Join us today for Part 2 of the Interview with Mark Herschberg author of "The Career Toolkit"

This is Part 2 of the interview I had with speaker, teacher, and author Mark Herschberg. 

In today’s interview with Mark Herschberg, I ask Mark about how understanding the mental models people have around communication can help us communicate better.  I ask Mark to share with you the key principles behind effective networking.  Mark also talks with you about how introverts can become powerful networkers.

Join in on the Chat below.

Episode 841 Invest in Others - Interview with Mark Herschberg author of The Career Toolkit – Part 2
[00:00:00] Scott Maderer: [00:00:00] Thanks for joining us on episode 841 of the inspired stewardship podcast.
[00:00:06] Mark Herschberg: [00:00:06] I'm Mark Hirschberg. I encourage you to invest in yourself, your organization and others around you to positively impact the world by using your time and your talent to make this world a better place. Having the skills to succeed in your career.
[00:00:21] Your business is key. One way to do this is to listen to the inspired stewardship podcast with my friend, Scott Mader.
[00:00:29]Scott Maderer: [00:00:29] the more senior you become.
[00:00:32] Mark Herschberg: [00:00:32] And this is true, whether you are going to be an executive at your company, or you're running a small business because you're in charge, you're looking across all these different groups. You need to know how to translate from one discipline to another competitor where people do have that common understanding coming from their different
[00:00:49] Scott Maderer: [00:00:49] mental models.
[00:00:50] Welcome and thank you for joining us on the inspired stewardship podcasts. If you truly desire to become the person who God wants you to be, [00:01:00] then you must learn to use your time, your talent and your treasures for your true calling. In the inspired stewardship podcast, we'll learn to invest in yourself, invest in others and develop your influence so that you can impact the world.
[00:01:16]In today's interview with Mark Hirschberg, I asked Mark about how understanding the mental models people have around communication can help us to communicate better. I asked Mark to share with you the key principles behind effective networking. And Mark also talks with you about how introverts can actually become powerful networkers.
[00:01:38] One reason I like to bring you great interviews. Like the one you're going to hear today is because of the power in learning from others. Another great way to learn from others is through reading books. But if you're like most people today, you find it hard to find the time to sit down and read. And that's why today's podcast is brought to you by audible.
[00:01:59] Go to [00:02:00] inspired to sign up and you can get a 30 day free trial. There's over 180,000 titles to choose from. And instead of reading, you can listen your way to learn from some of the greatest minds out there. That's inspired to get your free trial and listen to great books the same way you're listening to this podcast.
[00:02:27] From tracking criminals and terrorists on the dark
[00:02:30] web
[00:02:30] Scott Maderer: [00:02:30] creating marketplaces and new authentication systems. Mark Hirschberg has spent his career launching and developing new ventures at startups and fortune five hundreds. And in academia. He helped us start the undergraduate practice opportunities program, dubbed MIT's career success accelerator, where he teaches annually at MIT.
[00:02:53] He received a BS in physics, a BS in electrical engineering and computer science and a master's [00:03:00] of engineering and electrical engineering and computer science focusing on cryptography. At Harvard business school, Mark helped create a platform use to teach finance at prominent business schools. He also worked with many nonprofits, including techie youth and plant a million corrals.
[00:03:17] He was one of the top right ballroom dancers in the country, and he now lives in New York city. Or he is known for his social gatherings, including his annual Halloween party, as well as diverse cufflink collection. Mark has also recently published a new book called the career toolkit, essential skills for success that no one taught you.
[00:03:40] So part of learning to help and develop others is this idea of communication, which, you spend a whole section of your book talking about communication. Part of that, that you lay out is the fact that people have different mental models and this affects communication. And how we [00:04:00] do this effectively.
[00:04:01] Can you unpack a little bit, what do you mean by different mental models and what are those? And. And, how does that affect the communication
[00:04:09] Mark Herschberg: [00:04:09] I'm going to use? Very, the simple scaled down example here. So let's take left-brain right-brain people, myself. I am naturally a left-brain person.
[00:04:19] I have multiple quantitative degrees. I am very much a numbers person. I like formulas and algorithms. And if I were trying to do a presentation, I would naturally think about charts, graphs, formulas, very quantitative, here's the pie chart. Here's this statistical analysis. Now let's take a very right-brained person and I'm going to pick a TV character because that's was going to be probably broadly known.
[00:04:46] I think of Don Draper from Madmen. Now, when you look at Don Draper, if you ever watch madman. So he was an ad person, a creative director in the 1960s on the show, and he would have to pitch clients. [00:05:00] And the kind of arc of the show is always the big dramatic client meeting and he would stand up and who do this eloquent pitch and this passionate pitch about.
[00:05:11] Vision and the future and how this, our ad campaign is going. I like to do this and inspire this. It was very emotional. There were no numbers. There was no 60% of the audience resonates with this particular message or, pink is better than green. It was this impassioned speech. It was inspiring.
