GoalSpan Logo
Mar 19, 2024
play_arrow pause

76. Social Presence

76. Social Presence
In this enlightening and transformative episode, Jeff welcomes Jeanine Turner as his guest. Jeanine is the author of "Being Present." Jeanine is also a Professor at Georgetown University, and she brings over three decades of research into how we use communication technologies and how they, in turn, shape our interactions at work, at home, and beyond. They start by dissecting the concept of "budgeted presence," where tasks often take precedence over relationships. From the challenges of navigating competitive and entitled presence to the importance of creating invitational spaces, Jeanine provides invaluable insights into how our tech habits impact the depth of our connections. Jeff and Jeanine uncover the nuances of persuasive communication while keeping the delicate balance between maintaining focus and fostering dialogues that nurture empathy and understanding. Get Jeanine's book here: Being Present: Commanding Attention at Work Being Present: Commanding Attention at Work


Intro: Duration: (01:50)

Opening music jingle & sound effects

Jeff Hunt:

This is the Human Capital Podcast, and I'm Jeff Hunt. Today, I would like to welcome you to an episode that I hope will be both enlightening and transformative. My guest is gonna help me dive into a topic that is increasingly crucial in our hyperconnected world. The art of being present in an age where the average person checks their phone 144 times a day.

And where 60 percent of our work communications are conducted digitally, the challenge of maintaining genuine social presence is more pressing than ever. Companies across the globe are grappling with the consequences of a digitally distracted workforce. From reduced productivity, which costs the U. S. economy an estimated 650 billion a year.

To the erosion of interpersonal relationships that are the bedrock of creative collaboration and trust, the stakes couldn't be higher. The pandemic has further blurred the lines between work and home, making the task of being truly present even more challenging.

It's against this backdrop that I'm honored to welcome Jeanine Turner to the mic. Jeanine is the author of a book titled Being Present, and Jeanine's also a professor at Georgetown University, and she brings over three decades of research into how we use communication technologies and how they in turn shape our interactions at work, at home, and beyond.

Welcome, Jeanine.

Jeanine Turner:

Hi, thank you so much for having me on.

Jeff Hunt:

It's great to have you on the show. And this is a topic that a lot of people aren't talking about, but that are they're dealing with every day, whether they like it or not in our connected world, right?

Jeanine Turner:


Topic 1. The inspiration behind “Being Present” (01:51)

Jeff Hunt:

I just finished reading your book.

And I really appreciated how you've eliminated much of the ambiguity around the different ways that we interact digitally and how they impact us. And I'm curious, Jeanine, what prompted you to originally write this book?

Jeanine Turner:

Well, thanks so much for asking me about that because I, my original research when I, what got, kind of got me interested in that was I, I had the opportunity to work , with America Online right when they were coming out with the instant messaging kind of technology.

And I remember thinking, wow, that is challenging to be on my, by, think about being on my computer and then all of a sudden a message comes up and I have to try to deal with that right now. I can't imagine how hard or. A lot of those, uh, employees had it on their phone and there was already norm challenges where executives were like, wow, someone's looking at their phone because they got a message while they're in a meeting with me.

And I just saw it. I was, I thought, I can't imagine how hard it is to stay connected and how, how challenging this distraction was. And then it just, I just thought. Getting larger and larger and larger in so many different aspects of our lives. And now it's, it's almost, it's such a norm that people don't even pay attention to it anymore.

Jeff Hunt:

That's right. That's what's so incredible. And so this is one of the things I like about this topic in your book is like, okay, people, it's important to pay attention to this because it's impacting and influencing and infiltrating every area of our life. Yes. Influencing work. It's influencing home. It's influencing personal relationships.

Right. So when we hit the pause button and we have an opportunity to have a resource like your book and to have these types of conversations, it feels like can, can really create some new learning and understanding of the ways that we need to be intentional.

Jeanine Turner:

I love the way you ended that sentence with being intentional, because I really think that's what it's about.

I feel like this is a, this device. That diffused into our lives. And then we just kind of accepted. We haven't been intentional about the way that we adopted it. And so, and, or even strategic about what an impact it might have in different aspects of our lives. And so what I think is really helpful is some people will say, or different researchers would say, we'll just turn it off or turn off your phone or detox.

