Getting People Unstuck At Work With Johan Meyer

When we’re stuck in our careers, how do we get unstuck?

How do we get recognition and value for our efforts?

How do we avoid being misunderstood in our communications?

This was what Johan Meyer and I discussed in this podcast episode.



Rob: [00:00:00] Your work is getting people from stuck to unstuck. If you could just give us a bit of what’s that about and where did that come from? Sure. I’ll start with the 

Johan: second question maybe first. I think it’s something that is a result of the stuff that I’ve focused on.

Johan: So my background is really much more in operations sales operations and IT operations. And throughout my career, I’ve been fortunate enough and maybe cursed to always find myself in either the senior management or executive positions in the companies I were in.

Johan: And that’s what I enjoy. I enjoyed small companies. I enjoyed small businesses, haven’t yet got the massive bank balances to say, what do we want to do? Okay, let’s just go do it. We have to be really picky about what you do manage your resource as well. And then finding solutions both operational and in terms of technology.

Johan: That put me in a position where I had quite a number of people reporting into me and working with me that were very capable, high potential, but they didn’t necessarily have the opportunity to go and [00:01:00] equip themselves with great degrees, or diplomas and such. And they had to work their way up.

Johan: I found that even though I enjoyed the strategic operations and technology inside of the business sense. Quite a bit. I enjoyed a lot more working with the guys, who were there and they were trying to one, make a mark for themselves to make sure that they can support their own goals and dreams, support their families and build a career.

Johan: And over the last couple of years, that’s something that I haven’t focused on too much, but I realized towards the end, towards the middle of last year. That is something that was missing on my side, I miss engaging with people who felt themselves. I want to go somewhere this is where I am now.

Johan: I’m not sure how to get there, and not necessarily talking about life skills and life coaching. This is really a little bit more technical, a little bit more specific. So I started working on a concept for stuck. I was talking about June of 2023. And where we are right now is about a week away of getting it out [00:02:00] properly.

Johan: Over the last six months, it’s really been working with a couple of people, asking questions validating some ideas, testing some structures. I think there’s actually a need for this. If there are people who would find value in it, then one can potentially build a structure around it.

Johan: In short, what it is, it’s the focus. On helping people master key workplace competencies. You’ve got your, you’ve got your technical proficiency, your accountant or an engineer, software developer, whatever your job might be. But in order to be successful with that skill in the work environment there’s quite a number of other things that you need to be able to do.

Johan: There’s managing yourself and your energy and, how you approach yourself. The expectations you set for yourself, the purpose to which you walk towards what you work for, the goals that you want to set for yourself then there’s obviously how you engage with your job itself, do you understand what its purpose is, how it fits into the broader team and organizational structure, do you understand your business, understand how you guys make money, and how you service your customers, that kind of stuff, [00:03:00] and then it’s very much in line with how do you engage with your teammates? How do you Engage with your leaders?

Johan: And how do you primarily take ownership of your own professional career? Instead of hoping that the environment you are in will provide you with the tools and the techniques necessary. This is about, I feel a little frustrated. I feel a little bit stuck. I’m not moving forward as fast as I want to.

Johan: And I need to understand why. Once we understand what’s potentially holding you back, then depending on what needs to be applied, we then work on. Firstly, learning any skills that might be lacking, within the context of that person and the environment in which they are in. And then secondly, within the context of what they are aiming for, what their own personal ambitions are, what they want to achieve.

Johan: And that in a nutshell is what Stuck To Unstuck is. It’s really taking your existing paradigm, existing reality, understanding what’s keeping you where you are, what’s frustrating you there, professionally, where do you want to be, and how do we map 

Rob: that trajectory out for [00:04:00] you. So it’s really going from potential to actualization.

Rob: So someone has the technical competencies of whatever their job is. But they don’t necessarily, if you go to be an accountant or you go to be a lawyer, they teach you how to do law or how to do accountancy, but they rarely teach you the human skills. They really teach you how to fit in, how to work with others.

Rob: And that’s what you do is filling in those gaps. Correct. 

