ASOTU CON Sessions Episode 4: Dr. Nicole Lipkin

October 3, 2022
Ilana Shabtay and Nicole Lipkin, Psy.D., M.B.A. sit down to chat at ASOTU CON 2022.
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Nicole Lipkin, Psy.D., M.B.A. is the CEO of Equilibria Leadership.

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Paul Daly: 0:03You're listening to the asoto concessions by effective recorded live in Philly.Ilana Shabtay: 0:09

This is Ilana Shabtai. And I'm sitting with Dr. Nicole Lipkin here at a SOTU con sessions powered by effective. Welcome.

Dr. Nicole Lipkin: 0:18

Yay. Thank you so much for having me.

Ilana Shabtay: 0:21

You are joining us after quite the keynote. Yes. We spoke a lot about mental agility about all of the things that we need to think about when we're going through our mornings. And we were just talking right when we came on the podcast, we were talking about how we have 3d We both have three year old boys. Yeah. And by the time we get to work, it's been like a full day and a half for us. Yes, maybe a full week, maybe obsolete. Yeah, yes, yes. So tell us tell us a little bit, just recap a little bit more about the mental agility and help us help help people like me, please.

Dr. Nicole Lipkin: 0:53

Yeah, totally. Uh, you know, again, it's kind of what I said up there. I think mental agility is the most important human skill that we can develop. And in our kind of fast paced world, we're always trying to, like, get things so quickly. But this is something that, you know, it takes practice, and it takes us till the day we die. With any skill that we're working on. We're constantly evolving and constantly developing. So mental agility, to me is key. Because it's about our ability to be flexible and open to what's coming at us. But more importantly, flexible and open internally, with how we're interpreting information. Because when you can work on that, and you can practice that. And you start to realize how much more power and control you have in that. It really is magic. It's really amazing. It's really amazing how you can just kind of change the conversation with yourself and other people.

Ilana Shabtay: 1:43

Yeah, I mean, we're talking about how I'll, I'll think back, I really well, I'll be very reflective, I feel like that's taking some mental capacity. But when I'm in the moment, it's like, I can't, I can't figure it out. I can't, I can't stop myself. So I think that's something that a lot of people probably struggle with, whether it's in their personal life or at work,

Dr. Nicole Lipkin: 2:04

of course. But you know, there was a time in all of our lives where we didn't know how to walk. And there was a time in our lives where we didn't know how to eat or speak. And then after a while, we learned how to walk. And it became second nature. And you actually have to think about it when you're walking to not know how to walk, and we know how to eat, and we know how to speak, it's the same thing. It's just like when you practice and you work when you watch a child work at something, the diligence and the effort and the perseverance at which they work. And they keep on messing up. But they eventually get there. It's the same with us. But for some reason, as adults, we all of a sudden think it has to happen so quickly now, but this is it takes time. So pace, being self reflective is key. It's everything.

Ilana Shabtay: 2:44

Yeah, I mean, I love that this also just fits into the asoto con message and the value here that everyone's talking about, which is like how do we be? How are we better people? How can we be better people at the dealership? How can we better to consumers to customers in our family lives? So you know, how do you think about what you spoke about this morning? And how that fits into the message here at asoto? Con,

Dr. Nicole Lipkin: 3:08

it's everything. I mean, the bottom line is that, you know, until the robots take over, we're humans working with humans. So it's about it's about working on ourselves and working on our teams and working on are cultures, which is not this weird word its culture is made up of, it's inspired by people, we're all people. So if we all really do the work that we need to do, I know this sounds all like psychological Frou Frou and all of that, but it's not it's we are working together with other people. And the impact that we have on ourselves and other people is what shapes culture is what shapes teamwork, it's what shapes the customer experience. And absolutely, you can have all these little gadgets and these amazing things, but at the end of the day, you know, the gadgets are not what steal people's hearts. Yeah, it's not what makes people loyal. It's not what makes people connected to a product. It's the emotional experience that people have, when they walk into a place or when they're in there tapping into the experience of buying something.

Ilana Shabtay: 4:09

Yeah, and I would say on the you're talking about, like the dealer to consumer side, and I'm thinking even from the vendor technology to dealer side, it's the same thing. They're not going to buy a technology or invest in technology without having or see the benefits of without having the proper process in place with the right people. Absolutely. First no matter what

Dr. Nicole Lipkin: 4:30

so it's people first and like, you know, like when you're working with like on the vendor side when you're working with a vendor like you know the difference of when you're being sold to versus when you're forming a relationship

Ilana Shabtay: 4:41

with solving a problem and solving a problem, right, really understanding the problem.

Dr. Nicole Lipkin: 4:45

And there's different neuro chemicals that are actually released in our brain to form that trust.

