With featured guest

Darren Kanthal

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Darren Kanthal | The Remarkable Coach | Boxer Media

Darren Kanthal went from corporate HR recruiter to independent leadership coach after the company he worked for lost the greatest leader he has ever known.

In this episode of The Remarkable Coach Podcast, Micheal and Darren talk about the importance of self-awareness, what Positive Intelligence (PQ) is and is not, the importance of truth, and what it means to be a values-based leader.

A bit about Darren:

Darren is an avid mountain biker and snowboarder, lover of live music and great food, and proud papa of a 15-year-old cattle dog mix named Marvin. In his spare time, he works with industry leaders to gain more confidence, find their voice, and thrive in their careers and lives.

Where you can find Darren:

Website:  CandidCareerCoaching.com

Personal LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/darrenkanthal

Free Value Assessment: ValuesAssessment.thekanthalgroup.com

Where you can listen to this episode:


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Micheal Pacheco 0:00
Record writing you don’t Okay. All right. Hey, everyone. Welcome again to another episode of the remarkable coach podcast. I’m your host Michael Pacheco. And today with me I have Darren canthal Darren is an avid mountain biker and snowboarder, lover of live music and great food, and proud pop up a 15 year old cattle dog mix named Marvin. And that’s how you know that he’ll get along good with me. In his spare time, he works with industry leaders to gain more confidence find their voice and thrive in their career and life. Darren, welcome to The Remarkable Coach podcast where we love dogs.

Darren Kanthal 0:43
Perfect. Well, we’re gonna get along. Great. Thank you appreciate being here.

Micheal Pacheco 0:46
You bet, man. So I’d like to open up the podcast by just kind of inviting our guests to talk a little bit about yourselves and what got you into coaching?

Darren Kanthal 0:53
Yeah, it’s such an open ended question. It’s funny. When I was a recruiter, I used to ask that question a lot. And you always see where people go. You know, I grew up in New York, in the suburbs, about 30 miles outside New York City. My mom is a retired school teacher, my dad passed away in 97. And I have the unfortunate distinction of being alive, more without him than me to live with him. He was an entrepreneur throughout my entire life. And he’s passed that along to me, when I graduated college and took over his business. He passed away dirt just before my last semester of school, and took over his business actually had a house fire a couple years later, lost the business, it was a dying breed as it was. And I found myself in recruiting, where I spent a good 18 years. HR recruiting is where I spent most of my corporate career. And what I laugh about, as I find a lot of people seem to have these Achilles heels, like the things that always happen to them. Like people always have family issues, or always lose their keys or fill in the blank. And my Achilles heel at work was a I’m a New Yorker be like the sound of my own voice, which means my opinions are important to me. And I would often share them without discretion or being asked. And the see part of this is I had a lot of leaders whom I didn’t respect. And so you take those three pieces that I mentioned, and it was often some fire and gasoline. And the last part of my story before one of my businesses, I was in my last corporate gig, had, by all accounts, the greatest leader, pretty traditional story of new management comes in, my leader, new management did not see eye to eye, new management brought in their person who was hands down the worst leader of my career. And I hired a career coach, and this is in 2018. And I remember specifically saying to my coach, I need to figure out how to play nicer in these corporate sandboxes. And her words, were so succinct, she said, Maybe you should change the sandbox. And it was like this, you know, mind blown scenario or situation where I never even thought about it. Which is interesting, because I started my career as an entrepreneur. And that’s where I am now too. And it was just those words, maybe change the sandbox. And so I did, negotiated my exit started my company, and we’re still reading history now.

Micheal Pacheco 3:22
Yes, I love it. So you work with leaders. And in your way, as a recruiter, you had the best leader that you’ve ever had. And then you have the worst leader that you’ve ever had what makes a great leader and a bad leader.

Darren Kanthal 3:38
So if I think specifically about these people, the Great Leader cared about me personally, sincerely. She practiced what she preached. She was direct in the way she communicated. And both of them were females. I’m saying she so let’s just call it out. Right? She, she created a culture that allowed us to speak Sal, us, me, but our team to speak freely, to be able to be a contrary and have a dissenting voice, but not be fearful that you’re going to lose your job because you’re a dissenter. And I think that’s a really important piece of leadership is encouraging and then respecting the contrarian or dissenting voice. We don’t need a million yes people they’re already out there. We need no people sometimes. The poor leader was on informed spoke first listened last argued to be right. And maybe she was right many times, and maybe I did the same thing. So let me put that out there. But my experience was it was more confrontational, that it was a discussion or a conversation. I didn’t think she cared about me. And I thought she was a company person and not really a people person or an advocate for the employees or even for her team. And there was a great deal of distrust with this leader.

Micheal Pacheco 5:10
Interesting, so, yeah, so I mean, a good leader, you’re talking about caring, you’re talking about conversational and over confrontational, right, more conversation less confrontation, advocating for the employees building trust, that sort of thing. Is this is this the kind of stuff that you work on with your leaders?

