00:08 Hi, I'm Denise Simpson, a master life and leadership coach who helps women step into their authentic and feminine power. So they can lead like visionaries influence with grace and create a legacy of contribution and service. You'll hear about real leadership clients with real problems, navigating their success in life, business, and career. If you're ready to become a masterful leader, then this podcast was made for you. So let's get started.
00:47 Welcome. Happy you have pressed play. You are taking time for your leadership development, your leadership growth you're here because you wanna learn about mindset, skillset, and strategy. You, dear leader are a masterful one and thank you for pressing play. So today's conversation is about a very important concept that I have personally struggled with. And that 99% of my clients, my leadership clients have trouble with this is an interesting conversation. So open up your mind. I have already talked briefly about this in other episodes, I've even posted a few things in regards to what we are calling your manual, specifically, the manual that you have for your employees. This is a leadership manual. This is not the employee handbook. That's official, right? The one that you have in your organization that has policies and procedures and consequences. If these things aren't followed that employee handbook was not written by you was written by the organization.
02:01 I am talking about the manual that you have created with your own mind. This manual is an instructional guide. Basically. It's like the Ikea instruction guide on building this furniture that has 1,000,001 pieces. You know, the manual to building the cabinet manual, to fixing the car. a manual for how your house should be kept a manual for how your relationships should be a manual for your partner, your spouse, your lover, a manual for your children, a manual for your body. These are manuals that we have created in concept in theory. But what's interesting is that we see it play out demonstrably in your relationships, in how you behave and how you react with yourself and with others. So today's conversation is specifically about the manual that you have for your employees. So the manual I had from my employees looked like there's no talking back.
03:22 You will not question my judgment. You will not look at me sideways. you will be here promptly. You will not call in sick ever. You will never, ever disrespect me in front of my students or my colleagues or my peers or other subordinates. I had this unreasonable list of expectations and standards. This was the manual in my mind, this isn't a physical manual. My friend, this is not physically printed and given to an employee, right? We have the employee handbook. That's legit written by someone really smart in HR, right approved by the CEO or the board of directors. Fantastic. I'm talking about my manual, your manual that we have created for ourselves, that our employees don't even know about. These are the things that are running at the unconscious levels of our mind. And when things go down, meaning when your employee doesn't follow your manual, then it becomes conscious to you.
04:27 Then you're aware of it, like, wait a minute. He just questioned me in front of the entire department who the hell is here, right? So then you, you start then creating stories in your mind, you start then behaving in reactive ways towards your employees because of the manual that you created for them. This is an interesting concept for many people. The manual is something that I learned a few years ago through my coach. she said, you know, you've got an interesting manual for your family member. I was having a challenge with someone in my family, and I said, you know, she's supposed to behave this way. She's supposed to treat me this way. She should not disrespect me in front of others. Who does she think she is? And my coach said, wow, that sounds like you've written a manual for her that she doesn't know about.
05:27 Wow, my brain had exploded. And so I started to look at the manuals that I created in my life, the manual that I had for my husband and my children, the manual that I created for my sisters, the manual that I created for my best friends, my circle of friends, the manual I created for my students, the manual I created for my leader, the manual I created for the government, for my doctor. for everybody that I have a relationship with the manual is this disruptive and destructive concept. And when we think of it as a physical instruction guide, we then can, can really see for ourselves. Wow. I have created this unintentionally based on my life experience, societal exploitations, cultural standards and expectations, how I'm supposed to behave as a woman leader, how I'm supposed to behave as a wife and lover, how I'm supposed to behave as a mother, how I'm supposed to behave as a sibling, how I'm supposed to behave as a daughter and so forth.
06:40 Right? So here are all these manuals that were really pounded into our neurology from when we were little girls. And so manuals were imposed upon us. Again, probably not intentionally cuz our parents and our guardians and leaders did the best they could with the brains that they had. Right? And so none of this, I hope was intentional for me. It wasn't, I know my parents did the best they could. My culture did the best they could. Society did the best they could. And so here I am now with all of these manuals that they created for me on how I'm supposed to behave, how I'm supposed to think, how I'm, how I'm supposed to feel, how I'm supposed to lead. So these manuals were imposed upon us. And now we have created manuals for the people in our lives for the entities in our lives, for the authorities in our lives, for our children in our lives.
