Sara Scharlau

is on the show sharing how human design in the creative space translates into the management and leadership zone. When you care about people and seek to understand their needs, you can serve them while they help you build your company by design.

A little bit about Sara...

Today’s guest focuses on "Making Management Less Intimidating, Customizable, and Repeatable. Sara Scharlau has a professional background of over 15  years in communication design, specializing in Human-Centered Design Principles. She has spent the last eight years honing her management style and helping new managers find their footing using the same Human-Centered Principles that made her successful as a designer. 

Sara has developed a framework for making management less intimidating and more Human-Centered. This has helped hesitant new managers excel sooner and experienced managers take their skills to a new level.

Check out more of Sara

LinkedIn /in/sarascharlau

Linkedin: /company/lux-leadership-coaching

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Sara Scharlau
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Show Notes


Robert Peterson 1:42
Sara, thank you so much for coming on the show today. We're so excited to have this conversation. I know you're new jumping into a new entrepreneurial journey. And so I guess, share, share what's motivating you what's driving you to jump into entrepreneurship?

Sara Scharlau 2:40
That's a great question. I've heard a lot of stories from other entrepreneurs that I think there's a little bit of craziness that we all have to say, Sure, I want to sign up for that challenge. But for me, the biggest driving forces, what I was able to identify, that I find myself uniquely qualified to do to help people

Sara Scharlau 3:06
with this coaching and mentorship kind of role. I love that I get the opportunity to do this with so many people at you know where I've worked, where I've worked in the past people I know, in my real world network, why not try to help more people, you know, with with COVID, and everything that happened with the technology that's changed and evolved and people's acceptance of technology, specifically around, you know, Zoom calls and all of those things, I think it's really opened up a lot of doors, that I want to see what's behind them, you know, is there an opportunity there? Is there something where I can help more people? And I'd love to have that opportunity.

Robert Peterson 3:55
All right, so to talk about your expertise a little bit and how you're going to translate that into your own business.

Sara Scharlau 4:03
So my expertise actually might sound weird that it comes from the world of design, whereas my business is leadership coaching, how do those two things connect? So my background in design was, was and still is very, very focused on human centered design principles. Where you really focus on how to identify the end user, understand and empathize with them to a deeper level. So that you can create whatever product that you're creating, whether it's an app, whether it's a website, sell sheet, piece of packaging, anything, whatever that you're putting in front of them, that it resonates with them on a very, very deep level in a way that is more authentic than any other competitor out there, what I realized those same steps and processes that are second nature to me now in that design world is actually 100% applicable to the world of leadership coaching, mentoring managers, helping people connect in a professional environment that might not have the same backgrounds, or the same perspectives or the same type of personalities or interests. You can apply the same thinking and fundaments to get those groups of people to connect with the shared goal of helping the people move forward and grow and develop all for business as well.

Robert Peterson 5:46
Nice. So you mentioned connection. So let's dig into the value of, of connection. Obviously. You recognize its importance. How does this how does it translate for you as a business owner, I was a translate for you in helping business owners?

Sara Scharlau 6:08
That's a really good question. I think connection is something that a lot of people take for granted. I think it's something that we mostly experience without having to put a lot of effort into that. So when it doesn't happen, people think it just can't happen between people because it didn't happen effortlessly. And it can be hard. It can be hard, especially if you don't have a guidebook that can help you navigate how to connect with people who are different than yourself. So for me in my business, what I you know, to be fair and still struggling with like you said, I'm still very, very new. I think when we last spoke i offhandedly remarked, I like my company's been live for like a whole 20 Some days like this is it's new is trying to get myself to connect with my company. Because I'm so used to doing it for other people. I'm having to do it for myself now. It's like a different challenge. But really focusing on what are those principles? What are those guardrails? What are the steps? How can we simplify them? And make them you know, less intimidating, more repeatable in customizable for people moving forward?

Robert Peterson 7:46
All right, now you're digging, now you're digging? Let's see, you mentioned applies to leadership applies to connection. How is there a step by step process for connection with?

