Addressing Toxic Attitudes to Create a Positive and Inclusive Workforce

Intro: Bring Out The Talent, Bring Out The Talent, Bring Out The Talent. Welcome to Bring Out The Talent, the podcast featuring learning and development experts, discussing innovative approaches and industry insights. Tune in to hear our talent… help develop yours. Now, here are your hosts. TTA’s CEO and president Maria Melfa and Talent Manager. Jocelyn Allen.

Maria Melfa (00:23): Hello everyone. This is Maria.

Jocelyn Allen (00:26): Hi, we’re back again. It’s Jocelyn, how are you? Maria? We had a beautiful weekend this weekend.

Maria Melfa (00:31): It was very nice. Did a lot of yard work. I cannot walk today. <laugh> how about yourself?

Jocelyn Allen (00:39): See, it was amazing. What pulling a weed out of the ground will do to your body? Like I have a scratch that really stings. I’m being a wicked baby about it, but yes, my back is also quite sore.

Maria Melfa (00:50): <laugh> absolutely. I’m embarrassed. Oh, the joys of aging, but, but … having the yard. Yes, absolutely. But it was overrated. Very nice to have a 65 degree day of sunshine. That’s a perfect day for me. I don’t like it. You’re like me where I don’t like it too hot. Agreed.

Jocelyn Allen (01:10): I’m excited about our episode today. Let’s talk about our guest.

Maria Melfa (01:14): I am very excited also. It’s definitely a topic that I love to talk about because I’ve had a lot of experience in this area. So as leaders, we wear many hats, coach, mentor, motivator, problem solver, and beyond, but one role, many leaders aren’t always prepared for is the role of the bad attitude. Modifier. Unfortunately, an employee with a toxic attitude can seriously disrupt things in the workplace. Research shows that when faced with a toxic employee, 78% of employees become less committed to their organization, especially if they’re not doing anything about it. and in today’s episode, we dive into the importance of addressing a bad attitude in the workplace and how to tackle this issue head on to help answer these questions we speak with Lisa Harrison. Lisa is a diversity and human resource consultant with over 85 years of experience. <laugh> actually, Lisa, Lisa only has 20 years of experience. I just thought I’d throw that in. Welcome, Lisa.

Lisa Harrison (02:30): Thank you. I’m so thrilled to be here.

Jocelyn Allen (02:33): I mean, and Lisa, we have to say, you look great. 85 years of experience in HR. I mean, that’s, that’s quite an accomplishment. I know what that can do to a person, uh, resilience-wise. So you should be proud of that alone. That threw me for a loop. I was like, absolutely.

Maria Melfa (02:51): I can throw those …

Jocelyn Allen (02:53): You should. Right. Just to see if people are actually paying attention, including our guests. Cuz now Lisa, you have to live up to that. So <laugh>, it’s so

Lisa Harrison (02:59): Funny.

Maria Melfa (03:00): Yeah. You have to talk about issues back in the 1920s.

Jocelyn Allen (03:04): Tell us how things have evolved over the last eight decades.

Lisa Harrison (03:07): Yeah. Yeah. <laugh>

Maria Melfa (03:09): So, as I mentioned, you know, this is definitely a subject that I could relate to because well, we started the training associates about 28 and a half years ago. And back in the day, I didn’t realize how one negative attitude could really ruin the team or just permeate through the whole organization. And I know a lot of corporations will hold onto some employees because they are great employees. They get great work done, but if they don’t get along with other people, it really can destroy an organization. And we have been crazy about finding the right people and making a lot of cultural changes as far as people being a culture fit over the last many years. And I must say, it’s just, we really live and breathe this and have such a great team, but let’s get started with you. Mm-hmm

Jocelyn Allen (04:05): <affirmative> mm-hmm <affirmative> absolutely. I mean, you make a great point, Maria, when you say that a lot of times these, the toxic is allowed to kind of thrive in the environment because the people who are kind of supplementing that are really high performers. So Lisa, what if somebody is listening right now and saying, yeah, I’ve heard the same song and dance, but I want my company to thrive? Like what do you do? Where do leaders start? If the problem with the bad attitude is coming from somebody who does so well, organizationally.