Ilana Shabtay: 4:49

See, now this is what I can talk about neuroscience, neuroscience.

Dr. Nicole Lipkin: 4:53

Absolutely. I mean, the oxytocin release is when you have trust for someone like this and this is like so foundational into You know who we are as humans and who we trust and who we don't trust. So it's, you know, at the end of the day, it's like, if we work on how we show up and how we impact ourselves and other people, the power can be so profound. It just we often forget it. And we assume it's everything else or everyone else around us.

Ilana Shabtay: 5:18

So yeah. Interesting. You gave a few examples today. I would love if you would summarize for us the study of the cookies of a cookie study,

Dr. Nicole Lipkin: 5:29

Cookie study. Yeah.

Ilana Shabtay: 5:30

I love Yeah, I

Dr. Nicole Lipkin: 5:31

love that study tonight to remind myself, it's a good study. Yeah, it's just saying that like, you know, when we have to win, we have to show up in a way, that's different from how we actually want to show up when we when we're forced to change and be different. It saps our mental capacity, and we get depleted. And when you know, what does not stop us is when we have habits and routine in our lives, where we don't have to think where we don't have to. It's just, it's who we are, how we are. So you know, what time we wake up what we eat, when we work out all of these things that can be scrutinized.

Ilana Shabtay: 6:07

And that's also probably very connected to the types of neurons that are being released.

Dr. Nicole Lipkin: 6:13

Absolutely. Well, the thing is, is like when we don't have to, when we don't have to put our mental capacity into these kind of very, these things where we shouldn't be wasting our time figuring it out, right? Like, what bitul stuff not, and it's not for everything, but when we don't sap that when we don't deplete, okay, when we routinize things, we save room for creative creativity, innovation, like thinking in different ways we can, we can be more agile, when we have to make decisions about every single thing, like what time we wake up, what what we're going to eat, what we're going to wear all of that we SAP, our mental energy. And that makes us less able to maneuver in our brains and less able to be agile. I think one of the things that's really interesting, and this is gonna sound horribly sexist, but I'm gonna say it. men seem to wear this, you know, unless they're very fashion oriented, seem to wear the same things all the time, they are not sopping their mental energy on what to wear. I know, again, I'm making a very big stereotype with women, like when we are choosing our outfits and all of that.

Ilana Shabtay: 7:20

It's draining man, it is so draining, and I don't

Dr. Nicole Lipkin: 7:23

understand why we're putting ourselves down. Yep. And like, again, like what I said, when I said on stage, if you look at some of our most successful leaders of time, like they, they're not they have uniforms. If you look at doctors and nurses, they have scrubs for a reason. Yeah. Because who wants mental energy depleted on what you're wearing? So, you know, finding a uniform, again, I'm putting quotes around, figuring out like things that look good and buying a bunch of it. And if your fashion wearing too great, pick it out the night before, when you're already depleted. There's just so much we can do. That's so simple, to create space in our brains to be more agile.

Ilana Shabtay: 8:00

Yeah, I mean, and that's also, again, just, I'm constantly going back to the marketing technology, because that's where I'm coming from. But the idea that automation and, and machine learning comes into play at the dealership or in any business, not to take over and not to replace humans, but to allow for humans to be more effective, more productive, more efficient, so that they can focus on strategy, and they're no longer being sapped. I like that I'm taking that right sapped by, oh, let me you know, manually pull this and upload this. And there's, there's, you know, merge these duplicates. And there's no reason for humans to focus on that. No, and should go to strategy, high creative things, creative creativity, exactly. It's

Dr. Nicole Lipkin: 8:43

like save your mental space for like the creative things. And this is also important for people

Ilana Shabtay: 8:48

that yeah, there's that parallel to also just how we live our lives. And we need

Dr. Nicole Lipkin: 8:51

to think about it for those that lead teams, yes, that's a really important thing. Because you also have to help other people like figure out when people are going to be the most creative and most innovative or when you need to get people to move or shift their thinking. Don't wait till three o'clock in the afternoon.

Ilana Shabtay: 9:08

Yeah. It's interesting, because when I first became a manager, one of the hardest things for me, and I remember speaking to my manager at the time was I was managing two people. And one of them was I don't remember exactly what it was that they were having trouble with. They were really good writers and, for example, and not great at tracking and at the operational level, I was pushing for them to get better at that. And I remember my manager at the time was was like, that's not the way to manage. If you have someone who has their strength in something and their weakness is something else. Don't push them on their weakness, push them on their strength and find a solution for the weakness because that's the way that you can amplify your team. And it was one of the best pieces of advice I got from my manager at the time. And that's how I run my teams now. And I think it's a

Dr. Nicole Lipkin: 9:56

great piece of advice. Yeah, but I'm gonna say something that's very controversial.

