May 17, 2022

How to Command Attention at Work (and at Home) by Managing Your Social Presence with Georgetown McDonough School of Business Professor Jeanine Turner | Greater Washington DC DMV Changemaker

How to Command Attention at Work (and at Home) by Managing Your Social Presence with Georgetown McDonough School of Business Professor Jeanine Turner | Greater Washington DC DMV Changemaker

In this episode of Partnering Leadership, Mahan Tavakoli speaks with Jeanine Turner, a professor at Georgetown University, where she teaches at the Communication, Culture and Technology Program and the McDonough School of Business. Jeanine Turner is also the author of Being Present: Commanding Attention at Work (and at Home) by Managing Your Social Presence. Jeanine Turner shares her research and interviews on factors that impact our social presence. Jeanine also shares four communication choices and their role in social presence. 


Some highlights:

-The impact of technology on presence and relationships

-Jeanine Turner on different types of social presence 

-Jeanine Turner on multitasking and budgeted presence 

-The importance of learning to allocate social presence

-Jeanine Turner on how to be intentional in managing presence

 -The challenges of presence in virtual and hybrid interactions

 -The impact of social presence on organizational culture


Connect with Jeanine Turner:

Jeanine Turner Website 

Being Present on Amazon

Jeanine Turner on Twitter

Jeanine Turner on LinkedIn

Connect with Mahan Tavakoli:

https://mahantavakoli.com/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/mahan/

 

More information and resources available at the Partnering Leadership Podcast website: 

https://www.partneringleadership.com/





Transcript

[00:00:00] Intro: Welcome to partnering leadership. I'm really excited this week to be welcoming Janine Turner. Janine is a professor at Georgetown University where she teaches in both the communications culture and technology program and the McDonough School of Business. She's also author of Being Present: Commanding attention at work and at home by managing your social presence.

I really enjoyed this conversation most, especially because how we present ourselves is really important to our leadership. And it's critical for us to create environments and organizational cultures that enable people to be present that allows for us to connect, communicate, and collaborate much more effectively.

I also enjoy hearing from you. Keep your comments coming, mahan@mahantavakoli.com. There's a microphone icon on partneringleadership.com. Really enjoy getting those voice messages , don't forget to follow the podcast, Tuesday conversations with change-makers from the greater Washington DC DMV region and Thursday conversations with global thought leaders.

 Now, here is my conversation with professor Janine Turner. 

[00:01:16] Mahan: Janine Turner, welcome to partnering leadership. I'm thrilled to have you in this conversation with me, 

[00:01:21] Jeanine Turner: great to be here. Thank you so much for this invitation.

[00:01:24] Mahan: I'm really excited. I can't wait to talk about Being Present: Commanding attention at work and at home by managing your social presence. But before we get to that, Janine would love to know whereabouts you grew up and how your upbringing impacted the kind of person you've become. 

[00:01:40] Jeanine Turner: I'm originally from Louisville, Kentucky, and I have two sisters, an older and a younger. So I think being in the middle, you always kind of have to get attention for yourself. And then, my undergraduate was in communication at University of Dayton and I was in sales for General Mills, where I was really worked on influence and understanding my audience.

I taught Dale Carnegie classes for awhile. Then I went on to get my PhD in Ohio State. all along through my life, I've been thinking about communication influence and what makes people effective. 

[00:02:09] Mahan: You have had some solid business experience, also Janine, through that did you want to become a professor? Is this something that you aspire to do? 

[00:02:19] Jeanine Turner: It's such a great question. I really thought about getting into training and kind of motivational training and helping people with communication. And then, when my sales opportunity really kind of really reinforced that, and after Dale Carnegie, I thought I'd like to do some developing my own type training programs.

 And I thought if I had a PhD, people would think I was smarter. that's why I got one because I went to develop training programs, but in, so much my work as a professor is helping students, helping them kind of coach them in their presentations. And so I've really gotten to merge both of those things. 

