"Inspiring Managers to Transform Into Courageous Coaches" with Kvon Tucker



Summary:

In this episode, Kvon Tucker, CEO Consciously, ExGoogle, People Operations, starts us off strong and talks with Christie Mann about the project they worked on at Google while trying to create a coaching culture, and what they did that allowed them to be the only function inside the company to see an increase in an important KPI.


In This Episode:

  • Working to transform an environment of fear into courage within an organization

  • How to get decision-makers enrolled in the vision for a coaching culture, especially when they might be scared of losing employees after training

  • The ROI of creating a coaching culture and the impact of dropping a LOVE BOMB inside the organization

  • Why organizations should want their employees to be their full selves at work and developed as coaches

  • A bit about the pros and cons of being an external coach/consultant vs. an internal one

  • And much, much more!

Quotations to Share:

"I've always been super curious and passionate about people." - @KvonTucker


"They're scared to have a really meaningful conversation. Our managers were scared to tell their managers what they were up to or what wasn't working. And all of this fear in the organization was keeping the organization from performing at its highest levels." - @KvonTucker


"If there's a lot of fear in the organization, how about we help people develop courage?” - @KvonTucker


“I just want people to be themselves.” - @KvonTucker


" Google has this thing called Googlegeist and Googlegeist is essentially an employee experience survey." - @KvonTucker


" And we made this huge bet, this huge investment that if we dropped this love bomb, the organization would transform, people would transform, the organization would transform." - @KvonTucker


"90 plus percent felt like they were more connected to their work and other leaders in their organization." - @KvonTucker


"It's pouring into people and allowing them the freedom of choice of whether they want to continue to do this work." - @KvonTucker


Bio:

Kvon is a professionally trained Learning and Leadership Development expert. He has spent a third of his life dedicated to helping leaders, teams, and organizations learn, adapt, and transform. He is also the CEO of Consciously, a purpose-driven Executive and Leadership Coaching firm, which he co-founded with his wife, Jessica Tucker, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.


Contact:

https://consciously.one/


Transcript:


Christie:

Hello everybody. And welcome to Creating a Coaching Culture, an Uplevel Productions event series. And I am going to be joined by an incredible guest today, Kvon Tucker, and we will be discussing how managers can move to become courageous coaches and how that creates a coaching culture.


Kvon:

Yeah, absolutely.


Christie:

How are you doing today?


Kvon:

Well, I’m so glad to connect and chat and share all the goodness.


Christie:

Well, let me start by sharing your brief bio with folks, and all the goodness that you've been up to that's brought you to this moment in the journey.


And so, Kvon is a professionally trained learning and leadership development expert. He is a certified professional collective coach. He has spent a third of his life dedicated to helping leaders, teams, and organizations learn, adapt, and transform. He is also the CEO of Consciously a purpose-driven executive and leadership coaching firm, which he co-founded with his wife, Jessica Tucker, a licensed clinical social worker.


We love you, Jess.


Together, Kvon and Jessica aim to help people learn more about who they are so they can create more goodness for themselves. And for those around them, And that's something, certainly something these two do. And in addition to this Kvon has experience in creating coaching cultures and supporting people managers to move into courageous coaches.


And that's really the focus of our conversation today, taking it back to UpLevel's theme this month around how do we create coaching cultures? So Kvon, what are you excited about for this conversation today.


Kvon:

Yeah, I am really excited about sharing our journey a little bit more, our journey, how we kind of came to this place being able to work with each other.


And I'm excited about kind of lifting the veil. You know, having worked at a place like Google and done amazing work, you're encouraged to be a little tight-lipped. And now I feel freer to share all the goodness that we were able to co-create together. So I'm looking forward to that and yes, to that this stuff needs to be shared.


Christie:

So other folks who are in situations like you were in, you had an internal role in a very powerful organization where you could influence developing coaching cultures...so we want more people who are in those roles inside the organization to see behind the veil. And so tell us a little bit about your personal journey to coaching.


How did Kvon find this profession?


Kvon:

Well, I like to say that I've always been super curious and passionate about people. So as long as I can remember, I've been curious about human beings and human behavior, which led me to study psychology, which eventually led me to go into organizational psychology.


And then from that point, I got my first big boy job in learning and development working for Southern California. And so I did that and had a number of roles from learning program analyst to a program manager, to managing people who were managing programs. And one day I kind of woke up and I was miserable.