Sara Scharlau 8:01
So one thing that I came across in my personal life as well. So this isn't just, you know, managerial life, this is personal life as well. Talking to people hearing people's stories, you know, hearing people, you know, complain about a situation or express concern about something, or unsure how to act or respond to a situation or a person. I kept finding myself asking the same question over and over and over again. And I got the same kind of response. And I was like, to me, this is very simple, because it's so hard wired into my brain. Wow, this is not what pops to people's mind. And the question is, did you ask them that? Did you talk to them? Did you share that? And the answer's no. 90 plus percent of the time, the answer is no. No, they did not share that. No, they did not talk especially about how they feel, or about how it made them feel. They're just assuming that other person in the dynamic should know that. Yeah. And then they assume the person knows that. And then they're maliciously doing what they're doing, because they know how it would affect me. How dare they. And it can just so quickly spiral out of control. And if you just go back to the very, very base, the very, very first step. Did you talk to them? You should probably talk to them.

Robert Peterson 9:50
Oh, Sarah, Sarah. No, no, no, I can't have any of that right. No indication Oh, yeah, you're hitting a, a wonderful spot that most people just like, you've obviously come to recognize that most people don't, don't live in the space that you live in. And, and they, and they hold on to these expectations. And for me, it's, it's, it's, it's exaggerated in the TV, rom coms and the T TV shows and that's the space, the space where they really play is, is in that expectation space. For, friends of the show, or show Friends for fans of the show Friends, there was there was always the Ross and Rachel and we were on a break. And, and the whole thing goes down to their expectations of what defines a break and whether they were really on a break, but they never ever, ever talk about what that implied or what their expectations should have been. And, in real relationships, it's very, very, very true that very few people are willing to step back and say, Hey, what you did there made me feel this way. Right? And if we won't do it, if we won't do it with our spouse, the one person closest to us that loves us more than anyone else on the planet, there's no way we're going to do it with a client or with or with a co worker or with a boss. Right? I mean, absolutely. This is relationship 101. And in the truth is this one, that one thing would create so much connection and solve so many communication problems that that I mean, it's revolutionary, what you were talking about Sarah is revolutionary.

Sara Scharlau 11:59
Well, and I'm not the only person who says this. I know. I've heard countless people say that. But what started to click for me, and when I was working with people, professionally, and personally, you know, friends and family, you can you can stand on your soapbox and say, Well, did you talk to them? Did you communicate? We'll just do that. And all your problems are solved. But what's the problem? You know, but that doesn't actually help. Anyone

Robert Peterson 12:36
was like, gotta tell him, you know, don't be angry.

Sara Scharlau 12:40
Right? Can you calm down? You know, that's just not gonna work. But if you can have that moment where you ask the question, get them to pause, and then continue to help them along the way after that, to make the rest of the process less intimidating. That's where I started to realize, I am not only good at it, but I legitimately enjoy helping people through what I recognize, because I've been through it too, are terrifying, anxiety ridden moments in people's lives. And if you can just help them through one, the next one is going to be a little bit easier. And the next one is going to be a little bit easier. And if you can provide them the framework to prepare to have those conversations, you're taking one less thing for them to worry about, you're just taking it off the table for them. And then you're creating someone who's empowered to handle it next time. You know, I don't want to be anybody's crutch. You know, that's not my business model. I'm not trying to make people like dependent on me, you know, if your annual subscriptions up, you know, time to renew if and vice versa. They're like, No, it's I want to give people this tool that can empower them to handle conflict become more comfortable with being in uncomfortable situations, so that they can get to what everybody wants, which is an authentic connection and understanding and shared definitions of what expectations are and clarity, like, doesn't sound nice, just knowing those things in whether it's your personal life or your professional life. You don't have to worry about those anymore. You have you have the answers the right. Because you talked about him, that'd be great. Right?