[00:05:31] It was what you'd expect from good Hollywood writers. That's how he would pitch. Now, if I was pitching to Don Draper, And I said, okay, let me show you on chart. Number three, notice that we get a variance of 2%. He's going to tune me out. He's going to say, Oh my God, this is so boring. Likewise. If he pitches me, okay, I might be inspired by go.
[00:05:51] Yeah. So show me the numbers. Show me that this works. Show me some proof that was inspiring, but it sounds very [00:06:00] hand-wavy. And so each of us, we think differently, we approach things differently. And if I have to communicate with him, I need to keep in mind, he's going to look at the world differently than I do and vice versa.
[00:06:12] Now this is a very simple left brain right. Brain model, but we can look at more complex versions of models and recognize we all do think differently. And as we communicate with people, we need to recognize their mental models, how they think, and then communicate in a language that best resonates with them.
[00:06:32] Yes, we need. Good public speaking skills and written skills and many other aspects of communication, but fundamentally, no matter how we're communicating, we have to resonate into the mental models of our audience. And
[00:06:44] Scott Maderer: [00:06:44] that I, that brings us to, it's the difference between. Listening and hearing in a way, I could listen to you and hear the words that you were saying, the vibrations go in my ears, my brain detects the words, [00:07:00] but when I hear you inside me, there's, I'm connecting, I'm drawing, there, there's a level of feeling.
[00:07:08] There's a level of logic. There's a level of connection for lack of a better word that goes on and. Again, if you're using your example, if you, as the right Bain person, talk to John to Don Draper and nothing but facts and figures. He would listen, but there's no real hearing going on there cause there's no, no connection underneath it.
[00:07:29]No. It doesn't land.
[00:07:31]Mark Herschberg: [00:07:31] And you've probably experienced this, anyone out there who speaks a foreign language, but isn't a native speaker. If you've ever had a conversation in your non-native language. Okay. You're having the conversation, but there's part of your brain. That's just, it's spending all these cycles going.
[00:07:47] Okay. How do I translate that word? And you're focusing so much on a translation and that's energy that you're not focusing on to the content. So that's what we're doing here. Now. It might not be a foreign language, [00:08:00] but you can't really break into that mental model in your head. So the more we as speakers can move closer to that mental model, the less work we're asking you as listeners to do.
[00:08:11] And therefore we let you, the audience put more of your focus onto hearing the message and not trying to translate and just get the message in the first place. And
[00:08:21]Scott Maderer: [00:08:21] This becomes really obvious in a one-on-one situation, especially one where you get to know the person or you have some previous interactions with them and you can begin to get to know them over time, but how can this lead to practice problems?
[00:08:37]I spent, especially again, if somebody is a leader oftentimes you're having to speak to a whole group of people. Now all of a sudden. There's not one mental model, the listener there's dozens across the room. How does this lend itself to that kind of thinking as well?
[00:08:53] Mark Herschberg: [00:08:53] It's a little more complex, but the simplified version is you need to put your message through [00:09:00] multiple channels.
[00:09:01] You need to hit into multiple types of models. And so everyone's going to hear something where they say, Oh, that's the part I get. That's the part I understand. And I give a few different examples of even frameworks of here's a set of mental models. Here's a different set of mental models. There's no, it has to be, these six models are the only way there's many options, but once you figure out what framework resonates with you, when you do one of these talks, you say, let me make sure I hit all the different models in this framework.
[00:09:31] So everyone has something they can connect with.
[00:09:36] Scott Maderer: [00:09:36] So how does this lead to examples of both good and bad communication, whether it's at work, whether it's, again, small business owner. I, especially for business owners, I think sometimes it can be client situations too. I know I've had situations where I thought I understood what the client wanted, but Nope, it turns out we weren't actually on the same page.
[00:09:54] So how does this model itself out or play itself out in good and bad situations?
[00:09:59]Mark Herschberg: [00:09:59] It's [00:10:00] recognizing what these mental models are. These experiences, when you might even have different models and, we have to focus a little more and make sure we're on the same page. And there are some techniques to make sure, write things down, make sure you both go through it.
[00:10:15] I'll give you a really simple example. And this is both humorously trivial, but it illustrates the point. I was at a travel media company. So we had lots of content on different types of vacations. We were redoing our website and had a blog. So in the blog, we're going to tag posts based on types of content.
[00:10:34] Was it romance, travel, family, travel cruises discount travel. One of the categories was all inclusive. Now, if you've traveled a lot, you might know all inclusive. That's a type of resort where you pay one price and all your meals and entertainment. Everything's. All inclusive. We had contracted out some overseas developers.
[00:10:56] They weren't familiar with that term. So they looked and said, okay, [00:11:00] we're doing a blog and there'll be tagged. So right. When someone selects cruises, they just get cruised, blog, posts, romance, they get romance, blog posts. Oh, I saw when we click all inclusive, they want all the blog posts together. That's what they delivered.
