Making Business Matter
E27 – The Meaning of Trust with Csaba Toth – Expert Interview
E27 - The Meaning of Trust: Interview With Csaba Toth from ICQ GlobalFounder of ICQ Global, an organisation that helps leaders make sense of why people behave, think, and feel so differently so they can unlock their own potential and lead others in a way that they feel engaged and inspired to create synergy. ICQ Global has combined the latest business data with academic research to develop the multi-award-winning, internationally accredited portfolio of assessments, training, and coaching that has already benefited Fortune 500 companies, national governments, universities, and local businesses. Additionally, to this, he’s just released his already acclaimed the best-selling book Uncommon Sense in Unusual Times collaborating with the likes of Marshall Goldsmith and John Mattone. Today, we discuss what is the meaning of trust? You Can Read the Transcript of Our Interview Below: Nathan Simmonds: Welcome to Sticky Interviews. I'm Nathan Simmonds, senior leadership coach and trainer for MBM, Making Business Matter, the home of Sticky Learning. We are the provider of leadership development and soft skills training to the grocery and manufacturing industry. The idea of these interviews is to share great ideas, great concepts, and great ways these skills are being used to help you be the best version of you in the work that you do. Welcome to the show. Nathan Simmonds: Welcome to this Stick Interview with me, Nathan Simmonds, senior leadership coach and trainer for MBM, Making Business Matter. Now, I have, I would say, a fairly longterm friend, acquaintance in a man by the name of Csaba Toth, who is a phenomenal mind around creating and developing the mindsets of businesses and understanding what the group intellect is. He is the founder of ICQ Global, which is an organization that helps leaders get ahead on understanding not just their own mindset, but the group mindset, providing a complete range of services that help businesses understand how their people are communicating with each other, departmentally, as well as geographically, which I think is a phenomenal thing, in itself, when we look at this assessment. Nathan Simmonds: Additionally to this, he's just released his already acclaimed bestselling book, Uncommon Sense in Unusual Times, which is beautiful, by the way. I love the cover of this. Collaborating with the likes of Marshall Goldsmith and John Mattone. And those people that don't know who John is, he was Steve Jobs' coach. And that's just to name a few people that are contributing to this and collaborating on this book, which is amazing. Really looking forward to getting in depth with some more of this conversation. Why? Because Csaba actually trained me in this assessment process and in this profiling. We haven't seen each other for awhile, I don't think. There's been a lot of stuff going on for him and his business and also me and my business. And we're now bringing this conversation together to get a deeper understanding of what's been happening and share some of those new insights with the likes of yourselves, as well. Nathan Simmonds: So Csaba, welcome to the show. Thanks for being here. Csaba Toth: Thank you for inviting me. Nathan Simmonds: It's a pleasure. Look, before we get into the next set of questions, the first question that I always ask people on this interview series is, why do you do what you do? Csaba Toth: I think the answer is pretty simple because I think the best solutions are born out of pain and frustration and [inaudible 00:02:29] is a prime example of that. I studied international management at Sussex and my dissertation was about the implications in Eastern and Western Europe in joint ventures. So it was really specific. I got a good grade. And then, as soon as I finished, I started my own company, which was a restaurant booking site. We started with 35 restaurants here in Brighton and, in one year, we had 5500 all over the UK, became the fastest growing and biggest restaurant booking website in the United Kingdom. Csaba Toth: So on paper, everything made sense. It became a joint venture with a software company and that's where it went wrong because I just couldn't work with the other CEO, who was French. And I'm not saying there was a problem, but definitely I couldn't stand him. So on paper, we were getting the results, we were growing, but on a personal level, I thought, "mm-mm (negative)." So we got to the point where we had to get out of the business. We sold the shares. The business is still online. And this is when I started my research. I didn't understand. How come that was the exact topic of my dissertation and that department, itself, is number one in the world in its category, I had years of experience, but I couldn't put that theory into practice? It just didn't make sense. Csaba Toth: So I got certified in a lot of different things; psychometric assessment, leadership models, intercultural models. And I wanted to understand what went wrong and how we could fix it. And the result of that research is something called global DISC, which is now ICF accredited and we won six international awards in the last 12 months and we have certified partners in 29 countries now. So that's the story behind it because I realized that it wasn't only my problem. It was the people that had the same problem, but they don't even know about it. They don't know they have an issue. They don't know how serious it is. So they are not actively looking for a solution or, when they do, they don't realize that most of the solutions are outdated or incomplete. And this was a really painful journey, but it seems to be working now. Nathan Simmonds: Yeah. It's not just because they're from so on, and so on, and so on. I think we use that as an excuse. "Oh, there's Bob. Oh, it's just because he's French. Oh, there's Yan. It's just because he's Dutch. That's the way they work." Well, actually, yeah, there is some cultural stuff here. There are some potentially kind of cultural biases that sit in there, but then when we get to understand how people work, we can say, "Okay, that's why they're approaching it this way." When we understand how we're approaching it, we can see the world a bit differently. We can then collaborate more clearly and we can include people because we can understand how they're seeing the world and get those two viewpoints, which actually makes a better outcome in the long run. Csaba Toth: Yes, but it's not [inaudible 00:05:19] and this is the problem, that we see the world from our perspective. And that's why I believe that cultural differences are clashes of common senses, hence the title of the book, Uncommon Sense in Unusual Times. Because if that's how you approach the topic, then it's not a binary option. You don't have to win so the other person has to lose. That's not how it works. No. You're right from your perspective. I'm right from mine. We have a disagreement, so let's find out what the reason is. What do you know that I don't? What can you see that I cannot? Csaba Toth: And I also fully agree with you that most people think that culture equals nationality, or maybe generations, or maybe now they talk about gender. So when a company focuses on increasing diversity, these are the main three culture groups that they focus on. But if you look at the research where they compare 17 different culture groups in terms of practicality, in terms of range of differences, then these were the bottom three, the most unreliable ones, the most impractical ones. And if you think about it, it makes sense because you don't choose your gender or generation or country of origin, but you learn how to navigate in that environment. Culture is not who we are, it's what we are used to. And country of origin is just one of the 15 or 20 culture groups that we belong to at the same time. Maybe that's the most visible one, the most easily disclosed one, but if you focus on only the country of origin, it's almost like just washing your head and not the rest