Applying Improvisation - Kupe Kupersmith - Recorded February 23, 2018
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FULL TRANSCRIPT (with timecode)
00:00:21;25 - 00:03:52;20
Rick A. Morris: Welcome to another Friday edition of the work life balance. I am going to apologize way in advance but my voice is wrecked. I just got back last night from Orlando. The International Maxwell certification event. Me and twenty five hundred of my closest friends joined John Maxwell in four days of very intense training and workshops and things of that sort. I think this is my ninth time participating in that event. It gets it gets better every time. As a matter of fact. Met a young lady that I'm dying to get on the show. And if I do it now go ahead and tell you how to time it if I do get this young lady on the show. Any excuse you've ever made in your life for any reason of not doing something she's going to talk you right out of that as she had now holds 8 Guinness Book World Records for achieving activities solely to fulfill a promise to some orphans in Bangladesh to make sure that they got their education. This lady is one of the most powerful ladies that I've ever had a chance to spend some time with so we're looking forward to bringing her on the show shortly. So again coming back out of Orlando you know got to spend some great time with people that have been on the show in the past and lined up some incredible speakers to be on the show in the coming weeks and next week I'm going to detox from the show. I'm going to just do what I normally do share and pour into you guys and let you know what I heard and learned as John. You know it was on fire. I mean he was in such a great mood on fire. And we were we were looking at all of our different sessions and realized that John actually taught 16 hours out of three and a half days which is incredible when you when you think about how much he's got going on so I will pour into you guys next week and share with that but this week I was super excited. A friend of mine John Stenbeck had had let me know about a few speakers that really out there and coming up and you know rising up the trails. And he found out about some Webinar series and things like that and sent me a list of the most downloaded people in project management right now. And this gentleman was right at the top of the list. And so I had to have had to have him down here and when I really started to dive into what he does I even more had to have him. So I reached out to him immediately and he agreed to be on the show and I'm so excited. It's unbelievable that he is where he is now from where he started so I can't wait to dive into that because he started as an accountant which you know as I do. Aren't those just extremely funny people. So from accountants to improv comedian to a consultant and back to an improv comedian there's gentleman's goal in life is to make you more awesome. How cool is that. He credits his improv comedy experience to much of his business success onstage onsite and online. He's been helping people apply improv skills to be better listeners collaborators influencers and sought after Team members say yes and learn how to imply improved skills every day. So let's bring them on here right now. Kupe Kupersmith how are you buddy.
00:03:52;21 - 00:04:04;20
Kupe Kupersmith: I'm doing great. Thank you for having me on the show and I just want to tell everybody that I did read a Guinness Book of World Record books that night did I get close.
00:04:04;29 - 00:04:24;15
Rick A. Morris: No. That's right. That's right. I'll give you a prelude. Just just just to throw you off for a second. When I say eliminate any excuses this young lady was trying to raise a million dollars. So she was googling how to do that. One of the things it said she could do was swim the English Channel. There was a big problem.
00:04:24;15 - 00:04:33;13
Kupe Kupersmith: I'll go ahead and give you a guess what you think that problem may be that she didn't know how to swim.
00:04:33;25 - 00:05:01;21
Rick A. Morris: Exactly. So she hired somebody taught herself how to swim and then swam the English Channel. I'm telling you and then when I'm saying are gone my outlook won't send an e-mail around with like sucks. You start to gain a whole different perspective. So you're sitting in the audience and I'm such a small person I'm such a small person but it's coming back when you do my Fitbit is in charge.
00:05:01;21 - 00:05:09;07
Kupe Kupersmith: And I want to go do my page read battery. Everything you do.
00:05:09;19 - 00:05:40;29
Rick A. Morris: She taught herself to swim swam the English Channel to give the money away to kids and get an education right. Yeah yeah. It wasn't it wasn't for her fame and fortune. Yes. But yes that's why I mean people were just in tears. That's a whole nother story but it's getting back to you. Talk to me because again the lead and I took a stab at you just because I can and just because one of my best friends in the world is John Steinbeck who not only was an accountant but was on the low side of being McCan a forensic accountant because those guys are super exciting to hang out with. How did you get to improv.