And I think those are helpful strategies, but I think they all, they are also not realistic in light of the very interconnected worlds that we're in. So if I have a, if I'm on a team and they need this response by a certain time, or they're meeting with a customer and there's an expectations of an immediate response, or I have a family member that's sick and they need to be able to connect it or a child that has this connection.

So what's different about now that we didn't have even like 20 years ago was this. Availability and immediacy expectation. And so when you put those 2 of those things together, then there's this idea that I'm constantly on a moment by moment basis, having to make a decision whether I should be focusing on this conversation or this conversations that's coming in on my on my phone.

And so I don't. That's why my kind of default state is this idea of budgeted presence, where we are actually allocating part of my conversation to one person, part to someone else, and I recognize that that's my default state. So I, I think not everyone is in that, but I'd say most people have this default state where I'm constantly ready to juggle to another conversation if I think that that's a better one or a more important one for me.

And there's an expectation on the part of the audience that that's somehow okay, even though people still get. So offended if they're, uh, if they feel as if they're talking about something, they shouldn't be that where you shouldn't do that. So I think just accepting the fact we're all in budgeted presence.

So, then, to be intentionally have to decide, should I do I have the right relationship or is it is the trade off important for me to stay here? Or should I pick 1 of these other types of presence?

Topic 2. A thumbnail of Jeanine’s career, who or what inspired you along the way? (05:48)

Jeff Hunt:

That's great. And I want to get into each of these types, other types of presence as well, as we kind of evolve the conversation.

Let's pause though and go back. Tell us a little bit about your career journey. You know, you've been a professor at Georgetown for a while and you're teaching these amazing topics and helping executives and students learn these things. But give me a quick thumbnail of your career journey.

Jeanine Turner:

Oh, thanks so much. So, when I finished with my PhD, that was actually when the email, I mean, that shows how old I am. So, email was just getting introduced in my master's program. Then I started studying in my email as a mechanism for providing support to other people. So that was before the internet and kind of develop these opportunities for social bulletin boards.

So, I looked at that and was trying to be interested in that. Then I studied telemedicine use of video conferencing within prison environments. And so my whole career really has been. And that was also my dissertation. So then I continued to do some telemedicine research, but then I really saw.

Especially with the introduction of the smartphone, this very disruptive technologies. So, I continue to follow that. And COVID, people think of COVID as being this big watershed event for communication. I think all COVID did was make clear how much we are tied to the phone for every single aspect of our lives.

So, I think that was a watershed kind of moment, but I think the moment really started with 2007 or so when people started to kind of put all of their life on a phone and carry it with them everywhere they went. So, I guess, across my life, I've thought of disruptive technologies as a mechanism for helping us to better understand communication.

And so, while it's true that it's challenging in terms of building relationships. It all also gives us the opportunity to be thoughtful. And intentional about who do I care about in my life? What relationships am I trying to support? Why do I support those relationships and how do I make sure to keep those strong in light of all these other distractions that I have.

Jeff Hunt:

Now along your career journey, was there any one person, one or two people that really inspired you along the way?

Jeanine Turner:

Oh my gosh, what a great question. Okay. In so many ways, because I was following this journey at the same time as my family was following this journey. So, in many ways this idea around being present is I would say in so many ways inspired by my family. So, let me just real quick, my kids, I have three children, Michael, Kate, Andrew, they're in their 20s now, but they, I saw them kind of deal with the idea of, um, what does it mean for people to have cell phones?

What does it, what does social media mean and what's the impact of that? My husband, he is on his phone all the time. It drives me nuts. I think that's really why I wrote this book. It was like, get off your phone and listen to me. Right. So, and I know that strategy didn't work. So, I think what has really inspired me is.

People in my life that I really care about and also me people when I'm trying to be present to someone else, but then I'm actually making the decision to not be by going to my phone and the implications of that for my relationship. So, I feel like I've been able to watch this evolve and see what it's meant for me and struggle that I have, as well as the struggle I have when I think someone's not listening to me.

And so it's really been an inspiration of being in the middle of this big change in history.

Topic 3. The four different types of social presence (09:15)

Jeff Hunt:

That's great. So we've got these four different types of social presence. But before you start sharing a little bit about each of these, maybe it'd be helpful for our listeners to have you give them a little bit more of a definition of what you mean by social presence, because people could be coming into this, listening to this podcast, wondering, okay, this is all great, and I hear about all this technology, but what does she really mean by this?