Robert Peterson 14:42
Well, and the truth is, in most relationships, you have to talk about him a lot. Like you have to talk about it over and over and over again. You know, and creating a framework. You know, my wife and I had a period of time and we've been together a long, long time and part of that is because we've taken And the time to communicate about expectations. But that framework, we had a framework at the end of the day, where were we able to say, you know, when you spoke this way earlier that hurt me, and, and, and cause me to feel this way. And, in most relationships, people, their tendency is, but that's your problem, right? That made you feel that way but in it, but in a true relationship, the person that causes the pain wants to own that, right. And there has to be this place in between where, okay, I don't miss my goal in this in our relationship. Because we have a relationship that's not about power and control. Right, our goal is to empower each other not disempower. And so being able to open myself up to okay, if, if those words I used hurt you that then you know, then I want to change those. And the next step was really, you know, oh, it made me feel really good when you said this, right. And so you get a balance of, of, okay, this, this thing hurt me this. And then, you know, being able to talk about expectations. And it, I guess we're down this relationship road. So I know that this isn't necessarily where your business is headed in leadership development. But, the truth is, in relationships, if we can't talk about sex and money, and our expectations around sex and around money, then how you can talk about anything else, because sex and money are two amazing things that we have in this world. Especially for entrepreneurs, I'm gonna tell you, right, if you're an entrepreneur, you need to be love and money, and you need to be loving sex and trying to get as much of both as you can, inappropriate relationships in places. So but but the willingness to talk about those things, I think, is, is broken. And we've been told from, from a young age, you know, not to talk about money not to talk about sex. And then you get into these relationships. And, we're just supposed to know what to do, right? We're just supposed to know,, what makes the other person feel better in, having sex or what makes the other person feel better, and how they spend money or use money. And, we're afraid to have conversations about those two things. Who, hello. And of course, in business, you know, being able to talk about money is pretty important. And being able to No, no, your expectations for money in your business know, what you want your business to do in regards to money is really important and making it okay. And so I think the more in a relationship, especially in a business relationship, that you can talk about some of these hard things. It stands out, right, and it makes your relationship very unique.

Sara Scharlau 17:59
Well, and I would say, you know, for the world of, you know, business, and specifically what my company focuses on, is that manager, you know, direct report relationship. What I would say are the things that are the hardest for people to talk about, is, of course, money. So any type of aspirations or goals, or how driven somebody is, there's a lot of mixed messages out there in our culture, for men and women, about what is and isn't appropriate to talk about with your manager about what your goals are, you know, how are you supposed to have an effective conversation about what your future in a company looks like, if you have to be so worried about? Well, if I talk about wanting too much growth, it will make me look like I'm not happy where I am. And they'll let me go. Like, that's a tricky situation to be in. You want to grow, but you don't want to grow too much. And it's like, how do you navigate that? So there's that. And then I think the other thing is talking about how to actually communicate feedback in general, positive and negative. If you don't know how to take as a manager, if you don't know how to tailor your feedback to each individual direct report, in a way that their defenses won't go up, or that they won't dismiss it, you know, outright because it's just a bunch of fluff and they don't care. You have to be able to know how to say it. So they go, Oh, not only my understanding what you're saying, I'm understanding. If it's critical feedback, I understand why it's a problem. who it affects why that's a big deal. And also what I can do to improve it positive feedback, you almost need the same situation. Great, thank you for the positive feedback. But also, I understand why it's a big deal, how it fits into the big picture, and how I can do more of it. Not just a good job, buddy, you know, like, it needs to be tailored. And you can't do that if you haven't had what I call foundation conversations between those two parties. And, you know, back to where we started, did you ask that? Did you? Did you ask that question? It's a really powerful question. How do you like feedback, I've worked with people who they would, their entire year would be made. If their boss got up in front of a group of people, and announced a loudly, you know, so and so did this. And it was amazing. And look at what they did in the initiative. And I'm so proud of them, I think it's so incredible. They'd be like, this is the best day of my life, I just didn't just basking in it. I've also worked with people, if their boss did that, they'd be mortified, they would crumble up and die inside and just like, Stop looking at me. Like, I'd never want to do that again, because I never want them to announce it again.