of the body. It's okay for awhile, but for how long? Csaba Toth: So when you talk to someone, what are the chances that the other person belongs to the same 15 or 20 culture groups like you, even in your family? It's next to zero. Every single conversation is a cross-culture dialogue, but most people don't know about it. And even if you Google inter-culture or cross-culture, then you find a lot of counter briefings. But culture shift doesn't happen because you don't know how to celebrate Christmas in the UK or in Germany. It happens when you interact with people and they react differently to what you expect. So you cannot run on autopilot. You have to use your neocortex constantly and it is draining and people are burning out. That's the problem. But intercultural equals interpersonal, not just international. If you have a team with more than one person, it's already multicultural, even if it's not international, and that's the key to our topic and that's exactly what I discovered doing my research, that it was completely ignored. Nathan Simmonds: As you were saying that, the thing that was coming up for me is you have this generational gap. So you see your grandparents or parents and then you see the children. And then maybe the children are gay, lesbian, transgender, so all of these kind of gender stereotypes or differences go out the window. And then, even in a family environment, which is geographically in the same location, have no idea what's going on because there is such a safe divide between the cultures, the understanding, and that interpersonal relationship because the parents can't understand what's going on for the children. So the communication breaks down. Csaba Toth: Yeah, because they have different conditioning. And that's why I mean by culture, that this is something we are used to. When we grew up and it wasn't polite to talk about, for example, homosexuality, then we still feel that it's a taboo and we cannot talk about it. It's not because something is wrong with it, but it's because we are not used to it, for example. And for the new generation, maybe that's much more normal. And especially if you look at the new generation, they don't really have a problem with a visible layer of diversity, like skin color or sexual orientation and things like that, because it's much more natural to them than it is to baby boomers, but they are struggling much more with their own mindset and they're struggling with understanding why people think and behave differently. Csaba Toth: So that's why our focus is on the mindset because, when you talk about personality and you talk about culture, then seemingly there's a separation that we talk about different things, which is not true because, according to research, more than 80% of cultural differences exist within countries, not between them, which is also a good thing because we have much more experience than we realize. But if you have, for example, a conflict in your family with somebody, then you might label it as personal differences, but if the exact same situation happens to you and somebody from a different country, then you might label it as cultural differences. On a cognitive level, it was exactly the same thing. We just label them differently. Csaba Toth: So if you look at cognitive diversity, that is the only layer of diversity that has proven benefit; the way you see the world, the way you process information. And this is the key, that cognitive diversity is hard to see, but that's the one that makes or breaks a thing and that's exactly what Global DISC is about, the blueprint of why people think and behave differently. Nathan Simmonds: [inaudible 00:10:25] geographically, culturally, whatever, but when you then feed this back into an organization, you've got one department over here, one department over here, they may all be the same nationality, which is not happening in a lot of places now with the amount of diversity and the amount that the cultures and people are moving around, internationally. But even if they're speaking the same language, because they're two different departments, they speak a completely different language. Here's engineering, here's operations. Here's HR and here's logistics. But for some reason, there's a disconnect. There's a difficulty in the relationship because they just don't understand what the other person is thinking, seeing, or doing. Csaba Toth: No, because they have different needs, different values and that gives them different perspectives and different priorities. And that's the reason why, for example, different personality types exist, because they have different needs and values. That's the reason why there are different personality types, not because of something random. So if you look at, for example, internationality ... I mean, I can show you a lot of case studies where international teams are often much more homogeneous than a local team of the same nationality. And the reason is [inaudible 00:11:42] diversity that, if I have the option to hire people, why would I employ someone who disagrees with me? I don't want that. It's a hassle. I mean, my job is difficult enough. Csaba Toth: We like and trust people like us and I can show you case studies where the cognitive diversity index of a team from 10 ... it was 10 senior leaders from eight different countries on three continents. The cognitive diversity index was 22%. They're almost cognitively identical inside, even though they look very different on the outside. And maybe it looks good on the website and it shows that we are really diverse, but if you think the same way, you still have the same blind spot as a team, just like you have as an individual. And that's really dangerous because, when you make a decision, it's 10 of you in the boardroom, everybody agrees with you, then it feels right if everybody agreed with you. It's fantastic, no? It doesn't make it true and they can see that. Csaba Toth: Since the year 2000, more than 50% of fortune 500 companies disappeared. Size is not a guarantee for survival. To me, the ICQ mindset is about seeing the same situation from different perspectives so you can make a better decision and then you can choose to respond instead of just reacting. So it's about cognitive and behavioral flexibility and both of them are like going against nature because our brain wasn't designed for that. Our brain was designed to keep us safe and efficient. That's why we have habits. That's why we are running on autopilot. That's why we have to stay in our comfort zone. So it's not natural. It's something we need to learn. Nathan Simmonds: There's a couple of elements that popped in and we'll break down some of the areas that you break this down into. If you have a whole team that's highly analytical, it's going to take you a long time to make that decision. Yeah, you're going to be making the right decision. Yes, it's going to be based on facts, but does the decision actually get pushed forward? Maybe not and maybe not for a very long time. So you need someone that's going to be pushing for the result. You also need people that are going to be creating the team cohesion and the creative types. Whatever that is, you need a mixture of those people. And the reason as a species we need that, yes, our nervous systems are wired for comfort, for sure, and it wants us to survive, but we have a neocortex. We have this level of complexity or perceived complexity where we have to work as a unit. We have to adapt to our environment. We have to adapt to the people around us and work together to make that happen. Nathan Simmonds: It's different for a lion. A lion sleeps, eats. It does three or four things on a very simplistic level. It doesn't have to worry about personality traits or DISC profiling or anything like that. We have that because we work in a different level of thinking and we need to include everyone. I mean, if all of a sudden we wanted to act like a whole pride of lions and we were all results focused, we may not take all that information on board. We may not