How can someone improve their ability to observe things and trust their instincts?
It is important to have a sense of urgency and pay attention to your surroundings in order to see what is coming before it occurs rather than waiting for it to happen out of the blue if you want to improve your observational abilities and gut instinct.
What guidance would you offer to those who have made preparations but something unexpected still occurs?
The speaker suggests that you should depend on other people and have backup plans. While planning is helpful, things frequently don't go as planned. In order to act in unanticipated circumstances, it is crucial to be interested, aware of your surroundings, and understanding.
How can people make sure they are making logical choices, stay present, and be unattached to the outcome?
One must be conscious of their mental state and be aware of when they are in executive or survival mode in order to assure making thoughtful judgments and remaining present. One can take a deep breath, give themselves some time, or have a strategy in place to emerge from survival mode. It's also crucial to believe in oneself and stop second guessing choices.
Why is clear communication vital for leaders, and what are the implications of unclear communication?
As a leader, you must communicate clearly in order to provide your team members direction and foster trust. Confusion, distrust, and a lack of direction can result from a lack of clarity.
Marcus Cauchi: [00:00:00] Hello, and welcome back once again to The Inquisitor Podcast with me, Marcus Cauchi. Today, I have as a genuine treat, Diane Halfman. She was an undercover cop working in the vice squad. Today, she works with entrepreneurs, helping them to know their surroundings, make faster and better decisions. And we are gonna cover really important topics,
like why managing your boundaries is critically important. How do you manage a crisis and why, and how, and where are you giving away your power? Diane, welcome.
Diane Halfman: Uh, Marcus, such a pleasure to be here with you.
Marcus Cauchi: Well, I, I know anyone who's listening by now will be itching to hear your background. So, uh, please, uh, give us six.
90 seconds history
Marcus Cauchi: Well, actually I think this is where they have 90 seconds worth of back history.
Diane Halfman: Ah, well, you know, it's funny because people usually when they hear I was into undercover prostitution, there's a say what? Like, there's a kind of a hesitation that happens there because I didn't grow up [00:01:00] wanting to be a cop.
And you know, when I was. Uh, going to college, I was gonna be an attorney and I actually started working for an attorney and, and that wasn't my path. And so when I got into law enforcement, there wasn't very many women at the time. In fact, I was the only woman at my, on my squad and there was a serial killer out there killing prostitutes.
So I, of course, I went undercover as a prostitute to be able to interview as many people as possible, you know, be able to be part of, of the team that was able to capture them and the type of skills that I had to learn. Uh, and Marcus, I have to tell you, I didn't know anything about prostitution, the street, the language, and, and, you know, my vocabulary changed very dramatically.
In fact, I remember my dad saying that, you know, uh, when he'd hear me cussing, he'd be like, okay, "That's the mouth I sent to university, like what, what happened here?" and it was a lot of those undercover experiences that having to build that street smarts [00:02:00] that allowed me to build the skills that now help, uh, my clients.
Change in terms of your perception and your compassion for others
Marcus Cauchi: Okay, well, let's start with the change in terms of your perception and your compassion for others. Cuz I imagine working in that field must have really opened your eyes to an entirely different world and the lives that those people lived. So I'd be really curious about the lessons that you picked up, uh, in terms of compassion and humanity.
Diane Halfman: Yeah, absolutely. Well, and you know, I grew up 12 years of Catholic school, very middle class family. I didn't know what quote the other side of the tracks even looked like. And so that was a very steep learning curve to really understand that. Just because somebody was in, let's say what was labeled as an underprivileged neighborhood doesn't mean that there wasn't, uh, thriving families that, uh, didn't have direction for their children that didn't, uh, work hard.
And I saw a lot of that, but I also saw because I [00:03:00] worked, uh, gangs as part of that. I would see young kids that would tell me, Hey, I don't see myself living to the age of 20, and so I'm gonna live large now. And so the perspective of this fast life, this unpredictable, you know, circumstances that were out there and what were some of the bases that people made their decisions.
And so it was really an eye opening to be able to see what was the foundational mindset that people were actually making their day to day decisions from. And when you could look and see what was it that somebody valued, what was it that was important to them? That that was how they were making their decisions and how they survived as well.
Marcus Cauchi: So when you have such a short life expectancy, uh, and you, you are living at that pace, presumably being really aware of your surroundings, it is literally life or death. So talk to me about how one in an, you know, [00:04:00] short, uh, fat and happy sap like me really needs to learn those lessons because it, it o- obviously in business, you do come across the occasional sharp, but it's not quite the same, uh, kind of scenario.
Developing that level of observance those observational skills and how gut instinct really gets refined and honed
Marcus Cauchi: So talk to me about developing that level of, uh, observance and, uh, or those observational skills and how gut instinct really gets, uh, refined and honed.
Diane Halfman: I love this question because there's so many times, and you know, this, like people will be like, you know, I wanna be a millionaire by the weekend, right?
And they wanna have this fast packed in, in, uh, their business and things that they do. Uh, however, they don't necessarily have the urgency behind that, right. They think like, oh, you know, uh, I'll do that next week or it'll come here. And they, you know, there's certain things like all the nuances that need to happen.
