Episode 136: How to be well-liked at work – with Ryan Lindner

Everybody knows that first impressions are important, but how do you make a good first impression and how do you continue to come across positively in your working relationships?  What can you do to be well-liked at work and to contribute to a healthy, positive working environment that avoids toxicity?

Ryan Lindner is a personal development specialist and behavioural coach who focuses on helping his clients prioritise their time and energy while creating and maintaining positive relationships.

He explains how to make a good first impression, get your colleagues to like you and contribute to a positive work environment for all.

Today’s guest

Ryan Lindner

Website: Ryan Lindner

Book: The Half-Known Life Book

Email: contact@rslindner.com

Instagram: Ryan Lindner Coaching

Facebook: Ryan Lindner Coaching

LinkedIn: Ryan Lindner

Ryan Lindner is a personal development specialist and has worked as a behavioural coach for clients and organisations all over the world.  After two sudden, unexplained cardiac arrests at a young age, he began to explore different perspectives with clients.  With a belief that if you aren’t living, you’re dying, it wasn’t uncommon for Ryan to teeter on unconsciousness even, at times, while working with a client, requiring him to prioritise his own energy and time masterfully, and assisting clients to do the same.

Ryan has conducted over 6,000 sessions for the US military, and has led operations for a major leadership and organisational change company, and manages learning and development projects for companies to reshape their customer experience.

What you’ll learn in this episode

  • [1:38] The difficulty of seeing our true selves and how this inspired Ryan to write his book ‘The Half-Known Life’.
  • [3:18] How Ryan became a coach.
  • [4:52] How to make yourself more attractive in the workplace.
  • [6:00] Why it’s important to treat people like people not simply as the roles they’re filling.
  • [9:33] The difference between a “transactional” and “interactional” workplace engagement.
  • [13:22] How to improve the way your colleagues perceive you.
  • [18:06] The advantages of treating others well.
  • [20:29] How you can start conversations with your work colleagues to get the best response. 
  • [29:03] The importance of being likeable and how to make a good first impression.
  • [33:34] Ways to introduce warmth into your professional interactions.
  • [36:05] The best way to sign off an email.

Resources mentioned in this episode

Please note that some of these are affiliate links and we may get a small commission in the event that you make a purchase.  This helps us to cover our expenses and is at no additional cost to you.

Episode 136: How to be well-liked at work - with Ryan Lindner

Jeremy Cline 0:00
How can you get your colleagues to like you at work? What can you do to contribute to a healthy, safe, pleasant atmosphere, rather than a toxic atmosphere in the workplace? When you interact with people at work, do you interact with the role, or do you interact with the person who's doing the role? These are some of the things we talk about in this week's episode. I'm Jeremy Cline, and this is Change Work Life.

Jeremy Cline 0:42
Hello, and welcome to the Change Work Life podcast, the show where we're all about beating the Sunday evening blues and enjoying Mondays again. Now, my guess is most of you want to be liked at work. You want to get on well with your colleagues, and you'd probably like them to have a favourable impression of you. So, what can you do to be well-liked when you're at work? And how can you make that all important, good first impression? To answer these questions and more, I'm delighted to be joined this week by Ryan Lindner. Ryan is a personal development specialist who has worked as a behavioural coach for clients and organisations all over the world. He's also the author of The Half-Known Life: What Matters Most When You're Running Out of Time. Ryan, welcome to the show.

Ryan Lindner 1:25
Hi, Jeremy, great to be here. Thanks for having me.

Jeremy Cline 1:27
Let's start with the book. What Matters Most When You're Running Out of Time, that is a pretty dramatic title. Who's the book for and what's the key message that you're looking to get across?

