014: Build Deep Relationships That Create Loyal Clients

014: Build Deep Relationships That Create Loyal Clients

014: Build Deep Relationships That Create Loyal Clients

by Jody Holland

Ready for a boatload of practical tips you can use to acquire and keep more clients? Jody Holland is a fire hose of ideas! In the past 20 years, he’s published 20+ books, been a keynote speaker 300+ times and trained almost 300,000 leaders. Jody shares the approach he takes in conversations that cause people to ask how they can work with him. No chasing or pushing involved!

You’ll discover:

  • What Jody did to generate a six-figure income his first year in business
  • Metrics you can use to help quantify the ROI clients get when they work with you
  • How to create multiple internal champions so you don’t lose a client if someone leaves
  • The exact words you can use to ask for (and get!) referrals
  • How Jody uses his face-reading skills to identify his most promising prospective clients on LinkedIn

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Jody’s books on Amazon




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Read the Transcription

Welcome back to another episode of the Strong for Performance Podcast. I’m your host, Meredith Bell, and today, I am so excited to have with me, Jody Holland. Welcome, Jody.

Thank you very much. Glad to be on the podcast.

Well, I’ll tell you, I want to let everybody know why I’m so excited to have you with me. Because for one thing, you are just a prolific human being. Jody has written over 20 books. He has been the keynote speaker at over 300 events now, and he has trained … Is it 200,000 leaders?

Yeah, we’re getting pretty close to 300,000 now.

Oh, so we’re counting by hundreds of thousands. That’s awesome. What I think makes me so thrilled when I hear those numbers are just the impact that you’re having on the world and other human beings, which is so important these days, that there be these positive influences. So, before I dive into specific questions I have for you, I’d like you just to tell us a little bit about your journey. How did you get here?

So, it has been, definitely, quite a ride. My first job out of college, I started with a bachelor’s degree in communication. I now have a master’s in psychology, as well. The first job was working with ex-cons, and that was a fascinating job. My job was to teach them to be nice in the workplace and to get a job and keep a job.

So I was doing behavior modification from the very beginning. It turns out executives are easier to modify than convicts, so did that for about a year. Then I worked for the Boy Scouts, and I designed ropes course programs and built ropes courses for them around the country. And then from there, I went into business for myself.

So I’ve been in business since 1999, and, just from the perspective of business, I got here because I had a lot of really great mentors that poured into me. I love how much easier it is now with podcasting and the things that you’re doing, for example, to get that information that I didn’t know where to get when I first went into business.

So I was scrambling, trying to find people that would spend an hour with me. Let me buy them lunch, and so I could pick their brain and learn what they were doing, and just figure out how success happened. So anyway, it’s been quite a ride. I’ve had a whole lot of fun over the last couple of decades.

When you first got started, I’m curious, what kind of strategies did you use to get off to a strong start with your business?

So, I used to always tell people I had a stark raving terror of poverty, and that was the great human motivator. But the reality was, I found a couple of really great mentors. I found a sales coach that would help me out and I did pay him, and I found a guy that was a multimillionaire and been successful in business for, at that point, about 35 years.

And I picked both of their brains. One of the things that I was told before either one of them agreed to work with me was, I had to commit to reading at least one new book every month. And I remember asking Homer, the guy that told me that, “Well, how long?” He goes, “Well, until you die.” He goes, “No, but if you want me to coach you at all, then you have to commit to that.” So I committed to that.

And then from a sales perspective, which was where I was kind of weak, Mac, the other guy that was a sales coach that was helping me, just said, “Look, you got to have a system and you got to work the system. If you think you’re going to be successful off of inspiration, that’s for amateurs. You got to show up and work.”

And so I created an interview system for how I would get new business. And in my first year, I made more than 3,600 cold calls. I presented to 500 potential companies. I did 10 a week for 50 straight weeks without skipping anything. So even on holiday weeks, I would work around the holidays and make sure I still got my 10 a week average. But that made me more than six figures in the first year in business.

And now I’m a multiple, multiple six figures on an annual basis, and I still use some of that same model. Now, it got a lot better. Once you start having some clients and doing a great job, you just ask them for referrals, and as long as you’re doing a great job in giving them more than they believe that they paid for, never have any trouble with the business.