Jeanine Turner:

Yes, okay. So, I think when people think about presence, so even my book, Being Present, sometimes people think, do you mean mindfulness, are you talking about being present in the world? No, what I want you to really think about, and that's why the rest of it talks about commanding social presence, is that social presence is my connection with another person.

So what's my connection, Jeff, with you right now? We are socially connected. I've made the decision to focus just on this conversation. I'm not in another conversation. I'm not going to answer emails or text at this time. So what's my social presence right now with you? And I think anytime you're in conversation with someone, sometimes it's synchronous.

Meaning like we're both kind of talking at the same time in a video or audio or something like that phone, but sometimes it can be text. I'm texting back and forth and a person's expecting to response. But then all of a sudden, I'm going to get distracted by something else. So every time you're with another individual, there's a social presence associated with it.

And what I want us to start people thinking about is how do I manage that social presence? We didn't have to think about it before. In fact, even before COVID, I would use the word social presence and it was like, what does that mean? Now, when I use social presence, sometimes people think, oh, you're, you're talking about how I show up in my social media.

And actually what I'm really talking about is how am I engaging with another person and being connected with that person in conversation. And sometimes my social presence is stronger and sometimes not as strong, depending on how I'm engaging.

Jeff Hunt:

Gotcha. Okay. Thank you for that. So now let's talk about each of these various types.

You mentioned at the beginning a lot about budgeted presence and how's that sort of our default, which makes so much sense. But take us through each of these 4 types and explain a little bit about what they are.

Jeanine Turner:

Absolutely. So again, like you said, we talked about budgeted. It's kind of a default state, and I like the idea of budgeted because we think about we only have so much attention to allocate to any one person, and it is a resource, and we need to think of it in the same way we might think about budgeting our money.

I want us to think of our conversational attention that way. And a lot of the time, it makes sense that you are on a call, a video call, and maybe you have your camera off and you're checking your email because they're not talking and it makes sense for you to be doing that because of other things you're doing right now.

But recognize that that prioritizes tasks, not relationships. Sometimes we have to do that because it's super-efficient, but you have the impact of potentially really breaking trust with someone. I mean, if I started texting while I'm on this podcast with you, you'd be like, are you kidding me? We scheduled this time.

We're supposed to be talking. What are you doing? Right. Thank you for not doing that, Jeanine. Yeah, exactly. But, and you might not even say anything because you might think. What am I to say something? I can't say something, but you'd be mad and super frustrated. And that's the challenge. Another reason why we need these categories because people are frustrated, but they don't know what to do about that.

And they don't know how to articulate what, what is it that's happening right now? That's making it hard for me to have this conversation. So that's budgeted presence. Now I can make a decision because of that. I can make a decision to step out of that in a conversation when I'm doing that, I'm going to have to do something about the presence that you're in.

So, if I'm in budgeted presence and you're in budgeted presence, we're totally fine with that because we're both managing each other as an allocation of time, right? Or social kind of attention. Then I can start to say, well, you know, Jeff, you're on your phone. I'm trying to talk to you.

I need to figure out what to do. I can explicitly say, put your phone away and listen to me. I can be in a meeting and say, everybody put their laptops away. Focus on me or I can put everybody puts their phones in a basket. That's another thing people do. While I was writing this book, it was very much it was right during COVID.

And what I was also saying that it's not limited to the phone. So controlling someone else's social presence is like saying, okay, everybody back in the workplace on Tuesday, because I'm telling you what you or you have to be at my, my meeting in person. So you're going to drive all the way from wherever your house is and come in person.

You can't come over Zoom or everybody turn your cameras on. I need to see your face. So whenever I'm trying to control your social presence, the presence that I have with you and control that I'm in what I call entitled presence. Now, some people don't like that because they're like, who are you to say you're entitled?

Maybe you deserve to have that presence. I think it's a good word for it because I'm saying that right now I can control your presence. By telling you what to do with your phone. It's because we're related in some way. Is it because I'm your a parent or a sibling? Is it because I'm your boss? I'm a peer who's has control over some of your resources, but I have some privilege that allows me to say.

Put your phone away. Otherwise, and it's not necessarily going to work. A lot of times you're like, who are you to take my phone away? And I think less and less as I've studied this, um, as it evolved over time, it used to be people were fine with saying, okay, everybody put your phone right now. Nobody wants to say that.