I now understand that as depression and I was going through a depression and from there, I decided to start to explore, like, who am I and what does Kaitlin actually want to do with his time on this planet? And, you know, I started dabbling in manager and leadership development and fell in love with that process.


I was like, oh managers, helping them learn and connect with each other and be more human–that's the work that I wanted to do. And so many of the facilitators I was learning with and from were also coaches, and one of my mentors said, “Hey, Kvon, the way you facilitate is very coach-like. Have you gone through coach training?”


I've not done anything like that before. What's coaching? I've never heard of coaching. So he essentially prescribed me the CTI fundamentals and said, go to CBF fundamentals and call me in the morning. And so I did; I signed up for CTI fundamentals, and I met you. And we had this amazing experience in the classroom where I began to find a part of my purpose.


I walked out of that three-day experience, feeling like this was the work that I was meant to do. I am a coach. I have been a coach. And also thanks to your loving nudges, sharing with me that you felt like I was a natural. I was like, okay, this is, this is something for me. And so essentially from that point, I've been on this journey of coaching for larger and larger departments.


So it led me to leave Southern California. Edison started my own business with my wife worked for Netflix, Amazon, Google, and all along, you know, building my practice slowly, one client, two clients, four clients to today where I am a full-time coach. And all I do is coach leaders and help them also learn how to coach people around them, help them learn how to be better human beings.


So. I'm on this journey too, but that's how I got into it, but, you know, it kind of sprung out of me having a yearning for more meaning and more purpose in my life. And that is why I founded Consciously is to help people do that exact same work because it's been so good for me and my wife. And I just want other people to have this experience.


And I just want other people to get to be around you more, and the work good work that you do. And so congratulations for leaving the organizational world to really now support organizations from the outside in. Really for the past decade, you've been doing it from the inside out.


Christie:

Amazing that you've got those notches on your belt. You had that lived experience, right. It's a whole different ball game. And so, and that's what we're really going to dive into today because we know that we have people listening who have been in or in roles, like what you held, who haven't, who have that, like an instinct that yearning to bring more humanity into the work.


Kvon:

Yeah, right. To help people bring their best selves to work.


Christie:

And so let's start with the program that you shepherd; you inspired at Google, and it was called Courageous Coaches. What had you and your team name it that? What's the story behind that?


Kvon:

Thanks for that question. So I started at Google in 2018, end of 2018/early 2019. And you know, my job as a learning and leadership development professional is to understand the needs of the organization, to understand what's happening–kind of take a temperature check on the organization, you know. So, I leaned on all of my skills as an organizational consultant, but also like my ear and my listening as a coach, and what I started to hear and see and feel was a lot of fear in the organization. People were scared. Managers were scared to give their direct reports valuable feedback. Managers were scared to tell their clients that they either weren't or didn't want to do something for them.


They're scared to have a really meaningful conversation. Our managers were scared to tell their managers what they were up to or what wasn't working. And all of this fear in the organization was keeping the organization from performing at its highest levels. Those were the conversations that I kept having with leaders across the entire organization.


And I said, okay, there's fear in the organization. There's fear in lots of organizations. What might be the best way to help people work through this? And my estimation, my guess, my hypothesis was courage, I thought, “Well, if there's a lot of fear in the organization, how about we help people develop courage?”


Because I don't know that we're going to get rid of the fear. Right? All I know is that the best way to work through fear is with courage. So we said, “Hey, let's, let's focus on helping our managers, our leaders develop courage so that they can work through the fear rather than being stopped by the fear.”


So that's how we landed on it.


Christie:

Brilliant antidote to fear, and appreciating the deep listening that you did, the temperature check that you took by actually speaking to your internal clients, the people managers, and so Courageous Coaches was then born. And what was the vision? What were you trying to achieve? What needs were you trying to support in the organization?


Kvon:

Yeah, well, I want to say the big picture. Obviously, I wanted the help the organization perform better, right? And there are different metrics within the recruiting organization that I supported that were important. And, you know, we wanted to see those metrics move.


And to be honest, though, the most important thing to me was the experience of folks. To be in an organization where lots of people are experiencing fear, you can just imagine the constriction that you could feel and see in people. And so what I wanted, like on a personal level for the leaders that I've supported and the entire organization, was for people to like, kind of come out and be their full selves and add more and more value to the organization that they're supporting.