So I’ve got some clients that I started with in October of ’99, I went in business in September of ’99, and I still have several of those clients from that first month and a half in business. So that’s pretty cool.

That is very cool. There are two things you said, well, more than that, but two that I want to dive into because one of them is that kind of longevity with clients. And I’m happy to say, we are in a similar situation. Our software, 2020 Insight, has been out since ’94. We are 25 years in with that product, and we’ve got clients and resellers that have worked with us for almost that whole time.

So, I love to find out from others, what are your secrets for developing those kinds of long-term relationships? And I’m asking in the context of, we often feel that we’ve got to be looking for that next client, when in fact, there’s often opportunities to go deeper with the ones we’re working with. So talk a little bit about how you’ve developed these long-term relationships and how that’s led to more business within that one client.

So, one of my mentors right after Homer had worked with me, one of the things that he told me, maybe six months into business, he said, “If you always show that you were making them significantly more money than they’re spending with you, or measure your return on investment, then you’ll always have business and they’ll keep using you, because they can’t justify getting rid of a, say, $50,000 a year expense that has consistently made them half a million or more in additional revenue or cost savings.”

So I started looking at, well, how in the world do you do that as a trainer in consulting? Because a lot of times, what we do doesn’t seem quantifiable. And I ran across some formulas that the Saratoga Institute had put out. They were out of Canada. It’s the largest HR consulting firm there. They’re now owned by PriceWaterhouseCooper. But a friend of mine did consult with them, and he said, “Hey, we share these with clients, so I’ll send you a copy of our turnover form and our productivity metrics and some things like that.”

So I started measuring, as I started, like maybe six months into the business, let’s look at where your turnover is. Let’s look at an actual cost of turnover. And their formula was so good that, within a 10% variance, I could predict how much more money they would have at the end of the year based on working with me.

So I knew that using the training models that I’d put together, some collaboration with a couple of PhDs that I worked with at the time, I could cut turnover by between 25% and 50% in year one. I also knew that I could increase overall productivity and performance by more than 30% in year one. So if we’re going up in performance and down in turnover, that generally resulted in, we didn’t need as many FTEs, which is a cost-saving.

We lowered turnover costs, which, it’s anywhere on entry-level from 33% of what annual costs for that person would be, to the executive level, which is 400% of what the cost of that executive would be to replace them. And then when you look at productivity, you’ve got a 30% increase, let’s say, for every three people that we get fully engaged at that productivity level. We’re now doing the work of four people.

So, you have three very specific metrics that you can tie to money. And that’s what I started doing early on, is tying that to money. The second piece of that is, I do get to know my clients well. A lot of consultants go, “I will work for what I get paid for, and the end of my six hours of consulting for the day, I’m done.” A lot of times, I would consult for six hours and then I would go out with them to dinner, and we would talk about their family. We would talk about anything we could think of. And I got that out of Harvey Mackay’s book, How to Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive.

He had what he called the Mackay 66. 66 things to memorize about every client that you work with. And I didn’t do all 66, but I had about 20 things that I would memorize about every single client that I worked with. Particularly, anybody on the C-suite level. So, I might have half a dozen people and remember 20 things about each one of them.

I know about their families, I know about their birthdays, I know about their hobbies, I know about their struggles. So, I learned at that level about who they were as a person so that you take it beyond just the ROI. I think the ROI is critical, but it’s still just a number, and I never wanted to be a commodity. I want to be a relationship. I wanted to be a partner with that company.

And that’s why Vanguard Resources, one of my best clients, one that was the third client that I closed, and I still work with them today. But right before this, I was on the phone with their CEO, talking about what we’re going to do with an upcoming program at one of the hospitals they have and talking about, then, after that, how his kid’s doing, and I was talking about how I brought my kids a lot of times to training programs.

Oh, it’s a great idea. So, those relationships go beyond the billing hours. And I think that’s the thing that is tough for a lot of people, is, they want to do just what they’re paid for. But if you do so much more than you’re paid for, you always deliver more than what you’re paid to deliver your family.