Lisa Harrison (04:39): Yeah. And I think that’s something that’s really common because I mean, we can, it’s more common than we think. And if you just think of the like look at the media and the political landscape that we’ve kind of been in for the last few years, we have been rewarding negative behavior. It has led to a lot of success for people in the mainstream. What’s great about, I will say specifically for Massachusetts is that there there’s so many workplaces that I work with in Massachusetts, where there is a zero-tolerance policy. And so sometimes when I come in to do training with places, they’ll already say we have a zero-tolerance policy for workplace harassment, for people who are bullies, how did we get here? What happened and what can we do to correct it? So the reality kind of, of where we are right now at, at this current point in time is that it’s not new news.

Lisa Harrison (05:42): We’re in the midst of this great resignation. And what’s happening is those high performers with a really toxic mindset are kind of, it’s all getting it. It’s getting caught up with them, them because organizations are seen, wow, people are leaving. And what has been happening is people aren’t leaving organizations because they’re not committed to the mission or because the organization isn’t the right fit. People are leaving toxic work environments because they know at this point in time, they’re going to be able to find a more inclusive environment than what they’re currently in. But it is, it is common that the leaders don’t typically see the toxicity coming from the high performers because they’re high performers because oftentimes they’re bringing the organization in lots of money. They’re making high profits, how they’re doing. It is not sometimes what we want to see in the workplace, but it, it, what typically happens and how it comes to light to management is when we start to see teams…

Lisa Harrison (06:59): And I’m not just talking about like employees around this one toxic person, I’m saying like we’re in a place in time where we’re seeing teams of people resigning and you’re left with this one toxic person. And what typically happens at that point is I get called in. So I started this work 20 years ago in, or I guess 2001. So over 20 years ago, I started by doing diversity work and doing training with protected groups of employees. So when protected groups of employees leave the workplace. So for here in Massachusetts, we’re talking about people of color women, people with disabilities, and veterans, when they start, to exit the workplace for other opportunities, then I’ll get called in. People are saying, we’re, we’re losing all of our, these protected members what’s happening. And how do we correct this? So what I usually do at that point is then start training and start training because that toxic employee isn’t going to change on their own.

Lisa Harrison (08:06): I, I have not ever seen that happen. Oftentimes people need training. People need to see, okay, here’s what things could look like. And geez, like I’ve created all this negativity around me. And I, I think what had been happening, I will say when I started this work 20 years ago, we weren’t really talking about the groups of people. It would be like a person here or there years later it’d be another person. And so that toxic employee was really thriving off the workplace environment because they weren’t getting caught because it, it wasn’t something that the organization could relate in a good way back to that, that employee. But certainly, it happens when it does happen, but I can, I can get into this further. But you know, training is really the first step and the hope is during that training, there’s some kind of awakening for that employee to see, oh wow, I’ve created all of these things. This has had a really negative ripple effect while I might be successful. Geez, I’m sitting in this cubicle and all alone at this point because everyone around me has left.

Jocelyn Allen (09:20): It’s an interesting point that you raise, excuse me, Lisa, when you say that it has a trickle effect, which kinda leads me to my next question is that one of the trickiest parts of managing an employee with a toxic mindset or attitude is preventing that attitude from actually spreading. So in your training, what are some of the ways that you give leaders as a way to tackle the issue at hand and prevent that spread?

Lisa Harrison (09:47): Yeah, it, it does. It, it definitely does spread people try to catch it quickly. And so some of the things, you know, what I talk to leaders about when I do these training is training and transparency, not just to have the training, because what always happens whenever I’m doing any kind of anti-bullying training, workplace, civility, training, workplace, harassment training. The first thing that people ask me at the first training is what happened. Why are we here? Something happened. Like people jump to that all the time something happened. And sometimes something did happen. Regardless of whether something happened or something didn’t happen. I always tell people, oh, I’m here. This is, is what your leadership wants. It’s a great thing to do. It’s, it’s good training to have because it’s just a reminder, some workplaces, it, it really is just a reminder and there’s nothing going on, but it doesn’t help to say for me as a trainer to say like, this is happening or this isn’t happening.

