Transcript for "Relationships - with John Parsell"

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00:00.00
podcomm
Hello I’m craig konine hi John thank you for joining me as I say every time because I mean it I say that every time too I there’s so many things I did the free association thing with you and I got a brain dump.

00:04.20
John Parsell
I’m John parcel.

00:15.80
John Parsell
And.

00:18.30
podcomm
Which I think is a good thing and of all the things that we touched on real quick the idea so you have a co-host named Rory and I asked you before what is it that made you and rory start.

00:26.73
John Parsell
Um, yep.

00:36.90
podcomm
And actually it kind of surprised me because you have like a real specific like you really saw a need so to like walk me through um whichever of you first said, dude we should start a podcast and then hopefully other guy like slapped them because it’s a bad idea. But whoever said it first.

00:39.19
John Parsell
Um.

00:51.83
podcomm
What was that first conversation between you and rory like when 1 of you went podcast.

00:55.86
John Parsell
So rory sachs and I met through contact like we were networking online and the individual that I had met first connected roya myself. We all started talking and eventually that that individual left and it was just. Rory and I talking to each other and so we started to just talk about the challenge we were having in terms of wanting to talk to people who were having some of the same issues or challenges that we were having in the learning and development world. So our podcast is called is training the answer and. What we found was that when you go to a website like a reddit thread or a discord chat or you’re on a forum somewhere and you’re talking about learning and Development. You’re talking about instructional design a lot of times the the stuff the content that’s being talked about. Is is really technical or specific. How do I use this tool where do I learn how to be an instructional designer. How do I do x y z versus how do I have a conversation with a stakeholder who wants training but I really don’t think training is going to solve anything. Or how do I help the organization understand the value of learning and development and so rory and I started talking and and we’re kind of going back and forth and actually podcasting was our last idea. So originally yeah, ah lived.

02:25.51
podcomm
There’s a lot of with in there. Don’t do it.

02:29.27
John Parsell
Ah, so originally the idea was wouldn’t it be awesome if we streamed ourselves so you know they have today. You can watch people playing a video game. You can like twitch. Yeah, exactly so we started to.

02:38.13
podcomm
Right? You do it on twitch. You can do it on Facebook Facebook live as ah, there’s a whole bunch.

02:47.19
John Parsell
Discuss Okay, well what would that look like how would we do that. How would we get an audience. What would we talk about? Oh yeah, by the way this is going to be live so any you know any mistakes or you know crazy things that people brought up. Yeah, ah, we’d kind of be on the hook for so.

02:55.22
podcomm
Um, and and go right? yeah.

03:06.35
John Parsell
The more we talked about it and the more we explored the options the more we kind of realized that what we wanted to do was to help people to educate people and if we could provide you know like a nice maybe twenty minute thirty minute

03:23.55
podcomm
Man.

03:24.12
John Parsell
But recording or interview with somebody have a conversation have a point of view and really help somebody walk away with okay so what are the takeaways. What did we learn from from having this conversation that would be a really a really good thing. It would provide value to the L and D world the community. And so that’s really where the idea came from and then it just you know then it just evolved over time was like well what technology do we use? How do we actually make this happen. You know, sort of yes yeah.

03:49.40
podcomm
Um, how do we go? Who’s first and who’s second it was third who’s fine. Um, what? what’s surprised you about you know I was gonna say like in your day jobs has any as anybody see you, you basically started this I want say a side gig but it’s not.

04:00.96
John Parsell
Um.

04:06.40
John Parsell
Um, yeah.

04:08.61
podcomm
What you’re like what you do for a living is not make this podcast and have have the 2 worlds like discovered each other yet has there been like the amoeba joining of people discovering that you guys are doing this and.

04:18.48
John Parsell
Yeah, So ah, for me, it happened during an interview or was interviewing and somebody said oh I know you I follow you or like I’ve I’ve read your stuff I actually think it’s a bit beneficial. And I think 1 of the reasons that it’s been ah, a beneficial aspect or or thing is because we’re really trying to come at it from ah a place of value right? We’re trying to add to the community and we’re trying to help people and so because of that I think it’s seen as like a really positive thing.