But really help them just be more of themselves. That's what I wanted for everyone. And that is the coach in me. Right? And I was like, “I just want people to be themselves.” When you come into an organization that has a lot of fear, you can see that people are only being smaller versions of themselves.


And I wanted people to feel freer to fully be themselves in the organization.


Christie:

And so how did you do that? When you were working with your leadership to get a budget for this, how does that translate into a return on investment? What was the corporate business-speak that you use to bring this heart and head together?


Kvon:

Yeah. You know, there are a number of things. There were, you know, there's a metric at Google. So Google has this thing called Googlegeist and Googlegeist is essentially an employee experience survey. You know, they do it roughly every year. And so what we promised was, if we do this and we invest in our leaders in this way, you will see improvement on these metrics.


You know, something like manager favorability, something like the connection that managers have with others. You know, I had to call on all of my old skills as the program manager and as a learning program analyst to put together metrics that supported what leaders would want to see, you know, there's a connection between how managers deliver feedback and then actually the performance of the individual contributors that report to them. So we illustrated a lot of those connections between managers, practicing courage, and practicing coaching and how that could or would impact the bottom line if you will.


Christie:

And so tell us what you and your team built, so that managers could go through this process, this transformation to become courageous coaches.


And then, then let's talk about the impact. What were those results from those guys that you

said?


Kvon:

What we eventually landed on, and this was through help with you and through some coaching I had with people internally and through the leaders that I worked with to co-design, we landed on essentially a six-month journey.


For these leaders, and I call it like a mini-coaching certification, where we ask all leaders to go through a four-day virtual training. And all this was in the middle of the pandemic. It's like, we launched this in July 2020.


It was a first, which was amazing that we were able to do that and pivot. So we asked them to attend this four-day training. It's like four days, half-day training. And then they were immediately put into like a practice pod with two or three other members or leaders or managers so that they could practice their new skills with each other.


We had essentially a newsletter that would surface relevant skills and encouraged folks to practice around these areas–skills and content or context for what was going on in the organization. So as an example, the monthly newsletter around our performance appraisal time would be around skills you might want to practice and your performance, appraisal conversations.


So we have the practice pods and the newsletter. We have some community. And yeah, it was really just pulling people together and giving them opportunities, to practice. And that was the linchpin and that was a six-month journey for all the managers in the organization. Wow.


Christie:

So what was some of the qualitative feedback from that program?


Kvon:

You know, the qualitative feedback is probably my favorite. I mean, we got stuff like this, you know, and this is the context for this. These are managers at Google, and they generally have a lot of opportunities to attend amazing experiences. And I had people who were like, “I've been here 10 years. I've been a manager and individual contributor here for 10 years. And this is the most amazing, most impactful, most transformative experience that I've had the opportunity to be a part of this training changed my life. This training has changed the way, not just, I look at myself as a manager, but it changed the way that I look at myself as a parent. It's changed my leadership kind of 360, and that was just the training.”


That's excluding all the other things that we had as a part of the program. Just having people come out of training, saying these things, knowing that it's made this huge of an impact on people, the way people see themselves, and the way they see themselves as a manager and as a leader at home. That's the stuff that I just feel so grateful that I was able to create this experience for so many.


Christie:

Yeah, that's so powerful. And it was all through that first year, year and a half of the pandemic. So in addition, people were going through this incredible transformation of starting to work from home with, you know, roommates, spouses, pets–you name it around them doing work and then doing this training.


Which, really developing oneself as a coach is not for the faint of heart because you're asked to actually look at yourself first so that you can hold containers and spaces and environments for others to do the same. And so these folks were so courageous and you were so courageous to point the ship in this direction specifically during these times.


During these times managers had access to coaching skills. What’s important about that?


Wow. You know, it comes back to the original reason why we even started this program, and that's fear and the time that we were in, you know, early 2020. There was so much fear in the world and that fear was making its way into the organization.


So it was like fear on top of fear. And I don't know, the timing of this whole thing– I feel like is divine. For me to be in a place to how I already have the makings of this, or to have seen what was happening and then have more fear dumped into the organization. I wanted to just drop a love bomb in the middle of this organization. And we made this huge bet, this huge investment that if we dropped this love bomb, the organization would transform, people would transform, the organization would transform. And people's experiences would be heightened throughout all of this, right? Like you and I know that hard times with the right tools can actually bring people together.