Darren Kanthal 5:29
It is, yeah, there’s what I’ve really started to gather, I say started, I mean, I’ve gathered this is that there’s a few there’s a few things. One is I don’t believe self awareness is that a big as it I don’t believe self awareness is as high in our leaders as I think it could be. I don’t I want to avoid saying should as much as it could be. Two is, I’m a fan of Brene. Brown. And if you are anyone elses, she my, I think she’s the queen of vulnerability. A lot of leaders are not willing to be vulnerable. And when we’re not self aware of how we’re doing, and how we’re showing up, and the way we’re speaking, and behaving, and all the things and we’re unwilling to be vulnerable, what I think is, we start to get these, like, cookie cutter cut outs of what a leader should be. And it’s not very authentic, and it’s not very inspiring. And it leads more to the poor leader that I lead with her. So when I’m coaching leaders, a lot of what I do is starting with self awareness, how are you showing up? Are you aware of your triggers? Are you aware of how you respond to these triggers? Will you apologize? Will you say I don’t know? Do you recognize the things that make you feel insecure? Do you ask from Your leaders, the things you need to feel confident? If we don’t feel confident, we’re going to show up feeling a lack of confidence, which often leads to defensiveness. argumentativeness, trying to overcome insecurities. When we get the things that we need, ie Am I on the right path? Am I showing up? Well, am I representing myself and our team correctly? Or well or appropriately? Am I following through on the things that I say? am I delivering results? Can I be me? Is authenticity appreciated? Or is it frowned upon? Because I’ve been places where being authentic was not really appreciated unless it was in line with the corporate image. Right? So a lot of this stuff is is, is very, it’s very deep rooted for the individual to realize who they are, who they want to be, and then how do they show up in real life. And if those things are aligned, what I see as leaders thrive, when I see when they’re misaligned, dissatisfaction, a lack of fulfillment, insecurity and a full lack of authenticity.

Micheal Pacheco 7:58
Yeah, yeah, I like that. Tell us more tell us when we circle back and tell us more about your your clients who what type of clients who are the people that you work with? What’s your ideal client look like?

Darren Kanthal 8:08
My ideal client is, quite frankly, not the C level. It’s usually the manager to SVP and everything in between, depending on organizational organization and title, right, sometimes an MD is,

Micheal Pacheco 8:26
we’re talking like the director level, or Yes. Okay. Yeah,

Darren Kanthal 8:30
yeah. They’re typically they’re typically leading people and leading a function. Teams, of course, come with that. Sometimes they are recently promoted. And the things that made them successful in their previous job, are also going to make them successful in their new job, but they got to, they got to establish a new skill set. Level up. And sometimes it’s not necessarily like the hard skill, but it’s more of the soft skill of wareness nuance. Learning how to delegate more from a from a more strategic higher level, as opposed to being hands on all the time. A big thing I hear from a lot of my clients is that they don’t know that stuff’s getting done, because they saw it. But they’ve got to trust that Michael told me it’s done and therefore it is. Right. Right. So there’s a lot there’s a deeper sense of trust in the people that they’re leading. And trusting that when Michael says it’s done, like it’s really done. It’s different than when I see it get done. Yeah. Which is what they used to see right, because they screwed all the bolts in and did all the things you know. So we’re going down a little bit of rabbit hole, but most of my clients, our leaders, director level and above Nanci level, and typically they want to perform better, they’ve got some blind spots, that he’s got some obvious things that they want to work on. And the way I often describe it is if the two of us are putting a puzzle together all the time puzzle pieces are in your brain. And we’ve got to put them on the table to get put them on the table so we can both play with it. And then we start moving the pieces. And we figure out what works for you. It’s a lot of trial and error. It’s not a real time, right? Like, what’s current for you today is different than what’s current from you in two weeks. And if we tried some things in those two weeks, great, what worked? What didn’t work? What do we learn? What’s happening in real time now to Joey leave? Did Mary get promoted, and my whole entire team up and quit? That the CLO leave? You know, there’s all these things that happen, right? We’ve got to adjust and realign with what we’re doing. Nice.

Micheal Pacheco 10:37
One of the things that I like to talk about as kind of a halfway joke on this podcast, are you familiar with the Peter Principle? The Peter, Peter Principle? Yeah,

Darren Kanthal 10:46
I feel like I’ve heard it, but please remind me. So

Micheal Pacheco 10:49
Peter, the Peter Principle is this idea that that any given person will be promoted to their level of incompetence? If you’re really good at what you’re doing, you’re gonna get a promotion, right? And then eventually, you’re going to be not so good at what you’re doing, because you get promoted. Right? And then of course, the if you don’t level up, which is what you’re exactly what you’re talking about, right? Sometimes you work with, with newly promoted managers, directors, whatever, in order to help them avoid the Peter Principle. Yes, yes. Yeah, anyways, it’s always a funny addition to the conversation, I feel like. So I want to circle back to something that you had mentioned about about helping managers gain a level of trust with their employees, whereas maybe they used to micromanage or they used to be a little bit more involved. And now when someone says, Hey, this is done. That’s it. In this conversation, it’s done. The trust is there. How do you? How do you teach for that? How do you train for that?