04:47.86
podcomm
On it.

04:53.92
John Parsell
You know we’re very focused on talking to people and learning from them and trying to share what we learn with others and that was 1 of the reasons why we decided in our initial season that we would talk to people outside of learning and development because we really wanted to understand. Why do people come running to L and D and say hey I need this training right now or you know build this I need this e-learning or I need X Y Z and sometimes when you have a discussion with them and and you start to dig start to peel back the layers you start to kind of understand that Well I think learning can help. But it. It may not solve the the challenge that you’re having right Now. Um, but they don’t understand that or they don’t see it that way and so really, the question was why and hence the the name of the podcast is training the answer. That’s kind of where all that came from and we decided we wanted to explore this topic and see if it.

05:49.72
podcomm
How do you decide or or where do you go to get the ideas that you want to explore like my guess is out of the gate you you guys probably have like a Bushel basket full of like oh let’s figure this out. Let’s you know like.

05:50.74
John Parsell
See if it worked out.

06:04.92
John Parsell
Are.

06:06.70
podcomm
But but how many things are in the Bushel basket right? before you’re going to be like okay the basket’s empty like how do you figure out what thread to pull on next when you want to go figure something out.

06:16.24
John Parsell
I think that was a big fear when we first started and 1 of the reasons why we just decided to limit ourselves like we’ll do a season because what if we what if we found the answer what if after 10 episodes.

06:24.86
podcomm
Um, training is never the answer right? but.

06:31.93
John Parsell
Well, we were like yeah after 10 episodes we just say you know what I think we’ve explored this topic enough. We We found what we need like we’ve done what we we came to do but what we actually found was um, we’re spending less time. Actually talking to each other and more time talking to people outside of L and D. So we thought it would be really hard to get guests and and that’s actually been the opposite case like yes, initially it was a little bit difficult to get started. But now we found that it’s It’s actually pretty Simple. Um. To get people at least interested in the the idea of doing the podcast. You know the challenge then is like scheduling and getting them actually. Yeah yeah, yes, um, and so.

07:11.67
podcomm
Scheduling? Yeah, but you know welcome to humans right? like life is complicated.

07:18.94
John Parsell
I Think we’re actually going to focus a little bit more on just talking to each other and exploring some more ideas and and really trying to um, explore this topic a little bit more and things that are tangential to it and I I don’t know if we would run out and I think if we did run out that would be okay because then we would just be able to say hey listen this is what we learned. This is what we came to do here’s what we you know here’s what we learned and here’s how we think it can be helpful to you and we’re going to go try to do something Else. So I don’t think that would be a bad thing if if we just kind of ran out. Yeah yeah.

07:48.76
podcomm
Um, yeah I’m laughing. Oh yes to be able to finish any project wouldn’t that be great. Yeah, what do you think is um, see something the problem with.

07:57.80
John Parsell
You can.

08:05.40
John Parsell
Um, it’s okay.

08:05.93
podcomm
Basically nearly live shows just when I have a great question and then I forget it. It’s like I forgot it I was going to ask? What do you think? Um, okay, hit good left turn turn signal. So far what you’re doing is 1 way you guys are it’s a broadcast medium… What do you?? What are you thinking? you’re going to do are you going to do? What are your thoughts on how are you going to engage with the people that you were trying to help which is like your original.

08:22.73
John Parsell
Um, yep.

08:36.25
John Parsell
Um, sure. Yeah we have ideas I I think really right now we’re focusing on kind of perfecting our cadence perfecting or improving I would just say I shouldn’t say perfecting but improving our messaging improving our social media presence. Ah, improving the site is trainingtheanser dot com and I think really just tweaking those things that are that create a solid base for our podcast I think once we do get to the point where we feel like okay now we need to focus on.

09:13.43
podcomm
Um.