Lisa Harrison (10:54): However, for leaders, when something really bad has gone down, it is really important to be transparent because it makes other employees around that various situations feel safe and feel like something’s happening. The worst thing is when an incident occurs and then people feel like, oh geez, this is getting swept under the rug. No one’s talking about it. And once there’s that kind of training and transparency, as it starts to like you said, start to seep into other team members and other team members are thinking, oh geez, I’m gonna be part of this bullying ring. They’ll think twice, okay? Leaders are talking about this. People are saying are calling out our behavior. If you can get it early, sometimes that’s really good. And there are times when you can’t or when people don’t really care. I’ve trained sometimes when there are a group of people and they’re in the training, kind of saying things that they think are funny during the training saying things that they believe to like, oh, this is just a joke, but you can really see at that point kind of the influence that they’re having over others.

Lisa Harrison (12:11): And then, the nice thing I would say about where we are right now is that leaders are starting to see, that this has a really big impact on the organization. So I was reading this study recently, and it was really interesting because it was saying that two of the top, most toxic attributes were disrespect and non-inclusivity. And the non-inclusivity is the main reason why I do this training when people are starting to feel like, oh, geez. As a person of color, as a L G B T community member, as someone who is a veteran or a person with a disability, I am feeling bullied in the workplace. This isn’t the place for me. Not only am I going to exit this workplace, but I’m now gonna tell all of my community members that, oh, if you’re gay, this is not the place to go.

Lisa Harrison (13:05): If you are a person of color, don’t work here. So organizations and leaders are really starting to pay attention to this. And I think I do believe that that kind of transparency around talking about, we are a workplace that’s committed to inclusivity. We’re a workplace that wants to celebrate this and not have people feel bullied when they come to work. And that kind of conversation is how we kind of flip the toxic mindset on its head and say like, okay, we’re gonna start to spout really positive, inclusive messaging to counteract this negative messaging that this one person is trying to infect throughout this group of people. So that’s how I would start with training and transparency. And I, I do always, I try when I go into a situation to give the leaders the benefit of the doubt that, that they’re reporting this they’re coming to me because they really want to see change.

Lisa Harrison (14:09): They want to see inclusivity and they just don’t have the tools to be able to get there. And so that’s kind of how we start. Another thing that I think is really important. One other concrete suggestion that I often give leaders and that I will work with, um, organizations on is to do a 360 review. Those are always really important. So what that looks like is not only is it the manager of that bully, who’s going to give some feedback, but it will be the coworkers. It will be colleagues. It will be people who’ve worked on projects with that person to say, okay, yeah, this person, Jesus, this person had really negative behavior when they were working on this project. This person tried to get me in on this behavior and was saying X, Y, and Z about employees. So that way you have this all-around feedback that you can talk with that person about. It’s always my hope that once that feedback is given and you can sit down and have a really transparent conversation with that, that the bully says, wow, I had no idea that I was talking in such a way that was impacting people. And then we work with that person to change. So that’s always my hope to be able to work with folks on switching that attitude from being really negative and toxic to, oh, geez. Can’t believe that happened. Like, what are some ways we can start to improve this attitude?

Maria Melfa (15:34): So do you think it is possible to really coach somebody that has a bad attitude?

Lisa Harrison (15:42): Yeah, I, I do because, so there was a situation that I had where I went into an organization and this was a director of this big organization. This was over 20 years ago. So this person has long since retired, but this person, he, he just, he didn’t know what he was saying and that his actions were bullying and, and in intimidating people. And we had, at that point in time, we had a, we had a laundry list of things that he had said and done and sat down and talked to him and he was floored. And I know that’s surprising because I feel like you have to have some idea. If you have pages of people being like, if this person said this or this person made this inappropriate joke or this, but he just, he felt terrible. He felt terrible. He was like, what can I do?

Lisa Harrison (16:39): I, I really enjoy these employees. I didn’t realize my sense of humor was really crossed the line. And so we worked with him, he went through six months of training. In addition to the training, we met with him one on one, talked with him about doing some training, talk back. So after his training, we had him write down what was, what he had learned in the training. And it was incredible, like just an entirely different workplace. When I went there, I probably went like eight months after he’d gone through all this training and he was throwing an employee barbecue. And people were like, yeah, this is so different. Like, we have seen a 180 change from this person. I think for him, it was possible because he wanted to change. And there are people oftentimes that I’ll work with who want to change. There are sometimes absolutely people who will say, I am aware, like I, I, a hundred percent had I had someone in a training once who said, I know how I am, am I’ve worked here.