That is so cool. And you know what else I’m thinking of? I’ve seen situations where a consultant or coach loses a client because their key contact person leaves the organization, and they have no other internal champion. Am I hearing you correctly that you’ve got multitudes of internal champions, so you’re not dependent on one individual to keep things going in working with you?

Absolutely. Yeah, and I think that it’s really important to just spread out a little bit. And a lot of, with what I do, I do a leadership development, but then I also do the executive coaching, and typically, those are coupled together. So I’ll go in and do leadership development over one year, and at the same time, I’m back another day, or sometimes two days, coaching the people that are going through the training.

So we’re taking the application of the material and making it real for them within our business. And you naturally evolve some great relationships as you’re coaching that person, because they’re always going to go beyond just, “Hey, I’ve got this problem with this one employee.” You get some emotion, you get some connection, you learn about their life.

Yeah. So you’re doing that at different levels, then, in the organization. And I love that you talked about going the extra mile and doing more than you’re paid for. I think that it’s a whole attitude of service. I’m here to serve, and people sense that.

I would like you to talk a little bit about what you see the impact on them being, of you taking that kind of interest in them. Because I have to think that you stand out with them among all the other … I hate to use the word vendors, but the outside resources. What kind of feedback have you gotten from your clients about the approach that you take?

So, the new CEO of Vanguard, the son just took over from his father. This is about two months ago. He goes, “Man, I figured you out.” I said, “Really? What have you figured out?” He goes, “You know me so well that I tell you everything in my life. There isn’t anybody that I would trust to open up to as much as I trust you.”

I said, “That’s a good thing.” He goes, “Yeah, it’s a good thing, but I can’t fire you, ever.” I go, “That’s an even better thing for me.” No, I think the key is, you’re trying to just develop that trust, because like we talked about with that servant’s heart, I just want their life to be better. And a lot of times, entrepreneurs and business owners, our life is stressful. The incident to divorce for entrepreneurs is incredibly high.

Divorce rate’s high anyway, in the U.S., but it’s even higher when you have that high-stress job, and when you’re a type-A personality, which most entrepreneurs at some level are. I’m aggressively pursuing success, so we stay out of balance. So a lot of what I’m doing is helping them find their balance without giving up their success.

And I think that people just truly appreciate being able to breathe, being able to be a human, not having to worry about being judged or evaluated based on what they said. They can be open. They can be honest. I have clients that go, “Look, I need to cuss at somebody. Can I cuss at you?” I’m like, “Absolutely.” “Cuss at me. Let’s just get it out, and we’ll be good after that.”

You’re a haven. You’re a haven for them.

Yeah. You go from adviser to trusted advisor. There is a safety net there, and I had an HR director last week at a group that I work with, have about 3,500 employees, and she started crying when I was talking to her. She goes, “I don’t cry.” I’m like, “Okay.” She goes, “You have …” I have a consultant voice when I’m coaching. So you’re very calm. You’re very soothing. You’ll allow people to say whatever it is they need to say.

She goes, “It’s your dang voice. If you would just be riled up, I’d be used to it, because everybody’s riled up when they talk to me.” And I said, “Well, I need to be calm for you,” and so I just keep everything calm and easy in that coaching setting. You can get excited when you’re speaking, you’re on stage or you’re doing training, but there’s a variation in the way you present yourself that I think has a huge impact.

Our communication is evaluated by 93% based on non-verbals. So you’ve got your 38% facial expressions, and you’ve got your 55% your body language, and all of your tone of voice, and you add all that up, and you just go, “Holy cow, my words don’t mean that much unless I know how to say them correctly.”

Well, I’m curious. In a training setting where the participants may not know you, right, before they’ve come to the class, what do you do to help build that trust with them quickly so that they can get into the content and the processes you need them to address?

So, I usually do just a very quick introduction of me, and then, I don’t go very deep into my background or my expertise, other than I’ve been doing this for over 20 years of training. 20 on my own. I am here to make you successful. My focus is not to train you. My focus is to equip you in such a way that you go do something with it.

And then I do introductions of people to each other, where they get to know the people in the class. And it’s been a funny transition. When I stopped caring so much about them knowing me and remembering me, and spent more time connecting and interacting with each other, because they see each other every day, it’s funny how much more people sought out understanding who I was.