be able to make the fully-informed decision that's actually going to get the best possible result for the species at a much higher level of cognitive thinking. Csaba Toth: True. And I think there's a slight distinction there, as well, and often the companies are not aware of it, that conforming to the norms and including people are not the same. On the surface, it looks similar, but otherwise it's not because if I have to accommodate you and I have to conform to norms, then I'm flexing my behavior. So the gap between what's natural to me and what is normal around me is too big, then I'm going to use up too much energy. I don't have much less to focus on my task. Well, maybe I even burn out. So that's a different story. But when I feel included, then I can contribute and you accept me the way I am. And yes, we still can compromise, but that's a very different level of performance. Csaba Toth: Now, this is where this mindset, the ICQ mindset is so important, when you create the kind of psychological safety and trust. Otherwise, there's no point in giving people techniques and hacks, which are so popular now that you need a shortcut for everything. There's no shortcut for psychological safety. There's not point in giving you more tools. What's the point in building a foundation that's crumbling already? And this is the main problem, that if you look at that, most opportunities, time and energy are lost because of two main reasons. One is friction with people who think and behave differently and because of self-sabotage. And both of them stem from the same source; the lack of understanding of our own mindset, because nowadays, probably most people understand this much better than their own mindset. You need a license for everything, except for yourself. And that's crazy and that's why I believe that this should be part of the syllabus at school. It could avoid so many problems. Nathan Simmonds: You and me, both. I mean, this might be kind of a blatant plug for both of us. I want to get into universities, whether we go in and teach leadership once a month, once a quarter for free, just to teach some of these uncommon skills in uncommon ways so that people get uncommon results. Unfortunately, they are uncommon right now, but giving people these individual nuances and approaches. Like you say, people spend more time learning how to use a new smartphone than they do developing their own mindset. That, in itself, is insanity. I'm going to get to 75, 80 and I'll spend more time on my smartphone than I did in my own head space, understanding how I interact with the world. That's fundamentally flawed. Great marketing, but fundamentally flawed. Csaba Toth: Yeah. There's no replacement for that. And that's why I was so happy that now we work with eight universities, so there is hope because academia slow to change. But working with eight universities now is a good sign that they realize that this is not a nice-to-have skill. This is something that we need. This is the bare minimum. Nathan Simmonds: Yeah, yeah. It is. And I think I read once, or heard once, that there's kind of an age point where people don't take this stuff very seriously. So even for me to go into a college and teach a bunch of 15 year olds, maybe they wouldn't be listening because they're 15, because maybe they're not ... personality trait. Actually, they don't want to believe that's an element for the teacher. If a teacher can engage with a 15 year old and teach them and show them how valuable this is to them at 15, how it will help them at 18. We know the human brain is still developing until they're 24. Nathan Simmonds: Well, actually, if you're getting to that point where the brain is developing and encoding some of this stuff, it's helping them to learn. You're creating a behavioral shift in them so that, actually, when they get to a certain ... this will become normal. "Oh, I'm going to go and do some personal development. Oh, I'm going to look at my own mindset and relationship building. Oh, there's some new research here. This is going to help me achieve this and help humanity at this level," and start plugging it in at a much sooner level, I think. I think that'd be a huge shift. Csaba Toth: Yeah, definitely, it's needed. I don't know if they are ready in the grammar school and I don't know how efficient the positive approach is. And before we started this conversation, we talked about the fear-based techniques. And they also work. I mean, we have to push and pull people at the same time. Yes, you have to talk about the benefit of doing something, but you also have to demonstrate the cost of ignoring it. And I think that's a powerful tool. We have to combine both. You can show them examples that, "This is what happens if you invest in this or if you don't." It's almost like the compound effect. Maybe you don't see it today. If I look in five years, 10 years, you're going to be here or here. There's no plateau. That's an urban legend. There's no plateau. It doesn't exist. There's a tiny difference that you cannot see. You go up or down. It's almost like in nature. If you don't grow or don't contribute, you're taken out. Done. But there's not plateau. It's a lie. Nathan Simmonds: It is. I think, when you look at kind of consciousness on the shift, that plateau is your standard of salary increase at 2.5% with the cost of living. No, there's a certain percentage of people that are developing themselves, that are shifting, and these other people over here don't have to, so they kind of just plateau, but you still get that 2.5% increase over the year. I kind of use numbers that we're used to, but actually, if people engage with this stuff earlier and make that investment, [inaudible 00:20:20], and you know this, the only investment that's guaranteed is the investment that you make in yourself. Bricks and mortar isn't even guaranteed. People say global warning and sea levels are rising. Your house isn't even guaranteed. Nathan Simmonds: If you make the investment in yourself, what that looks like from an educational point of view, what it looks like from an experiential point of view, "Oh, I'm 15. I want to see the world. I want to go and live in Japan. I want to do this." You start to shift out of that kind of fear mindset of what is actually capable because you can understand how your brain works, using these sorts of assessments and these sorts of skills. "Oh, I'm this sort of person. I have these sorts of preferences. Oh, these sorts of people have this. I'm going to go and experience that culture. I'm going to go and put myself in uncomfortable experiences because I can see how that works and I want to see how those things dovetail together." It shifts a concept and viewpoint, I think. Csaba Toth: And sometimes this evolution is sped up by something else, like the pandemic right now, because a lot of people postpone so many things, thinking that, "Oh, I just need this job. I've got this kind of security," and they have to realize there isn't security. So this illusion is gone now. And that's why now we work with more and more people, because they realize that, "You know what? I postponed it, but actually the safety is, if I have more skills, if I have a scalable business model and I'm independent. And it doesn't mean that I have to burn all the bridges behind me, but I have to start working on something now," because if you start digging in the desert when you are thirsty, then it's too late. And this is why there's just exposed companies, people, and countries. There is no place to hide. The real personality comes out. And I think it's shattered a lot of illusions. And people start chasing their dreams and they realize, "You know what? That's actual safety. That's security." Nathan Simmonds: And I think it is. We know that nothing in nature is certain. Nothing in nature is secure. Things happen and COVID-19 is a natural phenomenon. No, it's not a natural disaster. It's just something that's happened in kind of a blip in human evolution, is [inaudible 00:22:28]. It's such a small amount of