Lisa Harrison (17:51): And this guy had worked at this organization for 35 years. He was like, I am literally retiring in eight weeks. I know I’m not a good person and I’m not gonna change. And so, yeah, there, there are absolutely times when I run into folks who he didn’t, he didn’t participate in the training. He didn’t want to change leadership, HR. They were all aware of what was going on with this person. They just kind of let him run out his eight weeks. He retired and, and that’s kind of what, what they did, but what was really interesting is they said to me, he wasn’t always like this. He kind of increasingly throughout the years got worse and his attitude was more negative with the teams he worked with, but he wasn’t, there are some bullies who will literally go out of their way to bully people and to be toxic and to be, have a really big presence.

Lisa Harrison (18:51): And he wasn’t like that. He just wasn’t, he wasn’t good on teams. So we just didn’t have enough information to let him go or do something more punitive, with that type of person. And so we kind of sat down after training, after he wasn’t participating. And leadership said he’s leaving in eight weeks. Let’s just ride this out. He was sitting at that point completely by himself so that he wasn’t impacting others. And so that, that was kind of, that was an interesting thing to do. But I think had that it been a different time and he had no, let’s say he had no plans of leaving. Yeah. I, I would say there are times when I, when I’ve kind of hit a roadblock, but I do, I do believe I, I use that story of the gentleman who changed because I do believe that can happen. I do believe a hundred percent. There are times when people just don’t know and want to commit and can put all their energy into being better rather than making people’s lives worse.

Maria Melfa (20:03): So this particular gentleman, what did you do to coach him? How long did the process take?

Lisa Harrison (20:10): Yeah, so I coached him and I was working at the time with some other folks. We would sit down weekly with him and kind of go through how were these training that you went through this week. Because of kind of the severity of some of the things that had arisen. He wasn’t, he was only doing this training. We, wanted him to come back to work in the right way. So aside from the training, he was meeting with us, but O other than that, he had worked at this organization for a long time. So he had, we could, could pay him to not interact with folks for those six months. And just do, you know, really focus on these training, focus on being a better manager. So, we sat down, we would go through what he’d been learning. I remember at one point he did a presentation for the three of us on it was really like a teach back stuff that we as trainers knew, but he, what we liked about that was it wasn’t just, I’m gonna read you this. And these slides that I saw today, because this <laugh>, this was before PowerPoint. So these were like overhead slides. So he really had to actually sit down and take notes, cuz he wasn’t getting any paper notes of what was happening. And we could tell by his remorse, we could tell when we sat with him and the number of times that he just felt terrible. He even got many times to the point of crying and just feeling like, geez, I can’t, I can’t believe I said or did this. I had no idea that this was something I shouldn’t have done. So it was really kind of, to gauge and see his attitude and to see how he was feeling about these training. Was he willing to go? He was very willing. He was someone who, just had a lot of energy.

Lisa Harrison (22:12): He just wasn’t exhibiting it in the most appropriate way before this training. So it was really just to kind of see, are we able to shift this energy in a different direction and re we really were through this pre-presentation, through his notes, through some of the initiatives that very last month we met with him and we were prepping him to get back to work. Um, and we were saying, so what are some of the things now that you’ve gone through this training now that you understand, like, what are some of the things that you’re gonna start to do in the workplace? And he did start to do more appreciation days and he’d been with a group of different directors and no other directors in this group had been doing that. So he start, he himself started to come up with ideas that were really innovative and really showed, okay, not only did I, did I go to this training, but I’m synthesizing, synthesizing what I’ve learned in a way to make a positive environment.

Jocelyn Allen (23:15): Great. Lisa, thank you. And it brings up an interesting flip perspective where you’re saying, the reason why this was successful was that he wanted to change. So what about the manager who is doing the right thing and investing the time to make a change, but the coachee per se, who is the person creating this negative environment isn’t buying into it, isn’t seeing the issues at hand, and making the change. What are the next steps there simply put, are there two options you invest more or you let them go?

Lisa Harrison (23:51): Yeah. So it, and that’s happened. That has absolutely happened where I’ve worked with. I, I went into a situation where there were, there were ringleaders. So there was this one person and he had kind of negatively impacted another person. They were these two ringleaders. So it was such a difficult scenario because they were being very overt about the bullying during not only in the workplace but during this training. So we worked really long and hard with this group. So we separated the ring, lead leaders. One thing that I always talk to folks about not doing is sometimes people think if you’re working in a big company who has different branches, oh, I’m just going to transfer this person to another branch and they’re going to keep bullying, cuz you’ve done nothing but transfer them and you haven’t given them skills to change. So what I would say is when we separated these folks, when they were in different areas of the office, different teams, working with different people with one of them, the bullying continued.