They’ll go to the website, they’ll watch YouTube videos. They’ll look for things about me, because I’m not up there going, “Look, I am the smartest guy in the room, and I have a masters in psychology, and I worked in all of these places,” and you’re like, “Nobody cares.” Everybody cares about what you can do for them to help them be successful.

And so, I think that’s the quick connection and the rapport building. I’m a very non-threatening guy. I’m nice. I’m funny. I tell a lot of jokes and reference a lot of movies throughout the training so that people can tie the skill sets back to what they would do in real life. Like in conflict resolution, I asked, “How many of you have ever seen a movie with no conflict?” And nobody raises their hand.

And I’m like, “So we can’t say conflict is bad. If Batman Versus Superman, Batman would have gone, ‘Superman, I think you’re too powerful.’ And Superman would have said, ‘Look, Bruce Wayne, I’m not here to threaten you. Let’s get a latte.’ They go get a coffee, they talk about things. It would be a horrible movie. We needed conflict and we needed resolution.”

So a lot of times, I’ll play out things like that, and people crack up, and that makes it easier to connect.

That’s great. Go ahead.

Little shock value on them. I do face reading, and so you can tell the psychology of a person based on the structure of their face, and you look, for example, eyebrows tell you how to approach a person. Forehead tells you how they make decisions. The nose tells you if they have any defensiveness and insecurities. The mouth area tells you whether they’re businesslike or outgoing and fun-loving. And the chin area tells you how they evaluate themselves and what they need. And then the ears tell you how a person learns.

This has been psychology, kind of, it’s been around since Freud, where he started looking at phrenology and then the physiology, or physiognomy, excuse me, which was Chinese medicine for understanding the health of a person. You take that, and you correlate it into the workspace. I can go, for example, “I know that you, Susie, over here, or you like this. And John over here, I know your standards are higher for work than they are at home.”

And so you can go through and you can pick out little things on a person and they kind of like, “Oh my gosh, what did he just do to me? He’s like a weird voodoo guy.” So, it’s fun, and then they’re fascinated, and they’ll come to you like, “Here’s a picture of my spouse. What’s wrong with them?”

Well, I’ll put a plugin here, because you have a book. One of your many books is on face reading, right?

Yeah. So it’s called Faces of Reality. And I have one right there.


I have a few besides me. Just in case, but …

Oh, good.

It’s a great book. And I’ll show you, as a father of two daughters, page 163 is the page that fathers of daughters need to look at. And it’s the profile, the not-going-to-date-my-daughter profile.

Oh, boy.

That is kind of a funny chapter that people put out on Facebook to all the people that follow Jody Holland training, like, “Okay, what do you want to know?” One of my friends immediately put up who should not date my daughter. And I’m like, “Gotcha.” And so I described it out, and then my illustrator, who, she’s out in California, she sent it back, and I’m like, “Holy cow, that was my daughter’s boyfriend freshman year. He looks exactly like him.”

Oh, funny. Well, I’m sure you’ve got some people intrigued, now, to check that out. So thank you for showing that one. I want to circle back a minute to the referrals, because you talked about getting referrals, and I could see how it would be easy for you to do that with the trust you’ve built up with them.

But I’m curious to know, what’s your exact approach in asking for referrals? Because I know that’s something people hear all the time. You need to be getting more referrals. But they’re at a loss for how to ask without sounding salesy.

Right. So what I typically do is, first, I prove that I’m worthwhile. So I won’t ask for a referral until I’ve been there at least 90 days, because they start seeing benefits of the programs I do at about the 90-day mark. And then I will go to the person and say, “Hey, have you enjoyed what we’re doing?” “Well, yeah.” “Are you seeing the benefit of it?” “Absolutely.”

Say, “I’m not asking you to give me a list of your friends, but who else do you know that would like their people to be more productive, or turnover to be lower, and to have less stress at work?” Well, that’s pretty much everybody. So I’ll say, “Well, what would be ideal for me if you don’t mind giving me a referral? I’d really like two people if you could just introduce me to two.” I don’t ask for five, I just want two people.