Johan: Helping the person equipping with that, and it’s really for their own empowerment. A couple of cliches that I’m throwing in here, but I think that’s the key thing. It’s realizing one, I can do something about it. And two, okay, I’m going to help you do something about it, and then we take it from 

Johan: there.

Rob: What’s your purpose in doing what you’re doing?

Johan: My purpose is very internal. It’s what I’m describing with a number of people that work with me and for me it’s also very much something that I experienced myself. I used to be the guy that spent lots of hours at the office, and it took every initiative I could find.

Johan: And I remember when I was just starting out back in 1998 at a company called Junkmail [00:05:00] I was first appointed as the head of training.

Johan: And I thought that the training manual that they were using was completely inappropriate. So I spent about two weeks of my own time completely rewriting a five page training manual into a 60 page training manual. It changed the retention and the capability of new people, continuously.

Johan: Quite well. But, it was one of those things that I just thought of, this needs to happen, but despite all of that, I felt that I’m still not moving forward yet. And that was the refrain throughout my career. I was always the guy that saw maybe an opportunity, maybe let’s get this done, but I struggled to get that across, and I struggled to to really get blind sometimes or to just connect, with the guys that I’m working with.

Johan: But very much a personal thing as well. And I remember the frustration I felt, I remember, often going back from home and my wife’s here and it’s eight or nine o’clock at night and I’m thinking to myself, why the hell am I doing? What is the, what am I trying to achieve here? And it took me the better part of 20 years.

Johan: To really figure out, that [00:06:00] your technical abilities and the amount of effort that you put in is very little to do. And if I can help a couple of people who’s sitting with that same frustration to not have to go through the same anguish, if you will. It sounds trite sometimes, but that really, for me is the key thing.

Johan: That’s something I feel passionate about. Then the other thing that to me is very key is people who are joining the workforce for the first time. What I haven’t mentioned yet is, if everything goes according to plan, what I would like to do within the next six months is put a specific structure together around this concept.

Johan: That really just aims at helping young people, understand how to engage and be efficient when they get to the work environment. You get out of school yes, Africa, when you’re 18, you get out of school, then most people go and they go get a job. You get a job as an intern somewhere or a clerk or something.

Johan: And it’s low paid. Nobody really respects you a lot there’s not a lot you can do, even if you get out of university with a degree, you’re starting at the lowest rung, and you still don’t know what to do. You’ve got all this [00:07:00] technical knowledge, but you still don’t know what to do.

Johan: And if we can help the workforce improve their ability to get these guys properly effective, maybe five to eight years now to get that level of experience, you can bring that down some effective work to maybe one or two years to really get them an effective part of a team that they’re not looked down as a junior anymore, but they are considered proper part of the team.

Johan: I think then everybody benefits. 

Rob: I can totally understand that. I’ve always hated politics and I’ve seen people say that you have to play the game on that and wherever I’ve worked, I’ve always noticed problems and I’ve always come up with solutions and, But just solving the problem isn’t enough. I often felt that I didn’t get the appreciation.

Rob: I didn’t get the, recognition for doing that because it solved the problem, but it was awkward. It was things that people didn’t want to deal with. And there were people who had ruffled feathers. And so it just let that. Get done. And now, okay. It’s done. Thank you.

Rob: Yeah. So knowing the skills of how you communicate that better and how you can, because just doing the job isn’t enough there are so [00:08:00] many politics and whatever involved in corporates, correct? 

Johan: That’s the key thing because you’re working with other people, and human beings are complex and complicated and they’ve each got their own they’ve got their own reality.

Johan: From their own experience, and they’ve got their own worries and struggle. We read a lot on LinkedIn about empathy and how important empathy is in skills, and that’s true. But, if you really ask somebody, what does that mean? Is that a principle? Is that an emotion? Is that just a behavior? Is that a mindset?