00:05:42;09 - 00:08:14;13
Kupe Kupersmith: Well for me I know the story how I became an accountant was my. I didn't know what I wanted to do when I went to university. So my father said hey you're really good at math. Why don't you become an accountant. Everybody needs an account and you'll have a good job. Good benefit. I was like OK well you know I'll go for it. Went through college kind of board but didn't know what else to do. So I kept going got my degree and then realized you know what I wasn't bad. I did about being an accountant but I should use my degree got a job was working as an account for a little while then what do all good accountants at least in the US do. We try to get our CPA paid the CPA. I studied for the exam and I think I'm on record for being the best failure of the CPA exam. Nobody has failed that as I did in that and that was kind of my wake up moment like okay maybe that's the sign I finally it hit me over the head I don't need to be doing this stuff but I didn't know what else I wanted to do. So but I had this like creative itch. So my first thing was the way it happened I actually saw Jimmy JJ Walker remember him from good time. Oh absolutely. Yeah this was in the early 90s. Standup comedy was real prevalent across the U.S. and there was a standup comedy club on every corner and I thought you know Jimmy JJ Walker was coming out paid me and my girlfriend paid at the time. Now she's my wife paid twenty five dollars per ticket. And I saw him and it was not I was not he wasn't a riveting comedy show. And I turned to my girlfriend Janine that I can do this. And she said well then go do it. So I got up and started doing open mike night. And I did as well and stand up probably as I did on that CPA that I have learned later in life that I have some form of dyslexia on the spectrum somewhere and one of the things that dyslexia is you don't have a good. Some people have short term memory in that that's my problem. So you can imagine trying to remember lines that I wrote in column that you know jokes that I was writing and I get up on stage and I can't remember them so that didn't go so well. But I I didn't give up and I said you know what I am going to still want to do this comedy thing how can I do it and I started auditioning for some improv troupe and got elected and kind of performed in the Atlanta area for about 10 years.
00:08:16;19 - 00:08:35;16
Rick A. Morris: That's amazing and let's dive into improv for just a second because you know I want to get into how you apply it and you and I were sharing during pre show for a second one of my one of my great friends and not to name drop but that one of my great friends growing up was was was Wayne Brady
00:08:35;20 - 00:08:42;25
Kupe Kupersmith: I just want to let the listeners know I'm not the Wayne Brady level I don't think anybody is really when it comes to improv.
00:08:43;15 - 00:09:15;16
Rick A. Morris: I would appreciate that he's. What I've always loved about Wayne is how humble he truly is and how hard he works at his craft and that's that's the point I'm coming to. You know people come up to him all the time and they think he's just naturally funny and of course he is naturally funny. But improv really isn't truly all made up at the same time. It's accessing a catalog of ideas and memories and things and comebacks and stuff. It is a craft but describe that a little bit.
00:09:16;08 - 00:10:12;03
Kupe Kupersmith: Yeah. It's interesting you ask that question at this point in the show because when I when I teach improv they do my keynote talks on improv or have workshops around improv it's something that comes up later because people are always wanting to they always think people that perform improv are and we are quick witted you have to be quick witted to stand point but at the same time you it comes down to preparation and practice. And to your point it is a craft. It's an art form. So you have to work on it. My troupe weaves and people get shocked about this. We rehearse three times a week to perform once maybe twice a week. And they're like What are you talking about. You practiced improv there. I get to winging it right. It's just making stuff up on the fly into some point it is right because you're getting you don't know what the audience is going to give you on any given night.
00:10:12;06 - 00:10:55;04
Kupe Kupersmith: You are me and you don't know actually there are no scripts you don't know exactly what the other actors are doing. But to your point about this catalog we would work our butt off on putting ourselves in every different situation so we would create characters and that's when we create characters you know Wayne Brady's known for music that I was never the best. Like on the fly rapper like he is but that's when you practice that stuff in rhyming and coming up with words so that you can recall it really quick when you're on stage. But it's about practice and knowing knowing your strengths and knowing the strength of other actors is one of the things in improv that a lot of people don't know is that nobody really wants to be the winner.
00:10:55;04 - 00:11:35;08
Kupe Kupersmith: Right. Nobody wants to be the grandstand or it's all about how can you make other people on your stage more awesome. And the way you know that is by working with them over and over and you know what they're really good at and you're always trying to get them up. You never want to get the punchline you want to set up somebody else. They get the punchline. The only way to do that is knowing the people so well that you know exactly what their strengths are and you can constantly feed them information that will hopefully give them the punchline and it just you know that that trust that you have onstage with the other actors kind of comes across to the audience. And then eventually the punchlines just start coming from everywhere and everybody happy time.