time in the grand scheme of things. And a lot of people, and I'm not devaluing how horrendous this has been for people, and at the same time, like you say, it's purged and cleansed some of that procrastination that we took. Okay, what is it we're going to do with this time? What skillset? What would I like to be doing? What opportunities to I have? What have I been procrastinating on about? We know where procrastination comes from. It comes from that fear. Nathan Simmonds: When you clarify that and kind of then just distill it down, it's like, well, actually, what can I put in place that does look like this? What skills have I got? What would I like to be doing? And although this is, in politest terms, a bit of a shitstorm right now, it's not the end. We have an opportunity. If we're looking at this through the right lens at this point in time, we can turn around and say, "Okay. This is the structures I'm going to put in place. These are the steps I'm going to take now so, when I return to work, when I go and do this, that I'm doing XYZ that's moving me closer to whatever that thing is." And you create your own kind of stability in the background and it's not about burning the boats and saying, "Well, I'm done. I'm out. I'm just going to go and do this. It's crazy and it's uncertain." No, no, no. Stability, strategically thought out action that moves you in a direction that is good for you and your mental worth. Csaba Toth: Yeah. It's also human nature that we don't do anything until it hurts enough. Nathan Simmonds: True. Csaba Toth: And now, it does. and that's also a good thing because I've seen so many inspiring stories that people realize they are capable of so much more than they ever thought so. And that's amazing. And otherwise, they wouldn't have done it. And now they know, "You know what? I can do it." And once you raise your standards, there's no way back. So I think it can be a really positive thing, as well. Nathan Simmonds: And it comes back to that analogy of sitting on the drawing pin. If you sit on the drawing pin, sure as grass is green, you will jump out and pull that drawing pin out of your backside. Csaba Toth: Horrible example. Nathan Simmonds: Very painful. But you don't just sit on the drawing pin and go, "Oh, that really hurts. I think I'll stay there." No, certain things happen. We get used to things over a long period of time. It's a small amount, small amount, small amount. You talk about the compound effect. We don't notice it until it gets to a breaking point and it's serious, mentally detrimental, physically, career wise and whatever. It's like, something now needs to change because my tolerance is just no longer coping with this. But all of that pressure and all that life that you built up before makes it difficult to kind of ... what you perceive as a chasm to step over that chasm to shift away from the thing that's causing such pain. Nathan Simmonds: And we almost, because we've developed a sense of trust in kind of this certainty that we've created beforehand, we don't want to let this go. This fear of the unknown, the fear of letting go of what we do know stops us from stepping over that chasm into whatever that next thing is. Csaba Toth: I think this is the paradoxical security that you try to protect something; your status quo, your lifestyle, and then you refuse to acknowledge that the world is changing around you. And it is changing, regularly. So by not changing, the gap between you and your environment or the world is getting bigger, and bigger, and bigger until it gets to a breaking point and you're forced to do something. So often, the intention is good. They use their common sense, but it backfires because, at the end of the day, they endanger the very thing they tried to protect. So people are scared of sudden change, not change. Sudden change is horrible, but evolving regularly, step by step, growing, that's not a bad thing. So I would rather walk today than I would have to run tomorrow, but again, it's not natural. But often, sometimes this is down to the lack of awareness because we are busy. We are in this rat race and we're just putting out fire. So we don't think forward and we just react. Csaba Toth: And that's the point, that when we talk about the global mindset or the ICQ mindset, to me, that's about this; the cognitive and behavioral flexibility, because information doesn't lead to transformation. It means nothing if you cannot act on it, if you don't take action. So we can argue that you can manifest it and you use quantum physics and things like that, but you still have to do something. Nathan Simmonds: [inaudible 00:26:53] Csaba Toth: Yes. It's happening just like that. Nathan Simmonds: I think the quote comes from Wayne Dyer, originally, is, "Knowing and not doing is the same as not doing." And I think originates from there is ... Csaba Toth: That's even worse. Nathan Simmonds: Yeah. And you're [inaudible 00:27:09] at that point in time. You know it, you're not taking action. Actually, then you have kind of ... For me, that is even getting into the third and fourth stages of fear of having to look yourself in the eye and saying, "I knew how to do this, but I did nothing with the time that I had," and acknowledging that. And that's a hard truth to look yourself in the eye and say that. "I wasted this amount of my life not taking that action." But I think it comes back to that trust element. So when you're looking at what you're doing with your career, with your life, and with your business, it's building the skillset, building the cognitive understanding so that you understand yourself at a deep level, you understand those around you at a better level, maybe at a deep level, initially though at a better level, that helps you to build that trust of, "This is what I'm going to do. This is where I'm going to go. This is where I'm going to take my business. This is where I'm going to take this team." Nathan Simmonds: And it's about building that. So for me, when you look at uncommon sense, we have it in there, we just learn not to use it. But then it comes back to kind of that definition of what trust is. So for you, in relation to ICQ, what is the meaning of trust? Csaba Toth: It's an interesting question because this is a kind of word that a lot of people use almost every day, but when you tell them just, "Sorry, what is your definition? What do you mean by trust?" And that's when they get stuck. Exactly. So it's such an interesting conversation during workshops. And sometimes people think, "Well, if somebody's reliable, I know what they're going to do, then I trust them." I said, "Really? So if you get mugged in the street and somebody puts a gun to your head, it's pretty predictable what they're going to do. Do you trust them?" No. Okay. So that's probably not the definition. Csaba Toth: And it's really interesting to dig deeper and then find out, what is it exactly? But fundamentally, we trust what is family and predictable to us. And at the same time, if they know that the other person has the best interest at their heart ... because you have probably clumsy friends. They make a lot of mistakes, yet you trust them, but you also know people who [inaudible 00:29:22], but you would never trust them. And that's the reason. So it's about the intentional and the predictability, but ultimately, the more we understand ourselves and others, the more trust we can enable and the more synergy we can create. Until then, it doesn't matter what kind of techniques and strategies we learn. Nathan Simmonds: I love it when I'm in these conversations and [inaudible 00:29:45]. So you know, if someone's on the street and they've got a gun to your head, I trust that if I don't give him my money, he will shoot me. Csaba Toth: That's predictable, but you don't trust the person. Nathan Simmonds: Yeah. There's a trust in the predictability. There's a trust in the outcome that, if you kind of respond or don't do, you're going to get a specific sort of outcome. So then take that to the next level. What is trust in a