Johan: You’ll get four different answers. And I think part of that problem is, some of the things that we describe sometimes and writers have described that become almost too theoretical. And we sometimes forget that, the other side of the table, the other side of the email, the telephone, there is another person sitting there, and as you, they’ve got things they want to do, and they’ve got things they want to achieve, and they’ve got their own frustrations and worries and concerns, and once we understand that, as a mindset, as a foundation, then many of these other skills, [00:09:00] quote unquote, become almost automated, it’s.

Johan: Next action. I get an email, some guy I worked with, that was a great example. He continuously struggles. He heads up a service desk. And typical to most service desk managers, very specific, very rule driven, very fanatic. And this guy’s personality just fits it to a T. And he’s got this one guy who, he’s genuine.

Johan: He doesn’t mean anything by it, but he just doesn’t think that way, so he just phones him, listen, I’ve got a problem. And he says, have you logged a ticket? That’s You know, it’s that typical thing. And he tells me, why do people not understand the rules? My question to him is, how many people do this?

Johan: Everybody or just a handful? He says no. Most people follow the rules, we can work together. I say, so for this one guy, how important is it for you to make sure that you and him have a great working relationship? He says no, it’s important. I said, okay have you sat down with him and tried to figure out, is there another way that you can do this?

Johan: But firstly, not believing so hard that what you have put in place is the ultimate and the best. You don’t know that there might be [00:10:00] different ways that you two can work together. It wasn’t a message well received initially, but things that at the end of the day, they have a conversation and things are moving forward.

Johan: Now, two things resolved there. One, there’s a better working relationship, but technically this guy that I’m working with, he mental frustration is down. Yeah. Suddenly you can think about other things. It’s not so frustrated anymore. Yeah, people are at the same side, very complicated, but also very simple, and Sometimes we just need to understand that.

Rob: Yeah. And it’s the nature of social media is like every social media platform has its own Facebook is very polarizing. Instagram is very visual visual representation. The nature of, we all write in LinkedIn and there’s, you’ve only got this much space, and so you don’t really have the time or the ability to go into nuance and so Correct.

Rob: It does being, everyone saying the same thing, but it’s, yeah. The d the nuance is what makes all the difference in when you’re applying it. And it is so easy to forget about the humanity of the [00:11:00] people on the other side. 

Rob: So now looking at the philosophy of what you’ve done, I understand the purpose that you felt called is something that you felt called to do, But now I’m looking at, so like you say, there’s many other people that do the same thing.

Rob: But you’ll do it in your own slant because of your experiences and who you are. So I’m interested in, by philosophy, so for example I talk about relationships getting teams to work together by relationships. My purpose is nothing to do with relationships. I had little interest in relationships.

Rob: It was about people being free of relationships because until people know how to master relationships, they get trapped in bad relationships. They feel insecure, anxious. But when I think of what’s the philosophy of mine is that we’ve been given the frame that doesn’t work. And that because that’s what I saw.

Rob: I saw patterns of people running on something that made the most sense. So in terms of your work so you saw a need. And now the philosophy is [00:12:00] by philosophy, the kind of how you solve the problem. I hear what you’re 

Johan: saying. I work from the premise or I’m applying the assumption, put it that way, that in most companies, and I’m saying this from anecdotal observation, reading, the stuff that’s been put on LinkedIn, reading comments that are put on the post.

Johan: Reading posts and comments that I’ll put on platforms like Quora and also obviously my own personal experience that for the most part, people are not at work necessarily because they want to be there. There are a handful of individuals who are that blessed, they are at work because they want to be there.

Johan: They don’t want to be anywhere else. That’s what they want to be. Have a good week. Good night. I believe in what they do, but for the most part, the, if I can think for myself, when I was back in a corporate environment I would rather have gotten on my GS and gone out in the felt for a hundred or 200 kilometer ride, than having to sit through another three project meetings, just.

Johan: I don’t want to do it. And, but there’s a responsibility [00:13:00] that you need to meet your work because it allows you to do things that can be very fundamental and help you to maintain a certain manner of living that allows you to put your kids in school and, to, to support them for what they want to do or allows you to just do things, 

Johan: hobbies. Yeah, we’re fortunate, Cape Town where I live here on the West Coast, there’s lots of good wind, in, in the bay and lots of kite surfing and surfing, open water swimming and it’s a very sporty kind of environment, but these things all cost money, and somewhere for me to be able to do it.