Darren Kanthal 11:53
Well, I’m going to beat the same drum drum of self awareness. And the way to beat the drum and least in this question is I have leaders, some of my best leaders say, the best thing that you Darren can do for me, my old leader, is helped to minimize me being surprised. And what that invitation did was, it opened my eyes to Yes, managing up, managing up through the eyes of like, what’s going on in my world, that my boss would have no idea about, until I told her or until she is surprised, or he or surprised when someone else does. So one is thinking bigger. The more tangible piece is, what do I need to be comfortable? And I know I said that a little while ago, right is, Do I need a weekly meetings? Or bi weekly or monthly meeting? Do I need some sort of dashboard? Do I need a checklist? Do I need quarterly reviews? Do I apply Agile software development in the scrum methodologies, and know that in this next two to three weeks, you’re gonna accomplish these things? And after those two to three weeks, you’re going to report to me and tell me what happened and what didn’t go well, and yada, yada. So, the big thing is, what does the individual leader need to feel comfortable that I have as much as I can possibly get from Michael, therefore, I minimize my surprises. And then the other piece is being mindful that you’re going to be surprised. And when you are surprised, it’s not because Michael failed, or because I failed. It’s because we learned something new. And when we’re flexible and open to the lessons, we can apply them to future, right. So hey, Michael, I was surprised by this thing. And it opened my eyes that, hey, I never asked, or we never thought about this consideration. So moving forward, and whatever our process is, let’s add this consideration. And I think when we build like that, or when I watch my people, I coach, the leaders, I coach build like that. They have platforms that get stronger, and they build and build and build and before you know it, they have their own brand and style, and they’re succeeding, being authentic.

Micheal Pacheco 14:06
It sounds I mean, it sounds like you’re helping them manage their expectations, right, and create systems and processes, maybe around their work around their team that supports the management of those expectations. That’s correct. Yeah. Okay. Nice. Like, what, what is the typical engagement look like with you? Is that do you do work like on maybe like a monthly basis on a retainer basis? Is it? Is it a three month program? Is it a six month program?

Darren Kanthal 14:36
You know, I, I’m a values based coach. And I use value

Micheal Pacheco 14:43
in saying, what does that mean?

Darren Kanthal 14:45
A lot of people say that goes against my values, or my values are misaligned, or they’ll throw that word values out quite a bit. And then when I quickly say, okay, what are your top values? You get a lot of I can’t I can’t answer the question. So I created an assessment, quite frankly, based upon what my coach had shared with me back in 2018. And the way I use it is that when we know our top values, typically our top five, we can see how they play out in life and the way that we make decisions, the way we show up, how we act and behave, etc. Two of my top values are comfort and flexibility. And what I tell a lot of prospective clients is one of the beautiful things about being an entrepreneur is that I get to choose, meaning I don’t have a boss that I gotta run stuff by. And so when I share my packages, and I will share them with you, too, is I say, Listen, comfort and flexibility are two of my top values. If some if something I’m sharing does not make you feel comfortable, let’s talk about it. And if we have to apply some level of flexibility to help you feel comfortable, let’s apply flexibility. Now, with that being said, is, in the leadership coaching I do there, there needs to be a certain length of time to watch things unfold. It’s not a quick fix, right? We’re not putting band aids on bullet oops, sure, in the best laid plans, I work with folks, for a period of six months. Some clients meet with me, you know, once every two weeks, give or take other clients meet with we will meet with me once a week, either is equally as good. I think six months is the I don’t wanna say best or most appropriate, but seems to be where a lot of people and some folks want more of a trial period. And I will do a four month there. And then some people are like, Nope, I’m ready. Let’s go all in and we go, we go after a year out of the gates. So for six and 12 are the typical length of time for the

Micheal Pacheco 16:50
for the coaching. And what do you think were in your experience? What? What’s the difference in between someone who wants to work with you for four months versus 12?

Darren Kanthal 17:03
You know, sometimes it’s budget. Okay, sometimes it’s their own decision making process, which is, I don’t know you. And I like you well enough, I hope. But let’s try before we go all in. So it’s a little bit more of a dating before we get married, if you want to use that analogy. I’m a glass of wine man. Yeah, there you go. Right. And I don’t think it’s necessarily fair to say their level of commitment or buy in. And yet, for those that are comfortable enough to make a longer term investment in themselves, and in our partnership, then there is something to say about that. But I don’t think that’s the true differentiator I think it’s often comfortability about do I need to try before I buy, so to speak? And so let’s go a little shorter, or like, no, let’s just call it.

Micheal Pacheco 17:54
Yeah, that tracks tell us about what sort of things did you first struggle with, when you when you first kind of started going down this path of becoming a leadership coach?