relationship, then? So when you're, say, looking at a work dynamic, interdepartmental or inter-colleague or interpersonal relation, what is trust in that relationship? Csaba Toth: To be honest, I don't think that you can really separate them. To me, for example, personal and leadership development are pretty much the same. You cannot do one without the other one. And even if you look at, for example, the mission statement that we want passionate partners who transform at least 100 thousand leaders who would positively impact millions of people at work and at home, and that's the reason that, at home, you cannot separate these things. So trust is, I think, the foundation. And the way I describe it is almost like a tank that you have to fill up and then, even if something happens, it can drop. The problem is when you speak different languages and you prove your point, but the other person doesn't understand it. So the biggest distance between two people is misunderstanding. Csaba Toth: And it happened to me. I lost people because of that. And if you know nothing about this topic, but you try your best, you speak the same language, yet you don't understand each other, it's horrible how you can grow apart, especially if you realize later on that, you know what? You wanted the same thing, really, but you expressed it differently. That's a disaster, when you're hurting yourself and other people because of that. That is horrible. Nathan Simmonds: The one thing that comes up, for me, is when I'm teaching complaint management, I don't call it ethical management. You can't manage a complaint and just kind of compartmentalize it. For me, I talk about taking the lead in a conversation. The root cause, I found, of every single complaint is understanding. Now, whether it's delivery time, whether it's your direct debit has failed, whether it's terms and conditions, whatever, it always comes down to the understanding. "Well, I was with this company and they did this," but that's a different company. So when you have kind of these conflicts in work, like you say, that horrific one is you're both trying to get to the same place, you're coming at it from completely different angles and you start arguing about it, so neither of you get to the place. It's just painful. Csaba Toth: That's why you have to zoom out sometimes. So you brought up the example of a team where everybody's analytical. If everybody's like that, then everything is going to take time and it's almost like a bad sniper that you're aiming, aiming, aiming and then you never pull the trigger and the [inaudible 00:32:34] is gone. So you need the kind of energy that somebody, "You know what? Let's get it done," but if you have all the result-oriented people, then you have a big picture and, "Let's do it. How?" "Ooh, I don't know." Csaba Toth: So now they think that both of them are efficient, but if you zoom out, you realize that the outcome can be exactly the same and they want exactly the same thing, but they have different best practices together. So the goal is the same, but the process is different and they believe that their way is the right way. And once we understand it, then it becomes a much more interesting and practical topic that our behavior is driven by what we consider true and right. Our beliefs and values not be considered true and right, not is what true and right. And immediately, that's a really eye-opening conversation. Nathan Simmonds: For me, this is when you start getting into how to build trust in a relationship. That's where we starting getting into this, is what you believe to be right, what your highest values are. But at the same time, for me, partly getting those on the table and sharing them with people and getting people to have a look at it. For me, personally, doing that exercise is, "Here are my values. This is what I hold true and right," and all those things for me and then sharing that with other people and then seeing what's their version of the world, and then also me having a look at that so I can start to respect them at a deeper level. I can then start to see how we work together, as a team. Nathan Simmonds: So when you're looking at the assessments and the way that ICQs work, how do you build trust in a relationship, using these tools? Csaba Toth: One of the biggest challenges is that, when you talk about personal and cultural differences, is that it's a sensitive topic and it's really subjective. So when you can look at an assessment, you can see your preferences. You can compare the mindset gap between you and me or you and the UK, you and your company. Then we make this topic as objective and tangible as possible. So they give you the vocabulary, the terminology, and nobody can use the excuse that, "Oh, yeah, because I'm old," or, "Yeah, because I'm a man or woman." No. It's what's in you. That's on paper, so now we can have a discussion. Csaba Toth: And that's the most important part. How do you facilitate the conversation? Which is the hardest part because, if you feel that you're right and there's no psychological safety, then you're going to put all your energy into convincing the other person that they're the stupid one and you are the smart one. They lost you, one, but if there is trust and there is vocabulary, then diversity can lead to innovation, otherwise it turns into painful liability. And this is the key, that people are the greatest asset or liability, depending on how much you understand yourself and others, but that's not based on common sense. And to me, that's the danger, that companies read articles that diversity and inclusion are good for the business. So they employ a full range of skin colors because it looks good on the website, but maybe all of those think just like you, which is not ideal, or you have a lot of problems. Csaba Toth: So when we have clients and they say, "Oh, we want to increase diversity," I say, "Please, don't. How about increasing inclusion first and then diversity? Not the other way around. Otherwise, you are asking for trouble." This is something we need to learn. This is not based on common sense. And sometimes people misunderstand it that, "Oh, you just ignore the countries and the identity differences." No, that's the exact opposite. And the reason why I'm saying this because what if I give you all the parts for an airplane and you don't know how to put it together? And you might come to the wrong conclusion that airplanes don't fly. That's not the reason. You just didn't know how to put it together. Diversity is exactly like that. If you don't understand [inaudible 00:36:32] diversity, the deep layer, and you don't know how to use it, you might come to the wrong conclusion that diversity is not good. That's not the case. Csaba Toth: It's almost like buying a laptop so you can go in the internet, but you don't know how to connect to the wifi and you think, "This laptop is bad. They tricked me. That's a scam." No, it's not. You almost had it, but how can you have enough of something that is almost working? You cannot. Nathan Simmonds: A couple of things that's getting the kind of thinking going. Is that inclusion piece ... You said the word psychological safety. It's a word that's being used a lot and I hadn't heard it until kind of COVID-19 had kicked in. That inclusion is massive. Now, the opposite of addiction is connection. Yohann Hari's the Lost Connection. And actually, and another client, I talked to her about it. She says, "You know, I'm a control freak." And I said to her, "No, you're not. You just want to be included." And actually, that need for that security, that certainty, and that control debilitates us from actually innovating. Nathan Simmonds: So you talk about that inclusion piece. Actually, if you get people to feel included in that business, you wouldn't have to go hiring outside of the business. You would find people inside your culture, inside your organization, whatever heritage, gender, persuasions, whatever, and they would feel included and they would want to innovate because they would feel