[00:11:15] Now, this was trivial. It was literally five minutes to fix that and say no, this is a separate category, but it's an example of how they had different mental model. The term, all inclusive means something to people in travel that it might not mean to people, not in the travel industry are not familiar with that term.
[00:11:33] And so we, we need to recognize when we have these differences. No, there won't be quite so obvious as that. And that's what makes it tricky. You know what I'm saying? By the way I know this word. Okay, great. We're all done. But as we communicate with each other, we're going to look for areas where there might be confusion or different understanding, and those are the areas we're going to focus
[00:11:55] Scott Maderer: [00:11:55] well and drawing that out though, because I think that's actually a better example in some [00:12:00] ways less trivial than perhaps it might first glance first appear to be because.
[00:12:06] When you think about it? I think sometimes. One of the problems is we have that curse of knowledge. I know what I mean. When I say what I say, therefore, everyone understands me because I understand me, it's that curse. And this is where sometimes talking to somebody who's outside of the situation, because depending on the kind of people that came to the travel site, I'd be willing to bet.
[00:12:32] There are some people that didn't know what all inclusive meant either. Not just the people tagging things, but the people that visit the site. So having that curse of knowledge would have to be one of the problems that we're having to overcome within this communication as well.
[00:12:46] Mark Herschberg: [00:12:46] Correct.
[00:12:47] And this is one of the skills might have that list of, I want to be a CTO. I know how to program, but what else do I need to know how to do. Communication of this type is very important because when I became a CTO, [00:13:00] I would leave an engineering team. What have to do is take complex, subtle engineering challenges we faced and explain it to my peers in finance, in marketing, in other departments and say, this is the problem.
[00:13:14] This is why it's not so trivial that we can't just solve it tomorrow. We have to make a decision, but I need your inputs. I have to put in terms that they would understand. Likewise, they might come to me and say, we have some constraints. We have, whether it's, it might be simple time and gets it, but right.
[00:13:30] How do you do some trade offs of budget time, risk, or, hit this client requirement will also mean this partnership requirement. I had to translate that back into engineering, technical requirements for my team. The more senior you become, and this is true, whether you are going to be an executive at your company, or you're running a small business because you're in charge, you're looking across all these different groups.
[00:13:53] You need to know how to translate. From one discipline to another, where people do have [00:14:00] that common understanding coming from their different mental models. Yeah.
[00:14:04] Scott Maderer: [00:14:04] When I very similar experience when I was in corporate I got the reputation and. I was invited to certain meetings, even if they weren't quote my project, because I was the guy who could sit in the room and the business unit, people were in the room, the operations team was in the room and the accounting people were in the room and I spoke all three languages, so I literally would sit in the room middle of the room, listen to the account.
[00:14:30] Okay. Yeah. I turn to the operations and business people and say, this is what they're saying. In, this is how this affects you. You know what they're saying? Over there, which sounds like a bunch of gobbly goop. This is what it actually means when it comes down to what your caring about, and then the business people would talk and the accounting people would be looking very confused and I would turn the accounting people and say, okay, this is what they're saying. Cause they. The business unit and our company was the one that brought in the client the client side they represented the client constraints and all of that.
[00:14:57]It was interesting to be put in that [00:15:00] position of having developed that skill that I could translate between the three. It does, I will say it does make you both popular and unpopular at the same time.
[00:15:09] Mark Herschberg: [00:15:09] I'm like a human Rosetta stone. Yeah. But the value there is, if you weren't there.
[00:15:14] What you have is effectively the tower of Babel, right? You have three different units. I don't know how to talk to each other. And in fact, even if you delivered no other value, if you didn't have a day job, three units that act independently, the value of you showing up, making them all engage more efficiently is incredibly valuable to the company.
[00:15:34] So these are important skills for all of us to have because they make us more effective on the teams we're in.
[00:15:40] Scott Maderer: [00:15:40] So part of that you talk about. And part of what I would say is important when it comes to working with others, developing others, investing in others is the idea of relationship and networking.
[00:15:54] And you talk a lot about effective and ineffective networking in these. [00:16:00] The skills that you're laying out. What are some of the key principles? First off, what is networking? Let's define our terms. And then secondly, what are some of the key principles behind networking?
[00:16:13] Mark Herschberg: [00:16:13] Networking is about relationships.
[00:16:17] This is the fundamental truth. Too many people think of networking as going out, collecting business cards or now collecting connections on LinkedIn and saying someone is in your network because you've added them on LinkedIn. That's like saying someone is your significant other, because they swipe right on you on Tinder.
[00:16:36]That's step one. If you want a relationship with that person, you both need to swipe right. But you're not in that relationship yet. You have to spend time building that relationship. The same thing is true of our professional networks and our professional relationships. Okay. There is some connection you met each other, maybe you exchange a business card, but you have to build that relationship.