It's like they wait right there. There's like this non urgency. And that's something that I definitely learned on the street was the urgency, right? You didn't [00:05:00] have time to evaluate and do extra, you know, research and do all of these strategies and, and set up this six month plan and all of these things.
There's like, what are you doing right now here in the moment? That can be life threatening. And one of the things that I really was able to learn is, you know, to really know your surroundings, to see what's coming at you. And a lot of times people are looking at what's right in front of their eyes, but they're not looking like a block down the street to see what is that, you know, uh, people like, oh, this just happened out of the blue.
Well, not much, actually. Happens out of the blue, right? You there's always clues and you know, we know certain things are coming. It's just whether or not we're actually paying attention to them or not. So in order to make quick decisions, you've gotta know what's the foundation you're coming from. What is the kind of the, the big picture you're looking at and be able to see the things coming at you before other people do.
How do you refine those observational skills so that you are aware and you're looking ahead, you're pre-empted?
Marcus Cauchi: It's really interesting. One of my friends, Ron vocalized [00:06:00] came up with this concept, which is attention is a currency. You pay attention. I suspect in that kind of environment, attention is a very valuable currency. Uh, so H how do you refine those instincts and how do you, uh, refine those observational skills so that you are aware and you're looking ahead, you're pre-empted?
Diane Halfman: Well, you know, it's kind of like anything in life, you know, it's basically, you have to do it in order to perfect it, right? You know, it's like, you're, if you're running a race, it's like, well, how do you get faster? Well, by running faster. And so, you know, part of having these awareness is by being aware and to really start looking at, even in your everyday life.
Cops learn this in, in their training and, and more, you know, there's foundational training, but then there's on the street training when you're actually doing something. So it's the same with your business. It's like, you can have read all the books in the world, but until you're actually in it, and you're working with clients and you're doing things, that's where you can perfect some of these things.
So when you're working with someone you wanna be able [00:07:00] to ask deep questions. And that's where, you know, a lot of, uh, you know, I bring from the police department is the investigative curiosity to ask those questions that, uh, other people don't ask so that people can start, you know, answering bigger questions that lead to the next question.
So a lot of times people wanna set things up where, you know, here, I've got these questions 1 through 10, but until you answer that first question, the next question may be completely different. So being present to where you are now allows you to then be curious about, well, where would it go from here now that I've answered this first question, you have no idea where you're gonna be at step 10 until you start asking those and being present to those initial things.
Marcus Cauchi: This is really interesting because there's a fork in the road and I want to take both, uh, both pathways. One is as the observer and looking at the responses, listening to what's actually being said, reading between the lines in [00:08:00] terms of the unconscious message and recognizing what's not, uh, not being said often is as, uh, just as important, but also being undercover. That must have been incredibly exciting, but taxing as well, because you have to maintain your cover story. And you also have to think about the implications of your responses. Whi which angle would you like to take first?
What's not being said often is just as important
Diane Halfman: Well, I think that the aspect of, of being undercover, I actually use that as,
kind of a, uh, analogy for a lot of people, because I think everyone has an undercover aspect of their life. And especially as a, an entrepreneur, everyone wants to appear successful and that they already have it figured out. And that they're 10 steps ahead of the game. And so, you know, we, at times will hold back in how we're being with our clients because we feel like we should already know it.
So part of being undercover is one of the things that [00:09:00] makes being undercover successful is that you are most true to who you are, because when you have so much fabrication, it's hard to remember what all those things are. So when you're clear about who you are and who you're supporting and what you're doing, you show up as that, which is more authentic.
And when you can just say like, Hey, this thing came up and I've got several options. We could go with this, but let it be a collaborative process. Let's talk this through because you know, there's many different ways to go with it. But when you understand that if you're trying to hold who you are and then, uh, who you're trying to be undercover, and you've got all these different layers, then it just muddies the water.
And so you wanna be really clear about what your purpose is and what you're talking about and remind me what the other road was.
Being the observer and looking at the unspoken message; reading between the lines
Marcus Cauchi: Well, the other road was being the observer and looking at the unspoken message reading between the lines.
Diane Halfman: Yeah. So the observer is, is very important because there's two different roles of that.
There's the observer of the other people, [00:10:00] but there's also the observer of yourself. And the more you can actually observe yourself and see what you are doing and be non-reactive because there's so many times that you just wanna jump in, right. And just go for something without actually having a moment. And one of the things you have to perfect in, in being on the street is you have to be able to not be so quickly responsive without thinking something through, but you have to be able to move through that process in like three seconds.
Right? And so it's a very interesting thing to be able to be. Present to what you're saying, know where you're going, and then be able to respond in a way that, um, I is logical and that works. And so you have to have some sorts of frameworks. And this is where we talk about boundaries about, you know, what are the parameters of conversations you're gonna have, you know, where do you wanna go with this?
And what kind of decisions do you need to make that are critical? That you kind of already know what those things are gonna be. So like, if this happens, this is how you're gonna react, be present to it. So there's a lot of [00:11:00] fluidity in it, but the observation aspect of it allows you because we know when we're talking to someone else, you know, are they present to what you're saying?
