bring up conflict. And you don’t talk about things that don’t have the difficult conversations because I could hurt someone’s feelings. And those kinds of things are really I think one of the those, those two things are some of the things that we’re really coming to terms with. Because it’s in the current environment, where we’re still in some industries anyway, a very, you look at healthcare, you look at manufacturing, you look at the kind of companies that that that I’m working in, and construction, they just simply can’t hire enough people, they can’t. And they’re trying to figure out how to retain as much as they are trying to figure out how they can recruit better and onboard better in these kinds of things. And when you talk about the, all the extras, and you’re talking about, you know, having a really good culture that it does know how to communicate does know how to solve conflict and have healthy conflict. That’s what organizations are now realizing is necessary. Yeah. To really be global leaders in what they do. Yeah.

Jill Valdez 27:52
And the idea, I love that you said healthy conflict, Damon, because to not have any conflict is just as unhealthy as having explosive conflicts. Yeah. You know, and, and so conflicts, healthy conflict, is going to help a team work better together, because they’re looking at, here’s what I bring to the table, here’s my thoughts, here’s my thoughts. And they throw it all out there and mess through it, and work through it. And then they come up with the best solution, as opposed to what’s going to make everybody feel good, what’s going to make everybody feel comfortable and positive and happy. There’s still ways to make people feel valued. And yet, not necessarily going with their idea. And, and so that falls into for sure, but that healthy conflict which goes back to really communicating like how you talk to people, you know, if you talk to him with a sassy attitude, be like, That’s stupidest thing ever. Or even if you’re like, oh, yeah, great idea. You know, definitely not done

Damon Pistulka 29:16
well. And what I’ve seen in some places, is that the fear of even bringing anything up, because they’re going to be seen as somebody that doesn’t want to have this utopian kind of plays, which is it’s never I mean, let’s face it, we’re never going to have a workplace that doesn’t have challenges with people because we’ve wherever people, wherever people congregate, there will be challenges, right? We have different opinions and histories and everything else. But I think that teaching people how to bring something up without offending and the other person being able to receive it without being offended. Is is a real skill in business, because there’s a lot of things that never get worked out that cause gazillions of dollars in lost productivity, turnover, customer challenge, whatever you want to call it loss for business, that can be handled just by you being able to tell me that, Damon, this isn’t working for me, and we need to figure out a better way. So it does, right. And just that bringing it up.

Jill Valdez 30:28
And the other thing, too, to piggyback on that, Damon is that somebody’s asking questions, that’s not complex. And they’re not, you know, they’re not being subordinate. They’re not, they’re asking questions, somebody saying, Hey, why do we do this? Or can we explore another option? That’s not a bad thing. We need to have an environment in our workplaces where people can ask questions, because that’s how things get better. I had, I was looking at a company and, and we were talking, and I was talking with somebody who worked there. And she was saying that, that they’re the company wants to grow, and they want to get better. But with every suggestion that’s made, the leaders come back with, well, we’ve always done it this way. And I was like, Well, yeah, guess what, in about five years, that company is not going to be doing anything, because you have to be able to adapt, and not be stuck in what you’ve been doing forever and ever. Because you just won’t exist. So asking those questions, putting those ideas out there. It’s not being disrespectful. And it’s not. It’s not. It should not result in explosive conflicts. Yeah,

Damon Pistulka 31:53
yeah. Well, and when you talk about communications, too, we have a lot of organizations are dealing with multi generational, multi generational workforce, and you look at, you know, you’ve got Gen Zers. You’ve got millennials, you’ve got Baby Boomers, Gen Xers you got all three, you know, four generations sometimes. And that is, that is a real challenge as well, because the form of communication that people like are different.

Jill Valdez 32:22
It’s like, do I text on your team’s themselves? I send them an email. Should I call them? Yeah,

Damon Pistulka 32:28
yeah. Because it then it’s, and not only does it compound the challenges it, it can create some conflict, because if I’m, if I’m someone that says, hey, I want to be text all the time, and you are one that you automatically just hit the email, but I don’t ever check my email. I mean, that’s where some of this things in this communication, and we’ve seen it in, in organizations, you know, because we went through COVID. And everybody had to figure out how to use Slack teams, whatever, for this kind of communication. So now we got this communication hub here, because we’re using it for video conferencing and such. But now, how do we really use this long term? Or how does how does the messaging in a teams or slack type environment compared to email? And if I was so used to using my my cell phone for texting? A lot of it? How does that all integrate into our business as well, because we we run into a plethora of communicating with you. And I might work really well by email, but it might not work with somebody that doesn’t read their email or teams or something like that. So I think organizations have been challenged, because they’ve got more dimensions in what they do. Now with the communication. Yeah.