Ryan Lindner 1:38
It's funny, because when a lot of people read the title, they assume they know exactly what it means. It's actually from a quote from the book Moby Dick, and the Half-Known Life is really about, we can't see ourselves, as a behavioural coach for many years, I've had clients psychologists, counsellors, all kinds of people, and the first time I had a psychologist as a client, I sort of felt like, why, they should have it all figured out, right, they're a psychologist, right? But you know, I realised very quickly that we're all just people, and we're all just working on things. And no matter how smart we are, no matter how intelligent someone is, we can't always see ourselves. So, that's really what the book is about, it's our blind spots, things we can't see in ourselves. The subtitle, what matters most when we're running out of time, we're all running out of time, that's the idea, life is short and precious. And as a coach, I had two cardiac arrests as a coach, and the sessions dramatically changed after those events happened. Listening to problems, listening to what people are going through, they sounded completely different. And the dynamic of the sessions changed after my cardiac arrests. So, it's a book that is really, again, about seeing ourselves and looking at those blind spots that we have.

Jeremy Cline 3:07
So, you mentioned that you've done coaching before you had your cardiac arrests. What was it that got you into the whole coaching space in the first place?

Ryan Lindner 3:17
I never planned on going into coaching. I actually didn't know it was a field, I sort of fell into it.

Jeremy Cline 3:24
I think that's what happens to most coaches!

Ryan Lindner 3:27
You're right, you're right. And growing up, I was so introverted, and yeah, and still am, of course, but I grew up with this terrible anxiety. And I always was drawn to, of course, at the time, coaching wasn't as prevalent as it is now, but I was drawn to personal development and really finding ways to feel like I was more whole, feel like I was enough, not realising that I already was. But I was drawn to wellness, and so I got trained in it. I went to school and got formally trained, and I started working for wellness centres. And then, I stumbled upon coaching and spoke to someone who was leading a little coaching group and got hired on for my first coaching role. But I loved the thought of just asking people questions and helping sort of guide them to see things they couldn't maybe otherwise see. So, I was just drawn to it. But I think first, a lot of us are drawn to things that not only interest us, but that help us as well. And that was the case with me.

Jeremy Cline 4:35
So, when we spoke before, you talked about making yourself more attractive, which immediately can bring up certain connotations. What does that mean in a work, in a professional context?

Ryan Lindner 4:53
So, another thing, my first stop in my career was in workplace wellness. And so, what does that mean, workplace wellness? A lot of times, it means being healthier and so forth. But one thing I started doing over the years, besides working with individuals, is I started working in groups, I started working with organisations. And more specifically, I helped people perform better at work. And I managed some very large projects for different companies, and in that, I tracked things like turnover, why do people leave their jobs. I worked for leadership companies. And we've all heard the saying, people don't leave bad jobs, they leave bad bosses, or something like that. But really, it's people leave bad situations. They leave bad work cultures. And this comes back to the idea that we can't see ourselves. And most bosses, most leaders, I have found, they don't think they're the problem. They always point the finger somewhere else. And I think what we lose in those situations at work, when turnover is high, is that companies often make the mistake of reducing people to roles. They're not people, they're roles, they're a role to be filled, and they're not people. So, I think, once you take the humanity out of it, and it becomes this corporate work culture, this stuffy kind of culture, people don't feel heard. They don't feel like they're people, they don't feel like they matter. And that's what I talk a lot about in the book, we all just want to feel heard. And so, in terms of impressions, there's a shift that has to take place in order to see this turnover, people leaving their roles. And there are a lot of great leaders out there, I'm not grouping them all together, but this is a very common problem. People tend to be more transactional, they're treated as roles. And I can give tonnes of examples, but typical stuffy work culture, the way that we communicate at work. Only 34% of people are actively engaged at work, meaning they're present there. And that number drops to about 2%, when employees do not feel supported by their bosses. So, fully present, fully focused, interactional not transactional. And so, that number is astounding to me, because that means that most people are not there at work, they're not present, right? They're living for weekends, they're waiting till the end of the day, waiting till the next pay check. And by the time someone leaves a job, I always say there should be no surprises when someone leaves, no surprises. If a leader is surprised that their employee has left and it came out of nowhere, they've not done their job in terms of creating, and people leave all the time, and that's fine, maybe they leave for a better opportunity, but if they leave for other reasons, that they were unhappy, and a lot of people do, there shouldn't be no surprises. It should be a relationship where you understand what's going on, and you have your fingers on the pulse of the workplace culture. So, I think that shift has really got to take place where you're people, not roles, and we're typically transactional at work. And so, in order to be interactional, it's got to be a whole shift in mindset from the leaders.