Are they waiting to talk? Are they, uh, uncomfortable? You know, if, if I'm talking to somebody on the street and you know, they're looking everywhere around, I'm thinking, okay, they're gonna run. Right. There's something's gonna happen. And so. Can know through cues of what people are doing, you know, where are they going?
What are they absorbing? What do they need? And then for ourselves to look at ourselves to go, okay, where am I at? And what am I doing? And how am I, uh, am I being present to it? Or am I just reacting? If I have, you know, emotions are really good cue in observation to know, is something making me angry? Am I frustrated?
Am I sad? Like what's going on with that? And you know, so many times when in something, we suppress a lot of those things because we don't want those things to come out, but we have to observe them to be able to address them.
Marcus Cauchi: In terms of your [00:12:00] preparation, presumably there was a lot of, uh, forethought in terms of anticipating what would go on, knowing that everything, you know, the ship could hit the fan rather quickly.
What advice would you give to people who have done that planning and that preparation, but all of a sudden something slaps 'em on the side of the head from left field?
Marcus Cauchi: And you needed to have alternatives available to you. There is an old, uh, military max, which is the plan, never survives contact with the. So, what advice would you give to people who have done that planning and that preparation, but all of a sudden something slaps 'em on the side of the head from left field?
Diane Halfman: Right. Well, I think that happens more often than not. And so like you said, it's like, what do they say, God laughs when we make plans.
Marcus Cauchi: Yeah.
Diane Halfman: You know, and planning helps, you know, okay, what direction might I go or what we'll look at? And for an example, so when I was on the street, a lot of times I would be on a street corner by myself, didn't have a radio, didn't have a gun, didn't have my vest on, you know, wasn't wearing a lot of clothes. I had to rely on other people to know the signs that I was giving and to know where we were at with [00:13:00] things. And so I would be able as I'm standing there, I, you know, I'm looking at okay, if something went down, you know, where do I have cover?
Right? Who else is around, who could be influenced by it? What happens with the person in front of me? And so some of the preplanning would be. I was supposed to be stopping as as many men as possible because we were trying to document them in an area at a certain time to see if they were related in some of these series crimes that were going on.
So I would arrest 34 men a night, right. So I was talking to a lot of people, there was a lot of questions and things going on, but there were times, and there was one car in particular that had, you know, rolled by, slow down and, you know, like, as he had slowed down, I had literally, all my senses were awake and I had like all the, you know, the hairs on the back of my head standing up going, okay, this is an evil, dangerous dude.
Like there's something going on here. And so I knew in the moment there was just, I had to trust that and I actually gave a signal to one of my people that I wasn't gonna be [00:14:00] stopping this person. And the signal I gave was there needed to be a marked patrol unit, several blocks away that wouldn't blow my cover that would pull this person over.
And this person was wanted, had had a warrant. Wasn't our, our person we were particularly looking for, but had a gun underneath the, the, you know, seat of his car. And he had evil intentions. Like there were things that were happening. And so what's important is that, you know, you have all these plans, but plans go awry and you need to know, okay, who, who are you signaling to?
Who are you gonna go to? What are you gonna talk about? And that's where, you know, Hey, when things happen right away, what is the first question? And it's to be curious about okay, where, where are we putting ourself at risk? Where do we need to back up a little bit and where do we move forward? And so when you're in it, you just need to know, am I moving forward?
I'm moving back. And you know, sometimes it's sideways. So you wanna be able to move in multiple directions all at the same time. And sometimes you're doing a combination [00:15:00] of them. So the more you have, you know, the curiosity of, and then the awareness, then you can have more understanding and then you can take some action.
How do you manage the stress?
Marcus Cauchi: And how do you manage the stress? Because like, don't, don't imagine it was a walk in the park by any stretch of the imagination.
Diane Halfman: Right? Right. Well, you know, this is where you really build the art of com compartmentalization because you can't necessarily. Obviously, there's a lot of stress cuz you're, you're on high alert for many hours when you're working undercover.
But also when you're working patrol, you're answering 911 calls, which is one emergency after another, for 10 to 12 hours a night in a row. And you can't go to like, let's say a shooting and then go, okay. I think I wanna sit over and have some tea and some therapy and figure it all out. Right? You don't have time.
You're moving on to the next, you know, uh, tragedy that's going on. And so you learn to deal with that situation, compartmentalize that, move on to the next thing, but you gotta look at okay, when you're [00:16:00] off work, right. When you're away from those things that you do, those restorative things. I mean, for me, I would do jigsaw puzzles when I get home because my brain would be able to focus on completing something.
So having something that I had some control over that I could, uh, use some imagination that I could use some brain power and I could transition out of. Watching a little clip, its of comedy, right? It's like you're changing your brain to think of things in, in a different way, which is also for those people who are behind the scenes and have worked with cops.
I mean, mo most cops are retired like military in some way. And, and they've seen a lot of, of different things. I mean, for me, the first time I held a gun was when I got on, on the police department. And so I had a really steep learning curve of reacting in the street and, and learning some of the, these things as I go.