[00:02:52] Mahan: That's interesting Jeanine because our lives to a certain extent are the flip side of the same coin in that I always loved the idea of becoming a professor. It was the need to research and publish that made me sick to pursuing a PhD. 

[00:03:11] Jeanine Turner: Luckily, I didn't know anything about that when I pursued the PhD. I didn't do any research about that, I didn't know what it was like.

[00:03:18] Mahan: Janine, you have been interested and fascinated with this concept of communications and being present and pretty early on, even for your PhD dissertation, you worked on telemedicine for the Ohio prison system. What was that experience like, and what were some of those early lessons you learned about communication? 

[00:03:41] Jeanine Turner: Wow. Thank you so much for asking about that. When I was in my PhD program at Ohio State, I had the opportunity to work on this video, telemedicine opportunity, looking at how telemedicine using video technology would be able to make more accessible healthcare for inmates throughout Ohio. 

I also worked at the same time on the social support network that was just before the internet had been diffused, it was where people were connecting over bulletin boards for hemophiliacs to try to connect them with other hemophiliacs within the area. This was a very low tech connection, a texts, only blog. And then the video is more of a high-tech connection. And I was just really interested in how different channels providing opportunities for presence and how people could get more presence in different places. And just because you had a rich channel, like a video didn't necessarily make for a rich connection because many people, for example, in Ohio that had, had hemophilia, I had never met another person with hemophilia.

And for the first time we'd connect on this blog and it was, amazing, the kind of connection. I'm just fascinated by different types of technology and their impact on presence.

[00:04:50] Mahan: What an insightful comment right there, Janine, that just because you had a rich connection didn't mean that we translate to a rich presence. it's not the technology. There are things beyond the technology that helped with that presence. 

[00:05:07] Jeanine Turner: Absolutely. I think the richness is often determined by the person, not necessarily the technology and the relationship and connection you have with that person..

What I found interesting, and what I've studied over time is how different technologies provide different types of presence. Then, in 2007 or so when the new iPhone was diffused and we had more and more people carrying around a digital device at all times. Now, not only did you have a channel that you could communicate with people, but you also had a channel that could interrupt another conversation.

It created even more complexity. And I really enjoyed watching that progression. In fact, I've been working on this project for years Since my PhD I've been studying and thinking about presence. And I was frustrated because I have three children my research was slower and slower and slower, I was trying to manage things at home.

And I kept thinking, oh, I've just got to get this research out. And then the pandemic hit. And I'm so happy that I didn't get this book out prior because there were so many things that have happened over the last 20 months that have such important implications for presence that I would have wanted to include. it shows that everything works out for a reason.

[00:06:22] Mahan: What the pandemic has done to a certain extent, it has accelerated some of the things that had been in play, even pre pandemic. I remember Janine couple of months before the pandemic, my wife and I were celebrating our anniversary. During the day, I had a few conversations, I used to use zoom, pre pandemic for national and international clients.

I'd had conversations with people in India, better connection and presence with them than I would have ever had the chance to have before then that evening we were at a restaurant in downtown DC, there was a moment in time when I looked around and most of the couples were glued to their screens at this very expensive restaurant.

 the technology had provided the opportunity for connections across the globe, but had gotten in the way of connections across the table. 

[00:07:15] Jeanine Turner: I love the way you said that that is exactly the case. In fact, some places I've found restaurants would actually give you a discount if you left your phone part of the restaurant because they thought you'd have a better time. And then you wouldn't get on Yelp and say, oh, my food was cold, but my food was cold because I was on my phone when my food came and I didn't try it for 15 minutes, I think you're so right. It's almost like this technology in our hand is constantly asking us to disconnect wherever we are. And if we are not more intentional about who we want to be with socially, how do we want to be socially present? Then we will constantly be, following these distractions and it has an impact on relationships.

