Sometimes what sets us on a particular journey in life is not a particular aptitude or knowledge of a subject, but a traumatic failure. When you hit rock bottom you get a certain clarity of thought that can help you not only to avoid such mistakes in the future, but to share those lessons with others.
Zachary Pritchard, today’s guest for Mads Singers Management Podcast, is someone who dealt with two such failures and has made them strengths: communication and finance. While his undergraduate degree is in wildlife, in which he was in charge of water management, he ended up building a business and growing it from 3-12 employees. He now works as a financial coach, helping people with their budgets.
We started talking about communication right away and I shared how important DISC was for me to understand my employees and clients and how I can communicate with them. I firmly believe that it’s not what you say, but how people hear what you say. Zach agreed, adding that part of effective communication necessarily resides in honesty and vulnerability. “If you can’t be honest with yourself, you can’t be honest with your team,” he noted.
Zach also talked about the importance of developing enough of a relationship with his team (something that can grow out of consistent 1-to-1s) that they could feel comfortable disagreeing with him in a professional setting. I agreed, noting that it’s not enough to say you have an “open door” policy (which I hear so often), but to actually make your employees feel that that is really true. If people don’t trust you, they won’t open up. I also shared a technique to use to ensure that your employees will be comfortable sharing their ideas that might contradict your own.
Zach is a proponent of the Dave Ramsey method of financial freedom and I lamented that we spend all this time learning complicated math that we are unlikely to ever use, but aren’t taught even one bit of financial education in school. Zach’s financial coaching practice is one way to correct that!
I enjoyed chatting with Zach and I think you’ll find his perspective helpful.
- Zach relates how poor communication cost him his job – 3:30
- Zach notes that the most important part of effective communication is total honesty – 6:07
- Zach wants that honesty to go both ways, so that his employees can overcome any hesitance to contradict him on a business strategy – 7:27
- Mads agrees, noting that a good relationship is at the core of good communication – 8:53
- Mads also shares an effective strategy to make sure your employees feel comfortable “disagreeing” with you – 10:21
- Zach discusses the importance of being vulnerable in work conversations – 20:05
- Mads points out the importance of learning your team’s communication styles – 21:35
- Zach shares that what happens at home necessarily spills over into work – 29:45
- Mads laments the lack of financial education in school – 34:15