09:14.34
John Parsell
Comments and getting people’s feedback and interacting I think we could potentially um, try to get more comments on the site or try to get comments on Linkedin or wherever we’re posting and and try to interact there offer people to come in and be on an episode offer people to ask questions and we’ll bring it up in another episode. So really trying to interact that way and we and we’ll see how that works I will probably have to do some research I could probably throw that back to you and say like you you started a community. How how are you getting people to all learn from me, you tell me and and I’ll implement that. Yeah.

09:40.74
podcomm
Ah, that’s yeah, good well played sir way to way to drive that 1 back over the net at me. Yeah, John and I know each other in in other like social contexts from yearss I like yeah, okay, nicely played sir yeah, like a lot of times guests are nervous and John’s just like it’s just craig. Whatever.

09:58.68
John Parsell
Um, we do Well, you’re very good at what you do I like I said I I did listen to you know I did a little bit of research and listen to some of the previous interviews and I was actually very impressed. With the way that you’re able to come up with questions on the fly and you know I I knew that you’re going to do that word association thing and I probably spent way too much time went to the dentist had I actually got braces foot on I I spent way too much time thinking about your question like well what does like when I when I think of podcasting what comes to mind and and you know like really trying to figure it out.

10:26.62
podcomm
Yes.

10:34.23
podcomm
Yeah i’ and that’s it for everybody else listening I’m changing the question from this point forward I’m going to make up a random word generator free association coffee. Yeah, ah yeah, well thank you for saying So I do tell people.

10:37.68
John Parsell
And I think you do yes The yeah.

10:50.45
podcomm
don’t no Don’t prep don’t show up early I mean it’s like it’s all good. No matter how much you prep things go wrong anyway, just in general about how much fun preps things go wrong. What surprised you the most a little like meta often I find you ask? How do you ask? good questions. First of all if it.

10:55.76
John Parsell
Yeah.

11:04.40
John Parsell
Um.

11:08.19
podcomm
Pops into my head that’s probably interesting. So I chase that when in doubt, the other thing I do is I’m I’m often looking for transitions or inflection points. So for you know John’s a smart guy by everybody else listening sorry for everybody else that.

11:09.70
John Parsell
Um, yeah. Are.

11:21.24
podcomm
Ah, transition can be like a big thing I transition from job a to job b that’s like okay that’s like a really obvious transition but the inflection points are interesting when did you go from just like rhetorically not to John but when did you go from thinking about becoming an Apple grower to thinking about how you grow Apple like you know there’s a subtle shift there.

11:38.62
John Parsell
Um.

11:40.58
podcomm
So a lot of times I ask questions around where’s the transition or where would it be and then Okay, how do I find that inflection point or that place where their thinking changed before the transition because I’m always looking for ways to help people figure how to make change or how to you know, be the change. You want to be and that kind of stuff. Um.

11:52.79
John Parsell
Um.

12:00.80
podcomm
So maybe what’s something that’s surprised you guys like you know you’re sitting around. You’re chewing the fat about the project and should we go faster should we go slower but you’re like you’re really talking shop.

12:06.36
John Parsell
Um, yeah.

12:11.10
podcomm
And something that you’ve realized that oh Wow we’re We’re really talking about this thing that we had no clue we would ever be in this part of the weeds about ah.

12:17.16
John Parsell
Yeah I think um I think 1 thing and 1 thing in particular for both of us and then another which was just I felt embarrassing for myself was I could not get my audio right? So I have this I literally this is I think the first recording I’m doing on this. Microphones so I’m really praying that it works because I literally could not get my audio right? Yeah and I think I felt devilly embarrassed because not only was it not good for the podcast but I’m a learning professional like clear audio is a huge necessity for training.

12:35.78
podcomm
I Can’t hear you at all I’ve been reading your lips the whole time.

12:49.43
podcomm
Um, yeah Physician heal thyself right? That’s the thing.