But people are mad if people don't. Right? So entitled is risky. You could risk your social capital by doing that, but it sometimes is important and, and sometimes helpful depending on your priorities and your kind of positioning power. I've had some students say it helped them if I said put your technology away for this class, because then they didn't have, they had an excuse to pay attention.

Even have entitled presence in the form of a, a building. There's certain buildings you can't have your technology on when you go in. So that's a system of entitled presence, right? Okay. Okay, so entitled, you don't really have the choice. Now, the, the next two forms of presence is competitive and invitational.

We need these two forms of presence because most of the time, we can't tell somebody for their technology away, right? But we still have to deal with the fact that people have their technology with them all the time. So competitive, I like that name because it's telling me I am competing for your attention on a moment-by-moment basis.

And even if you don't have your phone out right now, something could happen that could pull you away immediately. You have a device on you, whether it's a smartphone, smartwatch, that's going to pull you away from my conversation. And the second that I'm not talking about something that's relevant to you, you're gonna, you have another choice.

And the audience has never had so much choice as they have now. So competitive presence is about recognizing if I'm, if I need to persuade you, I need to constantly be thinking about. Logos, pathos, ethos. What is it that I need to do to get you to focus on me and persuade me? The, the, because I'm not taking your phone away, the, the problem is I might, you still might not listen.

So it's not like it's a guarantee, but it, it helps you to be a little bit more intentional in your framing that the audience is really in control of all communication. They've always been in control, but now it's even more obvious because you can see they're not paying attention. So that's competitive presence.

Then the fourth one, Is invitational, so we're not always trying to persuade. Sometimes we just want to have a dialogue and a conversation and we have to create now. It used to be. We could just meet with someone face to face and we sit down for dinner and have a conversation. Now, because the phone is involved, we have 2 phones minimally in a conversation with 2 people.

We have to navigate an environment where we can create this environment of dialogue and budgeted presence. The more we're in budgeted presence, the less we get to dialogue and invitational space is something that is at the most risk of being lost. Because we are not being thoughtful, intentional about how we are using our phone.

All the research on multitasking says that we can't multitask, and that's not even talking about conversations. That's talking about doing a simple, two simple tasks. We can't do it. We have to cognitively shut off one to start off another one. Multi communication right engaging in multiple conversations.

Once I'm in a video call with you while I'm also texting or emailing that's multiple conversations. The one that's much more complex than just a task. That's a very complex task. I'm managing my role with you. My. Belief with my experience with you, my history with you, and this other one at the same time.

So invitational is saying, I'm only going to focus on one conversation at a time. I'm not going to multitask and I want to create an environment where we can have a dialogue. So that's the, the fourth, I can't tell you what to do with your phone, but I'm going to say to you, hey, I'd really like to have a conversation.

This is what I like to talk to you about. And what, what can we do to create an environment where we can have that conversation?

Jeff Hunt:

I'm just reflecting on these in different ways and how they may show up. And I'm also reflecting on the importance of really understanding what sort of communication you're needing and what content you are communicating in advance to help you determine which of these is most appropriate.

For instance. With entitled presence, you may have a CEO that is needing to do a video meeting with the company to communicate a very difficult piece of information. And it might be about market conditions or strategic changes within the company or a series of layoffs that's coming up or a significant change in 1 of the executive's roles.

And if that CEO comes into that meeting saying, hey, I'm about to communicate some very important information. And I need you to put away your devices, then all of a sudden. That explicit communication not only prompts people to say, okay, this is going to be a different type of meeting than we're normally used to.

But it also allows them to be more receptive to this type of entitled presence versus if I just show up and because of my title or position in the company, or my authority with the people I'm with, I just say, put your phones away. We're not going to talk, you know, we're not going to be talking online in these social medias other than this conversation right here. Does that make sense?

Jeanine Turner:

Right. No, I think that's I actually, I love the way you put that because I think we have to what I hope these four types of presence allow us to do is be very intentional and also explicit about the type of presence we want. So I'm going into a meeting and I said, and maybe the meetings coming up on Friday, I might say, I need undivided attention and I don't want phones at that meeting.

Right. You almost have to let people know in advance. I mean, if I came in and said, no phones. In in a meeting where I hadn't give some, then they might say, oh, well, I actually have this other thing going on. And I plan these 2 things during this meeting. And otherwise, you know, I wouldn't have attended this meeting.