Darren Kanthal 18:08
I’m laughing because much to choose from. So Oh, my God. You know, what’s really, Michael, let me ask you something. When was the last time you were a beginner at something?

Micheal Pacheco 18:20
Um, you know what, we just had our firstborn. And she’s eight weeks today. So eight weeks ago,

Darren Kanthal 18:26
eight weeks ago, okay, perfect.

Micheal Pacheco 18:28
Right now still, right? Because that’s, it’s a process.

Darren Kanthal 18:32
So it was a little bit of a lot, because I knew you had I knew you had a baby. We’re, I’m going with this too, is a lot of us are not beginners. A lot of times once we’re an adult. And when I left my corporate HR job, and became an entrepreneur and a coach, I was a beginner at both for all intents and purposes. It was hard, right? Like, I didn’t know the lingo. Well, I wasn’t super savvy, I didn’t have the nuance, I was a little more abrupt and like, you know, making mistakes and doing stuff and, you know, spending money where maybe I shouldn’t have and saying things that maybe got me in hot water. And so a lot of being a beginner, was the hardest stuff of it all. And now that I’m in it, and I don’t feel like a beginner anymore, is running a business is hard. Yeah, right. For anybody that’s contemplating leaving an otherwise secure job for the uncertainty of entrepreneurship is, it’s hard. Right? At the corporation, you have people that do all sorts of stuff. And when you’re an entrepreneur, you do all of this stuff, marketing, sales, accounting, business, development, the job, all the things. The other piece of it too is how to apply my old job as an HR guy to my new job as a coach. And when you’re an HR guy, or when I was an HR guy, or whatever job you do, you’re an expert, and people hire you too. Hear your expertise. And another way to say that is providing advice and guidance and counsel. One of the first tenets of being a coach is do not think you know, what is best for your clients? You know, what’s best for you? And if I do my job well, hopefully I helped to bring perspective, have you think about things differently. And when you make a decision, it’s more clear to you. And that was also tough of like, remembering that, sure, they might be hiring, but they might not be hiring me for my advice. They’re hiring me for my perspective and approach and my great charm and good looks, of course, right? And all those things, but there’s a real separation from being a coach and being a consultant that was also challenging.

Micheal Pacheco 20:46
So I was just gonna say, I often wonder if that’s not really the core difference between a coach and a consultant is one of them is coming in and saying, here’s how it is, here’s what you should do. And the other one is coming in and saying, let’s figure this out together. Right? That’s right.

Darren Kanthal 21:01
Yeah. Yeah. I love what you said there. It is not the job of a coach to ever say you should do this. Right? We can say Would you consider Have you considered, if we really want you to try some soft real quick is, we may say, I challenge you to try this.

Micheal Pacheco 21:20
Yeah. I was gonna say I invite you to consider love it the invitation. Invitation is a classic one. Yeah, that’s it’s, it’s, it’s an interesting for a number of years, I was not quite sure what the difference was. And then, you know, slowly, as I, as I moved more and more into the coaching space, I come from a consulting background. I was I was a marketing consultant. And I’m just like, their coach is just a consultant. Another word for consultants. It’s not. Not at all. Yeah. Yeah. Interesting. Well, tell us about some wins, with some some some big wins that you’ve had with your clients.

Darren Kanthal 22:01
Oh, man. Big wins. So some of the obvious ones or people even jobs and get new jobs. And so there’s a lot of stress around the job search process. How do I do it? What’s effective resume? What if? And a lot of clients play these? what if scenarios, right? Like they’re on interview? Number one, and they’re already playing? Like, what if I get the offer and all the it’s like, slowly roll a little bit? So some of the wins? Are people getting jobs? On top?

Micheal Pacheco 22:32
Question question on that. So you are you then employed by that person individually? Or are you coming in as, as a hire from their, I guess, now, previous company? Like, how does that work? I feel like that would be, for example, if a company hires you to come in and work with a director, and it just got a promotion, right, new director, they’ve never been in that position before. And as you’re working with this person, they realize, Oh, crap, I don’t want to be here. And you’re like, change the sandbox. How does that mean, there’s there’s potential there’s a conflict of interest there. Right? I mean, how does that How do you deal with that? What does that look like? How does that work?

Darren Kanthal 23:14
That’s a very slippery slope. Yeah, yeah. I. So the interesting thing is alright, so two questions. Answer first is, sometimes I’m hired by the individual, sometimes I’m hired hired by the corporation. If the individual hires me, then the relationship is one on one. There’s nobody else to consider. We go wherever we go, represent. When the corporation is hiring me, they’re footing the bill. Yep. The interesting thing is, the person I’m coaching is really my client. Right? And it’s a hard thing for the company to understand sometimes, because like, What do you mean, they’re your client or your client, we’re paying the bills. And the story I’ve got to tell them sometimes is, Michael, if you’re the boss, and you’ve hired me to coach Joey, well, Joey’s got to be comfortable enough to tell me some of the things he doesn’t like about you. And some of the things that are that are challenging him. And I’ve got to establish a level of trust with Joey and confidentiality, that Joey knows I’m not going to run to you, Michael, and tell you everything he tells me.