00:11:35;18 - 00:12:33;10
Rick A. Morris: And I love that point you just made because to every phenomenal improv comedian there's always the right hand and they generally don't get the name or fame or fortune that that the you know. So you have Wayne Brady. Most people don't know about Jonathan Mangum and Jonathan obviously has done very well in his own right. But then also Wayne is being loyal as he is. There's never been a big show or big opportunity that Wayne has taken where he hasn't brought Jonathan along. And those two met at an improv troupe in Orlando. You know back in the very early 90s but even on you know let's make a deal Jonathon's The cohost and royal when they're doing. Whose Line Is It Anyway. Jonathon's they are. But it's the same thing right. Like Steve Higgins to me I think is brilliant on how he sets up Jimmy Fallon to be funny. That's the things I look at. Those guys are the best in the world. They have that right hand person that's team you up so you can be the funny guy right now.
00:12:33;11 - 00:12:44;27
Kupe Kupersmith: You know I don't know. It's funny you bring those guys up. I don't know if they were improvising or not but my all time favorite comedians were Abbott and Costello or are Abbott and Costello.
00:12:44;28 - 00:13:05;12
Kupe Kupersmith: They're no longer with us but just the combination of those two and how one set up the other was just amazing and either one of them wouldn't be as entertaining without the other. And that absolutely I put improv is all about I mean it's how the whole team kind of support each other.
00:13:06;02 - 00:13:18;12
Rick A. Morris: So we're going to dive into that and the team concept or we've got to stop here and take our first break let our sponsors spend some money and pay our bills. We'll be right back with Coopersmith listening to Rick Morris on the work life balance.
00:16:13;26 - 00:16:43;19
Rick A. Morris: And we're back to the work life balance as a matter of fact. You know I want to do a little task to make sure we're hitting the airwaves loud and clear. So if you're out there you're listening to us live just send a little tweet at Rick Morris that's @rickamorris Let me know you're out there let me know that you guys are having fun with Kupe Kupersmith today. So cool. You know we were talking previously so you were an accountant you went to an improv comedian but then you decided to leave that and become an I.T. consultant and then back to an improv comedian. So tell me a little bit about that journey.
00:16:44;29 - 00:16:58;12
Kupe Kupersmith: Yeah. Before I get to that I just forgot to mention earlier about that music I love that I don't know what instrument they're playing or some technical thing that I want to I can get that for my like voicemail or something.
00:16:58;25 - 00:17:06;15
Rick A. Morris: Yes I actually own the rights to that song and it only cost me a quarter of a million dollars. I can tell you that story later this hour.
00:17:06;21 - 00:17:12;02
Kupe Kupersmith: Well well maybe I don't need it for my voice but I say that I love it.
00:17:12;08 - 00:18:05;15
Kupe Kupersmith: Got it it's very catchy. So yeah. So I was kind of the improv and I side kind of went almost in parallel actually. So the while I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do when I was when I grew up I started doing the improv but then I also got into the I.T. world because that was a subject matter expert in financial applications and I was working with the I.T. teams at the time the early 90s working on upgrading to PeopleSoft and the big ERP packages and I would work with the teams closely and I was that power user subject matter experts who when I enjoyed that so much I was like well maybe that's kind of my angle let me give it a try and I became a business analyst and the later project manager and kind of settled in and kind of the business analysis space technical team.
00:18:05;22 - 00:19:29;11
Kupe Kupersmith: So now I was running those two lives in parallel and then my wife and I. So Janine who I talked about earlier that kind of pushed me to to try to stand up. We ended up getting married and then we were going to have a family. And you know I said we practiced three times a week. We were performing every weekend and I had a full time job now. And you know she said hey we're going to have a family. Got to give one of the two things. Right. Can't be performing all the time and doing your I.T. job. So sat back and thought and at the time improv. I think a decent salary in the I.T. career was improv who was paying you about fifty dollars a week so you could imagine maybe what I decided to do instead of going full head on into the improv. I decided to kind of let that go and stick with the courier so that's how I got into business and now you know back to the Improv side where I do most of my performing is for corporate America right and helping people use improv skills and in my bio you read like that is where I credit everything to my success to back to my improv skills and how I can connect with people how I collaborate with people and you know I always thought Why do I love being on teams. What was it about being on teams. Why did people want me on their team. And it came.
00:19:29;11 - 00:19:48;27
Kupe Kupersmith: It comes down to you're 100 percent down to my improv training that I've had and experience so I want to make a clarifying comment in the flow of his story there because you said you know my wife and I were trying to have children and you know we were practicing three times a week. Your breaks in.
00:19:49;06 - 00:20:01;24
Rick A. Morris: I just want to make sure that we're being very clear you said my wife and I were trying to have children and we were practicing three times a week.