Jeremy Cline 8:30
So, let's just unpick some of that. First of all, those statistics 34% of people being engaged and dropping down to 2% when they don't feel supported, where do those statistics come from?

Ryan Lindner 8:43
That's a Gallup Poll, and it's not industry specific. You could break that down and look at different industries. I have worked a lot in big organisations, from start-ups to some very large organisations, and worked a lot in call centres, big buildings with lots of people in it, who have varying roles. So, yeah, that's astounding to me, really, and what will it take to make that shift.

Jeremy Cline 9:11
And you talked about how interactions tend to be transactional, rather than interactional. So, can you talk a little bit about what those two look like, and what are the differences between them? So, what does transactional look like in the workplace, and what can interactional look like?

Ryan Lindner 9:33
Transactional is what a lot of us are used to. And again, we talk about blind spots, and a lot of us have habits that we don't realise that we have. And so, transactional is something, for listeners, even this morning, maybe you got coffee, maybe you went and got gas for your vehicle, and you interacted with someone, and often it's transactional, you're not speaking to a person, you're speaking to a role. So, you get a coffee, you're interacting with the cashier, they're a cashier in that moment, so a lot of us aren't fully present with them. And vice versa, a lot of people are very transactional with us as well. How are you? Good, how are you? That's 5.55, please, for the expensive coffee, a latte, I will say. We are used to this very surface-level interaction. Because mentally, we are always living in a couple of steps ahead. We're living in, 'Oh, I've got a meeting today, I've got a drop off the kids, I've got to go to this place.' We're always kind of living a few moments ahead in our minds. So, it's this constant urgency of getting to the next moment and the next and the next. And the transactional, think of when you arrived at work, for a lot of people who can maybe relate, they've worked in a corporate culture, you pass someone in the hallway. What happened? What did you say? You said, 'How are you?' Well, often, that's not a real question at all. So, most people will say really quickly, 'Good, you?' How are you? Good, you? How are you? Some people say things like, 'Not too bad.' So, think about that. So, you're bad, just not like too bad. So, that's great, I guess. We say things like, 'hanging in there'. We say things like, 'oh, it's Monday'. We say different things. Now, those aren't real answers to questions. And those aren't real questions. Those are just pleasantries, we're just greeting, it's like a hello, at least it is here in US. How are you? Good, you? How are you? Not too bad. Those are, again, just pleasantries. We're not fully there. And when you are interactional with someone, most people aren't used to that type of experience, but you can feel it, you can feel the difference. I once had a man enter one of the wellness centres I was at, and he walked up and he said, 'How are you?' And he stood there, and he waited for a real answer. And this was years ago, and clearly had an impression on me, because I remember it years later, but it was the same question, you can just feel if it's real or not, if it's genuine.

Jeremy Cline 12:15
So, in a workplace context, now, if I'm going to get a coffee, I probably do just want to get a coffee. And yeah, I might ask the cashier, or the cashier will probably ask me how I'm doing, and I'll say, 'I'm well, how are you?' And yeah, we won't get much beyond that, and I'll pay my 5.55 for a latte and walk out. But that's because, at that point in time, there's probably a queue of people behind me, I'm entering into the transaction, that's my purpose for being there. How might it look that's different in a workplace context, where we're dealing with people that we might have worked with them for years, and yeah, you probably still do have these initial conversations where you pick up the phone and be, 'How are you? Yeah, I'm fine. How are you?', and then you get on to whatever it was that you phoned them up about. So, what might that look like in a workplace context? And what are the benefits of it looking different to that sort of 'Hi, how are you? Hi, how are you?' let's get on with whatever it is we need to talk about?