[00:07:56] Mahan: That intentionality is a point that you keep repeating and as important to keep in mind, Janine. we talk about social presence and being present as part of the title of your book. What do you mean when you say social presence? 

[00:08:10] Jeanine Turner: glad you asked about that because I think social presence is unique to this idea of presence or mindfulness. There's been a lot of research on the importance of presence and mindfulness. Do you feel nature around you? Do you feel yourself breathing in the space where you are, and that obviously has implications to the extent to which you're on technology or not?

What I want people to really think about is not just this being present from a mindfulness or intra personal perspective, but rather a social presence, our interpersonal perspective. When I'm in a conversation with someone, I need to be intentional about the presence I'm trying to have with that conversation.

And it doesn't necessarily mean only face-to-face, but in the minute that you start engaging in multiple conversations at once you were losing track of the social presence that you have, unless you intentionally want to do that. For example, many people might be listening to this podcast right now, while they're also answering their email or checking their phone or potentially doing something else that maybe it doesn't require their audio, but requires input. They're making the decision to be in budgeted presence. It's probably the right decision. They're not trying to make a relationship with the two of us. They're just trying to better understand and learn from something in the background. They're privileging one kind of relationship over the other, but it's so easy to make a person feel like they're not being privileged. we don't feel like that because we don't see them doing that, 

[00:09:37] Mahan: That's an important point to keep in mind. It's in relation with other people, there is value to meditation, to individual presence to focus, work. Cal Newport also at Georgetown has written a lot of great books and has great thoughts with respect to that. But that is for ourselves.

What you're talking about is social presence in interactions with others. Whether at work or at home you break down social presence to four different types of social presence. 

 What are those types of social presence? 

[00:10:14] Jeanine Turner: The first type is budgeted presence, which is what we are in probably most of the day that anytime you have your phone with you and you are looking at your phone while also interacting with people around you, whether on a video or an email or face to face, you are essentially allocating part of presence to one person and part to another person.

you were splitting up your presence according to multiple conversations. anytime you're in multiple conversations at once you're in budgeted presence, it can be extremely efficient, but also doesn't necessarily recognize the relationships of all the people that are involved. And you're basically treating your relationships like a task. 

Entitled presence is a second type of presence entitled presence is where I decided as a communicator that I want to control the interaction, and I'm going to tell you to put your technology away and listen to me. The name entitled has, I guess, a little bit of a negative connotation, but it actually there's many times when it would make sense that you had that, whether you have the status or credibility or social capital, where you have the right to tell people, to put their phones away.

And to the extent to which your audience is like, yes, you're right. I should put my phone away. entitled is where you kind of pick, think of your audience as a container. You ask them to remove all distractions and just focus on you. The challenge of that is you can lose a lot of social capital if you're asking people to put their phones away and then you tell them something, they really don't think they need to know and they think, why are you wasting my time? . 

And in many ways, I think as we're moving into hybrid, If you have an organization that says everyone has to be face-to-face for this meeting, it's another type of entitled presence where you're trying to control how people are present. And people are driving along to get to town DC and they're stuck in a lot of traffic and they're thinking, why do I have to go here? And then they get they're frustrated and mad, and then you continue to waste their time. That's a huge risk to your social capital. that's entitled presence. 

Competitive is kind of when you think of as, when you think about Dale Carnegie, as we had talked a little bit about, it's trying to influence people, persuasion, trying to understand your audience, using any strategy you can have on Aristotle talks about logos, pathos, ethos, is still very relevant today, and using those to try to engage your audience. And I have strategies for that in the book, which is basically helping do an effective presentation. 

And then finally, the last type of presence is invitational. Invitational is the presence that we have and we're not trying to persuade someone, not trying to persuade them to do something or influence them according to our message.