07:42 So the manual is really about a relationship, your standards, your expectations in a manual for the person you are in a relationship with. And as leaders, we spend a great deal of time with our employees. We are intentional in creating connection with our employees. We want for them to feel like they are valued. And we do that through trust and vulnerability and empathy or compassion. This is what we get to do as leaders. We are relationship experts basically is what a leader does. We are building relationships with our people, for the purpose of reaching performance objectives for reaching department goals, for contributing to the organization's bottom line. This is what we get to do as leaders. So what if unconsciously, you have a manual that you created for your employees, the standards and expectations that may be unreasonable. And so I want for you to take this opportunity, to learn for yourself, find awareness around the manuals that you've created for your employees.
09:03 These are very interesting standards and expectations that we have for our employees. And I want for you to jot some of those down. I shared with you a few of mine, right? Don't look at me sideways. Don't don't question my authority. Don't question my judge, my opinion. Uh, you're not to judge me. Uh, you know, you have, I, you cannot take a day off. Definitely no sick leave here. Right? Those were the unconscious directions instructions in this manual that I had for my employees. Again, they never see it because it lives in your brain and it's demonstrated through how you behave towards your employees. This is how, you know, you have a manual for your employees. It's in your behavior. It's in the results that you're creating because of those behaviors. It's how you're making your employees feel. Do they feel like you see them? Do they feel valued? Do they feel like they can trust you? Do they feel that you're compassionate? Do they feel that you care? And I'm using the word feeling feel because that's what drives action. That's the neuroscience. That's the neurobiology. What drives action or behavior are your feelings. So if you want your employee to behave in a certain way or to act in a certain way or to move in the direction of completing a goal, focus on the feeling that you are creating in that context.
10:41 And if that manual of yours, it, it does not include. making them feel seen and valued and worthy of this position. Then we need to seriously burn that manual. Let's burn the manual. Actually let's just burn the manual together. Right? I don't, I don't think it's something that is helpful. I think it's something that is toxic and destructive is because a manual is intended to control others, right? This is how you are supposed to behave. And if you don't behave this way, you are then going to suffer the consequences. Now let's not confuse the consequences that your employees will have to endure. If they violate an employee code of conduct, right? again, employee handbook is an employee handbook. That's something they sign in their new hire orientation class, right? Sign this contract that you've read these, this code of conduct or employee handbook.
11:50 And here are the consequences. Okay? Right. Put aside, I'm talking about you leader and the manual that you have again for your employees. So let's talk about how to let go of a manual. It's time, my friend, that we let this go. It is not serving us. It is not serving your employees. We want a clean slate. We want to first and foremost recognize that we have manuals take this moment right now to recognize the manuals that you have. It could be a manual for the entire team, or you can have individual manuals. Like for example, I had a very specific manual for my administrative assistant and here's why I talk about her actually in an episode on the savior complex. And I mentioned that I had taken on very interesting thoughts and beliefs about her, that she needed. Saan because of the stories she was telling me about her family and her upbringing and her suffering.
13:00 I was in the pool with her. Actually we were in the deep end of the pool together. Actually we were drowning together because I fell into that trap because I am a compassionate leader. And at that time I was full of empathy. And by the way, side don't , there is a difference between compassion and empathy. I'm gonna make, uh, an episode on this specifically because empathy versus compassion to very different emotions and different actions that you take from that emotion. And as a leader, I recommend you look or turn to your compassionate side and put your empathy on the shelf for your family. And, um, maybe for your, you know, community mission and AC and activism. So we'll talk about that. On another episode, let's get back to that example. So I had written a manual for her when I say written it's in my mind, I wrote the manual for her, that included to be easy on her, to give her more breaks than normal, right than the average employee to excuse all of her absences and to make really like defend her when it was time for employee valuations and pay increases and merit increases.
14:17 I did everything I could to elevate her without her even taking a step up. And that was the manual I created for her. But then I had a manual for one of my male professors that looked very different and that manual was like, dude, you won't look at me side eyed like Uhuh, you will not cross your eyes. You will not make faces at me. You will not judge me. You will not do this. Do that. I mean, the dude had a manual. That was ridiculous. So both of these examples are ridiculous manuals. I mean, just look at the bias I had for her and the bias I had for him, right. There was so much going on in my brain. Not only that, but there was prejudice. There was discriminatory tendencies. There was so much other unconscious underlying things that were motivating these manuals.