Micheal Pacheco 24:15
That’s what I was going to ask like, how are you setting those expectations without being like, you’re paying the bill, but my client is over here.

Darren Kanthal 24:23
Honestly, just like I said it to you there. The further to that is, you as the company also need some feedback. Now, what I provide is you ask questions. Let me not say it that way. It sounded very New York to me. In some instances, I report back to the company at at various times, and it’s usually in the contract, midpoint and point sometimes at quarter points. Sometimes it’s based upon someone in the organization has to report up to senior leadership for the board on various times, right? So depending on the cadence, it’s usually worked into the contract. Sometimes it’s a matter of company executive will ask some questions and I’ll provide answers. The answers are typically general, we’re meeting, I’m seeing progress, I’m seeing openness, I’m seeing closeness. I’m not seeing progress, that kind of stuff. And the balance is sharing enough. So those paying the bills, and they want to know, they know enough, without me saying specifically what Joey is or is not doing. So it’s a very delicate balance. And the thing that I typically suggest, or invite the company to do is you’re living in the company, you’re seeing Joey every day, are you seeing Joey’s improvement? Are you not? You know, and the best laid plans is we have certain goals or objectives that we’re marching towards. Sometimes there’s some objectives, sometimes they’re more smart. And there’s like true measurables. But if you as the reporting manager, or the executive sponsor or other colleagues, if you’re witnessing Joey making progress, I’d say there’s some proof in that pudding. Now I can add some sprinkles or whatever other analogy we use with pudding. But there’s also this duality. And sometimes I think the corporation is is sometimes looking for me to all the answers, and they kind of forget that they’re seeing the fruits of that labor right in front of them.

Micheal Pacheco 26:21
Yeah. Do you help facilitate that? That understanding in some way, like a 360 degree assessment, something like that?

Darren Kanthal 26:32
Oh, yes, very much. So 360s are remarkable. They really are. They’re laborious, some people want to roll their eyes at them. But there’s really something to say about getting feedback from the people you work with. Giving anonymity to the person delivering the feedback, having an objective third party that really has the best interest of the coachee in mind. And then what I always describe is, the 360 is like having everybody talk behind your back, but to your face. Because you’re gonna hear what they say, right. And the luxury, if you will, of being a third party is that I can take the good feedback and the constructive or the bad and synthesize it and deliver it in a way that has some empathy, and also directness. And that’s, that’s one of my my traits, is I’m direct and empathetic and I marry the two. And so if something, if something sucks, I think we got to say it sucks. Yeah. And if we beat around the bush, the person may never hear it sucks. Right? Now I can tell you it sucks about telling you, you suck, and all that, like, you know, beating you up stuff. And that’s where the empathy comes in. Yeah,

Micheal Pacheco 27:43
truth and honesty, delivered from a place of caring and love empathy, you know, whatever you want to call it is, can be unbelievably valuable if the person on the receiving end right is is is a willing and active participant in that process.

Darren Kanthal 28:01
Very much so. And you bring up a great point, which is, I think the leader of today is exercising a greater deal of empathy than the leader of yesterday. Yeah, is today’s workforce is not so motivated by rank and file. And I think our society is starting to shift away from that to and leadership is shifting that way as well. And I see a lot of leaders that are succeeding, have a level of empathy in which they express care for others, even if they’re saying do it because I’m your boss. Maybe they say it in a nicer way, as opposed to the old days where you I experienced firsthand It was literally like, I’m the mom, I said so go do it. And that was it. So empathy is a big, big piece of today’s leadership.

Micheal Pacheco 28:45
Yeah, yeah. Nice. See, what What recommendations would you have for for new coaches?

Darren Kanthal 28:53
New coaches? Again, yeah, I love it. All right. So for coaches I’m just trying to put my thoughts together. One is I really gained quite a lot from my my accredited schooling if you I went through CTI and I think so highly of their program and whatever program one may choose, I think going through a coaching program is invaluable. Just as a the opposite side of that coin is there’s a lot of people that call themselves a coach that maybe they are maybe they aren’t, who may or may not have gone through an accredited program. So I think there’s something to say for that,

too, is be open to, to not be so good at it.