But instead, we're trying to create a dialogue or a partnership with someone. In this situation, we're trying to better understand that person and have that other person better understand us. And the reason why this presence is so important, which is actually, created because of the challenge we have with budget presence. Because we are in budgeted presence all the time, and we don't take the time to really invest often in a one-to-one conversation, regardless of the channel we are hardly ever in invitational presence. 

And when I tell you two different things that I see where that's happening, if you think about this hybrid workplace situation, And all these organizations are saying, we've got to get these people back to work. Everybody has to get back to work cause we have to create the culture, we have to get everybody together in this cohesive way. 

The challenge is organizations never had to create the culture before, it almost happened for them as people had to go to the workplace, there was no other place to go. You had to go to the workplace.

Now is the choice to go to the workplace. So now we have to create an invitational environments in the workplace so people want to come and have dialogue and participate in connect. So it's really never been more important to think about whether it's at work or in home, how do I create a relationship and an invitational space that people want to contribute and connect with when they're there? 

[00:14:14] Mahan: That's a big challenge that I would love to unpack, but if we first go back to that budgeted presence, so Janine with that budgeted presence, , there is a lot of data and research about the fact that we can't really multitask, therefore our mind switches back and forth, with things that require cognitive abilities.

So what does that budget at presence therefor mean? Does that mean that we need to purely focus a hundred percent on the person we are in front of, or is there any ability to do an 80 20? What does budgeted presence really mean? 

[00:14:59] Jeanine Turner: Okay. I think it's completely unrealistic that we'll be 100% focused on every conversation especially because we all think we've gotten so good at the budgeted presences the night. I mean people that are on zoom and they can get all these other things done. Oh, my camera's not working, oh by audio I don't know what's going on, I'll just listen in while I'm doing a million other things. So we have become experts at budgeted presence. So for me to say, don't do it is like completely ridiculous. And I actually think we almost have to the norms in society, the norms of our organizations , have almost reemphasized how important it is to be efficient and be productive.

So what I guess the challenge is, is that it's true. We cannot multitask and that's multitasking is a complex activity where you're trying to do multiple tasks at once. Multi communication is what we're talking about with budgeted presence. That's even more complex. I'm managing multiple roles and multiple identities, multiple audiences, multiple ideas, and messages from completely different contexts. So those that's much more challenging than just trying to do the traditional multitasking studies that people say no one could ever do. 

So, first of all, people should recognize it's very hard to do once you try to do it. But the second thing is my mind works four to five times faster than you can speak, and your mind works four to five times faster than I can speak. So, what happens is the way I get budgeted presents to work is I think I know what you're saying. I'm actually not paying attention at all, because I know I've heard you say this, Mahan's "oh my gosh. We're off on this again. Okay. Yeah. I know where this is going for the next 15 minutes. So now I can get some texts or emails off because I know where this is going"

So it's just really budgeted presence as a way to kind of maximize that extra time when you could be concentrating on the message. I think a lot of times that's probably is the right decision. However, there are many times when it's not. And I think so quickly we can jump into budgeted presence without first thinking, is this really where we need to be? Now again, these four strategies are based on the view of the communicator, right? So it's all from what I want to get done. So do I want to be efficient? I choose budget. Do I want everyone to stop and listen to me? I think of them as a container, I choose entitled. Do I want to think of my audiences and investor, I'm going to try to persuade them. Do I want to think of them as a partner, I choose invitational, but necessarily because people are communicating, people are all choosing those presences at the same time with you as well. And that's what makes it hard.

[00:17:38] Mahan: It's different in different situations for different people, Janine, but how do we strike the balance? So we have an appropriate level of presence in whether it is in meetings where oftentimes virtual, hybrid or even in person, people were not mentally in the conversation, therefore would not be able to fully contribute to it. Or, even in decision-making situations, while people can hear and think a lot faster than others speak. So what ends up happening is people are drifting in and out, so the outcome of the conversations are not as good. So what can we do to try to manage that presence? 