[00:16:56] You have to get to know each other. You have to invest time with this [00:17:00] person and you have to build trust. And so if you have that mentality, suddenly how you develop the relationships becomes much more effective than just. I got seven business cards up some happy hour last night. Therefore I have networked
[00:17:15]Scott Maderer: [00:17:15] when it comes to networking. The immediate thing that jumps to mind is. There are some people that, again, back to kind of mental models and behaviors that are more, I think, natural networkers maybe they're extroverts, maybe they're just, this is a skill they develop. And then there are often people that are introverts or a little, this doesn't come easy to them.
[00:17:37]And in fact, I've had people tell me I don't want to network because I'm an introvert. I don't need it. I should be fine without it. So what are some of the techniques that people can use as an introvert or somebody who doesn't really have that natural talent to network that helps make them more effective in networking?
[00:17:55] Mark Herschberg: [00:17:55] All of us are able to network. There's a great [00:18:00] symbolic. We in proverb that I like to take and modify a bit. So the first few lines of the proverb. If you can talk, you can sing. If you can walk, you can dance. If you can have a friend, you can network. That's really as simple as it is, we think of networking.
[00:18:18] In this Hollywood view of, okay, you go into this crowded room and you'll work the room and you go and meet people at Charlie. How you've been great to see you. Let's grab a drink. Oh, Carol. Kay. I want to see you. Let's get your card. I'll give you my card. And you have this view of running from one person with an accent.
[00:18:34] Sounds exhausting. And yes, you can go to a crowded room and meet 20 people. And extroverts love that. But if you're an introvert, you don't have to go into that room and meet 20 people. You don't even have to step foot in that room. But you want to build relationships aren't built in a crowd.
[00:18:52] Relationships are built by spending time with people. It's going out, getting coffee with someone. It's giving someone a call. It's just [00:19:00] reaching out and saying, Hey, happy birthday. How have you been? Or it's been a while. Just want to check in how are you doing? Pandemic's been rough for us all.
[00:19:08] Just want to see how are you and your family, this one-to-one connection. If something even introverts, even those of us who are, don't like crowds, we can handle that's natural. We all do want to have connections with others. So don't think of it as I have to go into large crowds and meet people. We think of it as I have to build relationships and relationships can be built one-on-one without the crowds, without the lips and not a, I have to get seven cards in seven minutes.
[00:19:37] And so I want to spend time with you and get to know you. And so all of us can build relationships. All of us will benefit from having it. No one does well without a network.
[00:19:46]Scott Maderer: [00:19:46] You can follow Mark on Twitter under career tool, kit, BK for book, or find him on his He's also active [00:20:00] on linked in as at Hershey and on Facebook at. The career toolkit book, I'll have links to all of this over in the show notes as well. Mark, is there anything else you'd like to share with the listener?
[00:20:13] Mark Herschberg: [00:20:13] These are skills that don't simply help you. They can help everyone, your organization and the more others you work with, whether they are your peers or whether they are your subordinates in your business, the more effective they can be in these skills, the more effective your organization will be. And turns out as you want to learn these skills, whether it's developing your understanding of ethics and where your lines are, or developing your networking negotiation, leadership skills, these are best learned with other people.
[00:20:47] And so don't take this on alone. Create peer learning groups. This is how business schools teach this. Create these peer learning groups and working out together, there's actually a free download on the resources page that teaches you how you can build [00:21:00] these organizations within your own company. You can use my book, you can use other books.
[00:21:06] This is not just a ploy to sell my books. This is a technique that you can use to improve, and you can take whatever content you want, but I really encourage you to do it with others because that's the best way to learn these skills.
[00:21:18]Scott Maderer: [00:21:18] thanks so much for listening to the inspired stewardship podcast as a subscriber and listener, we challenge you to not just sit back and passively listen, but act on what you've heard and find a way to live your calling. If you enjoy this episode. Please do us a favor. Go over to inspired rate.
[00:21:46] All one word iTunes rate. It'll take you through how to leave a rating and review and how to make sure you're subscribed to the podcast so that you can get every episode as it comes out in [00:22:00] your feed until next time, invest your time. Your talent and your treasures develop your influence and impact the world. .

In today's episode, I ask Mark about:

  • How understanding the mental models people have around communication can help us communicate better... 
  • The key principles behind effective networking...
  • How introverts can become powerful networkers...
  • and more.....

Some of the Resources recommended in this episode: 

I make a commission for purchases made through the following link.

The more senior you become you need to know how to translate from one discipline to another so that people get that common understanding. - Mark Herschberg

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About the Author Scott

Helping people to be better Stewards of God's gifts. Because Stewardship is about more than money.

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