But I also learned some of the off color humor that was there that no one wants to have on camera. No one wants to have there because they think that it's insensitive. But what happens is that when you have some of [00:17:00] this off color humor, it does blow off that steam. It blows off that stress and allows you to laugh
in circumstances where no one else would laugh, right? Because it's serious. And somebody, you know, got really hurt or maybe died or something happened. But you have to have that comic relief to be able to deal with the stress, to be able to be present enough, to move on. Because if you let yourself be taken out emotionally for every little thing that happened, you wouldn't be able to do your work.
Sense of community and the support infrastructure
Marcus Cauchi: Gallows humor. I get, I'm really curious about the sense of community and the support infrastructure that you built up around yourself.
Diane Halfman: So several things, one, you know, when I was on the department, my, uh, I was a single parent and my daughters were, were very young. I had really great support with, uh, my parents who would take my girls to school and to, to really help.
So I was really lucky in that. Uh, so. I had to put on the mom hat when I came home. So in a lot of ways, there was this, [00:18:00] this forced, like I had to, you know, get back to my own reality to be present, uh, for my, for my daughters. And then also I had, I had a foundation of faith. So for me, um, some spirituality knowing I felt that I was here doing greater good.
I felt that I felt very protected. I felt that there, that things were, uh, supporting me in that way. And so I felt in alignment with myself and physical exercise. So one of the things is that I was cohesive with my squad. So with my squad, part of our bo- our bounding that we had, or, was when we would go to the gym before we'd work out.
And I mean, before we went to work and we would do really hardcore, whether it was running or we were doing weights or we were doing things. And so when we were there, we were not only getting to know each other better, but we also were getting to know, Hey, what are our strengths? What is it that we can do?
How do we communicate? Because when you're in a situation and anybody who's been in, in a street fight or, or, [00:19:00] you know, and you're rolling around, let's say, you. You're fighting with someone every second counts and a minute, even when you're hearing lights and sirens coming is a long time. And so knowing that you have people who have your back, you know, I had a strong family and faith and in my community and people on my squad.
So I think having a multi approach of who are the people that you're gonna turn to, that you are able to talk through things and be able to work those things out. We had things called like focus where they were actually like psychologists that you could talk to. And I think people are utilizing them more today.
I know that it was more hesitant when, when I was on the department because people were always concerned that, uh, if you talked to somebody within that, it would affect your, your promotion and that there would be, it wouldn't work very well. So I think most people looked for positive ways to do it. Now, you know, there were definitely people who maybe, you know, were a little heavy handed with drinking or, or, you know, [00:20:00] they did some things that, that weren't as positive.
But for me, I think it having, uh, being a single mom, I had to be, uh, a lot more. In line with those things.
How you're able to manage your behavior in that minute, whilst you're waiting for the, your colleagues to arrive and your perception of time.
Marcus Cauchi: Very interesting. Okay. Was something you touched on, which I I'd like to explore a little bit as well as I get older time seems to pass by at an ungodly speed. And I'm really curious about how you're able to manage your behavior in that minute, whilst you're waiting for the, your colleagues to arrive and your perception of time.
What I've found is that the older I get the faster time goes, I've spent a 14 on hypnotherapist trying to slow my perception of time down. And I'm rather hoping that you might be able to throw some light on how you can control your perception of time and your behavior within short bursts, uh, short moments, uh, that are critical.
Diane Halfman: Right. Well, you know, I believe there's a dynamic to this where, and I, I completely understand what you're talking about. Like I can remember, [00:21:00] like in a shift time went by very fast, right? Because it was a very fast paced time. You were going from one call to the other, you know, there was just putting out fires of things are happening.
And that was very fast. One of the things I noticed is that when you're in a critical time and they call it a lot of times, they call it tunnel vision where you are in it. And time actually feels like you are in like mud, like it's really slow. And even though it might have been only 30 seconds, it feels like 30 hours because you are exhausted physically.
You're mentally trying to stay on game with things. And so one of the things that, that helps you kind of e- you know, elongate that time in, in a productive way is to just stay present in the moment of where you're at, because when you're in critical times, A lot of times there can be a tendency where you're, you're drifting and you're thinking of like, okay, where's everybody coming where they're going, but you actually need to be really present with the person here because you don't know what kind of weapons they have.
You know, you've gotta, you know, be in [00:22:00] control of the situation. And you also have to look at. Where everybody else might be too. Right. You know, if there are any other people that are, are around, that could be hurt by the person and what's happening. So the slowing down process is getting curious, right?
You can't really ask questions at the time because you're in it, right? And so you're just managing the moment. So slowing down is managing the moment and then being able to look at, okay, now what? And then now what, and then it's an expanding circle in that time, but you have to be present at the critical moment to do the critical things.
Marcus Cauchi: This is really interesting. There are two psychological models that I use a lot in my work. One is the drama triangle developed by Steven Carman, which is the victim, the persecutor and the rescuer. And when someone is operating from that, they tend to be worrying about the past or concerned about the future.