[00:18:29] Jeanine Turner: Absolutely. So there's three things you have to think about. You have to think of as a communicator going in, what is the context that I'm going into? How important is this context to me? How critical is this context for my job? What I do, how interdependent I am in terms of the successful of this. So what's the context.

Second relationship, who is the most important relationship here and how I may engaging. So if I'm talking with someone, engaging with them, and I know this is really important conversation for me, I'm going into that conversation knowing I should not be looking at my phone during this conversation. I either need to silence it, or I need to be careful about how I operate the phone, or, maybe the person is going to say things you know already about, but you're very interdependent with that person and you need their success for your success.

So then that relationship matters. You need to think about not being in budgeted presence during that conversation. And then finally, message. If this is a really complex or important message, you need to be focused and connecting in that. So it's like thinking about context, message, and relationship. And that helps to drive how you make choices about whether to be in budget, entitled, competitive, orinvitational. 

[00:19:43] Mahan: That's a great way of thinking about it. And again, your key point is the intentionality behind thinking through that process. Now that said, Janine, there has been a lot of research and writing also on the fact that , the technologies benefit from hijacking our attention. Nir Eyal has written in his book Hooked, he is one of the initial people that work with some of the tech companies to come up with elements that, , can be seen as being addictive, triggering an actual behavior in us, whether it's through the alerts that they have causing it to become habit forming. So the technology, that phone just being there, there are elements of it that end up controlling us rather than us controlling it.

Any thoughts and perspectives with respect to how we can be intentional with our presence while the technology makes its money off of capturing our attention. 

[00:20:47] Jeanine Turner: So I think it's really interesting you're bringing that up because I definitely think there's technological features embedded within a digital device that tries to pull you in whether it's the colors, or the shapes, or the notifications, all of those. And there's been research out there as well as people, as you've mentioned, have actually worked on creating these addictive, features and know that that's exactly what they're doing and even targeting younger children.

So that we know that those devices are there. What I want people also recognize is that in addition to these addictive kind technological features, there's also this pressure of connection, social connection. So now we're not even talking about a game here, we're talking about I'm at home and playing with my child and I get this notification.

Not only is it the notification, I feel like I have to look, I'm also worried about my boss, who is, I want to impress, and I want to make sure that I seem really responsive. When I've talked to executives about response time, a lot of times people think of success and effectiveness connected to response time, because you got back with somebody within 15 minutes.

I mean, that's why sometimes people sleep with their phone right next to their bed. So if some negotiation thing happens at two o'clock in the morning, they're two 15 they're in because they got their first thing in. So response time has become this almost addictive kind of element as well. And that adds to the features also to the extent to which your approval seeker or your person that is worried about what everybody thinks, we see with social media platforms and how much people care about their social within this.

In fact, no one really understood what social presence was or really even thought about it. It was kind of an academic term, until the last few years, when people talked about managing your social, meaning your social media presence. So , All of those identity issues we're trying to manage with all these relationships and people that we know, add another layer to this already addictive technological features that make us even more desperate to figure out what else is going on in the phone.

So that's the relationship issue. The second one is relevance. We are constantly trolling for relevance. I say that to my executives all the time. When I talk about presentation, I used to talk about in Dale Carnegie , being charismatic and engaging, and of course all those things matter, you know, from competitive presence, all of that matters. But what really matters is relevance. If my audience thinks that what I'm saying is not relevant, they have in their hands, a device that they can find something relevant and they will find it. So they are constantly trolling for relevance. So it's, they're managing the relationships all the time, making sure that they seem the right person with the right network and the right situation.

And then secondly, they're managing their relevance. They need to make sure they're connecting to the most relevant content at any one time. And it is so easy to slip off that relevant platform. Very easy. So that's, I think the big challenge. 

[00:23:47] Mahan: Yeah that's a great perspective janine, in terms of relevance, you are not competing with the relevance of another individual in the room. You're competing with the relevance of the countless resources at the fingertips of the individual, with their smartphone. So that relevance becomes really important. 