Johan: I can think of nothing worse than having to do something every day, just so that you are able to do something else and you feel absolutely nothing for it, because you thought that your mental. Capability stuff, the quality of the work you do stuff, but it becomes a vicious circle because you do bad work and now you feel bad about the bad work you’re doing.

Johan: There’s no pride left. As a human, you’re doing everything. It’s negative. You’re not feeling any level of satisfaction there, so for me, I think if I assume that at least 50 percent of people [00:14:00] in a professional environment feel slightly frustrated, feel slightly. How else can I make, can I get meaning from this?

Johan: How can I get value? How else can I move forward in my career? Then the way I want to do it is, really for a start, is putting together a bunch of validated assumptions. What I mean by that is, working directly with individuals who relate to me and relate to my approach and who think that, what I can help them with can add value to them.

Johan: There are many people engaging On very different platforms. They are many cultures. There are many guys put themselves up as mentors. I don’t think of myself as a coach. I think of myself more as the manager that’s not supporting you.

Johan: Or instead of the manager that’s not supporting because I think that’s where the other challenge lies leaders. It’s not like Lisa Martin and the business that they put together in the U. S. It’s all about coach like leadership. They try and teach people how to become in a leadership position, also a brilliant coach.

Johan: But the number of leaders, supervisors, managers, Petro actually [00:15:00] attain that level of competence that I suspect are few and far between. And as a consequence. I think the need for experts like you and me, the rest of the guys out there, I think our ability to provide that service is far outstripped by the demand of that service, I don’t think what we’re trying to do from outside of this stage is try and conquer the market, but there are enough people that will relate to the way that I do things and team that we’re going to put together, do things that we can provide them with the right benefit. And then in time, potentially link up and network with other.

Johan: Entities, like yourself and others who do similar work and then identify, the very specific niches that we focus on and then work together to provide that layer of support to the leadership structures out there. We know that you struggle, but we can provide you with that additional resource and firepower that you need.

Johan: Let’s work together on it. Yeah, I 

Rob: think that’s so true is, one of the things I, I taught in talking about relationships, and when I was in a, looking at a field of. [00:16:00] Personal relationships, you look out and everyone’s talking about relationships and there’s so many books, but actually I realized there’s very few books actually on relationships because if you look at, if you ask people what are your favorite relationship books, they talk about the five love languages, that’s a book on communication, men are from Mars, women are from Venus, it’s communication when you look at, what is it, Harville Hendricks and His kind of work is all like developmental psychology.

Rob: It’s Dan Wile and whatever they’re really talking about conflict Stan Tatkin is really attachment theory. So they’re not actually relationship books. The only, one of the very few, I think is, I think the Gottman’s. I would say are definitely relationships, but most of the others have got some other slant.

Rob: And it’s the same. There’s a million people working with teams but whether it’s raising performance, or it’s communication, but again, everyone’s got a different. Piece of the thing. This is why I like to understand the person behind the program, because in that you get to understand yes.

Rob: If I’m learning [00:17:00] about something I want to learn about and they tell about this book influence me in this book influence. I’ll then go back into those books and you look at the lineage and then you can see a clear understanding. Okay. I’ve got a grasp of what you do. So it’s interesting that you say that you’re not a coach because I was around at the beginning of coaching where Thomas Leonard, who they call the father of coaching I learned from him and I watched him and he’s brilliant.

Rob: He’s a genius. But his genius isn’t mine. I know that’s not my style. And I, yes, I think, a lot of people have followed, like I’ve done coaching and learned from coaching, but I’m not a coach. And I think a lot, I think if you go into speaking or if you go into coaching, people will try and pigeonhole you.

Rob: And they’ll get you to promote coaching. They’ll get you to promote speaking when really we need to find what’s our individual flavor. So I like that you’ve recognized that. 

