Connecting with Gratitude
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Transcript - Connecting with Gratitude
Rich: On this episode of team building saves the world.
Chris: When I realized the dinner table had saved my life. That the opposite of addiction is not sobriety. It’s human connection. I realized it wasn’t the pasta sauce doing the heavy lifting. We don’t make the change. We want to see in the world without there being a catastrophe to spark that action, right?
The only .002% of people. Who reported some sort of negative emotion on upon acts? It felt guilt, shame, regret. How did I not thank someone sooner? Ah, okay. And I knew that’s what the world, especially in team-building is craving.
Rich: Hello team. It’s me, your old friend, Rich Rininsland host of team building saves the world. The show where I speak to the leaders and innovators of the team building industry from all across the globe, trying to find out what about that industry is so important, especially in the world of today. And today we’re talking about gratitude with a founding member of the rolling stone culture council. And bestselling author, Chris Schembra but first I need to send some thanks to my supporters out there at team bonding. If your team is ready to learn about teamwork, through the power of play, to visit team bonding.com to learn more and now team join me in welcoming the author of gratitude and pasta, the secret sauce for human connection. Chris Schembra. All that applause is coming from a small group of people trapped under my desk, Chris, but they’re happy to be there. How are you? My friend? Welcome.
Chris: Uh, thanks for having me, you know, it was so interesting. The moment that you started talking about team building, I looked up in the upper right hand corner of the zoom screen and I saw my company’s name as the numerical ticker. Of the time, you know, our company is called 747 and right, when you, right, when you said team building, I looked up and saw 747 on the recording thing. And I said, I, this is exactly where I need to be this morning to thanks for having me.
Rich: Excellent. Thank you. So let’s start off, right? Like at the beginning, tell my audience a little bit about yourself.
Who is Chris Schembra brought and how did you get into the world of team building?
Chris: Yeah, you know, I am a lonely. Oftentimes overwhelmed, unfulfilled, disconnected, somewhat miserable guy.
Chris: But that’s all right. Cause most of us are. And if anybody’s telling you opposite, They’re calling bullshit people these days, 51% of the American workforce report being lonely in a consistent basis as equivalent to the reduction of lifespan and smoking 15 cigarettes a day, seven years off your life.
We have a whole nation of people who put filters on their photos when they already look cool, their mommies and daddies have been telling them they’re special all their life. We’re a nation of softies and that’s me. That’s what helps us connect. To tell this story. My story with gratitude started about six years ago.
It was July of 2015. If you looked at my life, then maybe it wouldn’t look too dissimilar to the folks watching this today, I was in a different career path that was running a great company. It was traveling around the world, producing Broadway plays, and I was having a heck of a good time. Right. Life look really good on paper.
We had achieved some, some accolades and respect of our peers had a nice group of friends. That’s a perfect life. Right?
Chris: Not so much. It was after coming back from producing a Broadway play in Italy, that when I got back to New York city realized this ain’t it. I was lonely, unfulfilled, disconnected, and secure.
The last time I had felt those things all at once was in my early twenties. Well, I mean down a deep dark path of suicide, depression, jail. Rehab, and I didn’t want to go back. So I thought, what was it about Italy actually? What was it about it that saved my life? Was it the way they walked? The way they talk, the way they drove, the way they smoked, what was it?
Well, it was food. And so back home in my kitchen, in New York city, I thought I’d replicate what I felt. In Rome. And I started playing around with different recipes, accidentally created a pasta sauce recipe and figured I should probably feed it to people to see if it was good or not. Good. And a ritual began night after night, week after week, month after month, we started gathering people and I fell in love with the joy of inviting people over working together to create the meal, having some pretty good conversations, everybody crying and liking my sauce.
And you know, the rest is history. We’ve used the dinner table to spark over 500,000 relationships. In the last five years, but upon further inspection, when I realized the dinner table had saved my life, that the opposite of addiction is not sobriety. It’s human connection. I realized it wasn’t the pasta sauce doing the heavy lifting.
It’s what we talked about at every meal. And that was a simple question. If you could give credit or thanks to one person in your life that you don’t get enough credit or thanks to who would that be? Who have you never thought to thank? And we realized. That’s what we would dedicate the rest of our life to.
And that’s how we got our start.
Rich: So what did you wind up doing and how do you start that journey going from the realization to where you are now?