Robert Peterson 21:31
But imagine, I mean, obviously, in thinking about a production floor and a leader and manager. And having that level of communication with each of their direct reports, the impact that has on their productivity, and their attitude at work, right? Because, you know, you could think of typical management employee relationships, and it's, you know, manager comes on the floor, and we need 400 By the end of the day, right, you gotta get it done. You know, and then, and then everybody on the floor grumbles and says, you know, they never appreciate us. And, you know, you think about the, the Hollywood level of communication. And the truth is, when a company really cares about people, and can create relationship and give management, the opportunity to lean into people's lives a little bit. So not only do they know how that person wants to receive feedback, they know a little bit about their family, they know why they're working there, they know, you know? And not enough information to be manipulative, because our hands are can be right, where we're either inspiring people or manipulating people, right, that those are the two types of leadership out there. And, we want to encourage, obviously, I think your company, and your goal is to encourage leaders who inspire, and to give them the tools and frameworks to be more inspirational. And that's why it plays so well in personal relationship is, is if you have the same conversations in a personal relationship, you become an inspiration to your partner, rather than a manipulator rather than, you know, using your partner or using your behavior to get your partner to do the things that you want them to do.

Sara Scharlau 23:31
Well, and I think it's really interesting that you touched on that. I have what I call an ick factor around any company that constantly talks about, we're a family, we're a family, we're a family. Because I do think that it can be a crutch, that if a manager, they could think they're really connecting with their individuals because they know about, you know, their family or their preferences or what they do outside of work or they get really involved. Are there some positives to that? Sure. Is that a optimized, respectful and fully repeatable, equitable way to treat all your employees? Absolutely not. You can't be best friends, with your direct reports. It's just going to blow up in your face. It's not it's not a good rule to be like that's my management style. It won't work long term. I'm a big believer that if you've got one report who has an open book and they want to talk about, you know what they did on the weekend and you know, their kids soccer practice or their families this or whatever they did on you know, that night Wonderful, that's totally fine. But the other direct report, who chooses to be more private about their personal life should be able to have the same professional connection with you and receive the same amount of attention and care that that other person does.

Robert Peterson 25:24
Well, it's meeting people where they are. Yeah, absolutely. And, and, and it being okay for each person to be in a different in a different space. And I think obviously, these are huge generalizations, right, that this idea that all the employees is going to respond to. Management in the same way is, is obviously a simplification and, and a generalization. But the reality of being able to ask, you know, how, how do you want your feedback? How do you want to have this conversation? I, I typically on the surface, despise annual review, like, you know, really, I mean, if you can wait a year to review somebody and then and then adjust their performance based on your opinion of them that day of the year, then, then great, right? I mean, I think productivity is a daily thing. And if we want to improve productivity, we've got it. But the challenge so often in in reviews is, first of all, it's typically one human beings opinion of another's. Yeah. And, and it's based on their mood that day, right? You can't avoid it, right? I mean, if the manager, you know, had a bad weekend, and is was having a fight with their spouse, the weekend, and then they go into work to do reviews, that's going to impact how these reviews come out. It just is. It's human nature, right? Yeah. But I think in the longer term, the way a manager treats people on a daily basis, and how they deal with expectations on a daily basis is far more powerful than then what they're doing in a, in a, you know, a review of somebody's performance, you know, once a year or, or once every six months. I think that thinking about, something that's productive, but in the idea of communication, you know, being able to ask those questions, being able to have those conversations, being able to know, people a little more intimately is really powerful. And that's going to lead to improved, improved conversations, first of all, but it's also going to lead to improved productivity, and people are going to want to do better. They're, they're gonna, because they're gonna accept the feedback at a different level. And, and I think that's, that's super powerful. Right, in a leader subordinate relationship, that can be super, super important.