12:53.50
John Parsell
Yeah, exactly could not get it to work and so hopefully this this has fixed the the challenge but I think actually 1 of the challenges that we had when we first started was so we decided to do interviews. We wanted to do interviews and wanted to talk to people. But what we noticed was that. When we tested out so we did a test interview with a friend just to test the concept like will this actually work is is this going to be worth somebody’s you know time. So we did that and um, we actually did that with raj do you remember raj yes, yeah, yeah, right? So rod was cool enough to be our our test guest.

13:17.30
podcomm
Just yeah.

13:22.82
podcomm
Yeah I know Raj I’m solving around.

13:29.79
John Parsell
And it went really well both of us at the end of the the session rory and I connected and we were like that was amazing. I Can’t wait to do more. This is awesome. Um, but what we found was we had gone in with this idea of of having a conversation About. You know why? Why did you think training was the answer. What was your experience working with L and D How can we work better together. But what we found was that the conversation started to to go in all these different directions and we weren’t achieving the goal of we felt like trying to get specific questions answered.

13:59.56
podcomm
Um.

14:01.86
John Parsell
So what we started to do was and and we’re very good at creating templates and creating materials. We’re we’re an L and D right? So you.

14:10.72
podcomm
I mean and this is a case where we includes craig and John yes, we are john and template the shit out of that. Ah.

14:20.13
John Parsell
Exactly exactly so we created questions like we created ah like we before every session we have a goal for the session and we have questions and in those questions we have lead-ins and so what we do is we share those questions with the guests prior to them joining and they have time to. Edit those questions or tell us if they feel like something doesn’t fit or they don’t they don’t feel comfortable answering and so we share that with them and then what we tell them during the interview is like listen. We’re going to. We’re going to walk through. We’re going to go through the interview. Very very much like you were with me. Super nice, right? Super casual. Don’t worry about it I’ll take care of you like all that all that stuff right? It’s not good. It won’t hurt. Um, and so then what we do is we we go through those questions during the interview and what that helps us do is it it. It. Helps us from diving I think too deeply on a topic or getting way off topic because we heard something interesting and we just wanted to dive into it and it helps us to kind of at least make sure that by the end of the time we’ve answered the questions that we want to have answered.

15:20.46
podcomm
Um.

15:26.19
podcomm
Um, that’s you have dude you are on the right path you are on the right path. So so first of all and I think a lot of people who listen to this show are already podcasters. So the beauty of this is. We’re all you know we’re all talking to the choir which is great. Um, the.

15:27.87
John Parsell
Challenge that we’re having with that is that now we’re feeling like it’s It’s not open enough. Yeah.

15:41.54
John Parsell
Me.

15:46.14
podcomm
And I’ve said this in many places. The fact that you’re that you’re asking yourself the question and trying to figure out the answer. That’s that’s the correct answer that is the answer is to be mindful of the thing that you would like to get right? Um, and there’s ah, there’s a whole beautiful. It’s like cooking. There are all these different ways you can mix together these spices and get different things out of it.

15:50.90
John Parsell
Are.

16:05.38
podcomm
And 1 of the things that I’m completely not doing in this particular show. Not not this episode but this whole show is I don’t have any agenda. There are no questions. It’s literally just somebody called it kitchen table conversation and and that’s like 1 end of the spectrum. But if you like come to this show with a particular quote like not as a guest but like as a listener.

16:11.43
John Parsell
Um.

16:24.45
podcomm
Come to the show with a question good luck I mean you can maybe scroll through the catalog and like find 1 that you think might scratch the itch but generally I’m just like 5 you know like I’ll follow you wherever you go I’ll try and keep up you know, um, and in in other projects in Movers mindset in the beginning I was trying to be more like well I want to I want to like have some.

16:24.84
John Parsell
Um.

16:33.88
John Parsell
Ah.

16:43.68
John Parsell
Um, yeah.

16:44.55
podcomm
Takeaways here or I want to feel like I’ve gotten something done after each episode and in the beginning I’m not saying that This is a new thing and I’m laughing if people do this I’m just saying in the beginning I tried specifically recording little vignettes and like you know everybody coaches their guests I would say to the guest all right I don’t have them prepared but we’re gonna.