00:20:01;29 - 00:20:04;17
Kupe Kupersmith: We were practicing more than that.
00:20:04;18 - 00:20:29;02
Rick A. Morris: But you know anyway back to improv it's Friday we're silly let's say so you know. So you talked about how you got into improv. But you know what's good in practicing improv skills you don't need to practice improv skills just to be a comedian. I mean how can people practically use improv just in everyday situations.
00:20:29;06 - 00:22:26;11
Kupe Kupersmith: Right. It's one of the key things that people ask all the time I go you're teaching improv. Trying to turn me into a comedian then the answer is no actually you know the history of improv goes back to you know it was it was a way for actors that were on stage theater actors to warm up and get ready and be prepared. And then it forgot exactly what year but then it started to become kind of its own art form and became improv comedy. But the improv itself the court to improv and the lessons in improv can be used every day. I mean think about think about what's happening right now. Rick you plan to somewhat for the show. Right. I mean we had we talked a little while before the show we had Ymay Elle's back and forth to we did some preparation but we don't have a script of exactly what we're going to say. You don't have a list of questions that you're going to ask me and I don't have like a script that answers those word by word. If you bump into someone in the hallway at work you have a script when you have that conversation if you're going to talk to a stakeholder about need you have a script if somebody calls you on the phone do you have a script. If your daughter comes down and ask you a question about something you have a script no. So in life we don't have a script. Just like on stage with improv we don't have scripts so every waking moment where improvising. So if you think about it in those terms then now you can be like okay I have to get better at that improv thing and not being a comedian. I do think in the workplace we could probably be having more fun but that doesn't mean you have to be a standup comedian or cracking jokes all the time. It's just I think we need to relax a little. You know this whole show is the work life balance. I like to almost say there needs to be a work life blend and that's one of the things like you don't just have fun outside work you can have fun at work as well. But you don't have to be a comedian.
00:22:27;26 - 00:23:23;24
Rick A. Morris: No. And humor is always been a natural mechanism for me. And what I've mastered over time is to be able to use that to relieve tension of tense moments in meetings you know somebody just said something and you know you can feel the tension and be unable to make that witty comment to move it on. But I've taught my kids you know and you know Maxwell wrote a book you know everybody communicates few connect. I think it's a beautiful book. If nobody's ever read that but I teach my kids I tell them that every interaction is a transaction and somebody is buying and it's based on relationship capital. So you can either leave them feeling good or leave them feeling bad in it. You know a debit or credit in that relationship bank. So humor is such a beautiful. Not only that but there's medical reasons to laugh. There's laughter produces all kinds of wonderfully beautiful feelings. So why not be known for the person that can always make you laugh.
00:23:25;03 - 00:23:33;22
Kupe Kupersmith: Absolutely. So an example of this is how I use improv or comedy or you know fun like that in the workplace.
00:23:33;23 - 00:24:08;29
Kupe Kupersmith: Perfect example I have is I was on a conference call with me and three other people and we were we were talking about we were trying to figure out how you know we were all speakers and we were trying to figure out how can we collaborate and maybe kind of work together and do this. And early on in the conversation somebody said you know I can be in Vancouver. Joe can be in Sydney Australia. Tim can be over in London and it's going to be in Topeka Kansas. And I said wait a minute why why am I in Topeka.
00:24:08;29 - 00:24:14;04
Rick A. Morris: You know that seems like the worst place out of the family and everybody everybody on the line.
00:24:14;07 - 00:26:24;20
Kupe Kupersmith: Right. So I like that's where I kept that moment in my head. I'm like All right. When we get to a tense point in this conversation because I knew it would. You know there's egos involved. So I knew at some point it would get a little tense and I just held onto that noticing. So this is the listening part of improv that helps is like listen to what made everybody laugh and then of course there was a tense moment in the conversation and two people were debating about something and it felt like it was getting a little too tense not not good healthy tension. So do I just say hey guys wait a minute at least you guys aren't in Topeka Kansas. You know and at that moment it broke that tension and we were able to get back to the things that I mean that is one way to use improv and that to me that is about listening and paying attention to what's happening in conversation not just being part of a conversation but really focusing on what's happening because in improv you know think about there's no script you got an audience in front of you and you're trying to to make them laugh. I mean that's the big idea. You're trying to make them laugh so you have to focus so much on what the other actors are doing and listen for offers like listen to thing because you've got to respond really quickly on stage. So you got to listen for things and figure out what did they say and what can I think of in a split second to react to what they're saying though. And that level of focus that you have to have as an improviser we need to have that level of focus. As in all of our conversations just like that the level of focus I have right now there's no I am not checking my email although I have my computer up and things are around. I'm not checking my e-mail. I'm just focusing solely on not thinking about anything else except this conversation. I think especially in corporate America you get into these conference rooms people are slouch back there checking their e-mails. They're on their phone on their computer doing 200 things at the same time. Things are not as efficient. And to your point relationships are being fractured because of how other people are interacting with each other.