And they're not present at all. And my favorite philosopher, Bruce Lee, was once asked what's the best way to avoid a [00:23:00] punch. And his very, um, pragmatic response was be somewhere else. And, uh, the, the somewhere else is the winner's triangle where you're vulnerable, you're nurturing and empathic, and you're assertive.
And it's all about being present. It's about being unattached to the outcome and being focused on what is rather than what you want to be. And I'm very, very curious to understand how as entrepreneurs, what you're teaching entrepreneurs in order to stay present, because clearly it's not like generally it's not life or death, but it may be critical.
How do you get people to ensure that they are making those rational responses and they're turning up fully present and unattached to the outcome?
Marcus Cauchi: And a response versus a reaction is key. And, um, if they ha if they're not making a rational decision, chances are their limbic brain is being hooked and then heaven knows what terrible decisions they're gonna make. So how do you get people to ensure that they are making those rational responses and they're turning up fully present and unattached to the [00:24:00] outcome?
Diane Halfman: Well, and this is, this is where the awareness comes in. And when we were talking about the observer to be able to observe yourself and to see where you're at, because typically you're in one of two different states, you're in survival mode, right? Or you're in executive state right where you can make those clear decisions.
So part of being the observer is to understand, you know, when you are in survival state, because when you're in survival state, you know, you're not being clear, you are looking at the past and the future you're everywhere, but the present, right? Because you are just trying to preserve where you're at and that's where you're gonna be more reactionary and these things are gonna happen.
So the, the first thing to do is to be able to notice when you're in survival state and know that you can't make decisions from that place. So when you're in that, there's very simple things, but they're not necessarily easy. So we all hear about taking a deep breath, right. And that seems very simplistic, but literally if you take a deep breath, you are bringing oxygen to your brain.
It starts clearing out anything that's [00:25:00] going on. That is, um, survival state and you're getting closer to that executive state. So a lot of times that, you know, a lot of people don't say it, Hey, it's it's life or death with, uh, you know, an executive, however, it can feel that way. And so when it feels that way and you're in that
survival mode, you've gotta be able to have tools to step out of that so that you can actually make those decisions. You may literally say, Hey, I need to take five minutes and then come back. People don't like to do that because, and sometimes they think it feels weak that they're stepping out of a situation, but sometimes that's actually the, the strong thing to do is so that they can step back, you know, gather their thoughts, know what they're going to do, but also to trust when they make those decisions in the moment that when, you know, you're clear and you're coming from that executive state to trust that. And where people slip back into the survival state is when they start second guessing those decisions, right? And so that is know, you know, where you're in a, a slippery slope [00:26:00] backwards, and you're not trusting yourself to be able to make those decisions.
So part of that, being present, knowing that observation, knowing when you're in an executive state, that's when you can move forward and make the decisions and notice when you're in those areas where you are spun out, you're not clear. And you need to get back to that point. And whether that is a deep breath, giving yourself a few moments, knowing your parameters before you even step up to the table, allows you to make those decisions much more quickly.
Marcus Cauchi: You said earlier on that not much happens out of the blue and certainly in the world that I live in, a lot of the difficult situations can be prepared for. You can think through different scenarios, you can plan your options. You can practice those skills. What I've tend to find though, is most people either don't make the time or they don't stick to their plan and they allow primitive brain to take over.
How important is it that executives do plan and prepare?
Marcus Cauchi: I [00:27:00] recognize that tactics like taking a deep breath or square or circular breathing can be very powerful. How important is it that executives do plan and prepare?
Diane Halfman: Well, I think it's critical because here's the thing, even if you're not using it, you know, to letter of the law in the moment. You don't realize when you prepare and practice for something, if you talk to elite athletes, right.
They will talk about that the most important thing that they do is the practice. The game itself is almost after the fact, because that is basically showing what came of that practice. What came of those principles, what evolved out of that? But if you don't actually have the, uh, foundation of, okay, this is the plan, these are the type of things are going on.
If you don't kind of pre-think okay. What direction it could go in, what are your skills in the negotiation? Like what is your like kind of bottom line on something? What is the gray area that you wanna negotiate? Because everything is [00:28:00] a, a collaborative process. We don't live in a bubble where we go here is our plan.
This is how it's gonna go without knowing how the other person feels and what is their parameters and what it looks like. And that's why. Everything in, in business and life is a negotiation. There is, you know, compromises to be made, but you also have to know what part is compromising that works within your, your frame of planning versus what is out of integrity for you.
What is not working for you? What is not, you know, moving you or your company forward? So that planning allows you to have kind of the, the blueprint and the schematic of where you're going. And then when you're in the moment of it, you know, Off chart you can be to still, you know, stand for the values you stand for.
What is the direction you're going on? Are we moving in the right direction? So in the moment you're still making decisions that are within that plan, but living yourself. You know, having yourself that flexibility. So a plan is something you don't [00:29:00] wanna look at it as, uh, you know, set in stone. You wanna be able to have something where there's, uh, some, some movement allowed, so you're not so rigid enough that you can't make the adjustments that need to have happen.