So you really have to almost let people give people a warning. Or a plan, but but you might have part of the meeting is entitled presence. I really want your full and divided attention. And maybe you have another part of the meeting. That's. Invitational, I'd like to have a dialogue and I just want us focused on this.

And sometimes people will say, well, what's the difference when entitled and invitational. I think as you move, the entitle is kind of on one end of the continuum, put your phone away and listen to me, come into the office, and I think sometimes you have the right to do that, depending on your status or situation.

I think you should probably still give people a warning. But the invitational, as you move towards more invitational, it's more of a collaborative conversation. When can we have a conversation and a dialogue about this? I really want to create space for us to do that. And what's the best way to do that, to make sure that we do that?

And then one other thing you said, which I think was made a lot of sense is in one meeting, you can have like two or three types of presence, but signaling what I expect in those helps people to understand what, how much attention they need because the default state is on my phone doing two or three things at the same time.

Jeff Hunt:

Exactly. I'm also thinking that competitive presence is really helpful and important in every one of these elements. So like, especially as the, as the presenter. We're doing this podcast right now and there's listeners that may or may not be interested in this topic. So it's our job to have some sort of a competitive presence so that they're not turning off or pausing the podcast to listen to something else.

This is inviting and interesting enough so that they want to continue. And I feel like that's also the case if you're coming into a budgeted present situation, but yet you really have a compelling message. That's interesting. And that people want to stay and listen to, then it becomes less of an issue because you're not.

You're not competing as much with these various forms, right?

Jeanine Turner:

Yes. Oh, Jeff, it's exactly right. You, because of budgeted presence, you really can either be entitled or competitive when you're trying to persuade people, right? You either are saying, put your phones away and listen to me, which, and then no one's, everyone's like mad, right?

Or I'm going to try to make this message so relevant and so compelling and so, you know, so addressing the problem that you have, not my problem, but your problem that I'm going to pay attention. I mean, I need to put my phone away and just focus on this. Right? So I think usually as humans, we're, we think we've got a strong message.

We're trying to get that across. We have to deal with the fact that people have a phone, we can tell them to put it away, or we can try to create a message that's really powerful and persuasive. And then again, I think what is often lost, and I think that's what. Is we really have to keep thinking about what does this invitational space look like?

Is we become either this culture of always persuading or always always pushing an agenda and not creating a space for listening and openness. Because when I'm trying to talk to you and you're on your phone, I'm going to stop talking. I'm not going to share as deep of an information with you.

I'm not going to share as much. Like what I care about with you. And it immediately changes the nature of our relationship. And so it's really important people to recognize the danger that budgeted presence gives to deepening relationships with other people.

Topic 4. Meeting or connection? Being in the same room vs being together (23:19)

Jeff Hunt:

It seems as though before we enter into any sort of meeting or connection, social presence, connection with one another, we need to be rethinking the importance of that meeting and content, because this is where a lot of organizations and leaders fail.

You hear people say meetings are the bane of my existence. I'm spending way too many times in meetings during the week and I'm less productive as a result, or that the meetings that I'm attending, the content is not strategic or helpful or valuable in any way. We're just sort of together. And that's why people are not actually together.

They're on their devices, checking email or doing other things. So isn't that one of the first things that we really need to be considering as

Jeanine Turner:

Absolutely. I think it's our, that thinking about how we're going to be socially present and what social presence needs. Are a part of any kind of tasks that we have is critical to us being successful.

And I think prior to coven, people still hated their meetings and the meetings weren't relevant. What's challenging now is if you made me come into this meeting, not only am I thinking about what a waste of my time this is, I'm also factoring in the drive time. Nobody ever factored that that time in before now they do because they they're like, wow, we could have done this over zoom.

I would have muted myself and muted my camera and I would have not listened to any of this. Right. But at least I would have had some agency here. You're basically taking my agency away by doing this. So our meetings, we really have to be thinking about why does a person need to be in this meeting. And if you have this kind of competitive stance, where, like, what am I saying?

That it's going to compete with what other people are doing. That's going to make them want to pay attention. I think it helps us to have a different mindset, just even going into into that meeting. And then I think the other that you said that's really important to think about in terms of meetings is that if we don't have a rhetoric by which we can start carving out these spaces. We will just be upset with people's behavior and there's this assumption. There's an assumption on my part that I'm so interesting that people put their technology away. And unless I tell them my expectations, they're, they're just going to keep doing their normal thing.