And I really, really believe that that's what happened. I think that helped people connect and help managers. And actually, we know this helped managers connect. We know this helped managers connect to their individual contributors and help people stay throughout this really challenging time. And that's why I did this work– to improve people's experience, not just give them tools, but improve their experience while they're there.


Christie:

Well, you just started to share some of the quantitative data right there. Will you share a little bit more? We've talked about the qualitative. What was the quantitative data of this Courageous Coaching?


Kvon:

You know, I don't know where to start, you know, high level. We gave a survey after the end of the program, at the end of the training.


And what we saw was essentially a hundred percent might be like 99.5%. But a hundred percent of the leaders who went through this program got value out of it, you know? Okay. This was great. You know, 90 plus percent of the managers saw themselves becoming better managers and getting tools that helped them with their direct reports.


90 plus percent felt like they were more connected to their work and other leaders in their organization. That's all like really nice stuff. I. Really like the fact that in 60 is like 60 plus percent of the managers who went through this program felt like they had been transformed. And when you think about that and the number of leaders that we got to put through this program, so 300, almost 400 leaders went through this program.


60% of those folks felt like they were transforming. This is changing people's lives. And that's, that's what I write home about. It's not a hundred percent, but if you just imagine that the majority of leaders who were in this organization felt personally transformed having gone through it. And this is what I feel so grateful for.


Christie:

It's significant. And you're speaking to the ripple effect. When an organization invests in its people this way, the ripple effect for these individuals, families, their communities is significant. And that's the responsibility of organizations. I mean, it has been, but one of the reasons why UpLevel Productions is having conversations like this is because we're calling forth organizations now more than ever.


People need to be invested in because people managers are dealing with such complexity that two years ago, it wasn't on their radar and they could step over an employee who was having some emotions and just pretend like it wasn't there. You know, they didn't need to know about their personal life because they would physically come into a workplace.


Well, our worlds have drastically shifted now where you see people's homes. And with the times that we're living through– the loss. People have experienced the grief, challenges, and emotions are coming into the workplace. So let's arm people managers with coaching skills so that they can feel prepared.


You know, we're not asking them to be therapists. But we're asking them to have a broader toolkit because that's the world we're now living in.


Kvon:

Absolutely. And you saying that reminded me of maybe the most important note about this work that we did. And I was like, I had a great time building this program with you and working with the leaders, and seeing people go through the experience.


All of that was great. And when I saw the Googlegeist metric for our entire organization, meaning Google and everyone else. There's one metric that we were watching for to see if there was a shift. And it was, “I would recommend my manager to someone else.” And we got that metric in early 2021. And what I noticed was that we had a 16% increase.


That's good, but what's notable about that is that we were the only organization that had a positive increase. Now this is 2020, right? And all the things that you mentioned, people being challenged, having to navigate different situations, and having challenging conversations. I believe that Courageous Coaches is the reason why we saw that positive increase and other organizations did not.


You know, it's the one thing that's different for us in our organizations that we got to put people through this, give people the tools to connect with the people around them in new and powerful ways. And we saw a positive change at the highest levels and the only organization that had that kind of change.


And so for that, I'm like that's the work, right? That's why we saw positive change during one of the most challenging times in people's lives. That makes all of this work worth it.


Christie:

I got shivers: I've got shivers and it does. It makes it all worth it. And it's the right thing to do. And you know, one of the things that when Rachel and I, my business partner, when we're talking to clients about bringing this kind of training into the organization, they'll say, “Well, what if people leave? What if people leave? Because the training is so transformational that they do get connected to what's important to them and it's not this company or the work that they're doing.” What would you say to that Kvon after the journey you've been on?


Kvon:

Yeah, that's quite the question. Thank you. It is a part of the process.


This is a part of the transformation. If you want to transform your organization there are some people who are going to determine that this is no longer for them. And I would say to any senior leader worried about that, know that you already have people in your organization who are thinking about leaving this kind of work.


If they decide to leave, it will be better for your organization. That way they get to go do what they want. And then you can find someone who really wants to do the work that you want them to do as well. So, I see that as a benefit to the organization; you no longer have a number of people who are kind of passively disengaged.