inspired to. And your business then comes inclusive and then your diversity then grows out of that because all these people suddenly want to come and join you rather than you trying to go out and find it or make up your percentages to look good against some sort of governmental standard. Nathan Simmonds: And I'm not saying it's right or wrong to employ and recruit people from all these areas. Great. Don't just do it because it's a percentage because then you're just devaluing anyone from one of ... the [bame 00:38:33] or gender or whatever, you're devaluing why they come into the organization and you're not enabling them to do good work because, actually, you haven't got the inclusive infrastructure that encourages them to do good work. Csaba Toth: Yep. Nathan Simmonds: I was going to say, there was one example that came up to me. I was working with a Polish guy. So some of the teams that I teach into are predominantly Polish, or they used to be over the last couple of years. It started to shift again with influx and changes of movement. This guy is in his late 50s, very strong Polish accent, refuses to speak English. Well, not refuses. He says, "It's difficult. I'm old. I can't speak English. Blah, blah, blah, blah." He speaks better English than I speak Polish, so I make a bargain with him. I trade with him. By the end of two hours, he suddenly realizes now, because of my effort that I'm making in that relationship, because of the way I'm talking, I've bothered to learn a handful of Polish words, which makes Polish people feel welcome. Here's an English trainer bothering to learn a handful of words. It makes them feel included. Now, they trust me because I'm investing. Nathan Simmonds: And by the end of the session, he says, "Oh, now I understand that I need to go and learn English so I can go and get promoted." And you talked about this earlier. His need to be right, to say that, "I am an older man from a different country. I cannot speak English and I'm going to prove myself right that I cannot speak English, therefore I will [inaudible 00:40:03]." He would rather cut off his nose to spite his face because of that inclusion, because [inaudible 00:40:10] said no for himself to innovate for himself. That just blew my brain. Csaba Toth: If this is what he's used to, it's difficult to change it, but what you described is exactly what we talk about, that it's not about changing yourself, it's not about denying your heritage, it's about upgrading yourself. So it's you, but an even better version because we are capable of so much more. And what you described about inclusion, I fully agree with that it is important. And also there is a missing step that is often neglected and that is the self-inclusion because, if you think about that typical metaphor that diversity is when you are invited to a party and inclusion is when you're asked to dance, it sounds like, oh, yes, that's so correct. Well, it's not because, if that happens and somebody invites me and there's a lady who would want to dance with me, I would politely say, "No, thank you." They are as inclusive as possible, but I would say no. And the reason is me, because I would feel that I'm awkward, that I would miss most of the beats, I would step on her. So that's because of me. Csaba Toth: And a lot of people feel like that, that they have low self-esteem. And that's a real pandemic, as well. If you look at the newspapers, you look at the statistics, mental health issues, it doesn't matter how you call them. When people don't know themselves and they compare other people's highlights with how they feel inside and they don't know that they have not just the right, but the capability of changing thoughts, they change the narrative in their head. If they knew how the mindset works, then that would be so much easier. Csaba Toth: So to me, that is the step one, self-inclusion, because if you know who you are and let's say that you are even okay with it, which is quite rare, indeed, what if you like yourself? I mean, let's go [inaudible 00:42:04]. What if you like yourself? Then you don't have to bully anyone to feel important. Then you don't have to hide to feel safe. Then you can be inclusive, but if this self-inclusion is missing, how can I include others in a healthy way, unless you had this martyr syndrome? Then your self-esteem depends on how many people need you. Well, that's not a sustainable option. So that's why I'm focusing on the mindset so much and that's why we have to change the language because, every time I talked about culture, there was a misunderstanding. "Yeah, this is for international companies and global leaders." No. Csaba Toth: Last month, we ran a course called the ICQ Growth Mindset. And it was so successful. It had a real impact on people because they realized, "I didn't know about this. This is something I need and this is that practical." I said, "Yes," because ... Have you read the [inaudible 00:43:00] on the other supercoach? Nathan Simmonds: No. [crosstalk 00:43:04] Csaba Toth: It's an amazing book and he had a really nasty sounding metaphor. And he said that everybody was born as a diamond; pure, full of potential. And then, as you interact with people, you pick up bad habits, you pick up bad experiences, then you start building up, layer by layer, some shit around you, more and more. And then because you feel bad and you want to feel good, you put some nail polish on it to look pretty. So that was his metaphor. And when I read it, it made me think, okay, so if you talk about the growth mindset, for example, in general, learning new techniques, thinking positive, to me, that is just putting more nail polish on it, another layer, which is pretty, but not sustainable. What if the real growth mindset is that you are reducing this middle layer, but you are wasting your potential, your time and energy? Because that middle layer is what we discussed in the beginning; self-sabotage and friction with people who think and behave differently. Csaba Toth: And that is the ICQ mentality. And that's why it was so powerful. During the four days, we went deep and people realized, "Wow, I didn't know that." And getting those testimonials that, "For years, I thought that something was wrong with me and now I understand that it's fine and I can work on it." You couldn't wish for more. So it's about the language. I always felt that this is a topic for everyone, but when you talk about everyone, then you reach no one and it has to be specific. And if we want to have a real impact, then we have to connect the new piece of information to something they already know. And that was a really unique take on the growth mindset. Not about putting more nail polish. Yeah, it's important, sparkles and all those things. I love that. We need that, but let's reduce that middle layer because it is possible. Csaba Toth: Even if you look at the corporate environment, 60% to 80% of our problems stem from strange relationships between people, 60% to 80%. It's not technology. And the top three reasons; clash of values, clash of personalities, and poor leadership. And all three of them stem from the same source, the lack of understanding of why people think and behave differently. So we are just all [inaudible 00:45:24] at the same time by giving them the blueprint. What if it could start like this? That would be so much easier. Nathan Simmonds: [inaudible 00:45:32] I think all complaints start from a lack of understanding and it breaks down. And then when you look at kind of the gallop polls and statistics from 2016 and '17, I haven't looked at more recent ones, I think it's 80% of people are not engaged in the work they're doing, or 83%. 