Try some stuff, get some clients, get some experience, get some proof based upon what you do. And the only way that you get proof is by doing it. The other sides of that coin is I have one watched firsthand. People say they want to engage in being a coach or anything else for that matter, but then are too afraid, or too fearful or unwilling to take any steps forward. They allow the fear to hold them back. So you got to be willing to step into that fear a little bit. Three is gotta get feedback. And feedback can come from the client, how did that go? What feedback do you have that I can be better? What could I have done differently to be more effective with you? Another one that’s really uncomfortable, but comes from when you get certified is finding clients that are willing to allow you to take the coaching or record it, and then have a mentor coach review with you. And you get to see firsthand what did you do in the moment, as you reflect back, can you see some other options yada, yada, yada. For is, if you go through an accredited program, remember that the program has some steps that are really, they’re a little confining to the program itself. But it’s meant to give you a bunch of different tools to find your style. And when you get to the real world, real world and start applying your coaching to the people that resonate with you, you’re not going to use all of those tools, you’ll usually find you have your own style. And when you find your style, speak it. I think God please

Micheal Pacheco 31:30
like a different way of saying like, You got to learn rules, but you can break them in your own way. Right, you got to figure out what works for you.

Darren Kanthal 31:37
Yeah. Yeah, I remember going through my program and and I had what I thought was really great coaching call that I brought to my mentor coach, and she ripped it apart. And I’ve ever been pissed off. And I was like, You got to be kidding me. And and she said, Well, you didn’t follow these steps. And I was like, come on, is that real? And she said, maybe not when you get out of the program, but because you’re in the program, we’re asking you to apply these skills. And it was really powerful, because basically they’re saying is like, I hear you loud and clear. But yeah, as you go through this program, follow the steps. So Okay, that’s fair.

Micheal Pacheco 32:15
Nice. Yeah. Yeah, good stuff. Sweet. Darren, this has been great. Is there anything? Is there anything else that you would like to chat about? That we haven’t touched on yet?

Darren Kanthal 32:29
You know, we’d like to talk for a minute if it’s okay about values, please. And you know, one is a shameless plug for my assessment, but two is about how to use it. So for two things I want to say when I went through CTI values was a big piece of what we were taught in terms of how to use values to help clients get unstuck. unstuck is a very Kochi word, but I think most of us know what it means. And even for the coaches listening, or anybody else, for that matter is real gets stuck at certain times. And through the CTI model is when we understood what we valued. We could see how those values were being used or not how they were aligned or misaligned, how they were respected or disrespected and fill in the blank. The assessment I created is free. The website is CoreValuesAssessment.com and what it does for people whether they coach with me or not, is it removes bias for how we evaluate our values. It gives us a prioritization or ranking. And from there, typically, our top five are the ones that are most important or most valuable, no pun intended. And when we’re faced with challenging decisions of life, at work at life, parenting, whatever it is, we can use those values as a guiding light or Northstar. And very simply ask ourselves, if I make this decision, or if I go down this route, or accept this job, or whatever it might be, how will it aligned or misaligned value or sorry, honor or dishonor? My top value of x. My top value was my health. And what I started realized was in my last corporate job is my health was not being honored. I was not honoring my health. And it started become very obvious that no wonder I’m unhappy, or I’m not honoring my physical or mental health. Then I started going down the line, am I comfortable? No, I’m not comfortable. I come to work and I feel anxious. And then I was able to say, Well, why do I feel anxious and I was able to understand that my old boss exercised a true sense of flexibility. And I realized with that new boss in my story of good and bad boss, like she was rigid, there was no flexibility. So my top three values were automatically in misalignment, and I was miserable. And until I did that, values assessment really wasn’t clear to me. And so that’s that’s a lot of how those values are used. First we have to know what they are. And two is we have to ask them questions about how we’re showing up and how we’re using them.

Micheal Pacheco 35:11
I love that. So, so you go to CoreValuesAssessment.com, we’ll get that link out into the show notes for those of you listening in your car or somewhere else, maybe on the run. So people go there to take the assessment, then what they’ve got there that you help them figure out what their values are. Do like what what happens after that, right? Do you recommend that people journal about like you said, once you figured out that your health was out of alignment in your in your own corporate job, then you could ask yourself why? Right. So how do you how do people work through that and figure out what happens next?

Darren Kanthal 35:47
Yeah, there’s a lot of ways to do it. And it really depends on the individual. Right? What resonates with them. Undoubtedly, to me, is I think we need to see stuff. Whether you’re a visual learner or not, I think visibly seeing things goes a long way. I’m looking down on my screen, because I have them on my screen on post, its I know some people have reminders pop up in their calendar at opportune times throughout the day. Other people will say, Okay, today, I’m going to choose my value number three, and I’m going to use it in a sentence. Or I’m going to tell people throughout today that my value of comfort means this to me, and here’s how I’m going to apply it to this experience right now. Other people will do a pros and cons list, if you will, using their top five and going through their life, how do I feel with my spouse? How do I feel with my children? How do I feel my life and my recreation and my work? And go back and forth? How am I valuing it? Sorry, that’s too obvious. How am I honoring it? How am I dishonouring it and really write it out and start to see when we’re really happy and satisfied is doing the same thing? Why am I so happy right now to move because values are in alignment. And on conversed, or the flip side is on the opposite when we’re not so happening outside of mourning or grieving or something like that. We’re just generally unhappy because of life. You know, the rigors the overwhelm the stress. A lot of times it’s a misalignment those values, but we don’t know and until we actually observe it. So there’s a lot of journaling. Yes, I’m not a journaler. But yes, some people were Journalers love it. To me, the big thing is having invisible somewhere and referring back to them regularly.