You have people who are actively engaged in finding what's next for them. And then you can replace those folks with the people who, again, want to do this kind of work, whatever that work is. And so, yeah, it's a somewhat painful process to go through, but that’s the thing about transformation. It's not all sunshine and rainbows all the time.


This is the work. We have to all go through it, but we will all be better at the coming out. On the other end, we will all be transformed because of it. And that's, that's something that we saw happening at Google. We initiated a transformation. The organization looks very different, and I believe that we are headed in the right direction.


Christie:

Yeah, you're speaking to the new paradigm of leadership as well, which part of it is investing in our people for transformation, not necessarily for the brass tax or the bottom line of any business. Although, when you have people who are fully engaged and being invested in, they are going to both create an environment of well-being and engagement and it will drive the bottom line.


But ultimately, what you're I hear you saying is that we have to be courageous enough to make investments like this in our people and not be stuck to the old paradigm of, “well, if I do, they're going to go.” It doesn't matter. You don't want people there that aren't, you know, coming along for the vision at this moment in time, or maybe they came and did what they were supposed to do in that period of time, and part of your responsibility as the leader, as the organization is giving them access to experiences like what you created Kvon with your team so that they can go on and do something significant in their community or in their home.


It's like a different way for an organization to look and say, “how can I serve my people?” versus “how can they take from them?”


Kvon:

Yes. Thank you for saying that it's. It's pouring into people and allowing them the freedom of choice of whether they want to continue to do this work. And what we know also is the research, all the research about learning and development suggests that when people feel like they are invested in, truly invested in, they stay.


And we saw that as well. No one left during the pandemic; no one left from 2020 to 2021. Everyone stayed and they were in this amazing experience. They were getting value. And then over the course of time, some people decided that there was something else out there for them. And I, and again, I believe the organization is better for it, but that also takes courage.


You know, this whole thing, all of this work takes courage. It takes courage to invest in folks knowing you're going to give them tools, knowing that they will have more options. But you have to trust, you have to trust that investing in your people is the right thing to do, and they will make the right choice for you as a leader in the organization.


Christie:

Yes. Another mic drop from Kvon Tucker. And so if you were to give advice, your current day self to yourself to two and a half years ago, the one that had the vision for this program, what would that advice be?


Kvon:

It would be to go bigger. Be bolder, go bigger, go bolder. Yeah. You know, This program was pretty big and pretty bold. And as I look back, I know that. There were things about how I constructed the program and how I communicated what I wanted, and my vision for the organization that I didn't share. You know, The love bomb that we talked about was never in a slide deck that I presented to senior leaders.


And I wish I was that honest about my wanting for this organization. It's possible that if I put that in the slide deck, it might not have gotten the support that I got. Who knows? But there are a lot of things that I wanted to do. I wanted people to know about what I wanted this program to be and how I wanted this program to make a change in the organization.


And I was kind of tight-lipped. I had my own fear. Yeah, I'm a human being just like everyone else. And so, I would tell that version of myself that this program is going to change your life and change the lives of hundreds of people. And it would be better served and they will be better served if you are even more courageous about what you really want people to experience.


That's what I would tell my younger self.


Christie:

Some great guidance, some really, really great guidance. Yeah. And so for people who are in a role, like what you were in at that time and might be having that fear, the saboteurs of, "gosh, I know in my heart that this is the right work to bring to my organization and it's going to help it transform," but they don't necessarily have the support.


What would you tell them? What's your guidance to those allies in creating coaching cultures and developing courageous coaches?


Kvon:

Find your change champions and find the leaders in your organization who you feel aligned to. And what I found when I say leaders, I don't mean everyone at the top of an organization.


I mean, the people who other people listen to find those people, the people who are well-respected. Build your tribe. If you can build your tribe of leaders in the organization and find that alignment, what I found is that the leaders in the organization all want many of the same things. They want to see change.


They want to see positive change. They want to see growth. I mean, most of those leaders are pretty development-oriented. Like they take time to develop themselves and take time to develop others but find those folks, build that community, build that tribe. And have them be the voice of your vision and mission, right?