Chris: Great question. It took some time. Sure. But, but we, we kept the focus on getting better and better and better at our craft, so that hopefully one day we could wake up and be one of the best in the world at what we do.
And that craftsman approach. That mono-tasking singular focus, aim, small miss small focus equals growth approach allowed us to dedicate our time effort, energy network, emotional capital to this craft and iterate. We didn’t have to worry about what it was going to look like. We just listened to the needs of the people.
We were serving, built a model based on that and just kept doing it. And pretty soon we got good enough to our companies were calling us and, uh, we started working with them pretty much on, on two different things, team building, and to help them produce experiences. That, you know, brought together their external relationships.
So let’s say you’re, you know, your business a lot of time revolves on word of mouth and referrals and that type of partner marketing. We can help them do that as well as team building. And so whether it’s now producing experiences for 20 people or 45,000 people, we figured out a good little system. To make people connect in really meaningful ways.
Rich: So this whole thing started out with target, correct me if I’m wrong, but this whole thing has literally started out with people coming to your home.
Rich: And sitting around the dinner table.
Chris: Yeah. And, and, you know, in the early days it was our, it was our MVP. It was our minimum viable product. It was hosted dinner in our home for free.
Everybody brings a bottle of wine. The rule is the first time he come, he come alone. The second time you come and bring a friend. And after that, you’re eligible to nominate someone in our, our network was growing rapidly with diversity and a lot of stuff was just flowing around. When he focused on creating an experience that people want to talk about.
You don’t have to worry about people knowing you you’ve just made yourself worth knowing. And that’s all we focused in on. And I learned that from my grandfather, my grandfather immigrated. To this country and August 2nd, 1916. And he became a butcher is from Sicily and became a butcher in Newark, New Jersey.
And he would end up retiring down to, um, down at our beach house. Now in Hilton head Island, South Carolina, he would end up retiring down to Hilton head Island and he got so bored in retirement that he went back to work. The butcher, uh, as a butcher in the local, you know, a BI-LO local Harris Teeter and years later, as I was being interviewed for one of my first jobs, it was for a restaurant and I was sitting with the executive chef, Mr. Lee, and here he was this big native Islander. Who’s just peppering me on why I’d like to to work in the restaurant industry. And over his shoulder, I saw a photograph of him and my grandfather said, Mr. Lee, why do you have a photograph of my grandfather? He said, I apprenticed under him at the local butcher shop and learn more about life watching the way that man cut meat.
Than I ever did before in my life. And I knew that was my grandfather’s legacy. And I knew that’s what the world, especially in team-building is craving is people who come in with a craft, with an art, with a commitment to excellence, right? Every company, these days is pretty much geared towards how do we get it faster, bigger, cheaper with better profits.
Right? And a lot of times. We go for quantity over quality, but in order to build good teams, teams that bond at the basics of what they do you need quality, you need craftsmanship, and that’s what team bonding.com brings to the world. It’s such an honor to learn that from you guys.
Rich: Let’s talk about it because as I’m going to give love to my, to my company, uh, the company that I’m up and happy to be a part of, uh, in just a bit, but I want to talk about you and.
Your philosophy. What is first of what is 747? Let’s start there.
Chris: So the, the actual physical answer of why, why is our company three, three numbers? Sure. At that very first dinner in July 15, 2015, I told people to come over at 6:30 PM. Now I’m a Vince Lombardi guy. If you’re not 15 minutes early, you’re late.
So I said 6:30 PM. Sharp. Bring your own bottle of wine. That’s the price of admission at the time. And I want dinner served at eight because I don’t know it was 8:00 PM. Oh, no. A little bit of a lazy guy. And so at 7:47 PM, I delegate the 11 specific tasks empowering the attendees to work together, to create the meal.
Cause pasta takes 13 minutes to cook al dente
Chris: And that was it. And, and because I’m such a simple guy, we just kept the name. We just kept doing it the same way we did it. The first time. When you focus on the experience you’re providing and you change as little of the details as possible, you really get to iterate and focus.
And perfect and change and learn and listen that way we didn’t do 20 different types of experiences. We just did one and got really good at it.
Rich: What is that experience? What did it look like? Because my, most of my listeners have no idea what any of this really is about.
Chris: You know, it’s, um, in life we’re used to having things easily accessible, you know, knowledge is easily accessible by Google.
Rich: We carry computers around in our pockets.