Lisa Harrison (25:05): And we did all of the same stuff. We did one on one coaching. We put him through training. We had him do a teach-back that was so clear in his apathy that he wasn’t learning anything. He didn’t wanna change. He thought it was stupid. He just was like, really? It was such a nuisance for him, to go through the things we wanted him to go through. So we did six months of this. He didn’t change, um, his behavior actually, which was strange, ended up getting worse. So I, with, with people, I always say, we wanna try our best to be able to see change. And this was so clear that that wasn’t happening. We worked for six months with him, but six months before that the manager had worked with him. So at that point, we did have to, resort to, this organization’s protocol for employee discipline.

Lisa Harrison (26:10): So we did have to, it has the manager, we had several levels of managers involved, issuing a verbal warning, then a written warning. It was clear. Things were getting worse. And then there was just it kind of the straw that this last event that he knew, he, he intentionally knew was not the right thing to do. And so at that point, we had to terminate and there are, so there are times when that happens. It’s, it’s never what I like to see happen. It’s never what the managers want to see. We always want to see that people want to change, but it was so clear that he wasn’t. And I mean, it, that he wasn’t going to change in, in that situation. When I visited six months later, after he was gone, it was, as if people were like walking on clouds, like they just, there was a relief.

Lisa Harrison (27:04): People could breathe again. There weren’t. He had created a place where people were really, really fearful. And so, I mean, that’s positive again, it’s never what we’d like to see happen, but it was positive that, that, that saved in the office of 150 people from a lot of fear, anxiety, stress, cuz bullying in the workplace has just terrible mental health and physical health impacts on the workplace. And so to see like, geez, people were like friendly doing various normal workplace things with each other, going out to lunch, taking walks, we could see the mental health effects it had when this person left. So that, that part was really positive because we wanted to keep, we wanted to retain the rest of the workforce.

Maria Melfa (27:57): Why did the company wait six months?

Lisa Harrison (28:01): Yeah. So I, a lot of times I work with a lot of unions and when you’re working with a lot of unions, especially I will say in Massachusetts, you have to go through certain union regulations, that person had a union representative involved and they, it just, it slows the process down. And I know management wanted to respect the way that the process was running. So it wasn’t, it wasn’t that we were, you know, that folks didn’t want to see …a faster process. It was just kind of logistics at that point with all the different people who had gotten involved with him with his team of people being on the same page with our team of people. So it was really just kind of a logistical situation.

Jocelyn Allen (28:57): I can see at that point too. It becomes maybe a problem for other employees to see that much time invested on somebody who is clearly not gonna change. So I mean, you do what you have to do, right? It doesn’t always end up in the best possible outcome, but the results of it, as you said, at least they created a positive environment after realizing that this wasn’t going to change in any way, other than removing the problem from its environment.

Maria Melfa (29:23): Lisa, can you give us an example of what an action plan might look like?

Lisa Harrison (29:27): Starting with a one-on-one conversation. Sometimes, you know, I, if you have folks who are really willing to listen and learn, this is great because sometimes you can sit down and say, we’re concerned because of this. And it’s really interesting because when we were not in a virtual environment, things such as I, I, there was a situation that to me, well, I’m not gonna, I don’t need to share how I felt about it, but a bunch of employees was, were really concerned because one of their managers and this happens more often than not that at, in the lunchroom when you’re not virtually or remote people talk about what they have for lunch. And there was this one, a supervisor who was just terrible about what people were eating and she was body shaming. She was just saying really inappropriate things. And so I started with a one-on-one conversation.

Lisa Harrison (30:27): She literally had no idea. And she was like, oh my gosh, this is terrible. So when that’s kind of the first step and the action plan, because if someone is like, whoa, this is really bad. It, it, may, or it may not constitute workplace bullying. And if someone can commit to that change right away, or, like this woman said, what can I do? Or are there training are, I wanna be a better person. So we worked on that action plan together. That’s, that’s awesome that you, you want someone like that who’s willing to kind of see and change, but in a situation where maybe a, a large group from like the director, that example, that was a really big office of like 200 people who were impacted by this one person. Yeah. We put an action plan together that was doing training after the training.