[00:24:10] Jeanine Turner: In fact, when I teach it with my executives at Georgetown, we have this activity where it's called two speaking at once where one person speaking, then the other person comes back. And I think I even learned that with Dale Carnegie, where we would do this two speaking at once exercise. 

The digital device makes that even more exactly the case. You're not competing with this one other person all the time. You're competing with multiple people, multiple devices, every single person has a digital device that is going to pull them away from you. And if you can't think about how you can compete with that device at all times, you're not going to be able to be connected with your audience.

[00:24:48] Mahan: With respect to presence, Janine, what are ways for people to think about their presence in a virtual environment before then we transitioned to a hybrid environment.

[00:24:59] Jeanine Turner: Okay. So I think that's a really important question. What's challenging about the virtual environment is, we're really limited to this square of what people can see, which is why I think it's really important to think about if you're going to turn your camera off, what are the implications of turning your camera off?

Many women also talked about not being Instagram ready or many children in K through 12 would be feel like they're not Instagram ready. So they would turn they're kind of camera off because it didn't have all the filters and they felt like people would see them and they didn't like that. 

Or , their hair wasn't right. And not to say that men care don't care about their hair as well. , there was this idea that I just didn't feel comfortable enough to show myself until I turned my camera off. But that individual decision, essentially, it's taking you out of the conversation, which is a huge person to think about.

And I think we think about that all the time. I'll get so many things done. I'll just mute my camera and mute my audio. But essentially you're taking yourself out of the conversation in a real way. I think also thinking about how do I make eye contact? What, how do I shake my head? And I feel like I'm really paying attention during the conversation.

And then how do I get involved in the chat to make sure people know that I am actually paying attention? So it doesn't mean you have to always raise your hand and make a comment because sometimes that can be hard, but getting involved in the chat and showing that engagement, I think can be really important. 

[00:26:21] Mahan: So being intentional about that presence, virtual is also important now with the transition to a hybrid, Janine, that a lot of organizations are thinking about and struggling there is the conversation around the flexibility, which many organizations are going to approach the future of work, allowing people at least a couple of days of work from home or wherever they choose with two to three days in the office environment.

At the same time, there has been great research from, different people, including Nick Bloom at Stanford, showing that there is a significant bias against the people that aren't present in person at the work environments, while many women and people of color are the ones that would be less likely to be in person and would want to choose the flexible work options.

This provides a challenge with respect to presence, most specifically for women and people of color. So how can we think about that future of work and presence for all the people in the organization, including those that might choose not to be in the office every single day. 

[00:27:38] Jeanine Turner: Well, a couple of things. I think the first thing is when you have agency I think flexibility in so many times is up fallacy and bargain because we have this idea of, oh, we were so excited to have this flexibility agency, but then our work day just expands to like a 24 7 situation. Because we want to feel so guilty about not being there. So we have to really be present. So then we're constantly in budgeted presence of the entire day. So that's the one thing is I think when people, if you have a situation where everyone can choose every day, if I ended up choosing, okay, Wednesday and going into the office and no one else went into the office that day, then it really, it doesn't even make sense.

It's almost like you have to be a little bit thoughtful about how you figure out some of those choices. The second thing would be as I think you're right. I think when you're thinking about some of the flexible, if we set up some cycle of a norm, that the people that are in the office are involved in the real decision, and that the hybrid people are involved in these other decisions, extra decisions that are like that. We owe him. Okay. We have to include everybody let's turn on the hybrid, but let's have our real discussion over lunch over here. We know that used to happen all the time. And that's why a lot of this research did say that people privileged the in-person conversations.

Now the whole infrastructure of communication has changed with the pandemic. So it'll be interesting to see to what extent that carries over. But we do know that proximity to someone, all the research on proximity says you connect more, you have more feelings of relationship,, you're going to talk about invitational type opportunities, tell about your family, your soccer game, whatever, all these other things that you're not going to do in the zoom meeting. So it's true, there's going to be relationship building that happens. Because of physical presence and there's kind of a heart it's kind of hard to get around that. However, I think there's also things to think about as we can be more intentional now. 