Chris: Sure. So, so a lot of things are easily accessible. A lot of powerful people just have things handed to them. Hmm, right. They’ve got teams taking care of their, every whim they’re walking around the world. Every, everybody wants something from them. There’s a persona that is walking around this world.
Like I’m special. I deserve all of this. The world needs to give me that. And here we go. You know, we think that being a taker is how you get successful. We think that all these things, that’s a common core persona. And so what we aim to do at these experiences is the polar opposite. There is no free lunch.
Chris: You are going to develop the mentality of serving your peers, developing a posture of otherness, a posture of humility. I’m going to give you the biggest person in the room. The most menial task. Right. And so you’re lowering, you’re leveling out the hierarchy. You’re putting people on the same page and then you’re giving them sweat equity ownership and the experience.
And so our experience quite literally, I mean, in person, it’s everybody working together to create the meal. And so that shared group experience bonds, the people in order to prepare. For us to sit down for dinner and have some really, really engaging thought provoking conversations, right? Virtually there’s not any of that.
Virtually we rely on the, on the principles of mindfulness and gratitude to get us into that depth. I mean when, when we made the pivot to virtual, we actually removed the dinner table and remove pasta sauce from the experience because we realized gratitude can scale even better. And so now our experiences don’t have to do around food.
Now it’s around gratitude as a thought leadership.
Rich: Hold on one second there, if you don’t mind, I do need to step away for a brief second,
because I want to tell my fans out there about a company I’m very grateful to work for team bonding. Team bonding was founded over 20 years ago with one simple question. How can employees have a great time while fostering strong, authentic bonds between people who work together? They’ve created a catalog of innovative events using the power of play as a learning tool and tapping into the correlation of work and play.
From scavenger hunts to jeopardy and so much more the team bonding of activities live virtual and hybrid maximizes the impact of team building with an accent on fun. Visit team bonding.com to schedule your event now, team bonding. When you want seriously fun results
and back with the, the master of all things. Gratitude, Mr. Chris, Schembra. So let’s get back to it, Chris. Um, when did you have to do that pivot? And when did you realize that going to virtual was the next step?
Chris: Let me Paint a picture please? 2019 was a heck of a year for us. We were traveling around producing all these experiences, staying busy charging, top dollars meeting, great clients, evidence.
Good time. Nice. And so we decided we’d write a book about it. We decided we give out the playbook of what we do. Okay. Booklet and end up becoming gratitude and pasta, the secret sauce for human connection. That Forbes ranked as the number two book of the year to create human connection. It’s been a great thing to be a part of.
And so it was supposed to launch or launched April seven, 20, 20. Right. And so in preparation at the beginning of 2020, I said, you know what. Before we go into book launch mode, let me go over to Italy and show Italy. What we’ve just made because of her Italy was I just gotten back from Italy. That’s when I found the pasta sauce, that’s where it all began.
Nice, lonely, unfulfilled, disconnected, insecure. So I grabbed my book and I grabbed my dad and we sailed off to Europe. And as we’re floating around Italy, having the time of our lives, all of a sudden we start seeing in the news that the enemy. Is coming winter is here. Okay. The virus was in the North of Italy, shutting down Milan, and we’re just around the corner in Modena and Bologna .
We were with Masimo Tura and Oh, study of Francescana. And we were traveling around having all these great times. And so. We hightailed our way back from Europe, went into our own lockdown. Our self-induced lockdown, right. Got out of locked down enough to produce one last in-person dinner on Thursday, March 12th, 2020 with our dear friends.
Ryan ser ham star of Bravo’s million dollar listing. He had 20 people coming in from all over the world. I think they paid about five K each come to that dinner. And I don’t know how nobody got sick because people were coming from China, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, you name it. They were coming from there for this dinner.
I don’t know how nobody got sick, but then the next day, March 13, 2020 dooms day, New York city. Full lockdown. And so from there, I felt the same way that I felt in July of 2015, lonely unfulfilled, disconnected insecure. Oh my gosh, we’re in it again. Right, right. But this time other people were feeling it as well.
So I had no choice rich. I had to be there of and for the people. Okay. And so starting. March 19th, six days later, we started hosting a virtual gratitude experience every single night of the week for free for our community. 50 to a hundred people would come every night, craving this type of connection. And we ended up inventing a model.