And I think that what I hope that this rhetoric allows is. Everyone to kind of have a conversation about, okay, let's have a, we call it a meta communication. Let's meta communicate. Let's have a conversation about what kind of conversation we want to have. And the, uh, when my kids, of course, they make fun of me all the time because I'm like on my technology when it shouldn't, shouldn't be or whatever.

And they'll throw my book back at my face all the time. Right. But when my When my kids say something like, Hey, I want to have, this should be invitational presence right now. We should be having a conversation. I love that because it's actually what I would love for these terms to help people navigate the conversation.

What does an invitational dinner look like for us? Well, maybe it means that you can't have it at a certain time when a certain person's show is on or some news that this person likes to watch or some, I don't know. How do we navigate that together so that we all care about each other? How do we create a space for invitational space?

I love that. If we don't have that conversation, it's not going to happen. And I think we saw that. What I saw was. A lot of conversations that I had with people during COVID was not this, oh, our family's coming together and joining, starting a family band or we're doing charades every night. A lot of conversations I had where people saying how everyone just went to their own room and no one could agree on a movie.

So everyone just watched on their own device, the movie they chose. And what, what's happened in our family lives, Is that we, this, this technology infiltrated that home life and we didn't have a common task or goal as a family. And so that happened and then now we don't have this invitational space at home and dialogue.

We're just logistic moving from task to task to task. The very same thing that happened in our home life happened after COVID in our work life. Where organizations are like, wait, what, where's all this water cooler? They called conversation or why aren't we having these conversations before and after meetings?

And it's because we never factored that in before we didn't factor it into home life and we lost it Now we're trying to factor it into into work life By, okay, force everybody into the workplace or let's have a snack at three o'clock and everyone's going to come have a snack. And what happens is people go down and get the snack, go back to their office.

Or we have, everyone is on zoom all day in their office and not interacting. So this is a new time. We have to start communicating about the social presence we need and why we value that and what that means for our organization to help us be more successful or our relationship or our family. We have to start talking about it because.

We never had to talk about it before, because we had these compartmentalized worlds. Now we have to, because all of those kind of infrastructure compartments have kind of like, dissolved, and now we have this digital, digital infrastructures that we have to think about how to organize them.

Does that make sense?

Topic 5. Shaping culture with communication (28:21)

Jeff Hunt:

It does, absolutely. And I'm just reflecting on a couple things. One is, what you were describing is really almost around organizations try to use compliance to change behavior when you can't really legislate behavior. So, I mean, you can, but it's going to come at a cost. So that's 1 significant thing.

The other that I'm just reflecting on Jeanine is the opportunity that we have. To shape culture within an organization around the social presence effectively their norms that the norm, the social presence norms in an organization. And what I mean by that is. Gosh, how important is it to think about social presence in every aspect of the employee journey?

For instance, why aren't we more intentional when we're onboarding somebody to say, hey, here's what you can expect in attending online meetings. These are the types of meetings that we have and what we expect of you to show up, for, and versus just creating a vacuum when the employee has to figure out these things on their own.

And then once we start doing enough of these and they're supported by core values and other aspects organizationally. Then we probably don't have to think about it as much. Is that true?

Jeanine Turner:

I think by making it explicit, you, those norms come with those explicit kind of conversations. So if I'm going to have an invitational meeting.

There's some norms associated what that looks like. And it means we're not looking at our phones. We're just focused on that meeting. And what, what I love also about invitational presence is it connects back to a professor that I know that talked about invitational rhetoric. And what she says is you have to create these safety value and freedom boundaries.

You have to create an environment of safety value and freedom for people to want to have a dialogue. You don't just sit down and say, Hey, Jeff, I want to talk about this. Maybe you don't want to talk about that right now. How do I create this environment? That makes you feel comfortable talking about that, that you feel valued, and that free to talk about that.

And so, as we're moving into these environments where we talk about diversity, equity, inclusion in the workplace, we have to, we have not created environments where people felt, safe, value, and free to, to communicate. And we have to start thinking about, in our organizations, what do those environments look like?

And this these, It definitely means not being on your phone while I'm telling you something that I'm upset about, right? So what we need to do is really, what I think can be helpful is for us to spend time as organizations trying to understand what type of meetings are we having, what are our expectations around this and how do we help people to understand what those norms mean so we can all feel successful.