00:26:25;02 - 00:27:27;27
Rick A. Morris: I'm sorry I wasn't listening to this point because I was checking my e-mail. But the point being no one in the crowd right. Sorry that was me. Hopefully what she said was important but what I don't know what it says is you know even even this the side job. Can I take out what I like about improv and practicing is you know comparisons and drawing comparisons. You know there's a great game that you do that with and things come into your brain and you get older and have a fantastic filter. But even in boring topics like side and exact a roomful of executives you are talking about resource management. It was getting tough and they were like You know I love the we don't have time to do resource management in my comeback was that it's like saying you're too fat to diet. And that but but that disarmed them and all of a sudden they just all broke out lavender and that's when I know I have a room that's when I know I'm and I'm ready to teach and ready to make an impressionable point because I've got them relaxed because it makes sense.
00:27:27;28 - 00:27:36;19
Kupe Kupersmith: Yeah absolutely. And one of the hives. So this is another key thing and I want to get back at some point to listening because it is a great game that we play to help with that focus.
00:27:36;21 - 00:29:20;08
Kupe Kupersmith: But you just brought up another awesome point about improv like you could have said that and at the end sometime and maybe you've been doing this long enough x a year you kind of know at what point to kind of throw that stuff in there where you think the either the class you're in or in the conference room that you're in the people you're dealing with. But one of the things in improv what helped me a lot is get comfortable with risk taking trying things and if they don't work adapting and trying something else and I think that's so important in the workplace because too often decisions don't get made. People don't try stuff because they're afraid of failure. And in improv you know there's some troops but better called you know tight roping without a wire or a net or whatever it is because it's really risky you try something somebody says something onstage you have to react right away. And again our goal with improv comedy is make people laugh. So you would try something and it would fall flat. It would make sense it wasn't good but that it's OK because another actor again is going to have your back and give you something else to play off of. So with that risk taking piece that it made me comfortable. Now in the workplace if I'm not sure what to do or you have this tense moment you know what I'm going to try to throw out the analogy about being too fat to diet. And let's see what happens. Sometimes it falls flat but you can't just fall apart because that one liner didn't work. You got to keep going and not be persistent.
Rick A. Morris: And that's a great point so when we come back we're going to talk about how listening affects improv and we'll be right back with Kupe Kupersmith you're listening into the work life balance which requires.
00:32:18;25 - 00:32:32;14
Rick A. Morris: And we're back to the work life balance with Kupe Kupersmith. We've been talking about improv and applying improv and right before the break we tease that we were talking about listening in improv.
00:32:32;14 - 00:32:49;14
Kupe Kupersmith: So why is listening and improv so important is that we talked about that a little the key is there are no no scripts. I see you don't know what the other actors you or the other players that you're up there with are going to do or say.
00:32:49;14 - 00:34:57;05
Kupe Kupersmith: So the level of focus you have to have is intense and you have to respond at a speed that works with the other actors so that they can respond. You know I said earlier like the never wanted to be the one getting all the punchlines. We would always try to serve stuff up to the other players and make them more awesome. So if you think about now and in the workplace or even personal relationships and we all know those people that communicate at a speed so fast and talk at a level. And I've been in those conference rooms with these really smart people articulate people that nobody can keep up with them right. They can't can't focus. So I play this game when when I'm training the on that I play this game called The Mirror game and the two people get up and they stand up there looking face the face. They have their hands up kind of you know like a field goal position and then I tell them to start they're now a mirror so start to mirror each other and move your hands move your body move your face do whatever but you have to act like you're a mirror and the first time people do this. Everybody is trying to beat the other person and there's always one like Fast Eddie out there that's going so fast that there's no way the other person can keep up. So listening is not just with your ears it's it's with your eyes and watching the people that you're communicating with. So you have to go at one go at a speed that other people can keep up with the communication. So listening to people always think listening is the other person's job. But I really think communication in general is if you're trying to communicate something it's your job to figure out how you need to communicate and go at a speed that the other person can consume it. And there's so much information flying at us every day that you have to really keep an eye out and quote unquote listen to what the audience is doing and are they keeping up with your topic in the thing you're talking about again it's not about making yourself look good it's about making the other people look good.