Sara Scharlau 28:56
Yeah, I agree. And I also agree with your example of annual review. That's garbage. However, I think annual reviews are an important tool to use in tandem. So I encourage, you know, not only a foundation setting conversation, but regular touch bases at a minimum, once monthly, to not just talk about what projects you're doing or things like that, but to talk about, you know, goals. Where are you at? Where are you in relation to expectations? Where are you succeeding? Where do you need help? Why do you need help? You know, conversations like that. So the annual review is all fueled by those conversations. And I always like to say, annual review should never, ever, ever, ever, be a surprise to anyone. It is a wonderful way to have a regular cadence. Um, for companies to handle the finance aspect of any type of bonuses or raises or promotions or something like that, and it's a great way to set goals for the following year. But if to your point, if you don't have those regular touch points, then that's just wasted time. It's Yeah, completely useless. I will say to back to something else you were saying that I think it's important because a couple of people have asked me this here or there, as I talk about Lux leadership coaching. And its goals, I do talk a lot about it from a managers aspect, because that is my target audience. However, during the course, it is also training and educating them, that it isn't just, you know, supervisor subordinate thing, and it just all goes this way. You have to create an environment where the feedback can go up this way, too. And how can you specifically with new managers, but sure, established managers as well. It's so tricky to toe the line between being vulnerable as a manager to a direct report, and being past that line to now that they're not sure about your ability to lead.

Robert Peterson 31:30
Sounds like yeah, I get it. I mean, so my original or best example background was, was military and military creates the management, worker division between officers and NCOs. And of course, you know, officers have graduated college. So lieutenants and second lieutenants, and lieutenants are in there. 2324, you know, and then, of course, Marines come out of boot camp at 1819. And private, but you can get the NCO, you know, by the time you're in the 21 range. And so, in the end, we all put our pants on the same way. We all have the same relational issues. We're all still human, but they created this, this division, right, and, and their officers couldn't fraternize. Right. So management can't fraternize with, with support, and it's and it, it, it, it paints this false, this false line in between the two. And like you said, to humanize themselves, they have to, they have to come close to the line, right? They have to, they have to dance on this on this edge. And, and we do it as coaches, right, people want to hear our vulnerability, they want to hear our where we've struggled and where we've failed. And yet, there's a there's a place where you feel like, well, you know, if I'm running my business, this way, I'm failing in this way, then who's gonna hire me as a coach, if I can't, you know, I can't make sales calls, and I can't do those things, right? I mean, and, and so there is this, this place where you, you, your authority, your authority, get feels like it's getting washed away if you're too vulnerable. So, let's dig into that authenticity. I, I think this online space is and social space has created, you know, my favorite is the person that goes and rents a fancy car and an Airbnb for a weekend to take all their social media post pictures for the year, right. And they're clearly acting above, they're above their means. And of course, then there's people that look like they have the means, but they're leveraged. Right? And, and they've, they're still, you know, they've got all those things, but their debt load is, is so high, you know, versus somebody who's actually saved up the cash and purchased things when they can afford it. So you just you never can tell, right? I mean, even the, even our famous Hollywood or sports we always hear about somebody declaring bankruptcy even after they've, you know, got a $40 million house and 10 cars and it can happen anybody but let's talk about your view of authenticity in that space, that authenticity for a manager in and and how that translates into, you know, being able to tell your true story. Be Your true self.

Sara Scharlau 34:36
Yeah, I recently I've been getting some testimonials together. And one of them I'm excited to you know, eventually get on my website and share with everybody but it was a good confirmation for me. I was like, Yep, I'm doing the right thing. I helped this person and I want to help more people like them out. What they shared was something that I've been kind of beating the drum about lately, especially with the new managers that I work with, is what you're talking about with, uh, you know, officers and privates. And that, you know, there's that big distinction, I think in the business world, as a new manager, a lot of people impose on themselves, this whole new persona, that they have to be because they have an idea of what a manager is. And a manager has all the answers for everything, and they can fix anything, and they know everything, and they're this, you know, larger than life being. And one of the most powerful things that I have been able to equip people with, is not only the ability to say this, but the permission sometimes to say, I don't know. I don't know the answer to that, and, and have the permission to say that in a conversation with a direct report, if they ask something. And if you don't know, tell them you don't know. Don't try to make something up, especially if it's in the world of HR, that's just gonna get you in trouble. Just say you don't know. But back to your point about authenticity and that line, and how do you balance it? Don't just say, I don't know. You let them know. I don't know the answer to that. But I know who to speak to. I'm going to speak to them in the next couple of business days, I'm going to come back to you with an answer. That right there is, uh, oh, cool, that person knows what's going on. They're gonna get me that answer. They're supporting me. They heard me they're helping me. You know, not they just, you know, blew smoke. And there's, we're like, Yeah, sure. This is the answer. It's a lie. You know,

Robert Peterson 37:05
and well, in that, and that plays into distrust of management, right? Distrust leadership, when when, when leadership tells you something that doesn't doesn't sit, right, you're like, well, that's not what I heard. Okay, true, right. And then, and then you realize, oh, that that person is not trustworthy. So it is obviously much better to say who man, I don't know what, but I'm gonna find out.