Jeff Hunt:

It feels like the importance of safety, value, and freedom is directly in sync with invitational presence. Is that true or correct?

Jeanine Turner:

So tell me, tell me your question again.

Jeff Hunt:

Well, in other words, like if I'm, if I'm thinking about invitational presence in my interactions with others, if I don't have safety value and freedom in those conversations, that's just not going to happen. It might be invitational sort of, you know.

Jeanine Turner:

So, you're right. , invitational space requires. Safety, value and freedom. So, and the deeper the dialogue, and I mean, it's more like a continuum rather than a binary. Right. But the more I feel like this is a conversation that you care about, and that I, that you value me, and I can say something that you actually don't agree with, and you're going to be open to listening to that, the more that I have that condition, the more I'm going to tell you exactly what I think.

And what I think is really challenging is as we lose invitational space in organizations, which we're losing it for sure, because if you don't carve it out, it's not happening. We're also losing empathy. We're losing listening. We're losing we're losing trying to see something from the other person's perspective in terms of understanding and openness.

We're also losing all of those things because we're staying so task, task focused. So it's a huge risk. It's a huge risk to not really be thinking about how we're going to communicate those. I think a lot of times invitational space happened inadvertently. Right before the meeting, we're walking in or after the meeting, let's meet for, let's meet for lunch, or I happen to see you on the way into the I know I'm gonna see you every day as I'm walking into the elevator.

And so I always think, oh, this is a nice time to have a conversation. And it's not just like spontaneous conversation about like something, a hobby or your kids or, sporting event or something. But it's also this, you're building this relationship with this other person that you're knowing them outside of this task.

So, if we don't find ways to support and nurture those environments, then those aren't going to happen. They happened inadvertently before. Now they don't necessarily happen because of these hybrid and remote and, uh, Zoom situations or video situations. So, we have to think about that. And I think organizations are starting to think about that as they're doing kind of retreats or they bring people together.

For opportunities for just to, to work together, a social environment, something like that. But it's hard because we've never had to do that before. And it you can't create the zoom happy hour that nobody wanted to go to, and everyone was bored and thought it was stupid, but thought they had to show up because the boss told him to be there.

It's, it's not about creating that. It's about creating spaces where we can get to know each other. We trust each other so that we can have interdependent, um, working relationships.

Topic 6. Lighting round question (33:55)

Jeff Hunt:

And it's almost as if the relational connection is the undergirding so that when you do have that zoom happy hour that people are actually going to want to show up because they know each other well, and then there's a desire to do that versus showing up because it's just a complicit, you know, I have to be compliant in terms of being on the screen.

Seeing people and it's a check the box event, right? Exactly. Yeah. That makes perfect sense. So this is such great content. I, we could just keep going forever, but I'm going to shift you into some lightning round questions. Are you ready for that? Perfect. I'm ready. All right. The first one is. Jeanine, what are you most grateful for?

Jeanine Turner:

Wow. My family. So I, maybe that same seems like a cliche or something. I don't know what that sounds like, but I would not have this research if it wasn't for my struggle on a daily basis to make sure that the people that I care about. understand and know that I care about them. And also my struggle with the people that I really care about seeming like they don't care because they're on technology.

So, I'm not saying that it's a two way street and I feel like I've, I've learned it viscerally that way. And it's not even just my family. I have my sister she had lung cancer and passed away. And I see how in a very short amount of time, you social presence, you think is always going to be there is not.

And so if this is, Absolutely a resource that we really have to think about. And that's why I continue to like the word budget because we have to think of it as how are we going to allocate it on a moment by moment basis. And it's really important to think about.

Jeff Hunt:

Yeah, I'm very sorry to hear about your sister and and actually it doesn't sound cliche to me at all, a family.

So, I appreciate you sharing that. And I'm reflecting on what you were sharing earlier about your kids and just can see them saying, Mom, drink your own Kool Aid with this. Oh, I get it all the time.

Jeanine Turner:

You're not, you're being in budgeted presence. I'm like, oh, enough. I know I am.

Jeff Hunt:

Exactly. Exactly. Okay. So what's the most difficult leadership lesson you've learned over your career?