That's how you can make those quicker decisions is when you know what the plan is and you know, what the foundations are and you know, what type of, of wiggle room you have to move within it.
Marcus Cauchi: I always describe it as sheet music. You're Whitney, I'm Lennie, we're singing it's a wonderful life, same note, same lyric, same order, wildly different sound.
One of the most important skills executives can develop is knowing when you are giving away your power
Marcus Cauchi: And if you can't interpret the situation, then you'll find yourself being very brittle. And, uh, it's those moments that you'll tend to crack. So I I'm really curious that you mentioned in the preamble to the convers. That one of the most important skills executives can develop is knowing when you are giving away your power.
Do you mind speaking to that?
Diane Halfman: Yes, absolutely. It's important to know that again, knowing your values and what, what is it that you stand for and what [00:30:00] is, you know, that's part of that plan to have. And what happens is that when you make decisions from that place, like you've done that pre-planning, you know what you're doing, you've made, you know, really solid decision from that place.
The part of where you're giving away your power is when you second guess yourself, right. I mean, you've done all the planning, you know, it's a solid decision. It's not about not being able to make adjustments with it. It's when you maybe get some pushback, then you start second guessing yourself, and then you go into a different direction.
And, you know, I've had clients where, you know, they've done all the planning they've made the decision. And the second guessing comes from the pushback they get. And when they think. They're concerned about what other people are gonna think about it for one. And they feel like that they wanna go into this overthinking aspect of it.
So when you, they do that and they've made a solid decision and they second guess themselves, then it also kind of causes this ripple effect of second guessing within the company. Right? And so, [00:31:00] uh, and it affects the clients as well because they don't know what to believe with you. I mean, I have an example of, of a client who,
uh, in a space of a week changed, uh, their decision, like three different times. And so it really had this ripple effect in the company of what are we doing here, like what's happening. And so it causes some unnecessary unstability when that happens. Now, we don't wanna be rigid in our decisions. And, and it's, again, there's the application.
The evolution of the experience of what's going on, where maybe there needs to be shifts, but to completely reverse yourself in that way, that is giving away your power. And that really affects all the people that you're doing business with. So it's really important to know that when you are making a decision that you're standing behind it, that you.
This is where the planning comes in, right. That you've done enough research to go. This is why one, two, and three, this is a solid decision, and this is why we're moving forward with this. That it's not a spontaneous thing that happened. [00:32:00] And so it was very clearly thought out. And so that's one of the things that, uh, really you have to look at as a leader in your company is where are you second guessing yourself?
And a lot of times it doesn't even have anything to do with that particular decision. But it's something internally happening within yourself that you're not trusting yourself. And so you really have to look at where are you un- unwiring and unraveling within yourself that you're not trusting yourself?
Marcus Cauchi: I, I think there's some other really important points to drive home at this point as well. The first is that you need to understand what your rights are as an executive. As a leader, as a manager, as a seller, if you don't understand what those rights are, then you won't be able to establish those clear boundaries.
And if you're not willing to go to the mat and defend those rights, then you are gonna find yourself constantly wavering. And that sends a terrible message because that does a smack of weakness and vacillation. And nobody wants a leader [00:33:00] who's unclear or ambiguous or uncertain of themselves, and certainly in a sales environment, if you are not very clear about your purpose, why you are there, then that is a, a major problem because the other person's limbic system picks up on it.
And, you know, millions of years of hard wiring have, uh, kept our ancestors alive long enough to produce us. And so we need to learn to trust that the, the other, uh, element of this, which I think is very. And you've touched on it a couple of times is the importance of understanding how clear your values are.
Because in, in my experience, managers and sellers who don't have clear values come across as being untrustworthy and one of the big challenges. My, my, one of my mentors, Charlie green developed the, the trust equation. And, uh, he makes this point that whilst reliability and credibility are kind of the minimum expectation, it's the, I should bloody hope so line, you know, it's like going to a restaurant and, uh, [00:34:00] they tell you that they're not gonna give you food poisoning.
Well, I should bloody hope so, so that that's the stuff you turn up with, but intimacy. It's the single most important operator in that equation. And low self orientation is critical as well, but intimacy is the most powerful lever. And if you cannot let other people in and be vulnerable enough to let other people know what your position is and where you stand, then you'll struggle to get people to trust you.
How you were able to build trust with the prostitutes and with gang leaders and or gang members to be able to do your work and let them open up
Marcus Cauchi: And I'm very curious in terms of the work that you did with, uh, the police, um, how you were able to build trust with the prostitutes and with gang leaders and or gang members to be able to do your work and let them open up.
Diane Halfman: Right. Well, I love the word intimacy because the breakdown of that is into-me-you-see, right? Where you're allowing to have that vulnerability to show up. And, and one of the things I had talked about when you're undercover is [00:35:00] that you wanna be most like yourself as you can. So I would talk to, you know, young gang members and a lot of 'em are. Pre, uh, gang members where, uh, you know, they were just getting in.
They were like 14 years old, you know, some of 'em 12, 13 years old. These are the ones that were saying that they couldn't see themself living till, you know, they were 20. And I would, uh, you know, talk to them about, you know, having children and having, you know, having options. And a lot of times on the street, people feel that they don't have options.