Like if I came in and I was, just by myself, and this is Kvon's vision/mission, and I'm just going to do this all by myself, it never would have worked. This would not have worked. What made this program successful was, what we now call ourselves, The Courageous Coaches Leadership Team. And they're my tribe, my tribe of courageous coaches who really cared about this work, and wanted to see positive change.


They were willing to give time to invest in themselves and invest in their community to help foster change. And people listened to them. And that's what made this successful. That's what led us to get all these managers to sign up for a six-month training program. They had other leaders who look like them, knew their challenges, knew their strife, and were on board.


So building that little tribe was critical for the success of this.


Christie:

I'm getting teary-eyed, and I have tingles again. I'm thinking about one of the first circles. This was before the pandemic. Because I was physically at Google with Sharna Fay, one of our coactive faculty and some of the people you're referring to were in that circle of fundamentals of coactive coaching.


And, oh my goodness. To witness all of you come together, like get that initial bite of, okay–time to create a coaching culture, trying to bring on the courage and to be able to witness it for me has been definitely a peak of my career. By my career, I mean my life, and to see how you've all come together and you're continuing to collaborate together and support each other.


And so this is such good guidance for folks who want to create a coaching culture. Kvon is saying, “Find your alliance; find your tribe; find your like-minded individuals who see it too and can communicate it to their leaders, to their direct reports, to their partners of the business so that it's not just on your shoulders.”

:

You need a team to make this real.


Kvon:

You need a team. You can't do it by yourself. That's what we all know as leaders and, you know, many folks in positions like this try to do it on their own. And I think that's part of the challenge. I know this would have never happened without the team that I was able to inspire around this vision and this mission for a different kind of organization


Christie:

Kvon, what else feels important for you to share about this particular part of your journey and this particular program Courageous Coaches at Google?


Kvon:

Yeah. What's coming to me is that I'm so grateful that you created this opportunity for us to talk about it because this was a highlight of my life, a highlight of my career. It's the culmination of years of failed programs with people not showing up and, you know, much smaller visions and missions.


It's the culmination of my own courage as a learning and leadership development professional. And as a coach, this was my life's work. And I'm so grateful that I got to do it at a place like Google and with the Courageous Coaches Leadership team and see the change that has occurred in the lives of hundreds of people.


This is why I do this work, to make a positive change in people's lives and help push people further along the spectrum of consciousness and spectrum of purposefulness. And so for me, I'm just tremendously, tremendously grateful for all of this. So thank you.


Christie:

Yeah. Well, I wasn't completing the conversation. I just wanted to complete that part around the project. There's actually been a great question. People are so curious about you personally and how you've been working internally and now made the move to external. And what makes it possible now for you and for your clients with this shift from an internal focus to external?


Kvon:

Well, I love that question. You know, what I have learned from being internal and external is for whatever reason, we can make up reasons. People really respect the opinion of an external consultant in different ways than an internal consultant. And I was like, “I'm the same person.” And when I come in as an external consultant, there's a level of, I think, appreciation for my experience and for the things that I've done that's different than when you're internal.


And so for me, I can see a lot more is possible as an external consultant than as an internal, because when people come to you they're asking you for your guidance and advice in your coaching, but they're more open when you're internal, there's a little bit of that work that you have to do to gain that respect and to get people to then finally come to you and ask you for your thoughts and opinions and perspectives.


And so I'm excited by the potential of continuing to do this kind of work as an external consultant. That's part of the reason why I made this choice; I want to coach, and I want to help usher organizations along with building coaching cultures–building more purposeful and conscious cultures.


And so for that, I'm being an external consultant now for me; it feels like the right choice.


Christie:

Yeah. I can really resonate with that. I know for me, I've gone in and out of being an internal consultant to an external consultant, and I love that I've had the opportunity to do both because it does give you different knowledge.


It's really important to understand the trials and tribulations of what people go through on the inside of an organization so that when you're coaching them or consulting them on these human challenges and human possibilities you can emphasize them.


Yeah. And one of the things I think when I go external is I get less caught up in my own saboteurs, my own self-doubt, my own fear.


I'm able to be more objective because I'm not like in the trenches with these people day in, day out. A leadership metaphor we often use is “stay on the balcony.” Observe what's happening on the dance floor so that I can give guidance and advice that might be more objective than if I was like right up in there on the dance floor, and getting a different vantage point.