Sara Scharlau 37:29
Yeah. You're modeling. Usually, most companies that I know about your modeling and behavior that most companies want the ability to be honest, but also being able to take the initiative to figure something out. So as a manager in that interaction, you're also showing to your direct report, the type of behavior that you want them to tackle day to day problems with, you don't want them to, you know, make a mistake and sweep it under the rug, you know, and be dishonest. You don't want them just go to people and say, Tell me what to do. Tell me what to do you. Most companies want people with a certain level of initiative, and honesty. And

Robert Peterson 38:16
why not have that journey?

Sara Scharlau 38:19
Well, why not have that modeled in your management, as well?

Robert Peterson 38:24
Absolutely. And it is one of the challenges in parenting. And obviously, our parents learned from their parents who learn from their parents and most parents were pretty poorly equipped to be parents and, parents that take on the role of parent as a, as a corporate, I'm in the power seat. Right? demand that their children do certain things, versus the parents who take on the role of leadership, inspire their children to do certain things. And, the difference is staggering. And the difference when those children leave the home and become adults, and decide who their friends are going to be, who their trusted voices in their life are going to be. Right. And I and I think management can get stuck in that same space, that I'm the manager, you have to listen to me, versus I'm the manager, I want you to listen to me because I can help you. I can inspire you, I can encourage you I can I've got the information that's going to make you a better person, not just make you get the most output. Right. I mean, yeah. And I and I think corporations are now starting to recognize how much more important leadership is that management?

Sara Scharlau 39:52
Yeah, you know, with those kinds of definitions, I agree it really has led to Um, you know, some people thinking or corporations thinking management's the way of the past. And that can also, in my opinion, also get you in trouble. I've had conversations with people in the leadership areas, where time and time again, they'll see people who have leadership traits, and are doing well get put into management positions, because they want to have a leadership type of management, but you still need a certain level of base skills that I think still fall into that bucket of management. And if you don't have that, then you're still going to be an ineffective leader.