00:34:58;26 - 00:35:54;09
Rick A. Morris: Absolutely. Absolutely. You know it's funny. I watched a guy while I was at Maxwell this week I shared a story about listening. And there was a gentleman and he's you know he's got a million people in his downline at Amway. Actually this was Dr. Robert Rohm was sharing the stories that a million million people in his down line. And I was going to an event landed in a private jet and told the guy you know make sure you get everything out of my bags or everything on the plane to get to this event when he gets to the event he said where's the small bag. And the guy said I'm sorry I know it started because while it was inside the plane and it's got my blood pressure medicine and it's very important I have to take it. And he says I apologize that I didn't confirm he listened to me properly that's completely my fault. So I'm happy to go back and get it. And what a beautiful moment right. Well said.
00:35:55;12 - 00:36:16;17
Kupe Kupersmith: Yeah. So here's another story we brought. So before I started doing comedy. I was approached to do Amway and if I knew I could add a million people in my down behind them you know going flying private jets maybe I would have chosen Amway over over and for no doubt no doubt.
00:36:19;02 - 00:36:24;21
Rick A. Morris: So you mentioned the mirror game. What's another one of your favorite games that you like to play in improv.
00:36:25;28 - 00:36:37;12
Kupe Kupersmith: So when it comes down to it the favorite game for me and I think the mother the reason why I love this game and it's called Yes and I think it's becoming more and more popular.
00:36:37;27 - 00:37:11;07
Kupe Kupersmith: We were just talking you know on the break that you used it in an agile class that you teach. I see it a lot in the Agile community as well. Yes. And and the reason that the game is all about the mother of all improv rules and no denying that he never did on stage the reason for that is you put all the pressure back on the other actors. So think about it if you and I were doing a performance and you came on and said hey to let let's play baseball and I'm like I am not in the mood how would that go over onstage.
00:37:11;16 - 00:37:12;29
Rick A. Morris: Exactly.
00:37:12;29 - 00:40:27;05
Kupe Kupersmith: It would fall flat and then it puts all the pressure back on you to come up with something else. So doesn't work on stage. So you have to the whole concept is you take an idea you take somebody said use that idea to build upon it and grow. So. So when you know for business professionals what I do. One of the we play this game and I have people pair up and they play. Yes. And in the way it works is if you want to play at home with your family you basically somebody says something take a topic any topic somebody starts off with a sign the other person says yes and and then adds to the conversation and then it goes back to the first person and they say yes and then they continue to add on to the conversation. So I often have people because it's still not happening yet. I have people build vacation homes on the moon. So you can imagine like how that conversation goes you know like oh let's have a pool. Yes. And our dog will swim in the pool. Yes. And we'll bring all our friends and it just keeps growing right. Do they have these elaborate vacation homes on the moon. And then we talk about so how that feel would that mean to you guys happen use that in the workplace. And one of the things that typically happens is everyone feels it was very affirming right. I mean it felt good. Back to your point about this is all about connection and building relationships so if you're listening to people well if you're using this yes then mindset and being real positive and affirming your building connections and trust with your co-workers. So so people feel really good and then I ask you know so who said but like who said yeah but. And there's always one or two in the crowd that said it or I wanted to say right so somebody had a crazy idea and they were like Yeah but you know we can't really have a pool on the moon right. So they denied that person and yeah but is a big big time denial. And. You and I live in the south of the south east US and I'm originally from New York and there's other ways that you have denial in the workplace. It's not just yeah but then we definitely have those managers. Let me start with this first leg. We have those managers that even they claim like I have an open door policy. I want you to come in and talk to me give ideas we have to innovate. We have to change we have to get better. So you have ideas come in my office tell me open door policy and you come rushing in there and you're like hey boss I got an idea I think we should do X Y and Z. They're like yeah but we don't have the money for that or yeah but we try that last year and it didn't work. Yeah but we don't have the time to do that. And those yeah but. And you can imagine. I mean I've been in that position right where I kept getting yeah but happening to me to many but get thrown at me. And what do you do. You just stop. You say well forget it. I don't want to do it anymore. Tell me what you want me to do. So that's why you got to remove the bumps from your language right. That's the key here. But there are other ways that you say but. And here in the south Rick you know this one. Bless your heart.
00:40:27;12 - 00:40:30;15
Rick A. Morris: Oh yes. I was hoping you'd say that for sure.
00:40:30;24 - 00:40:38;04
Kupe Kupersmith: That is the biggest denial. You know I know it's funny when I first moved to Atlanta from New York. Everybody was like Oh. Bless your heart.