Micheal Pacheco 37:34
I think yeah, I ended the point, right. The point is to do something with the information, don’t just sit on it after you take the assessment, which is something I think we’ve all been guilty of at one point I know that I have.

Darren Kanthal 37:46
Yes. You know, there’s there’s some data out there about professional development programs. And depending on the data piece that you look at, and I’ll give the most extreme, it says that, depending on the program, sometimes we lose up to 90% of what we learned within three days. 90% Within three days, so that means we retain 10% For days and beyond, which is amazing to me when we think about how much money is spent on professional development. And it really just illustrates your point of like, we do this stuff. Great. We love it in the moment and then it goes on the shelf and collect dust you got to review. Yes,

Micheal Pacheco 38:32
yeah, you got to review and do something with it. That’s a terrifying number 90% That is a horrifying.

Darren Kanthal 38:40
It’s horrifying. Yeah. If you think about any corporate off site, all the money that’s spent and haven’t Covey come in or gallop strengths or fill in the blank and, you know, we’re ready to take on the world and those you know those moments, and then within three days life happens, right when we’re reactive. There’s no more practice. Yes, out the window. Oh,

Micheal Pacheco 39:01
man. There’s one other thing that I forgot to ask you about. And that is, I don’t think we’ve talked about this yet. Positive Intelligence PQ. Yeah. Can you tell us a little bit about that and how that applies to your coaching and how you work that into time spent working with your clients?

Darren Kanthal 39:20
Yes, I would love to. Alright, important to note that Positive Intelligence is a book. It is written by a guy named Shirzad shameen. A little side note is Shirzad. He used to be the president of CTI, which is the same school I went through but we were there at different times. And he was awarded a grant just before the world shut down for COVID and I was one of the 1000 coaches that was part of the first cohort to go through his structured Positive Intelligence Program. So I’ve been proud Just been here for three years. And I’ve also quite frankly invested in it, it being the program that I can then deliver to other people. And I’ll answer your question more directly in a moment here. When people asked me about it, what I say is, for me, it was life changing, and the missing link to my happiness. I hope that’s as strong as it I intended to being. And the reason it was those things is because, in the most simplest of terms, Shirzad was able to show me what was going on in my brain, ie the conversations I was having. And as a quick aside, my belief is, we really live life through the conversations we have in our brain. Right? If we’re constantly talking to ourselves negatively, which is what my problem was, then we see the world negatively. My default emotions are typically anger, frustration, aggravation, anxiety. And what I learned through Positive Intelligence is that really beneath all of that was a really deep sense of insecurity. And anytime someone got close to like touching that insecure nerve, that triggered me to act angrily, to get defensive to accuse you, and deflect away from all this insecurity. And what I realized is that I was reinforcing these beliefs, I was telling myself, I wasn’t worthy. And if you got close to that belief, my voice got louder. And the voice telling me I was worthy was much softer than the other one. In the world of PQ, we say the negative voice is judge. And we all have one, we judge ourselves, we judge others or we judge our circumstance. And the counter that is sage, and sage is our Higher Self are better self, etc. So, I really struggle sometimes in describing what PQ is. PQ stands for Positive quotient, just like EQ or IQ. What I would say the bottom line is what I believe PQ provides meaning and people have lived through it is the deepest sense of self awareness. Recognizing the conversations we’re having in our head, when it’s effective, believing more in the betterment of ourselves, and believing less, I cursing myself the piece of crap that we believe we are, and starting to minimize that negative voice and maximize that voice that says, You’re human, give yourself grace, you made a mistake, you did a great job, you’re worthy of self love, you’re worthy of other people’s love. When we can engage that sage part of our brain and speak more positively, what I see is candidates or candidates, clients thrive. I’m thriving. And it’s all because of this rather simple program of PQ.

Micheal Pacheco 42:56
It sounds very powerful. I’m curious to can you talk? Maybe just for a few more minutes about what the process looks like?

Darren Kanthal 43:07
Yeah, I would love to. So the program of Positive Intelligence is, at its core, a seven week program. Full disclosure is I’ve taken many people through it. And I don’t think seven weeks is enough. And so I’m repackaging it. And I’m gonna lead cohorts through a four month program, in which two months will be the core program of PQ, and two months will be additional coaching. With that aside, the core program of PQ has really three main elements, and I hope I got my math right. The first main element is there’s a weekly video, in which Shirzad teaches you mean cohort people the tenets of PQ, Judge, sage, we also have these characters called saboteurs. There’s all these tenants. So that’s one. The second piece of the program is there’s an app, and I still use it every day, it’s on my phone. And the app is built upon what we call PQ Reps. And for all intents and purposes, they are mindfulness exercises. And they happen throughout the middle of our day. And it’s important to note that because what’s different about PQ in comparison to other mindfulness or meditative practices, is often meditation or mindfulness is done in a specific place, sometimes with candles and aromatherapy and it’s very specific. PQ happens throughout the middle of your day. So in the middle of your day when you could be heightened or stressed or whatever, right if we follow the program in two minute increments, In the middle of our day, we sit, and we listen to Shirzad. And he leads us through a PQ wrap up practice. And then the third piece of it is, people can go through it individually. I typically lead it through a cohort. And so the third piece of the program is theirs group learning. We reflect back on what Shirzad taught us, we reflect back on the PQ Reps we’re doing reflect back of what am I learning about my judge, my sage, my saboteurs etc. And so the core eight week seven week program is watch a video by close of business Monday, Tuesday through Friday is an app driven PQ practice. And once a week for an hour, we get together as a cohort, and I lead a group discussion. And those are the main logistics around it.