Ryan Lindner 13:21
Well, even in the workplace, you find that it's not a lot of difference from the interaction in the coffee shop, because most people have a specific task or something they're trying to accomplish, oftentimes. But people always, well, first of all, with an impression, people always notice two things about you in every interaction. Number one is of no surprise, I'm sure, to a lot of people, but they get a feeling for your competence, they get a feeling for how effective you're going to be how you're doing your job, they get a feel for that. But the second thing they notice, and when I do a lot of workshops on impressions and sort of being more interactional, you get a lot of people guessing things that are, people notice your nonverbals, right, they notice the way you present yourself, and that's all correct, but people notice your warmth. So, they noticed those two things about you right away, your competence and your warmth. And I like that word a lot, warmth, because it encompasses a lot for me, it encompasses a lot. It's the entire way you're coming across. And in order to be warm, you can't be transactional. There's got to be some presence there and an interaction. Well, how can you be more present? Well, it comes back to your habits, it comes back to the entire way that you interact with people and being aware of it. You take a look at corporate meetings, even emails, professional emails, how do people sign their emails in the corporate world a lot of times? Well, here they sign it, they say things like 'regards' and things like that. And when you sign something 'regards', that's not the way we speak. And I wouldn't call it warm either. It's a more sterile, sort of cold way of interacting. And that's just a tiny example. But the point is, we often say things that we don't actually mean. And everything is sort of that means to an end. So, when we sign an email 'regards', imagine if the last time you talked somebody on the phone, you hung up, and you were like, 'Regards', and then you hung up. I had a colleague, we always joked together, and sometimes people sign their emails 'warmly', or whatever. I've seen people criticise other people at work, and they'd still sign their emails 'warmly' and all that. So, for me, it's about, number one, how are you coming across to other people and being aware of that. If you're a leader, you're going to get the best out of people, the best out of your employees by, first of all, coming across with more warmth? They're going to feel heard, they're going to be more receptive, and there are three things you can do in every single situation that will totally transform it. Number one is, whenever you're listening to someone, just pause for a moment. Most of the toxic leaders that I've interacted with and studied, they tend to be very long-winded, and they take over conversations, and a lot of their employees do not feel heard. So, what you can do is, you can just pause for a moment and let the other person vent, let them get everything they have to say out, and then what that can do for you as a leader is you can come back and ask better questions. And there's kind of an art to it. So, a lot of leaders are very transactional in that way. I was working with a leader recently, and same thing, it was talking at your employees, telling them things, do that, we got to do that. And you have to think about how can I, a good leader knows how to get the best from people. From people. Not the roles, because they're people first. And so, number one is, you pause, let them speak, and you can ask the better questions. Number two, you validate. So, you validate their point of view. It has nothing to do with right or wrong. I teach people to use connecting phrases a lot, 'tell me more about that, tell me more about that'. It's really a way to pull them into it. And then number three is partner. So, you know, where do we go from here, let's work together on this, let's collaborate. And when you do those things, you do find that turnover decreases and people perform better.

Jeremy Cline 17:41
When you say, here, you're talking specifically about leaders, presumably these are things which anyone can do. I mean, you don't need to be in any kind of formal position of leadership. I mean, this is just something which, on the basis that everyone is a leader, if only they're a leader for themselves, then this is presumably something which anyone can do in their interactions with other people in the office.

Ryan Lindner 18:06
You're exactly right. It has nothing to do with the hierarchy or being quote above someone in a role. It's really, as a leader, you're interacting with a colleague, and you can use these same ideas, you're right.

Jeremy Cline 18:20
So, before we get onto the what you can do, say you're someone, just turning back to that idea, say you're someone who isn't in a formal leadership position, you don't have reports or anything like that, what's the advantage to someone in shifting their behaviours so that they do inject more warmth, that they do treat conversations as being less transactional and more interactional. So, what's the benefits for kind of the average Joe at work?

Ryan Lindner 18:54
Well, the benefits for the company or the organisation are, there are numerous benefits for that. But for the regular person, they're going to have better relationships at work, they're going to have an easier time at work, an effect of it is going to be, they're going to be more well liked. Now, that shouldn't be a goal, per se, the goal is just being who you are and being aware of your habits, but generally, you'll see workplace toxicity decrease, and you will see relationships improve. There's a lot of reports of more promotions, more employee satisfaction, improved morale. And frankly, you develop your skills much more easily, because you're in a more conducive environment to that. So, you have a better experience in terms of your own development.