Jill Valdez 33:47
My suggestion on that is that when you’re that goes into onboarding, when you’re onboarding a new staff member, again, because we want to treat people as individuals. So when you’re onboarding a new staff member, ask them there’s two questions really, that are foundational, what is your what is your? What is your preferred method of communication? And the other question is, how do you? How do you like to be shown gratitude? A good one. So if we get those answers on the front end, then when we’re introducing team members to the rest of the staff, then they already know this is how you’re best going to be able to communicate with them, you know? So and then companies that have been existing for a long time, they can very easily put this in place and just go back. Hey, guys, now that we’re moving forward, we need to ask you two questions, even though you’ve been here for 20 years. Life has changed. How is your preferred method of communication?

Damon Pistulka 35:06
That is, that is those two questions are so, so important. Because when you look at the demographics of the different, different age groups, and you look at me, I’m, I’m a Gen X, or even though I look like a baby boomer, but of Gen X, right, and someone comes up to me and says, Hey, great job, Dave. And I’m like, Cool, whatever. And, and when you look at someone that’s younger, a millennial or Gen Z are that’s, that’s an important thing. And it’s an important thing. And you you ask, what, how do you know how to, like, receiving gratitude? Or the question you said, was much more eloquent than that. But that is such a good question. I mean, I’ve just like, just slapped me like a brick. Because it’s it, you need to do that. And then just understanding the preferred method. And then it’s easy enough to keep that in your in your HR information somewhere, so they understand it so that a supervisor can understand it so that everyone can understand. And once you you’ve been around it a little bit, then you will know. Yeah, the simple stuff is so, so effective. That’s cool. So what what else good is happening with you in 2024? New programs, you’re going to be? What’s happening in 2020?

Jill Valdez 36:33
Yeah, I’m, I’m excited. 2024 is a great year, I’m working with businesses, I’m working with executive directors on how to improve employee engagement, and employee retention, dealing with things of workplace culture, it’s kind of it’s a done for you program, they don’t have to do it, I’ll come in, and I’ll do it. And, and then also, I, you know, I’m really seeing I’m seeing I know this for myself personally, and have been known this about me for a while. But living life on purpose. And so I kind of started a branch of coaching of just one on one coaching of helping people live life on purpose. Nice. And so I’m looking forward to seeing that being able to help people overcome obstacles that keep them stuck in status quo, knowing that they don’t have to wait for Sunday, they can take steps to get to their next thing now. So those are the two big things that I’m working on for 2024. And I’m I’m very excited about.

Damon Pistulka 37:53
Oh, those are awesome. Those are awesome. And so if someone wants to get a hold of you, Jill, what is the best place to do that? And how should they do that?

Jill Valdez 38:06
Anybody can find me on LinkedIn, I’m pretty i i like to hang out on LinkedIn, so they can always find me on LinkedIn. And then they can go to the website, link consulting dot info. Those two places that is easiest to find me.

Damon Pistulka 38:24
Very good. Very good. So one one more time. Explain to me in the audience, again, you’re helping executive directors with helping their team communication and dynamics. Yeah, basically,

Jill Valdez 38:41
we’re going to build the Dream Team without starting over. And from that, you’re going to have increased employee engagement, you’re going to have reduced employee turnover, and you’re gonna have a stellar workplace culture.

Damon Pistulka 38:58
Oh, that’s so good. It’s so good and so relevant in today’s today’s business, it’s, it’s, it’s what we’re striving for, and every employee that we can engage and get them engaged fully is much more happier, at their work more productive at their work. And, and as you mentioned earlier in this conversation, they’re probably happier in their life as well.

Jill Valdez 39:23
Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. Well, Jill,

Damon Pistulka 39:28
thanks so much for being here today. I appreciate you stopping by. And it’s always a pleasure to be able to talk with you because, you know, you’re you’re very knowledgeable and passionate about what you do. And I appreciate you being here.

Jill Valdez 39:40
Thanks for the time. Damon, I love talking with you. Thank you for the opportunity for me to share some of this information.

Damon Pistulka 39:46
All right, it was great. It was great. Well, I’m gonna we’re gonna check out for now. I want to say James Curtis and an outside your door. Hey, thanks for being here today everyone. We will be back again later. You’re hanging out with me for a minute Jill and we will finish up off

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