Ilana Shabtay: 9:59

Oh, please devil's advocate lately. Yeah.

Dr. Nicole Lipkin: 10:02

So it's interesting because I think our, I think the whole positive psych movement and the whole strength based leadership thing was a great thing. But we took it too far. Okay, meaning like, you have to be happy all the time. And you have to only focus on your strengths. So here's the deal. Yes, I'm not sure if yes, and I think that like, yeah, making sure you figure out where your people strengths are. But I also think challenging people with their weaknesses, because the thing is, if I'm a weightlifter and I have a really strong right bicep, or like in, and I'm going to naturally favor that right bicep when I pick up groceries or move things, so I'm always going to be working it naturally. But eventually, if I'm favoring that, I'm going to tweak my neck and my back because I've been ignoring my left. So when we ignore our weaknesses, it becomes an Achilles heel, like, I'm a really compassionate, empathetic person. But I'm also highly, highly impatient. When I'm impatient towards someone, they're not going to remember I'm compassionate, and empathetic, they're going to remember I'm being a complete jerk, and I'm being impatient. So I really, I love the idea of focusing on people's strengths. And then I love the idea of really challenging people to own their weaknesses. And when you're talking about creating psychological safety on a team, like everyone understanding like, Hey, this is what I'm working on. So we can call each other out on it. Because the more we're able to call each other and help each other out with a weaknesses, the less it becomes an Achilles heel, and the more starts moving toward being more of a strength than it might have been in the past. So I'm a fan of that.

Ilana Shabtay: 11:36

So you're a fan of so talk to me a little bit more about that, because now I'm gonna change my perspective, how am I going advantage? Okay, so you're I under I, and I like this i Yeah, it's important to to challenge and to have high expectations, and to make sure that we're always focusing on, you know, improving our weaknesses. Yeah. At the same time, though, you don't want to deplete the mental energy. So, yes. What is that balance? I know, you've talked a little bit about it, but is it really okay, give them what they need to feel strong, and then work as a team? To help them with the weaknesses? Is it full, actually focusing one on one?

Dr. Nicole Lipkin: 12:09

I think there's a little bit of every, I think it's a little of everything. I mean, when you have strong psychological safety in a team environment, it's not just about you, as a manager, it's about the team, it's about the collective, supporting one another and calling each other out on it. I am a big fan, when there is safety there, of everyone understanding each other's strengths and weaknesses and helping to support each other. And I'm a fan of that. But I also think it becomes a lot of people aren't aware of their weaknesses. So I think that one on one and like identifying it, and also as a leader being vulnerable with your own, so it's not feeling so like, I'm the only one that has a problem, like being vulnerable, like, this is what I'm working on. I want you to help me and call me out on it. Yeah, I want to help you and call you out on it. How can we help each other? I think sounds like a very healthy environment is very healthy. It's very healthy. I think, you know, I always go back to this one story of one of my colleagues who I worked very closely with, she has, she's not good with detail orientation, so she won't catch typos or formatting things or things like that. And I do catch that. It would have been a very easy out to be like, Okay, you just do that. And I'm gonna I'm gonna edit everything for you and all that. And that was tempting. That was tempting, because it's annoying. Yeah. But instead, we had a really long conversation about it about how instead it can be called out and how instead, she can kind of adapt to that and learn how to improve it just like a very small thing, or the things that she can do before it comes to me. Like there's very small things, but it's been a it's been a game changer for her because I'm not the only one seeing that work product,

Ilana Shabtay: 13:47

right? But then it's like, you have to push but you also have to be aware of that mental agility and make sure there's space for the creativity which totally it's very tough.

Dr. Nicole Lipkin: 13:56

It's a two way street. It's a two way street. It's not always I also think we put a lot on leaders and managers. It is a two way street.

Ilana Shabtay: 14:04

Yeah. All right. Well, we spoke about we You changed my not mind three times during this podcast. So yay. We spoke a lot we spoke about everything from our mental energy to how we work teams to how it relates to automotive and in our our personal lives, our work lives. Thank you so much for your expertise, as usual, and you did an amazing job. For those of you who missed the keynote. You should definitely tune in and you know, look at Dr. Nicola skin's research and work. It's really incredible. Thank you for joining.

Dr. Nicole Lipkin: 14:35

Thank you so much.

Paul Daly: 14:36

Thank you for listening to this. So to concession by effective if you want more content like this, you can check out our other podcasts we have a daily show called The automotive troublemaker Monday through Friday. Here on podcasts also live streamed on YouTube, and LinkedIn and Facebook. We also have a long form podcast called Auto collabs auto collabs. And if you just want to go a little deeper into this community, you should sign up for our Our regular email we put our heart and soul into it. You can get it for free by going to a sotu.com. We'll see you next time.