Jeremy Cline 19:47
Let's take the example of the phone call, because most of us are, or a lot of us are working remotely. So, there's someone I want to speak to about a particular matter. I pick up the phone, give him a call, 'Hi, John, how are you? Yeah, I'm well, thanks. How are you? And look, I was just wondering if we could have a talk about blah, blah, blah.' So, that's probably a fairly typical conversation. If I'm instigating that conversation, what are some of the things that I can do to make it less transactional, to make it interactional, but without making it weird?

Ryan Lindner 20:27
I understand what you're saying. By making it interactional, of course, you don't have to be all sunshine and rainbows and really ask them all about their pets, and you don't have to go down this this road here. But I think for one, being present and really treating them as a person, and that's a different dynamic, too. I've had numerous conversations with people and heard numerous stories, and I think really just, you know, how are you, be genuine with it, I think it's a lot with tone, with listening, with things like that. Most people tend to, and certainly not everyone, but a lot of people in those environments tend to become so busy, that everything is just 'I need this, I need that', and they just run the conversation, they sort of bulldoze the conversation. And I think it's just being present enough to listen to the other person so that they feel heard. And I think there's an authenticity there, that's normally missing. So, I think the presence is required. Yeah, you don't have to ask like all these personal questions to connect, that's not quite what I mean, because sometimes you're going to have to have just a professional, all business type of conversation, but it can still be an authentic one, it can still be one where both people feel heard. And again, you pause first, you let the other person speak. Most people in conversations, particularly professional ones, they tend to get in the weeds. By that I mean, they get into details about events, a lot of which they have no control over, and like, 'Oh, can you believe what happened to that last meeting? Oh, my God!', and they get into this drama, right? So, if the other person feels heard, and you focus on how we can move forward together, how can we get to a solution and actually move forward, that's going to shift the conversation as well, that's going to shift the experience as well.

Jeremy Cline 22:35
So, it's quite a subtle way of doing it. And if I'm hearing right, and maybe this is in this sense too basic, but it's probably actually absolutely right, but you're effectively treating the other person as a person. So, taking the opportunity to make sure that they understand the purpose of the conversation, what's being said, and that they are being listened to. And it's not a complete sort of just one sided, 'Hello, there, this is what I want you to do. Goodbye', but injecting a bit more personality, I suppose. Maybe you throw in a bit of a joke during the conversation. I've thrown a lot of things at you, is that a fair assessment?

Ryan Lindner 22:37
I would say you hit the nail on the head. It's exactly correct. And most people may think, 'Well, yeah, I know some of that.' And when I think back on all my clients I've had, and a lot of the clients I've worked with come to me and they say, 'Well, you know, I've read all the self-help books and all that.' There's a difference between intellectually understanding something and then actually going and doing it and making it a habit. And I think, when we have transactions, most conversations are a means to an end. It's just getting information or relaying information. Over time, we sort of lose the humanity in that. And so, we need to slow down for a minute. And oftentimes in conversation, there's nothing earth-shattering that I'm doing, it's really just being there with the person and not trying to be, I don't start off with 'This is what I need', it's, hey, I'm interacting with this person, and that relationship is the most important part of that. And when you look at toxic cultures, what has happened over time, is that in these conversations, most leaders, and by leaders I do mean anyone can be a leader, over time, people often feel like they are talked at instead of with, and there's numerous studies, numerous polls that have occurred regarding this, and they feel talked at, they don't feel heard at work, they feel like they have no control. And bosses often are quick to talk to their employees when they do something wrong, but oftentimes, they miss the things that they've done well. And when people feel like they are criticised and not heard, they're going to always react defensively. Here's an example that will tie it together. If you have a difficult conversation at work, this is what it looks like, this is a way not to do it, versus the way to do it. You're having a difficult conversation at work with someone, and you've got to talk to them about something that is generally transactional. Maybe you have to criticise them, they had a bad performance, let's say they had a bad meeting or something, they were leading a meeting, they had a bad meeting. So, you talk to them after the meeting about their bad performance. There's two ways you can handle it. The first way is what a lot of leaders do, and that's, 'You had a bad performance', I've seen a lot of leaders, they handle it like, 'If we don't improve the performance, unfortunately, I've got to write you up, or I've got to, at worse, terminate you, fire you, or you have until two weeks to improve your performance', or whatever it is. And that person is always going to react defensively. Because they're threatened. They're threatened. But what you find is that, in any situation, if you just pause, most people will call themselves out if you just ask the right question. 'So, how do you feel like that meeting went? How do you feel? Is there anything that you could have done better, do you think? - Yeah, I kind of messed up in this one part, I wish I had done better. - Oh, really? Tell me more about that. So, what would you improve, what happened?' And a lot of bosses make assumptions. Was the bad performance due to, you know, maybe that person had a family tragedy occurred the day before, and it threw them off. Maybe they needed more training. We just assume that, okay, they had a bad performance, and I need to talk to him about that. But really, any number of things could have happened. But again, if you're always thinking with the mindset of how can I help people be at their best, you pause, you listen, you ask the right questions, and oftentimes, the conversation will handle itself. So, if you can avoid threatening people, or having them feel threatened, if you can avoid triggering that, people aren't going to react so defensively, and you're not going to lose that relationship. So, you're right, there really is an art form to it.