Rob: What I gained from what you said is that. Not everyone has a good manager. Cause ideally you’re looking for a manager to mentor you so that you [00:18:00] can grow up and rise up with and so you’re providing that kind of service.

Rob: So someone that may not have a, the manager that’s encouraging or got time or space to be able to. Coach them, not coach or mentor them or whatever. That’s really what you provide. 

Johan: I think that’s where we spot in. Absolutely. And again, I’ll say this from my own experience where I found, when I got frustrated, I went to the guy I reported to sometimes right?

Johan: To the CEO of the company and said, why is this not working? Why am I doing wrong here? And I found over a 18 year period where I did that. One person out of probably about 20 that I went to that question, one person sat me down and said, all right, let’s try and figure this out. The rest of them all said, don’t worry, you’re going to get this, or are you encouraging and stuff like that, but not because they didn’t care.

Johan: It’s because they had so much that they also had to focus on and other things that they try to do. And I think they were always, and when I was in that position, I fell into that trap myself, where in my mind, I appointed you because I needed you to help me do something and I’m considering us a team.

Johan: It took me a long while to [00:19:00] realize that part of that teamwork, if you will, is also to ensure that the way that we work together, the way that we support each other, and the way that we fill in the gaps that the other person has, that sort of almost intuitive, fitting like a puzzle kind of situation, that isn’t something that just happens all the time.

Johan: It’s not magic, you’ve got to work at it and you’ve got to make sure that you understand how to do it. So that’s where that reference comes in. I hear what everybody says to leaders, you need to be able to do this. And having experienced this myself, I come back and say, most leaders, one has never had the training to do it.

Johan: And even if they had the training for that context, for that person, what that person is trying to understand, I think there’s a conflict of interest in any situation. Because I’m training you so that I can get what I want. And, now I don’t think anybody goes out there really well. I’m saying that knowing full well that there are people that do that.

Johan: But I think for the most part, there’s good intention behind it. You’re not trying to exploit the person, but how am I able to really help this person grow and become the person that they need to be [00:20:00] professionally if I’m focused on the agenda I’m trying to achieve and as I should. I would rather have that leader in a position where he has a, it sounds really technical, but fully capable and fully able person in the team to work with. I’m not suggesting that leaders shouldn’t do that mentoring coaching.

Johan: I sometimes just think that there’s, that we expect too much of it. Given everything that they also need to do, I think they can find. Appropriate, resources and firepower that can help him solve that problem. Because, if you want to, if you’ve got a team and you’ve got technology challenges, you go to your IT guy.

Johan: And if you’ve got, procurement or product challenges, you go to your raw materials challenge, you go to your procurement guys. And they say, let’s solve this. Where do you go? HR guys, that’s not their job. I know there’s many thoughts about what HR should be doing. But for the most part they understand how to manage human resources within corporate environments, are they fully equipped to help that be the best they can be in that professional capacity?

Johan: Maybe, or whether or not we’re here to pick up that ball. 

Rob: It’s [00:21:00] also part of the mentoring coaching type of relationship to grow someone is being challenging. And if you’ve got technical work to do and you’re delegating and holding someone accountable, and then suddenly you’re challenging them personally.

Rob: It changes the relationship. So it’s like for me. I can go in and talk to someone about their relationships, within a team and it’s okay. Cause it’s impartial. It doesn’t matter to me. I don’t care either way, someone here who you’re talking about their relationship with their friend or with them then suddenly they’ve got an investment personal investment. 

Rob: To be a manager someone has to be technically competent, then they get promoted and then they need to suddenly learn the management competencies and then they need to learn the coaching mentoring. Given how pressed and short people are of time, I think it is asking too much for someone. 

Rob: Obviously, there’s a lot of Johan in this program.

Rob: As a kind of summary, before you even got to work, gotta have been some. Environments or events or something that have [00:22:00] made you look at life in this way. So I’m curious how aware you are, you have certain things that drove you and influenced you in your perspective. 