“Would you email that person an introduction, and copy me on the introduction? And I’d be glad to send you some wordings, some bullet points if that would make it easier. I’ll write the email, and copy and paste it if you want, or you can just write it, whatever’s best for you.” Nine out of 10 times, they want me to write the email and send it to them, and they’ll tweak it to kind of fit what they want to say, and then they’ll send it to two people and will copy me.

That’s all they have to do, and I take it from there. Some people are never going to respond, but most of the time, when you get a warm referral like that, I’ll get somebody who reaches out and says, “Hey, sounds fascinating what you’re doing with XYZ Corporation. Love to visit with you sometime.” I go, “Fantastic. Let’s schedule a time. Would you like a phone call or would you like me to be in person?”

And I always put the option out there, no matter where they’re at. Now and then somebody will go, “Yeah, I’m in Tulsa, Oklahoma. How about in person?” You’re like, “Oh yeah, that sounds great.” I’ll go anyway, but I kind of hope for the phone call on the first introduction just to get to know them. But I don’t say, “Will you give me a referral?” I ask, “Who else do you know that would like …?” And I list the results that I’m achieving for them.

That’s great. Excellent approach. And then I would think that the people you are contacting, as a result of that introduction, it’s not like a cold call. It’s got to be a lot more pleasant than when you first started that first year. That cold calling that you did, I’m sure, prepared you for … And I would assume you built up some resistance to the rejection feeling over time.

Because I know that’s something that concerns folks, and why they kind of hold back on reaching out to people, because they’re afraid of that rejection. What do you suggest to help get past that, since you’ve done it?

Yeah, so it’s a fun way to do it. And my little brother is the one that came up with this, and he is a farmer and a rancher. Has a big farm ranch outfit in Texas. And he said, “Man, I love poker. Why don’t you use poker chips to track what you’re doing?” So I started thinking, “That’s a great idea.”

So I have white poker chips for every time I made a phone call and talk to a person. Making a phone call and leaving a voicemail did not count as a phone call. I had to talk to a person. And then I have blue poker chips every time I made a presentation, and I had a green poker chip every time I closed a deal. And I spent about the first six months doing this, of just tracking. How many phone calls does it take to get to a presentation?

How many presentations does it take to get to a deal, and what’s my average deal worth? And year one, my average deal was $2,000. My average deal is much bigger now than what it used to be, but I have a lot more that I’ve developed. So I would go, every time I got somebody that I’ll get them on the phone, “Hey, this is Jody Holland, and I’m with Jody Holland Training. I wanted to talk to you about …”

And you get a, “Shut up, I hate all humans,” and they hang up on you. And that’s the part where we’re like, “Oh, they don’t like me. I can’t ever do this again.” We freak out. You just take that white poker chip, and you’re like, “A hundred bucks.” Because you know the value when you convert backward with your ratios, that … Every single phone call my first year in business, it was worth … It wasn’t worth a hundred bucks, but it was worth about $40 my first year.

And you look at now, if I make phone calls to set things up, every phone call is worth about a thousand dollars. So I make a phone call and talk to somebody. Even if they tell me to jump off a cliff, I go, “Thousand bucks,” and I know that I’m moving closer to that money. I started with, let me see if I can get 30 people to tell me no in 30 days. Because I had all this angst about, “I need them to say yes, and it feels awful if they say no.”

Because I don’t like being rejected. I’m like everybody else. So when I took the pressure off, and said, “I’m trying to get 30 no’s,” then that’s easy. I made 10 grand trying to get 30 no’s in my first month of doing that. Geez, I should’ve done this month one. That was awesome. So because you get so many more people saying yes, and all the pressure’s off you. If somebody says yes, awesome. They say no, score. You don’t have to get the yes.

Now, LinkedIn didn’t wasn’t around back then, but how would you use LinkedIn today if you were just starting, or somebody didn’t have the kind of network and clientele established that you do?

So, I still use LinkedIn quite a bit for just expanding my conversations with people. It’s how I get a lot of my keynote gigs, is through LinkedIn. I use the face reading, which I know, that’s kind of an unfair advantage at this point, but I have a profile of people who typically will say yes.