Micheal Pacheco 45:52
I like I don’t like it. I love the idea of, of getting reps in throughout the day, I think and I might be butchering this quote, I think it’s was Tony Robbins that said, motivation is like bathing, you got to do it every day. Right? You don’t just go. You don’t just go to a seminar. You feel great. And then that lasts for the rest of your life. Right? Yeah, it goes away in three days.

Darren Kanthal 46:16
That’s right. That’s right.

Micheal Pacheco 46:18
So you gotta, you gotta practice every day. So I love that you’re getting, you know, multiple reps and through the app. I think that’s, that’s awesome. That sounds really cool, man.

Darren Kanthal 46:28
Because let me say one more thing, if I can, please. I’m not a big data guy. So take this with a grain of salt. Let me rephrase that, take what I’m saying with a grain of salt. The data is there, if you want to look at it. Shirzad program is based upon research and science. And the science shows that to your point, the repetition over eight weeks, or seven weeks is much different than the two day seminar and then it’s gone. Right? So the repetition makes it sticky. The other piece of it is the ability to be hijacked or heightened. Recognize it, have some tools to neutralize yourself, and then de escalate is the science of the brain. And it’s why meditation and mindfulness works. And it’s why PQ works because in the middle of a episode or hijacking or something, if you can de escalate your brain and stop thinking about I’m so angry, I’m so upset. I’m so disappointed. I’m so whatever. And we could be neutral. What happens is our perspective widens. And instead of thinking through anger, we’re thinking through okay, I was angry, but was I angry about and how do I want to act? And so it’s this whole way of thinking differently. I also want to emphasize it is not toxic positivity. And it’s a it’s a it’s a it’s a term I’ve learned recently. Have you heard of it?

Micheal Pacheco 47:47
I’ve never heard of it, but I get it.

Darren Kanthal 47:49
I know. It’s when we say everything should be rosy when it’s not, you know. So it’s it’s it is not toxic positivity.

Micheal Pacheco 48:00
Yeah, right. Yeah, I think positivity is is extremely important. And you also need your feet on the ground. You gotta hit your head in the clouds and your feet on the ground. Yes. I love it. Darren, awesome. I know we’re coming up on the top of the air to be respectful of your time, you’ve got a six month coaching program for mid career leaders, you want to talk to us a little bit about that offer?

Darren Kanthal 48:27
Yeah, I would say this is really my flagship program. So for the leaders that are looking to perform better, have promoted and looking for some help and had to really step into that new leadership role. Looking to achieve the next level above where they are now. Six months is really the flagship for me. I really give it as an option to people who come through the program is pq is part of it. If people want to take me up on it, I hope they do I love it. But if they don’t, I don’t force feed what I believe is you take what you want and leave the rest. So irrespective of whether or not you do PQ or not is we spend a minimum of meeting twice a month and up to four times a month. And we work in real time on what’s important to you. Sometimes it’s a little bit of business brainstorming of like I’m dealing with this thing right now let’s talk about it. Other times it’s more foundational or a little bit more you know, like what’s my brand How do I want to show up what are some standard operating procedures that I as the human want to proceed with and as situations come up apply those things so it’s a lot of perspective and building some personal brand type stuff but we know that six months is the flagship for me

Micheal Pacheco 49:43
and they get nice Darren where can our listeners and viewers connect with you online?

Darren Kanthal 49:49
Well uniquely enough I am the only Darrin can fall on LinkedIn. Wow that yeah, so it is it’s you know, your mom always tells you no one’s like you But really, no one has my name in the United States. The candle name is German. And my grandparents, unfortunately, well fortunately lived through the Holocaust. unfortunately had to emigrate from Germany because they were affected by it. But as far as I understand, we’re the only Catholic clan in the United States. And so, so it’s just us and I’m the only Darren camp on LinkedIn. And then my website is candid career coaching.com. Perfect.

Micheal Pacheco 50:29
Darren, man, thank you. This has been great. Thanks for joining us on the multiple coach podcast. Thank you, sir. I appreciate it. Cheers. And thank you to our listeners and viewers. We’ll catch you all next time.

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