27%, I think it is, that don't agree with their company values. Why are you even working there in the first place if that small a number actually agree with the company values? Csaba Toth: Because they agree with feeding their family. Nathan Simmonds: They think that's what's causing it, but then it's because that's what they've been kind of lead to believe. "You have to do this, this, and this, which then creates this, this, and this and it doesn't matter if you're unhappy or not happy," but if you understand yourself at a deeper level, you can say, "Well, actually, this is how I work. Based on that information, I could do this, this, or this job, which enables me to be the best version of me and to have fun in what I'm doing and to appreciate my own values and self-include so that I can then give those values or contribute those values to another organization's values, whether it's individual, team wise, or organizationally." Csaba Toth: But let's [inaudible 00:46:48]. Most people don't know themselves as much as they know their company, for example. They don't do the research on themselves as much as on the company. Nathan Simmonds: Agreed. Csaba Toth: But if you think about this, it's ... I don't know. It's an interesting story because it's almost like the clash of values that ... do you need, yourself, the permission to do something and be yourself or do you think that you don't have the right to do that, maybe? But the other thing is that we talk about values and beliefs and things like that, but 95% of our actions are driven by values and beliefs we are not even aware of, 95%. So how can you talk about something you don't know about? I mean, that's the problem and that's the issue with coaching, as well, that, "Oh, you just have to reflect on things." How do you reflect on how to say goodnight in Russian if you don't speak Russian? It doesn't matter how much you reflect on it. You have to learn about these things and then you can go deeper. Otherwise, you're just thinking about the symptoms, not the root cause of the problem. Csaba Toth: And again, this is not criticism because it's not common knowledge. They don't teach it at school. This shouldn't be the privilege of corporate training. We should learn about this at school. Otherwise, we just complain. We mix with people who are like us so we can just reinforce these beliefs. We accept them as truth and we get stuck and we think that's the only way. And it's not even their fault. If you don't know that there is a better way, that there are different ways, you have options, then you think you are doing the right thing. Nathan Simmonds: Exactly that. And I think even then, when you kind of delayer that a little bit further, is are they your values or are they somebody else's values that you learned at an early point? And getting really deep on what is important to individuals. And I joke with people in the most unfunniest way. We spend more time planning a trip to Mexico for two weeks than we do with our own careers. And then we wonder why we're abjectly unhappy for the majority of it. But people don't plug into this concept or these ideas that are going to help them make that transition because, actually, if I know more values, if I know how I work and I know what I'm good at and what excites me, then I can make it interesting. Nathan Simmonds: It's like planning a holiday. I want sunshine, I want to go here, I want to learn this language. You can then start putting the preparation in place so you don't start buying ski equipment to go for your trek in the rainforest because that's how we actually end up living and working our lives. We have this limited understanding of kind of where we want to go to, but we end up doing all these things that are counterintuitive and then wonder why, when we get to retirement, that we just wasted 40% of our lives. Csaba Toth: Yeah. That's poison, huh? Regret. Nathan Simmonds: Oh, horrendous, horrendous, but crikey, that's a whole different interview all together. I could go crazy about that for another three hours. An ultimate question; how do you make behavioral change stick? Csaba Toth: That's not easy, definitely, but I think the starting point is what we kind of talked about in the beginning, that people don't do anything until it hurts enough. And I'm not saying that you have to punish yourself or other people, but you have to understand that every action has consequences, even if it's not immediately visible. So we have to know why we do it and you need a compelling reason, which has to be emotional, not logical. You need an emotional one first. That's stronger than ... Maybe you can rationalize it later on, but you need a real, strong, emotional reason for change. And then, when you do that, then ideally you do it regularly because, if you push too hard and you come up with big plans, then you just figure you're in survivor mode and, "Whoa, no thank you," and you're not going to do it. But if you do it incrementally, just step by step, understanding yourself, then it's much easier. Csaba Toth: So for example, this is one of the most difficult questions you can have as a coach or trainer. Do your workshop, feel inspired, you are unbelievable. How can you make sure that I could actually apply that knowledge? And this is, "Well, I've got more coaching sessions. Do you want some?" No. So we developed the program. It's an interactive coaching platform called Quest and it's designed for your [inaudible 00:51:10] result, your personality type, your values and beliefs. And it's an interactive coaching platform. And it's not a boring online course that you can click through. Everything happens in real life. So you do what you normally do, but you would do it slightly differently. So you get a different outcome, a different feeling, you go back to the app, you answer some reflective questions you can save in your journal, and then you can unlock the next one and it's step by step. And that's why it's designed for your results because, if you choose the wrong one, it challenges you too much or not enough. Csaba Toth: So this is a three-month program. So by the time you finish with level three, which is called Panic and Mission 21, then your comfort zone and your behavioral flexibility are going to be pretty awesome, but this is a step-by-step process. The other way to change your values and your habits is through a traumatic experience, but hopefully we are not waiting for that. But this pandemic is kind of like that. It's a combination of both because it's a shock, but this is also [inaudible 00:52:13] process. And a lot of people are growing now. It's amazing to see that some people are stepping up, some people are struggling. And I think that's our job now, to lead by example, because at times of uncertainty, people are craving certainty. They want to see not even the techniques, but first, so it's possible. Is it possible? And when they people it is, show me how you do it. Not the other way around. Csaba Toth: So it's not about selling courses and slapping a COVID-19 at the end that, "Oh, yeah. This is for COVID-19," or, "I show you how to survive and thrive during pandemic." Sit down. That's not true. Don't pretend to be a guru. Let's do it together. Let's figure it out. But most importantly, people need an example. People who don't just preach about something, but they actually practice it because if you have this crowd around you, the right environment, then it's easier to change your behavior, as well, because it's natural. We conform to the right norms and that's our choice, not a random one that, "Yeah, I was born there, so I'm like that." No. That's an excuse. Nathan Simmonds: So I was thinking, like you say, is having those people around you ... Jim Roane [inaudible 00:53:26] you're the average of the top five people you hang with or whatever. When you put that in a cultural context or departmental context, yes, it's true. If you decide that you want that kind of lure of association and you want to buy into that, actually, you have a choice to kind of get that factory default reset. When that traumatic event comes in swift and hard, it normally ... and you talked about that layer of shit that we build up. It instantly nullifies that. We go back to it and we go, "Oh, I've been behaving like this, but this is the truth. Now, I can bring that to life." Helping people to plug into that, predominantly, ideally with less trauma, and