Johan: It’s an interesting question.

Johan: I haven’t really given it much thought. And I think it’s worthwhile to maybe for myself to go and dive into it and see what it is. I think one of the things for me as a kid, sport of was very much. an important part of my life. I was fortunate enough to be, to do fairly well in the various sports that I took part in.

Johan: And it was varied, cricket, rugby, squash I played field hockey for a long time and a number of, swimming, a number of other things, and it always, one of the things that my dad taught me always is, look, if you want to become better at this, because I remember clearly when I was in, I was 12 years old, and, we called it standard four.

Johan: Now, wasn’t great. I think in South Africa in a cricket game, I was not related to the first team. Now, I shouldn’t have been because it’s only the year after that, which is the final year of primary school. They are typically the guys that get into the first team. But I was frustrated because I knew I was better than them.

Johan: And he said to [00:23:00] me stop whining about it and go and practice. Oh, how much are you practicing? So I took my cricket kit and I walked to school every day after and I went and I did my own practice. And then eventually I became a lot better at it. And, I selected people in the first thing in time.

Johan: So that was a key lesson in order to say if you really want to be better at something, then stop waiting for somebody to do it for you. You’re going to have to go and figure it out yourself. And if you’ve got something and you can teach you something. And that’s what I learned when I was when I was in high school playing squash. 

Johan: Fortunately, when I was 16, I reached, I think it was number 7 in South Africa, but the reason was not because of any innate skill, it was because I practiced my butt off. I spent 3, 4 hours a day, doing cardio work, doing technical draws on the court, etc. And I was fortunate enough to have three people who were really good at the game, who looked at what I did, and gave me pointers and said, no, stop doing this and go do that, this, you’re doing this wrong, etc.

Johan: And I realized this is how much. Quicker. The learning went. Gary Player used, I think Gary Player said this, It’s not about how much you practice, it’s about how much [00:24:00] perfect practice you do. And that’s what makes you better. 

Johan: That’s a sort of the key thing for me.

Johan: It’s having from, from school age, being in filth, say that you want to get better, you can sit and moan and groan about it, or you can wait for somebody to do something for you, or you can try and go do it yourself. And that’s really, for me, those are the people that I find I relate to most in this work, are the guys that say, I really want to do better, I just don’t know how, I’m not trying to convince anybody to do better, but if you are frustrated, then maybe I can help you, let’s work together and get it done.

Rob: I can see a clear influence from that to what you’re doing. And also what you bring out there is I realized and trying to figure out who do I do great work with, who not so much and who doesn’t work. And I came up with something that I called, I think there are some people who are power seekers, and someone phrased it better for me.

Rob: And she said, they’re p eople who want to be right. And then there’s people who just settle just okay that’s how it is. And they’re like, peace. And [00:25:00] what I realized the people that I really did my best work with was truth seekers. And this person said, people who want to get it right.

Rob: And I think that’s what. You’re talking about there’s some people that are like. This is it. It should be like this. Everyone’s got to change, like Donald Trump is the, poster boy. But then there’s other people who are like, okay this is how it is. But how do I do better?

Rob: If you had all your experience and what you’ve seen in the corporate world and what you’ve seen from coaching people as what do you think’s wrong in the world of work today? And. If you were president of work organizations or something that they had to change.

Rob: What would be your mandate? It’s a great 

Johan: question. I have thought about something similar in the past and I concluded that making a dramatic change would probably be more problematic than anything else. But people are creatures of habits, and they’re creatures that they’re used to doing things certain ways.

Johan: The one thing that I would try install as a fundamental [00:26:00] cultural principle is start having conversations again. I have seen but as a consultant working with different companies, as well as in companies of the last 12 years, I would expect, when tools like slack and, G chat and all these things came out this and then email specifically, people have many people have lost the ability to have an effective.

Johan: Non confrontational discussion with somebody else, they hide away behind the keyboard, and I think that one wastes a lot of time, two, creates a lot of frustration because there’s no context, there’s no emotion, you can’t see somebody’s face or hear their voice, and therefore you cannot relate to what they’re trying to really express to you.