Kvon:

And there's definitely so much value to that. But for me personally, it allows me to put more breadth into what I'm offering clients. I don't know if that's what that question made me think of

and yeah, well, I love, yeah. I love that. You know, as I think about my own experience, being internal to Google, The fear that was in the organization that I was trying to help people work through.


Like I experienced that as well. And like I mentioned, you know, my vision for what was possible for that organization would have been different if I was external and I wasn't also experiencing the same kind of fear that was in the organization. And so, yeah, I mean, you can open up so much more for yourself as an external consultant.


But then again, as you mentioned, being internal is really valuable because you get the really juicy bits of what's happening in an organization, which will change the design of whatever you are offering.


Christie:

Yeah. You know, there's a coaching question that I think a lot of us are trained in when we do our early coach training.


So when your client doesn't know what to do with something sometimes we're trained to say, "well, if you did know, what would you do?" Okay. When I've been internal and held a leadership role and an external coach asked me that I'm like, “no, bueno.”

:

This is what I would like sometimes when I'm internal in a role as a people manager or as a director of a line of business; I want some mentorship sometimes. Sometimes, you know, a unique or a fun, powerful question isn't the thing that's going to support me. And so, in your experience now of coaching executives and leaders, how much are you bringing on the mentor hat versus doing pure coaching?


What is your style looking like these days?.


Kvon:

I love that. Oh, I can talk about this all day. I mean, it depends on the leader. It depends on what they want. And, you know, I find myself with the most senior leaders in organizations, I find myself providing more of like the organizational culture context, mentorship, right.


It's like, well, you know, there's a model, and “this is what I'm seeing happening. What do you think?” All right. So it's, it's very much like a blend between what we would call mentoring and coaching where I'll offer perspectives and views and models. And then put it back on my client and say, well, what are your thoughts around this?


Or what does that bring up for you? So I still ask coaching questions, but I offer a lot more than what you're trained as a coach. And that has proved to be tremendously valuable for my clients. Because you want to meet your clients where they're at. And if all you do is ask your client's coaching questions, sometimes you can spin in circles.


And this is what I've found, and I'm there to add value to my clients. And sometimes what is most valuable is sharing the perspective. So, I find myself doing that more often with the more senior leaders because I don't know exactly what that is about. I haven't done my own analysis of what's happening there, but that's what I'm finding; my perspective seems to be a bit more valuable to the more senior leaders.


Christie:

And what you're speaking to is when we actually do the coach training. It's very similar in that the people managers will say, "Wait, you expect me to ask these open-ended questions all the time to my directs?" And I will say, "Nope, Nope, Nope, no." “What we're doing is a deep dive in the coaching modality so we can build that muscle.”


And what we want you to do is be discerning as to when is it a coaching moment? When is it a consulting moment, a mentor moment, a teaching moment, or a training moment? And you can sprinkle the coach approach across all those different types of conversations and styles of leadership. Right? That's part of what creates a coaching culture is that you have people managers who are trained in coaching so that they can create coaching moments and sprinkle coaching throughout all the different styles and types of conversations.


Kvon:

You are a master at this. I have to say you did this with me and Courageous Coaches where you came in as a consultant, and then at some point, you would coach. And I was like, “Oh, this is nice. I get a little coaching that I get free coaching from Christie.”

So I've been a consultant most of my career. And I've been a coach for like a part of it, a smaller, latter part of it. And so when I'm working with leaders, especially when it comes to proposals or just figuring out how we're going to work together, coaching and consulting have blurred lines, you know, and when you say moment to moment, it could be second to second.


I might ask a consulting question and then follow it up with a coaching question and then follow that up with a consulting question. You know, just kind of depends on what we're talking about and what we're trying to achieve together.


Christie:

That's really important because I know we've got some coaches who've been tuning in who are doing similar work to you; they're consultants, but they're also coaches.


Kvon:

And so we think it's really important when you start a new engagement with an executive coaching client is to ask them, “what's your definition of coaching?” And ensure that they understand the distinction between these different types of conversations so that you can bring in some of your lived experience, because they're going to be expecting that, especially at the senior levels.


Christie:

There's no doubt.


Kvon:

Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. I have a couple of clients who we designed that way, and I say, "Okay, well, what are you hoping for? Like, what do you want from me?" I have this and I have this and I also have this,” and most of my clients were like, “I want it all.” I'm like, oh great. This is going to be a lot of fun because I get to bring all my tools.