So I’ll go through and I’ll sort the criteria of, they’re in charge of a company that’s this size, or they have an executive-level position, and you can do all the searching and sorting components through LinkedIn, as long as you have a pro account, which I highly recommend the pro account. It’s 700 bucks a year, or something like that. It’s worth the money. So I’ll sort it down to 50 people, and then I’ll go, “Okay, well, I know that people with a dominant personality characteristic as their primary, they’re the most likely to say yes to me.”

And you look for a square chin and a rounded forehead, and on the disc profile, that’s a D. So, of all the people, the 40 people on the list, there might be 11 people that are D’s. I know they’re very driven by the result or outcome, and that’s the easiest thing for me to sell to them because that’s what I’ve conditioned.

So I then target those specific people, and I’ll try to connect with them first. Once I’m connected with them, I’ll give it 20, 30 days, then I’ll reach out to them by phone and just say … I don’t spam them with the LinkedIn messaging. I think that’s so annoying. But I’ll reach out to them and I say, “Hey, I like to actually at least have a conversation with anybody that I’m connected with on LinkedIn. I’m not necessarily really selling you anything, and I promise I’m not tricking you. I just like to get to know you.”

And I try to have a conversation and to have something to offer them that might be a benefit to them or their business. And then say, “Hey, I’d love to have another conversation at some point. Let me know if you would.” So far, about 90% of people are like, “Yeah, I’d love to have a follow up conversation.” I’ll do a little more research on their company, and get to know the company, then I’ll call them back, and I’ll talk about what I’ve done for other companies.

And the technique is, or what I call it is, my friend John. I was working with my friend John. He has a company kind of like yours, and this is what he was struggling with, and here’s what we did, and here is the outcome. So it’s not me going, “I see that you have a struggle and I think I can fix it, and this is what I can get you.” Because that is sales.

But if I tell a story, all of a sudden they’re like, “Could you help me?” And I’m like, “Yeah. I’d be glad to.” And then you’re just helping. You’re solving problems is all you’re doing. And it is a slow, deliberate pace. It’s not a one-call close. It’s a relationship close. I think that’s what makes it last, too, because there’s no buyer’s remorse when somebody asks you if they can buy, versus you trying to sell to them.

Oh, that’s so smart. I just love that. And of course, I resonate with it, because I’m very similar. Although I don’t do the phone call, I’m exchanging messages, typically on LinkedIn, and then it becomes a natural thing as you and I did. “Let’s have a conversation to learn more about each other.”

And it sounds like you also take the approach of really listening so that you can add value along the line. Not from the perspective of, “Hire me to do this for you,” but, “Are there people or resources that I could introduce you to that could be helpful for you?” Am I reading that right?

You are. I have a very big network of people that I’m connected with, so a lot of times, our biggest struggle is, we’re trying to find X person to do this job. I probably know somebody that would be great at it, that is … Got on their LinkedIn profile, “Looking for other opportunities.” And I go, “Well, hey, I think I could introduce you to a person or two. Would that be helpful?”

And they’re like, “Are you a recruiter?” That’s almost always the first question. I’m like, “No, I’m not. I’m not going to bill you for it, or anything like that. I know somebody, it would help them. You seem like a good person running a great company. It would probably help you. I just want to connect you.” So you do some things, solve some problems, help in some way, and ask nothing in return.

Right. I had that experience just today. Jody, you’ll appreciate it.

Did you?

There was somebody who I had met through LinkedIn, and she said, “Yeah, I want to talk to you.” Because I had sent her one of my business partner’s books, The Dark Secret of HRD, and she had been eager to read it and wanted to talk to me about it. And while we were talking, she was mentioning, “Oh, I suck at sales.”

And then she mentioned something else because she’s a consultant coach. And so I started just rattling off some books or some other resources, and she said, “You’re not charging me for this, are you?” I said, “No, I’m just trying to be helpful.” She said it jokingly, but I was kind of firing some ideas at her. And that’s what you do, I can tell, in a different … In our style. It’s listening to what would be useful for this person right now.

Absolutely. And if you’ll send me your friend’s name and address, I’ll mail her two books that would be very helpful. No charge. Just, I’ll send them to her.

Oh, that’s great. I’ll have to get her address from her because I don’t have her address. I’m curious about one other thing, because I know we’re going to be getting close to our time here. When you think about the leaders that you have worked with, at 200,000 that you’ve trained, what would you say are some of the most prevalent issues that you run into with them, and what approach do you take to helping them deal with those?