Jeremy Cline 27:38
One thing I'd like to explore is the difference between making an impression on people that you've met for the first time, versus how you interact with people that you might have been working with or known for some time. Because clearly, when you have been working with someone for a length of time, you'll find out a bit about them, it's easier to have conversations with them. So, rather than just 'how are you', you might know their spouse has come down with COVID or something like that, and you're asking them how are they doing and are they okay, and you know, that sort of stuff. In some ways, it should be, it isn't necessarily, but it should be easier to have those sorts of interactions with people that you know a bit better. So, when you're meeting someone for the first time, and it might be a job interview, it could be a networking event, what are some of the ways that you can apply what we've been talking about to those sorts of interactions so that if people think more favourably of you as someone that they might want to employ, they might want to do business with?

Ryan Lindner 29:03
People tend to root for people they like. And I often teach about persuasion and manipulation, not in a in a bad way, but just understanding human relations and how to make those impressions. And when you meet someone for the first time, most people, again, are transactional. When you meet someone for the first time, what's the first question to ask? So, what do you do? What do you do? What do you do, that's about you, it's not who you are per se, but again, it's more of a role, and depending upon, if you ask someone what they do 10 years ago versus now, it's just making conversation. But people tell you about themselves. They give you their resume, or their CV, they give you that, that's the first thing they talk about usually when you're meeting someone for the first time, and it may be in a professional setting or a personal one. They go into their resume or their CV. So, what you want to do is you want to, again, it's connecting with people. And let's take an interview for example. Yes, they want to make sure you are competent for a role, and you've got the right experience for a role. But what helps them make that choice is if they like you. I mean, it comes down, no one's going to hire someone they don't like. Right? So, there is an element of that, even subconsciously, there's an element of that. Do they like this person? Because interviewers, employers ask themselves two questions when they're interviewing someone. Number one, can this person do the job and do it well? And number two, will I like to work with them? And, again, it's coming across in an interview, you never want to come across scripted, robotic, you want to come across as someone who they would enjoy working with. So, what I recommend a lot is, again, the warmth, I think, people perceive that as someone friendly, someone they'd like to work with. I think just being a person, don't try too hard to be a role. I think a lot of people when they're in an interview situation, they always read the job description, and they try to, yes, I've done this, and they try to speak like they're a robot, or they are the role. But you're just a person, just speak to the other person like a person, and it sounds simple. But just focus more on the relationship first. And the rest, if it's there, it's there. But focus more on the relationship. So, again, for the first time, the warmth, how you come across, I recommend, when you're meeting someone, let them do more the talking at first, ask them the right questions. If you ask them the right questions, and you take interest in them, most people, their favourite topic is, frankly, often themselves. So, it's like that saying, 'Enough about me. Let's talk about you. Now, what do you think of me?' So, after reading tonnes of studies, most people in those situations, if you just ask the right questions, listen to the other person first. Oh, yeah, tell me more about that. Oh, that's amazing. And seek to understand other people, seek to understand. And they're going to like you. They're going to like you. And yes, you want a two-way conversation, and you want a relationship that's two-sided. But you can't do that by yourself, right? But what you can do is, you can be a better listener, you can pause, you can ask better questions. And I recommend, get the other person to speak first and take interest in them.