Prior to the pandemic, I talked to some organizations that would say they would have a lunch and everybody would sit around and have lunch and they'd bring the other regional people in over video. Can you imagine how horrible that is for watching everybody and hanging out and having lunch and, you know, the birthday cake comes in. Oh yeah. They're over on video. How dismissive? So I think people have now started realize, well, we do have to think about these people on video over here. So that's been good. 

However, like I didn't see myself at Georgetown. Sometimes if we have a hybrid meeting, you've got the people on the laptop and then people are kind of passing around. On top of that, we have the mask situation, which of course is going to change, but it creates a very challenging environment as opposed to a much richer environment where everyone is probably in their offices and all on zoom. I think the second that you create a hybrid situation is it depends on the size of the audience or you have some people in person and other people somehow at a distance, you really have to be thoughtful about what are we doing to include that hybrid person. It's so easy to forget that person over there. So easy. I remember when I was doing telemedicine back in Ohio, we would have these doctor patient interactions. We'd have these big calls at the academic medical center.

And then so many times I would notice I look over on the video and people would be sleeping because they were never asked a question, no one ever contacted them. And I think that we really have to be thoughtful and intentional about that. So I think if you have a small size, it can work. Where you have two or three people leading and someone else's over video, it's almost like you're bringing this other laptop in, that can work. But the larger the meeting, the harder it is to make a hybrid conversation work. And then when it gets to a certain tipping point, I think it makes sense to say even if a majority of the people might be in person to not leave these three people out, we all could communicate or resume.

[00:31:30] Mahan: And Janine, how about from the perspective of the employee themselves in that if most managers or most of us think about it, if we go physically to the office and one of the employees is there every day before we are in the office. And that person leaves after us every day from the office.

Even if we intentionally tryto say, no, no. This has nothing to do with their work performance. We are going to somewhat be bias thinking "oh my God what a hard worker". 

[00:32:03] Jeanine Turner: Of course, because you see all of this visual and that's why so many students, you know, many undergraduates like I, and you see all these people that are leaving there, the great resignation, I'm going to find something with flexibility and what they have to keep in mind is, you earned the right to get flexible. You need to earn that right. And so say you have worked in organization for five years and then you're go flexible, it's a much different situation than be brand new, starting out, trying to be orientation people. It is out of sight out of mind is a really important thing to think about. So if you are actually going to take on an organization and choose the flexible option and be not as connected from a physical standard, that's fine, but then it's on you to make sure you're connected in those conversations because people will not look after you. And so that's why I know we're at the very beginning stages. Any telecommunication work or telecommuting research is helpful and insightful to us to learn from, but this is a very different situation from an entire infrastructure standpoint, in terms of choice.

We have so much agency in choice. And there's going to be certain organizations that their culture is going to really be thinking about who was in the parking space at the beginning first parking space in the day, and who was at the last parking space today. People watch that in the garage. And , maybe that's even an old mentality, but that's absolutely present.

And certain organizations are going to be more than that than others, but understanding what the culture and the climate is, is really, really, really important. So I think that it is incumbent on the person that's starting out a new, because if they can't, if they feel like they're not being engaged or somehow they're not being pulled into the fold, not only are they maybe not reaching out, but keep in mind that the organization is not used to figuring out a way to do that. So they don't understand that they have to think as explicitly about norms and guidelines that they have in place that they used to always say all the time.

[00:34:05] Mahan: These are great things to be mindful of. Additionally, Janine, you also mentioned the organization's culture, and as you alluded to previously, we've gone through two years of a culture reset with an opportunity for teams and organizations to have a new iteration of their cultures when the return to office happens for many of the organizations.