00:40:40;02 - 00:43:38;20
Kupe Kupersmith: And I'm like This is amazing like I'm coming from New York where people have given me the finger flipping me off right. And I come down here and every day I'm getting blessed by people. But quickly quickly you learn that bless your heart is is more of a state. And like you know your mom dropped you on your head a few many times. You're not that smart. Here's how are we going to do things. So there's a lot of that passive aggressive but that go on out there. We have to remove that from our language. The challenge is you know in playing this game with building a vacation home on the moon you can do whatever you want. There's no constraints it's like we're just having fun and you can go as wide as possible so it was really good and we can think about this in terms of when we were brainstorming with a team. It's a really good technique. But in a lot of other conversations we have constraints there in real life there are budget constraints there are time constraints there are resource constraints so how can we not say yeah but we have to talk about that stuff. So there's just a different is a switch in your language as you can use to make sure that you kind of don't say. But at the same time you don't have to agree 100 percent. So what I like to is the mindset shift is you have to have. Is that the idea that somebody says and this is the yes part of yes. Then something that whatever somebody says to them is reality or whatever idea they have whatever thing they're bringing up they think it's a great idea by you saying yes. But it's like you heard them at the same time you think they're crazy or that idea's not going to work. So you have to switch your mentality to think that put it back on you like the the doctor you talked about with Amway they put the listening back on him. You have to put the fact of this idea you have to put back on yourself that you don't know what it means yet you don't completely understand. So the person is not crazy. They have an idea. They think it's a legit idea. So don't point to them. Put them on the defense thing their idea is crazy it put it back on you that you don't understand completely yet. So just asking a question help me understand how we're going to do that. I don't see that you know we have a limited budget. How are we going to do this. Tell me give me more information. Right. And maybe that they're going to be able to say oh well actually we don't need a lot of money at all. We already have this license and we can do this. And all we need is 100 bucks and it can be done like oh wow I didn't even know we have that we can do it. So just by flipping that switch to put it back on you and not put it on the person that had the idea is a way you can use Yes and without saying yes and and always agreeing with something.
00:43:38;21 - 00:43:41;21
Kupe Kupersmith: The other component to the other.
00:43:42;02 - 00:43:53;11
Rick A. Morris: Now let's we'll step into that other component we were up against a break here. But I do I do love that it is something that we used quite a bit in design as well and we've actually designed some really big ideas.
00:43:53;11 - 00:44:12;29
Rick A. Morris: By not saying well there's no way we can get that done and just exploring that in an hour session in a very real context but we're going to be right back with Kupe Kupersmith in our final segment of the work life balance on this Friday afternoon. You're listening to Rick Morris.
00:47:04;19 - 00:47:20;26
Rick A. Morris: And we're back for our final segment of the work life balance with Kupe Kupersmith and Kupe right before we went to break we were talking about the Yes and game and how important that is to remove the buts out of your conversation. But there was another component and I had to cut you out for break and I apologize. So what was the other component you were trying to come to.
00:47:22;02 - 00:47:57;10
Kupe Kupersmith: That is just another language thing or words that you can use is essentially in brainstorming sessions. So instead of denying it a lot of times people don't deny those but sometimes they do or they don't fully grasp what somebody is saying. So they might they might use the word for that or is also their real close to denial like so think about it. You know I was like Hey Rick let's go to a dinner tonight. Let's grab some Chinese New Year like or we can go for Italian.
00:47:57;21 - 00:48:02;29
Kupe Kupersmith: That to me is like so I was like bless your heart and took on a leading lady.
00:48:03;11 - 00:49:36;05
Kupe Kupersmith: If he said something like you know Feste yuan or Japanese maybe you know some other Asian culture maybe that would work. But he totally went a different angle. To me that would feel like a dinner if he got to be careful with or. But when you can use the word what I like about that is right. Ooh what I liked about that is that a lot of Chinese restaurants they have they have like family style dinners another type of places that we have family style is Italian. Right. So you're saying what I like about that is that you're recognizing that there's something that the person said that you can latch onto and I think you know in the workplace it's really you know we know there's people that we don't completely see eye to eye with. And sometimes you get in meetings and it doesn't feel good. And everything they say my turkey will little though I think you have to be the bigger person and kind of go with the. Yes and kind of attitude to really connect with people on this. You know it's all about collaboration these days. There's not. I mean my kids have young kids and they're in school they're working on projects all the time. I mean I don't know anybody in the workplace now that just sits in their office and they close their door and people push paper under the door you do something with it and you put it back under the door you're always working with somebody in some fashion so you don't get better at collaboration and communication like this and this connectedness then it's just going to hinder you in life in general.