16:55.81
John Parsell
Um.

17:02.51
podcomm
Question answer talk a little bit and then we’re just going to stop and we’re going to like lean back and like shoot the shit a little bit and all that crap’s going to go on the floor and I realized what I was doing is I was basically like you know 50 episodes later I was basically making little twenty minute podcasts but we were doing 3 or 4 or 5 or 7 of them in 1 sitting.

17:03.46
John Parsell
Okay.

17:08.70
John Parsell
Is it.

17:16.00
John Parsell
Um, listen isn’t it.

17:21.50
podcomm
And then I would throw four out and then it’s like you know so like there’s this beautiful idea of how much do we? The guest and I want to attempt to create a particular thing and I think in the case of your show that makes perfect sense because you have a very clear you know vision.

17:29.00
John Parsell
Um, yep.

17:37.41
John Parsell
In.

17:39.32
podcomm
Have a mission for your show. Um, So I think that’s that’s beautiful that that’s the when I ask you about like what’s surprised you, You’re often the weeds thinking about now that you didn’t expect. That’s probably the greatest thing you could think of would be this. Um. What the heck are we doing? What is our mission and how do we keep the ship going in the right direction. That’s that’s great. That’s brilliant. Ah yeah, very welcome stop right? I feel like we don’t.

17:52.66
John Parsell
Ah. Well thank you I’ll take that take that exactly we can just end right now I feel good… Thanks.

18:09.43
podcomm
Disadvantage the recording digitally is I can’t hand your props I always wanted to give like I want to hand the guest 1 of those you know the staples that was easy. You know that you know the thing I want to hand that to the guests so that when they’re ready to like just hit the button that was easy and I’ll just stop the show. Oh anyway, um.

18:15.30
John Parsell
Um, yes. This done cut it out. Yes I Love it.

18:26.69
podcomm
So you mentioned overthinking the hell out of it at the dentist anything else that you had top of mind that you wanted to try and touch on in the last couple of Minutes.

18:32.36
John Parsell
Yeah I think 1 of the things that I learned and I think was really surprising to me was that I I kind of expected to hear more about challenges that people had with learning and all our guests for the most part are really happy.

18:45.70
podcomm
Um.

18:50.22
John Parsell
With their interactions with their learning and development team and what I’ve really learned I think the most is that it’s all about people. It’s all about building relationships. It’s all about sitting. You know, thinking about when you’re working with somebody and you’re working on a project together. Don’t get caught up in the. Well I need to do this and you know and they’re coming at it from they need to do that. It’s collaboration right? It’s it’s like sitting down 1 of our first guests said you know? Well, it’s like me sitting down I try to think of it as like I’m sitting down across from them and and just having a beer with them and we’re just talking about how we can improve together and and what we can do to to fix things.

19:10.44
podcomm
Brave.

19:28.64
John Parsell
And I really thought that was great and so I I just think that build relationships get to know people understand what their motivations are their challenges are so that when you do try to work together. You can kind of understand where they’re coming from. Right? And so it doesn’t feel like you’re trying to push your agenda and they’re trying to push their agenda I think there’s a ton of opportunities to to really do some great things if you kind of put that aside for a minute and just think about how can we work together. How can we fix this problem and how can we do it in a way. Ah, that. Produces like a really great outcome together all right? yeah.

20:08.40
podcomm
Terrific. My famous ending I think that’s a great place to stop on 1 hand I’m going. Yeah but I want to talk to my friend john moore we need to stop. We need to. We need to stop the podcast recording first. So I would just say john thanks so much for taking the time it was a pleasure.

20:14.28
John Parsell
Um, I know we need to connect. Yeah, thanks for having me I Really appreciate your persistence in getting me on and just saying like hey do you remember you? you said you want to do this.

20:29.99
podcomm
Ah.

20:32.30
John Parsell
I Appreciate it.