Lisa Harrison (31:18): It was having these one-on-one conversations with us. But more recently in, in the kind of in, in the world that we’re in now, one thing that we suggest that I work with people on is, so once people have gone through the six months, the three to six months of training, because that’s what I always say. There’s a three to six-month track that people can go through this training, especially if it’s a director, someone who’s in a lot of power, I always think it’s really great. If a lot of people are impacted. And if once that person starts to change and really take in the good information on how to create an inclusive environment, then I, I suggest that we co-train, that this person gives a presentation to their, their group of employees so that their employees see, wow, okay, like this person, not only did this person just do go through this training, but now this person is, has really taken in this material and is, is training it to us and is owning up to some of the behaviors that we saw.

Lisa Harrison (32:32): Another route within the action plan would also be to write an article for the company on the benefits, of creating an inclusive workplace. I think what that shows is, again, going back to that inclusivity and, and disrespect are the two top things, why people leave a toxic environment. If someone can write an, an action, write an article rather on here are the benefits of an inclusive workplace and people start to see, wow. So this person really has changed. This. Person’s be gone through six months of training. They’re writing this article for one of our newsletters on this. This is great. And then I would say after that, it’s it, you have to then meet. I recommend for the action plan to meet with that person quarterly and just check in, and then, do that for the next three years, because you don’t want that person to have gone through that training and then slip back into negative behavior.

Lisa Harrison (33:33): And also I, as part of the action plan, transparency and honest feedback from the not only the supervisor but the person who that director might be supervising and to see, okay, over time, who has this, how does this action plan work over time? Whether I’m working one on one with someone or creating a strategic plan, I always have these quarterly implementation performance reviews. So kind of like key performance indicators am, am I, is this person changing? How are we measuring the change? What are some things that we can do if we’re not seeing enough change? If we’re seeing, okay, this person was working with this group of people now, they’re not. So let’s start to change their performance indicators to be appropriate to this point in time, cuz they’re working with another group of people. So, I believe that the action plans work really well.

Lisa Harrison (34:32): And again, you have to be with someone who is sometimes I’ve worked with someone who was so committed to the mission of the organization that he wanted to change. It wasn’t as though what was really interesting is he wasn’t necessarily changing because of the people around him, he was changing because of what the organization did and the benefits that the organization was giving to the greater community. And it’s fine cuz either why, either way, we saw a huge behavior change, but definitely action plans are, are, are, I think are really effective, but you really need that person to be on board.

Jocelyn Allen (35:13): Lisa you’ve shared a lot of insight today. So thank you. I think to wrap it all up. What are some tips that you could share with our listeners who wanna stay one step ahead of this issue? Are there any preventative actions that can be taken to ensure positive workplace culture?

Lisa Harrison (35:29): Yeah. I mean definitely positive workplace culture is set by tone. And one of the things that I talk to leaders about in terms of tips, listen all the time, be an active listener. So don’t just listen to listen, like make sure that you’re taking that in and saying like what I oftentimes, whenever I’m doing a training on the power of listing and active listing is to say, okay, so what I hear you saying is this, I just wanna make sure I’m getting it right to synthesize what you’ve heard back to that person. So being an active listener, be aware, take notice, take notice that once you see, start to see people leaving in the workplace, or if you start to hear that folks are not as engaged or start to hear the little grumblings of people who are like, geez, I, I, don’t not sure if this is the type of place for me be aware, take notice, do something, catch it sooner rather than later, set the tone for creating an inclusive environment that starts with you.

Lisa Harrison (36:42): It starts with your languaging. It starts with the mission. It starts with the types of positive things that you have around the office. What are, what do your, what do your pictures in your office look like? What, what’s the marketing around the office? Is it positive? Is it funny? Is it something that’s engaging? Make sure that all of your marketing is really inclusive and encouraging of a productive environment, with no blaming or shaming. That’s huge. I say that all the time in my training don’t blame or shame yourself don’t blame or shame others. So if you start to see something, just call it out, see what little changes can be made, and to commit to small acts of kindness and positive attitudes. So just the small things, the everyday things you’ll notice you’re in a good workplace. If when you go to the other room, someone says, oh, can I get you a glass of water?