It's like, this is how it's always been, you know, this. The expectation and to be able to, uh, be able to have the, the consistency, right? I think consistency is a big part of people trusting, knowing, okay, you're there each day, you're showing up for them. Uh, you're you're being vulnerable. You're sharing an aspect of yourself.
And, you know, I would share things about my own, my own daughters, you know, and I would say things like part of my hope for them is asking them, what do they really wanna do? Like, you know, that [00:36:00] I don't expect them to do the things I, I do. I hope they don't do the, you know, exactly the things I do. It's like, what, what are they uniquely here to do and be?
And when you show the possibility for people outside of themselves and what they can't see for themselves, stepping into that allows them to build that relationship with you. That you're not so tied to a certain way. It has to be that you're asking them the type of broader questions that they start expecting more of themselves.
And then that builds that trust that they see themselves in a different light and then they can start stepping into that and they see that you're walking that path with them versus butting up against it.
Marcus Cauchi: That's really interesting, cuz self-esteem is so critical and self concept is so critical. And what, what I see time and time again, in many organizations is that self-esteem tends to get chipped away at, and you start to give away your power.
What advice would you give to people to maintain and develop that their self-esteem and their self concept?
Marcus Cauchi: So again, in terms of a corporate environment where you are [00:37:00] looking over your shoulder, worrying, uh, who's, you know, gonna stab you in the back and, uh, whether you're gonna make the next promotion and whether you're gonna get the bonus and all that kind of. What advice would you give to people to maintain and develop that their self-esteem and their self concept?
So when they look in the mirror, they like the person who's looking back.
Diane Halfman: Right. I, I think that that's something that needs to get cultivated. And I think, you know, I love you talking about, you know, looking in the mirror because there is actually some very powerful exercises where people do look themselves in the eye.
If you wanna do positive affirmations, that's great. But one of the things I think is important is that you look yourself in the mirror and you, you look for literally, what is it that you like about yourself? Like you have to be really clear about what is it that you stand for and who you are. And when people actually first start doing that, a lot of people have a really hard time to literally look themself.
In the mirror, they will, they will shift. They will get uncomfortable, you know, and [00:38:00] those are internal dialogues that are happening. And so many times that hesitation and that not, you know, building that self-esteem is because of what we think of other people. And it's, it's so interesting. And this is one of the things I, I point out a lot to my clients is that,
we think everyone has this big light on us and they're looking at everything that we're doing, but in most cases, people are so wrapped up in their own life and their own being and where their own shortcomings are. That if you see someone particularly being frustrated or being angry, a lot of times we take it personally that it's about us.
And almost every time it has nothing to do with us. It has to do with what's going on with them. And this is where you need to be the observer and be able to look at them and go, okay, what's going on over here and to not have it attack our own, you know, self-esteem to not take it personally, to be able to look at building that self-esteem for yourself.
And that comes from reading positivity, having good mentors, having people that help keep you [00:39:00] accountable that have you see the things that you're not seeing. To be able to do things like the mirror exercises. It's important to keep your vessel clear and, and knowing where you are and knowing who you are when you know who you are, you can stand for other people.
So no matter what's going on for them over there, you can observe it and you can help them guide it versus absorbing it and making it about you and having it affect you. And have you come from unstable ground, you have to be able to stand for people.
Marcus Cauchi: That's really interesting, certainly, uh, for great management and great leadership, that high level of self awareness and that compassion for yourself is really important because without that, it's very difficult to be compassionate to others and time and time again, I, I.
What would you advise people to do to pay attention to how you're speaking to yourself so that you can modify it and grow that self compassion?
Marcus Cauchi: I've worked with people whose inner dialogue is really brutal. It's cruel. And you know, if you had a friend who spoke to you in the same tone and in the same way that you speak to yourself, you'd probably punch them on the nose and [00:40:00] tell them to go to hell again. In terms of raising that self-awareness of that dialogue, what would you advise people to do to pay attention to how you're speaking to yourself so that you can modify it and grow that self compassion?
Diane Halfman: Right. I think that you actually need to have support in that personally. I mean, I think having, you know, a mentor, an accountability coach, you know, one of the, the quotes I love of, you know, Les brown always talks about you.
Can't see the big picture when you're in the frame. Like, you know, no matter where you're at, there's gonna be things that you're gonna miss. You're not going to see. And so one of the things that I find when I'm working with people is they'll share some scenarios. And I always see something that they're not seeing,
right.? And so when I see that and I can bring that awareness to them, now they know about it and they can be really clear about, you know, how they're showing up, um, what are they missing? And they can build that own self-awareness. And, uh, that [00:41:00] self-esteem when it's pointed out to them, because like you said, that self critic is they see everything that they did wrong and they don't necessarily see how to correct that or how they,
they're doing it well. And so having somebody who reminds you, Hey, what are your values? What do you stand for? What is that plan in that path? How are you reacting within it? Communication is probably the number one thing that that companies hire me for because the miscommunication that happens within a company it's like that game of telephone.
