We had the good fortune of connecting with Dara Barlin and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Dara, do you disagree with some advice that is more or less universally accepted?
Yes, I disagree strongly with the idea that emotions should not be shown or talked about at work. Emotions are key data points that help us understand what isn’t being said. That enables leaders to see where the strengths and weaknesses are of their initiatives and the ability to fix issues quickly and easily BEFORE their programs go off the rails. The best leaders of the world, like Jacinda Ardern (Prime Minister of New Zealand) use Emotional Intelligence to lead, and are showing powerful results. These leaders have higher performing teams, which means better outcomes and happier employees. Emotional intelligence is not something one is born with though. It is learned. And that’s what the Center for Transforming Culture does. We teach the skills to become effective, emotionally intelligent leaders that inspire their teams to new levels of success.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I’m the CEO of The Center for Transforming Culture. I started this business after learning the popular quote “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” No matter how wonderful the strategy of team, if the relationships aren’t working the strategy will eventually go down the toilet. I did a lot of research around this idea and eventually learned that pretty much all managers want to provide positive culture on their teams — but most simply don’t know how. That’s because most supervisors are unaware that they are creating culture using the OLD traditional method of management.

This method is based in a factory-based model where people at the top tell those underneath them what to do, and if those underlings don’t comply, they get penalized – sometimes harshly. It’s a pretty standard practice that built on what we knew about motivating employees at the time. But we now know that this model of management leads to huge levels of disengagement at work, diminished efficiency, petty conflicts, and about 85% of people hating their jobs (Gallup, 2017).

On the other hand, the New Method of management (AKA Human-Centered Leadership), flips our notions of power and offers ways to engage employees using methods that catapult organizational efficiency, collaboration and innovation. It’s not hard to learn, but it is relatively new to our understanding of how to engage teams. Some may be nervous to dip their toes into these waters because it includes developing emotional intelligence. Many managers don’t want to deal with stuff like that at work because emotions are messy and hard to navigate. And if not approached correctly, things on the team can go south fast. It’s easier to just ignore the relationship elements and focus on the deliverables. That’s where our group, the Center for Transforming Culture comes in.

We make it easy for newbies to learn the ropes on creating high-performing culture by providing user-friendly systems and strategies. We’ve taken nebulous concepts like trust-building and creating psychologically safe environments and created user-friendly systems and tools that make it super easy to implement – especially in high-stress and fast-paced environments. The research is showing that when managers implement these tools and systems, there’s a huge uptick in team performance in a bunch of areas including: increased productivity, reduced employee absenteeism, better collaboration, more innovation, and more joy and wellness at work.

In addition, many are thrilled to see a huge reduction in a slew of those annoying human type behaviors that get in the way of doing great work; things like blame games, gossip and petty conflict, and apathetic employees who are reluctant to make changes to their routines. We believe that all organizations will thrive at new levels when they’ve figured out the nuts and bolts for how to foster high-performing culture, and our mission is to help as many as we can get there.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would definitely take them to my favorite restaurant, HOME in Los Feliz and then HOMESTATE restaurant for Frito pie.  Funny that I’m just now realizing that my two fave restaurants have the word home in them. I suppose LA just feels like home! : ) We’d also hit Griffith Park for tennis in the morning, a beautiful walk on the trails in the afternoon, and the observatory in the evening. Thrift store shopping down Vermont Avenue is a must. Of course we’d eventually hit the beach. I’d probably rent us bikes so we can ride down the gorgeous path at Venice Beach.  Then chill and watch the amazing roller skating dancers closer towards sunset. And, depending on if they are playful visitors, I’d probably take them to Universal Studios to enjoy the multitude of adventures Hollywood has created for people of all ages.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Shoutout to my former bosses/mentors Ellen Moir, Margaret Shelleda.  Your belief in me gave me the confidence to go after my dreams. And by modeling super effective AND deeply caring leadership, you showed me what was possible to achieve in the workplace and the world.

Website: www.centerfortransformingculture.com

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dara-barlin-56298746/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CenterforTransformingCulture

Image Credits
samglennon photography

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