Jeremy Cline 32:49
If someone's listening to this, and they think, 'Oh, yeah, I don't do any of that, I approach job interviews in this sort of robotic, I can do this role because', and they recognise themselves as not necessarily being someone who naturally takes an interest and has that warmth, and they're kind of thinking, 'But that's just not me, I just don't naturally do that', what are some of the ways that people can start to introduce these elements in their interactions with other people, but in a manner which is comfortable and authentic for them?

Ryan Lindner 33:32
And that's a good point, too. It's not going to be, like I said, I'm very introverted, it sounds like you have to be this big extrovert and be always excited to be warm. That's not the case at all. Warmth is a state of being, and you can be warm regardless, with any personality. That is not something you have to be an extrovert for or be super social for either. It's just a way of coming across. But I would say that's an interesting question, because there is no on-off switch for this stuff. It's really habits. Think about the habits that you've created for decades, oftentimes, it's going to take some time to reverse that, but the first step is just being aware of it. I have certain tendencies as well, just like everyone, and it's, 'Oh, there I go', just being aware of it. And I recommend, just chip away, start small. Start small, and just think of several ways maybe you can improve your interactions. I recommend identifying a resource, and I can certainly recommend many, where you can listen to or read every day, just something to keep it present in your mind. And every day. Every day. Read it, listen to it, there are workbooks out there, all kinds of things. And every day, it's something in your mind, and as you become aware of it, you'll see it increase. And just little things every day. Maybe you change your greeting, the way you greet people, maybe in the workplace and you're wanting to come across differently. Maybe you test different things. Again, maybe you're just present in conversations, more present, and you don't jump in right away, maybe you let the other person talk first, and you listen, and you try to ask a couple of better questions. That's a great way to start. Try it once today. But again, it's about just chipping away at it, just start small, it's going to take some time to kind of undo those habits or create new ones.

Jeremy Cline 35:36
One thing I'm definitely going to look at now is the way I sign off emails, because I tend to use either 'kind regards' or 'best wishes'. And I will say, one of my personal bugbears is when I get an email back, and it doesn't say 'kind regards, it says 'KR'. And I just think, 'What!? You couldn't even be bothered to write out 'kind regards' in full!? I mean, come on!' So, when you're not speaking to someone, what are some alternatives that you can use in terms of signing off an email?

Ryan Lindner 36:05
And by the way, I've seen people, for 'very respectfully', we use that a lot too, 'V/R', or thanks is 'Tx'. And I've seen just an email all about criticism and criticising someone, and they sign it, 'thanks' or like 'warmly'. And I just laugh, you just criticised someone, and you're going to sign it 'warmly'. And I know, a lot of times really, it's part of the email signature or something like that, but for me, it's not about, you know, I'm not going to sign it like some strange sign off that's totally sunshine and rainbows all the time, but I try to be real when I sign it off. So, if I sign it 'thank you', or 'thanks', I am actually thanking them for something. Or sometimes I just sign my name. There's nothing wrong with that, just signing the name. But I do try to be solution focused in other words in the email, I always think, when I'm interacting with someone, okay, well, what questions might they have, how would this be perceived. And that has been a positive habit I've been able to develop in any interaction, because I've worked so much in the customer service industry, how is this coming across, and how is this being received, and even if it's something that's not positive per se, I try to, again, not get in the weeds with people, and try to focus on, okay, how are we going to partner here, how can I avoid, how can I get the best from this person, that's all that matters, how can I get the best from this person and where do we go from here. But I think it's just about the authenticity. And I think people know, they know, if you sign something, 'V/R', 'KR' or whatever, it doesn't mean anything for people. And I think, as long as you mean what you say, and you're deliberate with it, I think people can feel that.

Jeremy Cline 38:00
You mentioned having some resources that people could look at. Can you suggest one or two to get people started?