Jeanine Turner:

Oh my gosh. I'd say within the last six months. Is so I as an academic, I don't have to manage anyone. So that's like my favorite thing, right? And so, uh, I can, I work independently and I'm in charge of my class. And you might say you manage your classroom, but you don't, but I don't really manage a class in the same way because I have a lot of power in a classroom.

And over the last six months, I've had the opportunity to be a chair in my department. And what I've really, I've never felt like a worse communicator than I do now. I'll have to tell you, it, it really, It really has helped me to think back to so many executive education lectures that I do on communication and influence and persuasion and this is how you get people to do things and this, I feel like it's been super humbling for me about how to communicate, but it's also super helpful.

I guess that's the last six months or so as I've been trying to think about how do you, how do I put into practice things that I say are really, really important. And how do I live those things? It's been really exciting for me. And also I think it's helped me to be a better leader.

Jeff Hunt:

Learning and growth is available at any time in our life, right? In our career. No doubt. Who's the one person you would interview if you could living or not?

Jeanine Turner:

So this is one that I would, I'd love to interview Pope Francis. The reason I say that, uh, so I'm Catholic. My religion is really, uh, that's a big part of my life, but I've also seen taking on a leadership role.

He had a very different approach to the Catholic church than different leaders and different leadership style and different kind of approach to kind of different ways to think about what it means to be Catholic. And as a communicator, that is very, that's a very hard thing to do, whether you're religious or not.

But as you're, if you're a leader and you're joining an organization that has, Very strong mission. And your goal is to try to shepherd all of those different perspectives. And you're also joining in a time of a lot of uncertainty, and then you're also joining coming from different, taking over from a different leader that had a different approach.

I just love to hear his thoughts about how he's, uh, how he's navigated that. Especially now, when you think about so many places that that we're trying to better understand what is the role of religion in society and how do we, and the impact on politics and everything. I think it'd be interesting to hear what he has to say.

Jeff Hunt:

What's a top book recommendation that you might have for our listeners?

Jeanine Turner:

You know, a book that I love, that I work with my I work with my students all the time when I think about challenging conversations and difficult conversations. There's a book by, um, it's, I think it's Penguin Press, but it's Harvard Business Review authors of, um, difficult conversations, how to discuss what matters most.

It's a great book with very great strategies on thinking about challenging conversations. And as I think about invitational presence and what that means, so many difficult conversations go within the context of that. So how do you stay open and understand, uh, a conversation from multiple points of view?

It's really good, really short, really easy to read.

Jeff Hunt:

When you think about our talk, what are one or two really important takeaways to leave our listeners with?

Jeanine Turner:

So I love your response. I love our conversation because I feel like so often you, um, you connected so much with this idea of we need to be explicit about our expectations.

We've never had to talk about how someone uses a social A device like a cell phone within the context of conversation. That is a relatively recent phenomenon. And so we don't know how to do it. It came in to our life without communication strategies for how to deal with that. And then it became problematic.

So I feel like a big takeaway is whether you use my strategies of these 4 types of presence or not. Communicate your expectations for the type of social presence you need in every conversation and think about them as a leader going into a conversation so that you can communicate them. And I think that that really will help everyone to feel a little bit more up to speed on what their expectations are and it'll be less likely to create disappointment.

Now, often I try to set, set up a specific expectation and people still don't do it. Like, My class students still stay on their phone even if I ask them not to, right? But At least you set up the expectation and you help people to understand what your expectations were. We have to do that now. We didn't have to do that before.

Everyone has to do that now. And it's not a generational issue. It's not like, oh, younger people do are good with their phones and older people not good with their phones. None of us are good with managing our digital devices. And we all have to have this conversation with the people we care about or the people that we're working with.

Jeff Hunt:

Such great information. And once again, Jeanine Turner's book is titled Being Present. You can find it on Amazon or anywhere you get books. It's a wonderful read. I just finished it. Jeanine, I'm so thrilled with our conversation and I just want to thank you so much for coming on the show today.

Jeanine Turner:

Oh, Jeff, thank you so much. I really appreciate it. This has been great. Really fun. Thank you so much.

OUTRO (41:46)

Jeff Hunt:

Thanks for listening to Human Capital. If you like this show, please tell your friends and also take the time to go rate and review us. Human Capital is a production of Goalspan, your integrated source for performance management. Now go out and be the inspiration to other humans, and thank you for being human, kind.

Human Capital — 76. Social Presence
replay15 play_circle_filled pause_circle_filled replay15