15:10 So be careful with how you look at one employee versus the other employee and the manuals that you have for your individual members. So sometimes it's as easy as a group collective manual. And oftentimes actually I would say you have a manual for each person because you know them individually, you've already made judgements about them. You've already created stories about them in your head. You've already labeled them, coined them. You've categorized them in your mind. And this is all unconscious. My friend, none of us wanna do any of this shit consciously. Like we don't wanna be the, you know, these kinds of leaders intentionally, right? This is all unconscious, but now we're finding awareness around that. So that's step one, find awareness around the manuals that you have for your people. Next. I want for you to question yourself as to why you have these standards and expectations for these people.
16:10 Why, if they behave this way, they make me feel empowered or they make me feel respected or they make me feel like I am the authority. Find the connection between why you have these expectations for them. That if they don't behave, according to these expectations, you are gonna feel a certain way. So if you do this, then I will feel this way. The, this is probably the critical part of this exercise is asking yourself, why does their behavior impact how I feel? That's the key here is we want people to behave in a certain way so that we can feel better so that we look like amazing leaders so that we look like we're respected, right? And we feel respected and we feel like we're an authority. And we feel like we're doing an, an amazing job as a leader. You know, we want you to behave a certain way so that we can feel a certain way.
17:16 Careful with this exercise. I don't want for you to beat yourself up. If you realize that your expectations are based on how their behavior is gonna make you feel, I can't even stress this enough. This is the most critical part of this exercise. Take some mental notes if you're driving, or if, if you're in your office, take a note, pen and paper and jot down why that's important. Why did you create these expectations? What is that? You are wanting to feel based on their behavior. How will their behavior, if they act this way, if they meet these standards and expectations, how will you then feel? How will the, how will you then be perceived by others? Okay, let's take a deep breath. I know that was a lot, a lot to contemplate, but I'm gonna leave you with this last thought. As leaders, we do the best we can to influence and inspire our employees.
18:24 We do not manipulate. We do not control our employees. It's like hurting cats, right? If you think of a cat, they're independent, they're autonomous. They're like F you feed me or F you. I don't wanna, I don't want you to touch me. Right? Cats are independent. And yet we love cats. If you're a cat lover, my gosh, you'll do anything for that kitty cat. Okay? Think of your employees as cats. We cannot herd them because they are their own entity. They are whole, they are perfect and they don't need to be fixed. These are people that were hired by you or your predecessor to do the job that they were hired to do. Now give them that space, give them that independence and autonomy to be creative, to be innovative, to be ingenious. This is your role as a leader is to cultivate that culture within your team.
19:22 So let's give them that space and opportunity. No controlling, no manipulating, but yet we know how to influence, and we know how to inspire behavior. So the manual will not serve you in these circumstances, in these specific relationships. So take responsibility right here, right now, my friend for identifying your manuals. If it's a collective manual, call it out. If it's individual manuals, see for yourself, why you have one manual for one person and another manual for the other person, I want for you to explore why you have these expectations and standards and that if they behave according to these standards and expectations, you will feel a certain way. Why do you need that? Why do they dictate their behaviors? Dictate how you feel about yourself and your self leadership identity, the leadership value that you contribute. Why does their behavior dictate the way you feel and the way you identify as a leader?
20:30 No, we do not depend on those things. We are self generated. These feelings come from our own neurochemical manufacturing plant in our own brains. We create those feelings for ourselves. No one can do that for us. So take responsibility right here, right now for owning this work. All right, my friend, I know that was a lot, but this is how we do the work together. All right. Your turn leader. Go look me up on IG. I'm at Dr. Denise Simpson. Connect with me. Tell me about your manuals. I wanna hear from you, let me know what your thoughts are on this concept and how you are demonstrating them and proving them to yourself. I wanna hear from you all right. Have a fantastic week and I'll catch you on the next episode. Take good care.
21:28 Hey, if you enjoy listening to this podcast, you have to join me inside my exclusive coaching membership for women in leadership. Just like you. I wanna help you become a masterful leader with the help of a community of the most powerful women on this planet. My membership is called masters of leadership. Yes, of course it would be called that . So whether you're a novice or a master, you have to join us. You're gonna get the support that you need and deserve inside my membership. So head over to Dr. Denise simpson.com/m O L. That website again is Dr. Denise simpson.com/m O L. You deserve this, my friend. So join us inside. See you soon.