Ryan Lindner 38:06
One resource is a book that's came out in past maybe seven, eight years, it's called Rework, by Jason Fried, it really helps you rethink work environments and what's the traditional work environment. In my case, I think a lot of people have this work life, and they have a personal life. And for me, it's all just life. And your work is an extension of you, but it's not this other life that, you know, yes, you go to work, but it's all just your life, it's all your life, right? And that resource, it allowed me to think just a little bit differently. Another resource that's good, this one's an older one, but it's a classic, and even though it's got some age on it, again, classic, and it's got some tips that are relevant today, I think, just in terms of how we think of our own worrying, our own approach. It's Dale Carnegie and How to Stop Worrying and Start Living is a great resource to really think about what are the habits in our heads here, what's logical about that, how can we move beyond that and create some better habits. So, that's Dale Carnegie, How to Stop Worrying and start living.

Jeremy Cline 39:23
Cool. And where can people find you and, more importantly, find your book?

Ryan Lindner 39:29
They can go to my website, rslindner.com. R-S-, as in Sam, L-I-N-D-N-E-R, rslindner.com. I've got my social media links on there as well. My book is on there, they can go to my book site, which is halfknownlifebook.com, halfknownlifebook.com, or Amazon.

Jeremy Cline 39:48
Brilliant. I'll put links to those in the show notes. Well, Ryan, some really interesting stuff, and as so often, these conversations don't always go in the direction that I think they're going to, but you've given some great ideas, great perspective, yeah, thanks so much for coming on the show.

Ryan Lindner 40:04
Thanks for having me.

Jeremy Cline 40:05
Okay, hope you enjoyed that episode with Ryan Lindner. It never ceases to amaze me how my guests come up with some ideas which are so simple, but which are never implemented. I mean, how many times do you have conversations with your boss at work, and your boss speaks to you as the person, rather than because they want you to update them on what you're doing in your role, or they've got an instruction for you in your role? Do they ever talk to you as the person, rather than just the person who's doing this particular job? And what about you, when you're interacting with others, do you speak to them as the person, finding out a bit more about them and getting to know them better? Or do your conversations tend to be very transactional? Oh, hi there, can you tell me where that report is? Oh, hi there, can you do this job for me? Yes, you're at work because there's a job that needs doing. But people really do notice when you pay attention to them as people, not just as their roles. I certainly know from first-hand experience what I respond better to, and as I've worked with other people, it's actually noticeable that they respond better to being treated as people and not just roles as well. If you want to go back and dig into any of this episode, there's a full transcript on the show notes page for this episode, which is at changeworklife.com/136, that's changeworklife.com/136. And as well as the transcripts, there's a summary of what we talked about and links to the resources which Ryan mentioned. I mentioned at the end of the last episode, that I'm now offering career coaching. As I record this, I don't actually have anything on my website about that, but it's something that I'm now offering, and I'm really looking to help anyone who feels like they're not yet getting the most out of their career. Maybe you're looking to improve your own relationship with your colleagues, maybe you're not sure what steps to take to try and get promoted. Maybe you want to get to a position where you enjoy more of the work that you do on a day-to-day basis. If you're someone who feels like they could get more out of work, but you're not quite sure how to do it, then get in touch. Drop me a message via the contact form on my website, that's changeworklife.com/contact, let me know that you're interested in coaching, and I'll get in touch. I offer free 30-minute calls, so we can find out more about each other, and more importantly, you can find out whether I'm someone who can help you and you'd like to work with me. So, if any of that's of interest, get in touch, that's via the form at changeworklife.com/contact. Now, regular listeners will know that one of the things I'm interested in is generally being well at work, so looking after yourself, staying healthy. And one of the topics I've been interested in exploring is meditation. Within two weeks' time, that's what we're going to dive into. I've got a great interview lined up, where we're really going to go into the basics of meditation, what is it, what are the benefits, how can it help you. If you're at all interested in personal well-being, then it's definitely going to be an episode you're going to want to listen to. So, make sure that you have subscribed to the show if you haven't already, and I can't wait to see you in two weeks' time. Cheers. Bye.

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