So, I think one of the biggest challenges we’re facing is, I’ll call it a communication challenge, but it’s the shift in generations that we’ve experienced. We have a lot of people that look at young people and go, “Oh, good Lord. There’s no hope.” When in reality, they’re just different than the previous generation.

Because you know what, the Xers were different than the boomers. Boomers were different than the traditionalists, and so on. So, I think one of the biggest challenges is understanding the diversity of thought, and diversity of values, and learning to embrace the potential of every person. Not looking at them and going, “I don’t like these people,” but instead, looking at them and going, “Let’s see what they have to offer, and let’s see what I can learn from them.”

Because when we go in with that open mind, and we understand how to set expectations, and how to listen effectively, most of the challenges we face in the workplace can be easily solved. So if you’re setting an expectation, what do you want? When do you want it? How are you going to measure it?

Most of the time, we say what we want, and we stop at that. As soon as possible. And then on the listening side, you have to focus on the other person. So stop all the distractions. You have to respond non-verbally. Just have to know that you’re physically moving as they talk. You have to ask good questions to get deeper information. You have to feedback on what you heard but put it in your own words.

And that’s the active or reflective listening model. When you do those four steps and when people practice those, that’s the base for being good at motivating, for being good at understanding diversity, for being good at resolving conflict, for eliminating groupthink, for building behavior change models. Communication is a base for everything that we do. The differences in values are the struggle part.

When you say the struggle part, what do you mean?

Well, I mean, when my values are not the same as your values, for example, then we tend to think only from our perspective. But when you listen effectively, you get out of your head and you get into the mind of the other person, so that you have an understanding, empathy for who they are, and the way that they’ve developed into the human that they are.

That’s great. Yeah, and I like something I’ve heard recently from more than one person, is, observe instead of judge. Because we tend to, I think, when we’re talking generational, or sometimes gender differences, or cultural differences, there’s that filter of judging the person, being effective or not. If they match what you think they ought to be, versus not. There’s a judgment that interferes with the ability to listen.

Yes, I agree. And it’s called unconscious bias. And we have that automatic, “Here’s who they are because of they … I’m bald, so oh, all bald people are …” And you have these assumptions. And when you get past the assumption, and you have a conscious choice of what you want to be like as you interact, it eliminates the prejudice, whether it’s a prejudice based on age or skin color or anything else. The objective is to see people as people and to love them for being another human, and that gets people to open up to you.

That’s a great note to end on. I love that because I think we don’t talk about really loving other people enough. So, Jody, I know that this is so valuable. All the things you’ve shared today are profound in the depth of your thinking, and your thoughtfulness about building relationships. Tell us how people can find you online, and also where they can get your books or learn more about your books.

Awesome. I think that’ll be in the show notes, but my author page on Amazon, just amazon.com/author/jodyholland, or Jody N. Holland. I can’t remember, but it’ll be on the show notes. And then, or they can just go to my website, jodyholland.com. J-O-D-Y-H-O-L-L-A-N-D.

And then, everything that I’ve got is actually on the website or linked from the website.


Got a whole e-learning series, and I run it through psycheofsuccess.com. So whether they’re trying to learn sales, or trying to learn leadership, or management, or customer service, I’ve got courses on those.

Excellent. And you’re on LinkedIn, I know. Are there any other social media sites that you’re on?

Facebook and LinkedIn are the two biggest ones for me.

Linkedin, I think it will be in the show notes as well, but you can just search for Jody N., like Neil, Holland. And then on Facebook, it’s facebook.com/jodyhollandtraining, or just search for Jody Holland training.


YouTube is the only other one. I’ve got a ton of videos out there if you ever need some great content. I put together book studies, and that’s what I’ve been working on the last year, for a lot of my book. So you can buy the book and then have access to a 10-minute summary of a chapter, and then questions to ask for discussion.

Excellent. Well, just like everything else you do, it’s very well thought out, so it’s well worth people checking that out. Thank you. And thank you for being my guest today and providing such tremendous value to my listeners. I appreciate all you’ve shared and I appreciate you.

Thank you very much. I appreciate getting to know you.

Thank you.