You tell one, two, three person, and then what the fourth person says is nothing like it started out to be. And when there's a breakdown, you know, individually, and then companywide the messages that get out, become so skewed that no one even knows where you started from. So really having some, some key, uh, tools to be present in those conversation, have that clarify and verify knowing where you stand and having the awareness of your own self-esteem,
all of these things come [00:42:00] together to play, you know, going back to your music analogy of, you know, how's the, how's the, the melody when everybody's working together and everyone's on the same page versus this, you know, scratching that comes when, when people are just like losing their mind.
Marcus Cauchi: It's like the school orchestra
Diane Halfman: Yes.
Marcus Cauchi: Okay. Um, so in, in terms of the critical importance of having a leader with a clear vision who communicates it with clarity, let's wrap up on that, cuz we're coming to time now. So I'm curious in terms of the work that you do with leaders about the importance of, uh, clear communication.
Diane Halfman: right in terms of how they go about it.
How do they stand in it? What,
Why is it so important that the leader communicates with clarity?
Marcus Cauchi: how, how do they, uh, go about it, but more importantly, how, uh, why is it so important that the leader communicates with clarity? In my experience, ambiguity is the mother of all FUBAR. So, uh, I'd just like to wrap up on, uh, the importance of clarity. [00:43:00]
Diane Halfman: Right. Well, as the visionary of a, of a company, as somebody who is the leader, people are literally looking to you for direction.
And if you are not clear where you're at it, it muddies the waters for what everybody else is going to be doing. So having that crystal clarity a about it, and again, I said, there can be some wiggle room within it, but you, everyone needs to know what's the direction they're going. You know, what is the top things that they're doing?
And I think it's important too. Like it used to be, people would be look at looking at, okay, what. We doing for the whole year. I think things move so fast now that that almost feels like an unattainable type thing. So I think it's better looking at things in terms of, of weeks and quarters. What are we focusing on here?
What can we put our, our attention on to be able to move forward? And as the leader that is really clear of. This is where we are. This is what we're doing. These are the steps that we're going. There can be some things that come up that, that have us make some adjustments, but if we know the direction we're going in, and as the leader, when you're holding the container for that, then people [00:44:00] know they build the trust.
They, they can know, this is where we're going. This is what's happening. If the leader is not clear with that, that breaks down, trust it breaks down communication. No one knows who they're going to. You know, who do, who are they're reporting to who are their support systems? There's a ripple effect to lack of clarity.
You've got a golden ticket and you can go back and advise the idiot Diane age 23, who thought she was invincible immortal and knew everything. What one choice, bit of advice would you give her?
Marcus Cauchi: Excellent. And this has been really insightful. Let me ask you this. You've got a golden ticket and you can go back and advise the idiot, uh, Diane age 23, uh, who thought she was invincible immortal and knew everything. What one choice, bit of advice would you give her?
Diane Halfman: To not take myself so seriously to when I, when talking with other people to know that whatever's going on, that most cases it has to do with them and where they're at, and it has nothing to do with me because I would take a lot of things personally.
And then I had a lot of the chatter in the back of my head as well, where it was like, I sometimes felt like I was two people. One I had to show up as this [00:45:00] strong cop in, in a uniform. And then I was a single mom wondering how I'm gonna make my mortgage payment and did my girls get their homework done? Right?
So I had my own conversations going on in the background that sometimes didn't allow me to be as present as I needed to be, to know that whatever was going on with them, that what I made it to be had nothing to do with me.
One book recommendation or podcast recommendation that you'd strongly urge people to pay heed to
Marcus Cauchi: Interesting. Okay. One book recommendation or podcast recommendation that you'd strongly urge people to pay heed to.
Diane Halfman: One of my favorites these days is by Mike C. Rock uh, it's called, What Are You Made Of? And, uh, they're actually creating a, uh, program now called Blueprint. And that I think is gonna be an up and coming platform about what are some of the step by step processes people are doing in business. And so I think that that is a really great thing to be looking at.
And, and another one is by, uh, Yerasimos called Here For The Truth, and I love the truth conversations that, that are happening there. I [00:46:00] think that there's a lot of people following the leader that may not be a leader and not trusting who they are and knowing what their, their truth is. And I think it's really important to have what is true for you kind of conversations.
How can people get hold of you?
Marcus Cauchi: Excellent. Thank you. How can people get hold of you?
Diane Halfman: They can go to my, my website, dianehalfman.com. Lots of resources there. They can check out links to my podcast, which is, uh, Live Your SPAlife Show. And I'm also on, uh, all the different social media platforms. So feel free to send me a, a DM
Marcus Cauchi: Diane Halfman, thank you.
Diane Halfman: My pleasure. Thanks for having me, Marcus.
Marcus Cauchi: This is Marcus Cauchi signing off once again from the Inquisitor podcast. If you found this insightful and goodness knows if you haven't, you're probably deaf or dead, then please get in touch with Diane. If you wanna get a hold of me, my email is email@example.com or direct message me on LinkedIn in the meantime, stay safe and happy selling. Bye-bye.