getting them to kind of understand the emotional draw or magnetism of how that feels, and then they start digging into that stuff and start exposing the good things that they do and living in that space. Csaba Toth: Sometimes it's difficult because, if you talk about the corporate environment, then you cannot just be yourself and then I do what I want. No, you have to conform to the norms, no matter what the truth is, because if you don't, they're going to reject you. So even if you look at the statistics from leadership IQ that 89% of new hires fail within 18 months because of poor cultural fit or 75% of employees need managers, not companies, now we can see that you have a choice; truth or your job, often. So sometimes it is difficult and you compromise. It's about the hierarchy of the pain. Do I compromise now, but I can feed my family, or I stand up for my beliefs and I'm risking something else? Because maybe I don't believe that I have another option. Maybe I believe that I have only two options. And usually, we have more, but how do you know? Have you seen a good example? Do you give yourself that kind of psychological permission that, yes, you can? Do you believe that you can? It's a different story. Nathan Simmonds: Yeah, but we end up projecting that onto other people and saying, "Well, I haven't seen that example in anyone else. I haven't got that role model. My leader hasn't said that I can do that." Well, you don't need a leader to tell you you can do that if it's good and right. You need to do it, yourself. And that combination, I think, the combination of those two things, of the ICQ assessment and that understanding. And for me, when I combine that with you are your own greatest role model if you have that absolute clarity on where you're going to go and what you're going to contribute to the world, you're not waiting for your leaders to tell you what you're doing. It's you telling you what you're capable of and what you actually need to do in order to demonstrate your values at the highest possible level. Nathan Simmonds: But we don't get that from kind of everyday understanding and we know what we're indoctrinated into and we need to do that deeper dive. We need to go into these sorts of assessments. We need to have that conversation with ourselves because very few other people will have that conversation with you. Csaba Toth: That's the key. If something is too rigid, it rapes. We have to be flexible and we have to grow and that's the safest option, not tensing up, but this is natural that many are in survivor mode and we try to control the environment. And because we cannot, we get even more stressed instead of focusing on the things that we can actually control. What we pay attention to, what meaning we attach to those things and what actions we take. These are the three things that we can control, not the outside world. So we are wasting a lot of energy and potential there. Tensing up, getting more rigid, and it's just a downward spiral. Nathan Simmonds: It comes back ... And I'm going to do that up in the wrap up, I think, right now, but look. Last question, where can people find you? Csaba Toth: LinkedIn, that would be the best one. Always happy to connect with everyone who is passionate about this topic. I can send you the exact link. The website, ICQ.Global, that's the best way. And if somebody wants to read the book, that would be more than welcome. It comes with interactive coaching platform. It comes with the assessment, so they can try it. So technically, there is 500 pounds worth of resources in the book. It's a hybrid book. It's not a book and an online course, but for each chapter, you have a mission to experience it. It's seamlessly integrated and that's my investment in this topic and in people, as well, that if you are willing to do that, then there's more to it. You will find that in the quest and in the book, which I'm not going to tell you now because that's the point. You have to go through it, instead of just clicking through. Csaba Toth: But that's an investment in our topic because people cannot ask for something if they don't know about it. If they don't know that they have a problem. This is almost like the ... Have you seen the Febreze case study? Nathan Simmonds: No, tell me more. Csaba Toth: You know the Febreze that they spray that it neutralizes the odors? Nathan Simmonds: Yeah. Csaba Toth: So when they came up with this idea, they went to nasty houses with lots of dogs, for example. It was just, you go in and, "Oh, that's horrible." And then they wanted to sell it. They said, "Do you need this?" And they said, "No, we don't, but why would you need that?" "Well, because your house stinks." "No, it doesn't." And they realized that those people went nose blind. And that's the term that they used, nose blind. They just got used to it. They got conditioned. And often, people are like this. We get used to that, in a company, conflicts are normal. Bad bosses are normal. Having a shitty life is normal. That's just, "I'll get used to it." Don't. No. That's the Febreze effect. No, you just got used to it. It doesn't mean that you have to accept it. You always have an option. Csaba Toth: And when you read that book and you experience, then you see those case studies and you connect with those people and you realize, "Wow, really? Is it possible?" Then they are going to look for the solution. It's not a book about Global DISC. Don't get me wrong, there's one chapter about it. It's about the mindset behind it, the philosophy, the research, some of the urban legends of our field because, often, people have the best intention. They have the budget and they invested in the wrong thing. And I'm not trying to stand up by pushing other ones down. Don't get me wrong because I believe that there are different paths leading toward the same destination. There's nothing wrong with that. The problem is when somebody positions something as the saver bullet for everything. No, let's be clear about this. What is it good for? What isn't? Can we calibrate? Can we create synergy? To me, that's the point. We are smarter together. Nathan Simmonds: Great. And when you see things from a different angle, you get a deeper perspective and deeper understanding, which just helps people. Even looking at the principles from Ray Dalio, he talked about the baseball cards and they would have multiple assessments, ticking multiple boxes. So you've got absolutely clarity on yourself and other people you're speaking to to build those relationships. And ICQ is providing one of those facets to this incredible diamond that is your personality, I think. Csaba, look, amazing. Thank you very much for your time doing this. It's deeply appreciated. We covered some phenomenal things. Nathan Simmonds: For those of you listening and those of you watching, it's about the inclusion. This book is about getting you included. Get yourself a copy of it. It's about helping you to understand who you are and what you contribute by going through these quests, these ideas, and these concepts and developing an introspection that allows you to kind of connect and deliver the best possible contribution and build trust in yourself and the relationships that you've got. Go and find Csaba. Have the conversation. His LinkedIn profile will be in the show notes. The connection to the book will also be in there and to the websites. Dig deep, go and have a look, enjoy. Thank you very much, Csaba. Csaba Toth: Thank you so much. Nathan Simmonds: Firstly, massive thank you from the MBM team for tuning into this Sticky Interview. If you haven't already done so, now is the time to click subscribe and start out the day with our new training videos and great interviews. And secondly, if you want to learn more about the skills we've been talking about in this episode, click the link and take a look at the MBM virtual classrooms. They're there to help you be the best version of you in the work that you do. Until next time, see you soon.
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