So in trying to think about that presence, what are some of your thoughts and perspectives on how organizations and teams can best think about presence. I mean, new culture that takes advantage of being present. 

[00:34:48] Jeanine Turner: So I think that it means, we have to have conversations in our organization about what our culture is, explicit conversations, which we did not have to have before, because it was almost passed out, passed down from an osmosis. You walk into one organization, you have a feel from the way the furniture is from the way that the people interact and you get this feeling when you're in there.

What's really interesting as I've talked to some people through interviews is that people that have there's a company that had recently merged and they merged after the pandemic. And it was very hard to have this company A is merging with company B all throughout the pandemic. It's been 19 months, but now we have companies.

This company B came in, right? So company a thinks, oh, now we're in this big multi culture, but company B still sees themselves as company B because they'd never been anything but company B other than virtually connected to company A, so you have to really be explicit about what are our norms.

What is acceptable? What is it that we what kind of a team do we want to have? And when we say that it's okay to work from home, we have to say w really mean that. So don't say, oh yeah, you can work from home. But bottom line, if you're working from home, no, one's going to ask you to do this project, this project, or this project, because people think you don't really care.

So we really need to have an explicit conversation about it, which we never had to do before.

[00:36:18] Mahan: It's interesting. So to a great extent, to your point, Janine doesn't matter how many times I know as a consultant coach, I would tell leaders of organizations before. But they need to be intentional with their culture. They could get away without a certain level of intentionality because the office, the experiences of the people, everything communicated, the culture. 

Now this is both an opportunity and a necessity for that intentionality. Also taking that presence into account. 

So Janine, in addition to your own book, are there any other resources that you typically find yourself recommending? 

[00:36:58] Jeanine Turner: In terms of practices that I would immediately think you should think about whether you're at work or at home, is to have a conversation with your team about the type of social presence you're going to engage with going forward. And maybe it might mean you might even have this, an ongoing conversation because when people are coming back from the pandemic at different stages, we're going to go through different kind of understanding of what constitutes flexibility and what does hybrid mean for us and keep returning to this conversation because culture has to be communicated through conversations. 

I think a really important thing people should think of is that organizations are not made up of bricks and mortar and physical infrastructures, but they're made up of conversations who gets to talk, who doesn't get to talk. Who's involved in the conversation, who's not who's left out and who isn't. And so if you want to change your culture or change your organization, you have to change the core conversations and communication that happens within. And that is the center of social presence.

[00:38:03] Mahan: Janine as we move forward in reestablishing the organizational culture, that requires a level of intentionality and, and level of engagement and conversations around that, which is why your book is a great start for people to take a look at how they can be present and how that social presence plays a role, whether in their individual conversations or in the association with a group as they establish their culture. So Janine, how best would the audience find out about your book and connect with you.

[00:38:41] Jeanine Turner: The best way to reach out to me is find me on LinkedIn and please message me and go to Amazon. And you'll find the book there.

[00:38:50] Mahan: That's outstanding Janine. I really appreciate the insights that you have shared and being present, because I think it's really important for us to be mindful of our presence and interactions as the technology is becoming more capable and provides more opportunities for us to access to tons of information.

One of the things we are losing is that ability to socially be present with others, whether it is at home or at work. And I also find that a lot of times adults make fun of teens and say, teens are the ones that aren't present. And as I shared with you both with the example of the restaurant or any other chance, when we look at ourselves in the mirror as adults, we also need to be more intentional with our presence and your book does a great job with providing frameworks and insights on how to do that.

In addition to the fact that you teach at my beloved Georgetown McDonough. And I know you work with a lot of organizations and clients, both on executive education and consulting work on helping them increase their presence. So I really appreciate you sharing some of your thoughts and perspectives with the partnering leadership community.

Thank you so much Janine Turner. 

[00:40:22] Jeanine Turner: Thank you so much. It's been an honor to be in this conversation with you.