I landed on the theme because I feel like coaching is the most human way to help people achieve what they want to achieve. It's also the most fun for me. It's the most fulfilling for me. But it doesn't make it the only tool to help people get there. And I would be cutting myself short and my client short if I didn't bring all of me–that's consulting, that's coaching.


There are even some of the counseling tools I've picked up from my wife. You know, I pull it all in, in service of my clients.


Christie:

So Kvon, what is next for you for your business that Consciously, co-partnered by your wife, Jessica? What's next for you?


Kvon:

Yeah. This is the big, exciting stuff. You know what wasn't possible while I was working full time was this thing that my wife and I've been sitting on for three years, which is having Consciously be bigger than us.


You know, we always knew it was going to be; we named it consciously and not Tucker Consulting and Counseling or Tucker Coaching or anything like that because we didn't want it to be about us. I want it to be about this bigger idea, this bigger purpose of helping people live and lead and love on purpose.


And we know that that's not possible just the two of us when we're two human beings, and you know, we're parents now. So there's a limited amount of time that we can spend doing the work that we love. And we are noticing that this work–there's a high demand for this work. It is a very, very important time to be purpose-driven.


Many people are trying to find meaning and greater meaning and purpose in their lives. And I think that will be a trend that continues. And so for that, this idea that we've always had of having Consciously be bigger than us, we're bringing that to fruition. So we are in the process of bringing on other coaches and eventually other counselors to help us.


They’ll help fill this mission that we've set years ago. It's an exciting time. And again, something only possible now that I have a little bit more space in my calendar to tend to this, to this vision, and this purpose of mine. I share with other people that honestly, I never had intentions of being a business leader. It’s not something that I ever saw myself doing. To me, I am being called to build this business in service of a higher purpose. A higher purpose is helping people figure out who they are, and figure out what they want to do with their lives–find purpose, freedom, and fulfillment. All of this is the work that Consciously is here to do. And I know that we got to bring more people on board to do it.


So that's what we're, that's what we're at.


Christie:

And how do people find you to stay in touch and access these amazing services?


Kvon:

Yeah. You know, LinkedIn at Kvon Tucker, you can find me on IG at consciously_kvon. You can also check out our website, which is going to be under construction soon, but it's https://consciously.one.


So those are the ways that you can find us connect with us and join our mission. If you'd like to, whether you're a client or a coach we are, we are open to folks joining on this important mission.


Christie:

It's super exciting to see, to witness. From the Southern California Edison times. And you've, you've named them, “your khaki pant wearing times,” right?

Kvon:

Yeah.


And my button-up shirts and all that.


Christie:

Look what you've created and it's just Kvon goodness. The inner work you've done to see the external manifested to become what it is, is just a true testament to your courage of honoring your values of listening deeply to your calling and really having that chutzpah to bring it up.


No, and this incredible life partner in Jess, who's like right there with you and going for it. It's just incredible to witness the two of you do this together; you are such inspirations.


Kvon:

Thank you for that. Thank you for that. And you know, I've said this before, I'll say it again, and I'll say it every time we get a chance to talk.


You breathed life into this, that moment when you said, "You're a natural" made me believe in myself and this vision and this purpose that I am walking into. I don't know that I would be here if you didn't breathe that life into me; I am forever grateful to you for that, Christie. Thank you.


Christie:

I so love you, my friend.


I know we're supposed to end it on that note. Thank you for those words. I'm going to ask you to give us what is the bottom line at this moment in time? Why an organization would invest in creating a coaching culture?


Kvon:

Bottom line.


This might be my sound, a little bold. I think that most organizations today are sick. I think that they're sick, that people are hurting. And I believe that coaches or people who are coached, like, have the power to help people heal and connect, reconnect to themselves and connect to each other. And that's what we need right now.


And I have a hard time imagining organizations surviving this illness that people are experiencing without more coach-like people without coaches, without coaching culture. I don't see it happening. And so I want these organizations to survive. I want them to thrive. And I think it's all about the kinds of people who are inside of them.


Christie:

Thank you for that. We're going to hang on to those words of wisdom. Folks, please follow Kvon Tucker. Thank you so much for your time today.


Kvon:

Thank you so much.