Johan: I suppose in the work that you’re doing on relationships, this is something that you probably find quite often, is that ability to really convey. The message. 

Johan: Somebody that I reported to a couple of years ago said, you’ve got to see the white for the black. Don’t just see the text on the page, see what’s written between it, see the white on the page.

Johan: So that’s one thing, if I [00:27:00] think of One thing that I would probably change is stop sending millions of Slack, stop sending millions of Teams messages. Stop trying to have conversations over email. Pick up the phone and phone. Walk to somebody if you’re in the office and just go and spend two minutes there.

Johan: Yes, I know it’s frustrating. Yes, I know it’s sometimes interruptive. But if you get that Slack message or that Teams, it’s disruptive in any case. And you can solve it much faster. 

Johan: That human connection, that ability to connect to somebody else on a human level, I think that might be something that’s either been lost or we are losing it.

Rob: Totally agree with that is a fundamental. One of my four parts of what I do is teach people to disagree without drama because relationships break down at the point of conflict. And people think if you talk to people about their relationships, he’ll be, Oh, my ex was an arsehole.

Rob: But actually that behavior came long like the relationship broke long before and it broke when you had a conflict. Because people to get together and it’s honeymoon and everyone’s everything’s perfect and [00:28:00] we love each other. We will always do this, but then they have Children or something serious where they have a big conflict that they can’t resolve.

Rob: That’s when they stop communicating and when they stop communicating, then they feel less connection and that’s when the they don’t like each other as much and that’s when the behavior happens. 

Rob: So yeah, that’s a fundamental. And I think I could empathize with someone who’s your target market because when I worked where I’ve worked, like I say I felt like I did a good job, but.

Rob: When there was a problem, if someone, I would classify people as good or bad. And someone did something I’d go that’s it. I also when I was a kid in primary school I was one of the best footballers and then I went to high school and I didn’t get in a football team because I was smaller While I was skillful, I was lazy and I know because I think because I played football younger, I had better control.

Rob: I was good at going past people, but I didn’t like tackling. I didn’t want to run around. It was like, give me the ball and I’ll do something with it. And as you got older. It [00:29:00] was the workers who were running around everywhere who made all the difference. And they were the ones that got in the team and I got in and I was like, okay, do I really want to be a professional?

Rob: I’ll give it up. And then when things didn’t go right and people didn’t understand I probably didn’t explain myself very well, but I would go, okay that’s it. That’s it. I’ll go somewhere else and I would just leave and I would walk away from relationships rather than have that conversation.

Rob: But obviously learning about relationships, learning about communication, learning more about people. I now understand that what I really needed was really what you do. And I think my work shows me that. The real problem in relationships is conflict and the problem with conflict is we have a frame that conflict is scary.

Rob: And we start from a basis of not knowing how to resolve that conflict. And so it activates fear of fight or flight. So we either become aggressive or in which case we turn people off. Or [00:30:00] we run away from it. And yeah, so I can totally see that. So I’m, I’d be on board with your change.

Rob: I vote for you as president of all organizations. It’s 

Johan: one of those, as I said, it’s hard for people to make that change. It’s basically, I think, there’s so much written about younger people these days, and I feel like I’m ancient. But guys who have grown up with cellular technology and whatsapp and all the rest of the stuff, for them, it’s how they communicate, and it’s almost I don’t for a moment suggest it’s the right way just because that’s your generational preference, but I think it’s therefore harder.

Johan: When I grew up in the 80s and the 90s, we didn’t have that, you had to have a conversation. And I couldn’t, I’ll be honest with you if that was a situation, even though my dad would have sent me a text, I wouldn’t, he would have written paragraphs, with details and bulleted and numbered and so forth.

Johan: But it was much easier for him just to look me in the eye and say, listen, I You know, I don’t like that, or, this is what you should be doing, and you can say so much less by conveying so much more, and feeling so much closer, so [00:31:00] much more, what’s that word that’s often overused, authentic.