Robert Peterson 40:47
Absolutely, absolutely. And the same with parenting, I think. If you don't just like running your own business, if you don't take the time to develop yourself, to, to improve yourself to, to find out the things that, you know, our conversation that really stuck out with me was, I was speaking to a group of men and I talked about getting down on my knees and telling my son, I was sorry. And one of the, one of the people listening was like, I would never like that's not, you know, it was not even in his comprehension, as the Father to say, to have to admit that he made a mistake, as a parent, like, Man, I make more mistakes as a parent than I've ever made doing anything else I've ever done. Like, you know, I mean, these people, these little monsters were living in my house for 18 years night, well, almost 20 years, but the panel was done, because they both aged out during COVID. So there was no going anywhere. You know, I mean, obviously, living with your children for 18 years, I promise, you're making tons of mistakes, and, and being willing to say, to be willing to own it, and, and say, Look, I'm trying to change this, I'm working on it. But who, man, I'm a tough cookie to change. So some of these habits are pretty ingrained, and I didn't even know it. So. And it's interesting to see people's understanding of leadership and position. And, and feeling like if they were to, if they were to apologize to a direct report, or they were to apologize to somebody for making a mistake, that it would just weaken their position. And, and I think it does the exact opposite, it strengthens your position in the long run. Sure, maybe it weakens it in the moment, but I don't, I don't, I never wanted to manipulate my kids, I never wanted my kids to, you know, of course, there's a period of time in your children's life, there's a period of time in your employees lives where you just have to tell them what they have to do, you've just got to do this, right. But there's also a period of time where you're preparing them for their own life. And they won't have you there to babysit them, they won't have you there to go through a checklist and say, Do this, do this, do this, do this, right, they're gonna have to make their own choices. And so if you don't lay the groundwork for people to make their own choices, you know, one of the things that we do, as coaches in our business is helping business owners recognize their values, what are the things that really matter to you, just like a company, if a company knows that things that really matter to them, and they pass those on to their employees, or they hire employees based on those values, that's really important to them, then they know that their decision making is in alignment. And, it starts from a different place, you know, that you have employees that are making decisions based on similar values. And then you can extend to a higher level of trust, because you've, you've talked about these values, and you've had conversations about how these values impact the decisions that you make. The reason, you know, it's too easy for a parent or a manager to say, well, we can't afford that. Right? Or we don't have enough money, versus you know, that that widget thing sounds like a great idea. It could increase our productivity, but right now, our budgets focused in this area, which is the truth in business and in your family life right. Now, we can't buy that toy today. Because right now foods more important, right? But we don't say that we just say we don't have any money. And so all kids all direct reports here is well, there's just no money. There's just no this. They don't want to spend any money on anything. When the truth is something different, right? It's the same conversation. Have you told them the truth? Have you told them you know, where the money's going? Have you talked about why the company spends money this way? What are the values decisions that are driving how the company is spending money? Right and when you can have those conversations, especially at a small business level, your employees, your subcontractors, your people that your house forcing things to construct, understand, those are the things that are really important to him. Your children can understand all. And that's what's really important to my dad. That's why he's trying to pay off the house. He's trying to do this with the money. So that Yeah, right. And, it makes a difference, right? Yeah, kids don't aren't gonna understand, hey, I can't have a toy or candy today because mom and dad are putting money in a college fund, whatever the blazes. That is. Right. But as your children start to get older and start to see, the best way to equip them, to make better decisions as an adult, is to tell them why you're making decisions the way that you're making them, rather than just telling them because I said, so.

Sara Scharlau 45:42
Absolutely. And, again, I think there's a lot of fear around what is appropriate or allowed to be communicated. Now, of course, you have to work within whatever policy your company has sure that first and foremost, but in my experience, you know, back back to the first part of it, I can't tell you how many times I've apologized, I mess up, I'm I am human, I've made bad decisions. I've made decisions without the right information or consulting the right people and missed a big thing. And, you know, I apologized for those things. But to your point, I also communicated what I was going to do in the future differently, to make sure that that didn't happen again. So it's not just an empty like, sorry, it's, I really understand, these are the steps I'm going to take going forward. And then one of my favorite phrases between a manager and a direct report, especially in a situation like that is can you help me with that? Because again, you're tapping into the potential of your employee and activating that. And I can't tell you how many times with all the people I've worked with and coached, how often I am blown away by what people are capable of, and what they bring to the table. If as a leader and a manager, if you can get better in the skill set of explaining the why that you're talking about the bigger picture. And the why you're making the decisions you're making now. You've just, you know, turned on something in somebody's brain over here, and over here and over here. And the next thing you know, your next check in, they'll be like, Hey, I was thinking about that. What about this? And I've often literally had to just sit back in my chair and go, How did you come up with that? Where did that come from? Doing the

Robert Peterson 48:00
same thing, doing the same thing for your children? Right? Yeah. Can you help me with that? And I mean, it's a that's a empowerment phrase, right? You're empowering somebody, to bring something back to you that that they either see in you or, you know, Can you help me with that? Rather than just saying, Oh, I'm going to work on that. Right? Can you help me with that? So powerful. All right, sir. We end every episode with a guest sharing their words of wisdom, what would you share?

Sara Scharlau 48:31
My Words of Wisdom is, as much as humans want to be complicated. We're very predictable, and simple. And when it comes down to it, all of us are just trying to make connections with each other. And there's a way to help facilitate those connections in an easier way than what most people think is possible. And I would love to, you know, help people tap into that and get everybody back on page of actually connecting and not pretending and being honest with each other so that we can all focus on whatever the actual goals that we're trying to achieve are

Robert Peterson 49:19
who powerful, powerful stuff so I can't wait to see what you create with this. Thank you. Thank you so much for joining me. This was a wonderful conversation.

Sara Scharlau 49:31
Thank you so much. It was a pleasure.