Lisa Harrison (37:38): I’m heading over to get some water. Oh, you know what? I’m, I’m heading out to lunch. Do you want me to pick something up for you? So set the tone for a positive attitude, um, and a place where you can have good conversations and you’re not excluding people or excluding groups of people. Also as a leader, you wanna set the tone to create an environment where people will come in and trust you. So when something does go awry, you wanna make sure that you can be the person they come to, that they can talk to you. No one to shift and change towards a more positive, positive attitude, and always err on the side of caution. So as a leader, you wanna keep it positive, but you also wanna keep it professional. So I always tell people that sometimes people are thinking will, should I do X, Y, and Z for a Christmas party or for a holiday party rather. And think about it, think about the implications of what you wanna do. Is it positive? Is it going to include everyone who is here? How can I be more inclusive, stay upbeat, be a leader that is someone who some folks will want to come to and trust? So those are, so those are the main tips really that I have, but it’s, it’s definitely possible to, we see it all the time, places that are creating really inclusive, positive environments. So definitely possible.

Jocelyn Allen (39:04):
Lisa, thank you. Yes for thank you for the amazing episode. But now we come to a really, really fun part of the show, which is the TTA 10 David

David Yas (39:18): It’s the TTA 10, 10 final questions for our guest.

Jocelyn Allen (39:26): All right, Lisa. So as I talk to you about before we got the episode started, we have this fun little segment called the TTA 10. I’ve got 10 random questions. I’m going to ask you. They’re all really fun. Very playful. Nothing to put you on the spot too bad. I hope. But the goal is, is that you will get all of these questions answered in 90 seconds or less and become a TT champion. If not, well, we’ll address that when we get there. Okay. But hopefully, we result in another TTA 1- champion here, David,

David Yas (39:59): We have 90, we have 90 seconds on the clock. So whenever you’re ready, Jocelyn.

Jocelyn Allen (40:05): All right, Lisa, what TV show do you always recommend for your friend’s next binge?

Lisa Harrison (40:11): Parks and Rec.

Jocelyn Allen (40:13):  Good one. What is 13 plus six?

Lisa Harrison (40:18): 19.

Jocelyn Allen (40:19): What was your favorite subject in school?

Lisa Harrison (40:21): English.

Jocelyn Allen (40:22): What was your least favorite subject in school

Lisa Harrison (40:24): Science.

Jocelyn Allen (40:26): If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be?

Lisa Harrison (40:30): Flying.

Jocelyn Allen (40:31): What’s your favorite place that you’ve ever traveled to?

Lisa Harrison (40:37): Columbia.

Jocelyn Allen (40:38): Columbia. What’s your favorite reality TV show?

Lisa Harrison (40:41): Masked Singer.

Jocelyn Allen (40:42): Pancakes or waffles?

Lisa Harrison (40:44): Pancakes.

Jocelyn Allen (40:45): If you could pick a new career today, what would you choose?

Lisa Harrison (40:48): I don’t know. Actor. I don’t know. <laugh> no athlete. Athlete, tennis player,

Jocelyn Allen (40:52): Tennis player. A tennis player. All right, well that’s our 10. I must say, oh I will. That was probably like way under 90 seconds. It had to be. But, but David, what’s the official rule?

David Yas (41:01): No drama here. We might have a new record with the time of just 50 seconds. You Lisa are indeed a TTA 10 champion outstanding! Stand by for your salute. Lisa, you are a TTA 10 champion. You may shout this news from the rooftops, dazzle your friends at cocktail parties, and include it on your resume. Now that you have achieved this coveted honor, you will be respected and loved by captains of industry, heads of state, social media influencers, and Uber drivers. The sun will shine brighter for you. Food will taste better and life will have new meaning. Congratulations, Lisa, you are a TTA 10 champion.

Jocelyn Allen (41:49): All right, Lisa. Highest accolades and approval … From the most important people … Uber drivers. No, no, it’s all the Uber drivers. You guys are doing hard stuff out there, so don’t want anybody hating me for that. <laugh>

Maria Melfa (42:03): Well, thank you so much, Lisa. We really appreciated you being our guest at Bring Out The Talent.

Lisa Harrison (42:11): Thank you. Thanks so much for having me.

Jocelyn Allen (42:17): For more information on Lisa and how to bring a positive workplace culture to your organization. Visit us at We’ll see you later.