00:49:36;13 - 00:50:32;09
Rick A. Morris: It's mindshare right. The one word is the mind shift. So it's not I have to go to this meeting it's I get to go to this meeting right. One word changes an attitude and an approach that that opens doors and possibilities. That's what yes and so when we do design sessions we say what's the really big idea we're going to save a million dollars in the next six months. In just throw it out there. And the first and I go great because I know your first reaction is this is impossible. So the way we're going to do this is yes we will. And here's how we're going to do it. Let's start small and here we go. But nobody can say no nobody can say but nobody can say it's impossible. Everything is yes. And how are we going to do this. And we're not leaving here until we have our path. So let's get to work. And it's very powerful the ideas that you can generate by having that positive mindset. So speaking of positive mindsets what some of the best advice you've ever received.
00:50:33;05 - 00:52:25;02
Kupe Kupersmith: Yeah it's funny because I think you said it in in one way or another just in that last follow up there. I think for me the greatest advice was around keeping your eyes open to opportunity and it actually goes with the yes mindset. Like never always think you know when something approaches you and if you look at my career and the things that I've done and like I didn't have the like well laid out plan that OK I'm going to go to college and I'm 17 I'm going to graduate I'm going to do this and then to do that. And you know now I'm in my late 40s and everything is worked out exactly like Atlanta. That's just not how life go. So with it being open opportunities. Like someone told me like just look for opportunities be open to those opportunities and then go for some of them say yes. Right. And that's you know as a consultant that's what I do a lot. If I if I said no to everything then I wouldn't make a lot of money. So you have to have somebody says hey you want to do this. Yes let's do it. Let's go for it and see what happens. I do this in life in general. I do this with networking. My goal in life is to meet everybody in the world. And I have that goal because I never know when a connection when somebody I connect with is either going to help them or they're going to help me. So I just have a goal to meet everybody and that I'm not limited who I talk to and who I meet. If I go to a party and see 50 people I want to meet everybody in that room regardless of their title who they are their status whatever it is. So when someone comes up to me and says hello. I accept that hello and have a conversation and connect with them. So always keep your eyes open to opportunity.
00:52:25;07 - 00:52:48;12
Rick A. Morris: I think that's fantastic. I heard something really profound this week. I've got eight pages of quotes so I'm not trying to overhear videos about but that every opportunity is surrounded by problems so expect it. But look for the opportunity within the problem which I thought was just one of the most brilliant things I've ever heard. Great. To me it's like nobody nobody ever got successful perfectly.
00:52:48;14 - 00:52:56;06
Rick A. Morris: Nobody ever opened up a business and it was such a perfect run through it. Nothing ever not happened and all of a sudden I had a million dollars.
00:52:56;07 - 00:52:58;14
Kupe Kupersmith: And I'm like Hey. Right.
00:52:58;15 - 00:53:08;17
Rick A. Morris: I mean it was a wonderfully. Way to state that. But I want to make sure that we were running out of time here and want to make sure that everybody knows how to get in touch with you. How did they get in touch with you.
00:53:09;02 - 00:53:38;02
Kupe Kupersmith: So the best way you can hit me up on Twitter I'm just at Kupe. You can shoot me an email Kupe@talks.com. See what I'm up to and what I have to offer made it his way we can connect in and work together. I'd love to. You know I want to make other people awesome and I do that through this improv advantage so there's any way I can help help you let me know.
00:53:39;08 - 00:53:50;23
Rick A. Morris: Outstanding Well we certainly appreciate your time and spending time with us and we were talking on the break we have to have you back. So I'm going to put you on the spot in front of the audience and ask you back so hopefully we can continue this conversation soon.
00:53:51;27 - 00:53:54;05
Kupe Kupersmith: What if I say no I don't want to come back Rick.
00:53:54;23 - 00:54:01;26
Rick A. Morris: I get it out of your test. Yes it was yes and you already knew the answer before I asked you. It's been a pleasure.
00:54:01;26 - 00:54:29;04
Rick A. Morris: So next week we're going to detox the the John Maxwell experience and I'm going to share with you guys the things that I learned from this past event which is going to be incredible. And then we'll have Johanna Rothman on the show right after that. We've got lots of great things coming on the Voice America Network and on the work life balance we hope that you'll continue to join us as you have on every Friday right here on the work life balance sheet. Been listening to Rick Morris we'll see you next Friday.