Johan: It’s genuine, it’s, it’s you can’t hide behind it. If part of the conversation is talking about writing, and video and such, setting it, you can’t hide behind it. You’ve got to, you’ve got to say what you need to say. And then, the stuff that he’s talking about, helping people understand how to not do drama, how to not, take it personally, how to and that’s difficult.

Johan: That’s really tricky stuff. If you haven’t, if somebody hasn’t, if you haven’t grown up with it and somebody hasn’t shown you, then, that’s a tough learning curve. 

Rob: And a lot of people have a fear of conflict because they came from a violent home or a row meant people screaming and that door slamming and it’s scary as a young child.

Rob: So yeah, it is a tough skill to learn. But yeah I’m totally getting that message of connection. I think there is a lot in naturally we want to hide.

Rob: Naturally. We want to shy away from anything that’s difficult and it’s easy when you’ve got dating apps or you’ve got messaging apps, you can avoid having the tough conversations. I think you’ve nailed 

Johan: it there, Rob. That’s the best way I’ve 

Rob: heard it described so [00:32:00] far. 

Rob: We’ll always go for instant gratification and, but everything meaningful.

Rob: Takes, like it’s sport takes years of practice, hours of practice. And what we’re losing or what I think maybe younger people even more are losing, but all of us to some extent are losing is that we’re losing the attention, but we’re also losing that connection and people are craving that connection, but they’re trying to get it an instant gratification.

Rob: It’s really about connection and communication. 

Johan: There’s one final point and I’ll finish with this I’ve got to drop off and that is that you’ll see when, I’ll share with you next week when we’ve got the website up and running that one of the key things that repeated there, the term mastery, learning something, acquiring the information is one thing, you’re going to be able to apply it confidently.

Johan: And that, as far as outcome is concerned, that, that is the focus that we are driving for is to make sure that, once you acquired the information in this field, that you become a master at applying it, to your point that sometimes takes a long walk [00:33:00] to, to actually get done.

Rob: Mastery is so important. Are you familiar with George Leonard’s work on mastery? 

Rob: He wrote the book Mastery. There’s two books, Mastery, but I’ll give you the gist of it. And so basically, he related it actually to relationships. And he said that there are Dabblers so these are people who would dabble in relationships and they love the excitement, as soon as it didn’t work, they move off to somewhere else.

Rob: And they’re constantly seeking that high. Then there was obsessives. And these are the people that they take their relationships really seriously. They read a book and go, this is the secret. And they’d always try and get. This response from the person and so they’re constantly trying to outdo what they did before so that they get more of a response.

Rob: But obviously there’s only so much you, there’s only so many surprise weekends and things you can throw. Then there’s the hacker and the hacker is Someone who’s reached a certain level from taking shortcuts and that’s it. I’m quite happy with this and so they’d be so this is the person that would be like sit on the sofa and don’t want to do anything and whatever.

Rob: And then [00:34:00] suddenly their wife or partner would say to them, I’m not happy. I’m leaving. They go, why? I’m perfectly, we were fine. And it’s because they never took account of the other person. And then it’s about being a master. A master is going beyond the shortcuts of those things.

Rob: But it’s a short book, really. I’m not sure if I’ve got it here. 

Johan: No. I think I found it yet. Mastery, the key to success and long term fulfillment by George Leonard. 

Rob: That’s it. I did get his name right. Yeah. Yeah. And that’s a really interesting book. 

Johan: I’m going to try and find one locally because it doesn’t seem to have a Kindle edition.

Johan: So I’m going to try and find them, but thanks for that reference. I’d love to read stuff like that. 

Rob: It’s quite an old book. But it’s quite short. I think you’ll like it. It’s one I’ve loved that frame that you have anyway. 

Rob: Thank you for your time. I don’t want to keep you too long but it’s been fascinating to understand and to know a little bit more and to connect.

Rob: Thank you very much from my side. Thank you. It’s been wonderful for me to try and to share a little bit of what we do, thank you very much for taking interest in that. 

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