I’m an old theater guy. So I talk about it. Like it’s a one man show. It’s a three-act 90 minute experience. The first act is just getting people to come into the present. Let’s acknowledge that we’re feeling a certain way and let’s talk about it. The second act is diving into the past using gratitude.
That gratitude question. Well, if you never thought to thank, and the third act is looking into the future and really building community around strong values and bonds and all that stuff. And that’s a 30,000 foot overview, but there’s a lot of stuff that goes into it. And so I realized that the world needed this type of connection.
More than ever before. And so we just stepped into that light and eventually we got so good at what we did. Big companies started going again and it’s like a rebirth again. And our company grew by 44% last year and I didn’t have to leave my home. Oh, rich. I kid you not. It’s such a blessing is that we were able to.
Oh, we, we listen to feedback. We listen to criticism. We put out our MVP early. I mean the March, the March 19th first dinner was actually a crappy experience. Oh, it was good for them, but it was a cry. It wasn’t aligned March 26th. We waited a full week and between our first and second, and then it became every night, March 26th, we’re off to the races.
And what we found is that we have a 99.998% success rate, getting people through a positive, emotional transformation within this 90 minute positive psychology, micro intervention. So they come in, quantifiably people come in feeling pretty bad. The world is in a state of shock. Hmm. And so we take those moral barometers and we compare them with how they feel when they’re leaving and it’s night and day, right?
The only 0.002% of people who reported some sort of negative emotion upon exit felt, guilt, shame, regret. How did I not thank someone sooner?
Rich: Ah, okay.
Chris: But just that acknowledgement of that negative motion helps you process. And form a positive. So guilt shame, regret turns into positive action. So technically we have a hundred percent success rate.
Rich: Nice, good way to look at it. Yeah. So let’s talk about gratitude itself. You get a bunch of people on you, whether it’s a corporation or just what, from the sounds of it, uh, just random people. Want to come on a
Chris: I mean they started off, you know, week. If we’re going to sell to companies, the idea of companies bringing their communities together, whether it’s internal teams or external partners, we should, we should probably do that ourselves as well to invest in our community.
So, so every month now we get to host. I mean, actually one is tonight. Not that that’s going out. In time for, you know, to talk about that, but we’ve got 120 people from our community coming tonight, just friends and family, that’s it. And so we’ve got repeat people and we’ve got people who want to come, you know, cause they’ve been nominated, but that’s where all the word of mouth referrals, you know, we, we get talked about a lot within friend groups, you know, when you, when you create an experience that.
It helps shift someone’s life. They’re going to talk about that. And if you just keep doing that, that’s how you’ll grow. So we grow.
Rich: Okay. But I want to talk about the, the idea of gratitude itself, because I have personally been a part of the, you know, workaday culture. I’ve been an actor since I was 25, which means that I have had every job there is imaginable.
You can have to support your career. I’ve been involved in the corporate world and. You know, if you think about gratitude in that corporate setting, nine times out of 10, unless it was a job that I really enjoyed or people that I really enjoy working with, the only thing of gratitude you can possibly ask for is I’m thankful I have a paycheck.
So how do you entice people into saying there’s more to look at than
Chris: Totally great example, to answer that direct thing. And then I’ll go back to the two, the two ways that I think people have gratitude wrong. The first way to answer that thing is most people are in the habit of giving gratitude to broad things.
I’m grateful for my health. I’m grateful for the sunshine. I’m grateful for my family. No, no, no, no. You must scale down gratitude and make it measurable. Hmm. Okay. If an experience happens in your life, okay, I’ll give you an example. If someone says I’m grateful for my health, right? You can’t measure that.
If you say I’m grateful for my friends, Sam who turned me on to this new diet book, which taught me how to juice my fruits in the morning, and it helped me lose 13 pounds. I’m grateful for Sam for doing that. Okay. That’s, that’s a measurable micro gratitude that if you find those small little things to give gratitude on a habitual reoccurring basis, those add up to broad life changes.
Hmm. So gratitude is often thought about as something you just do alone. Right? Right. Most people have heard of like your gratitude journal. Yeah. Well, I won’t curse on this podcast, but Rich, screw your gratitude journal. Okay. Here’s why not really, but here’s why, because people think that’s all gratitude is right, but that.
Is a thing you do by yourself that you store away in your dresser and you hardly ever look at it again, rotations gratitude is meant to be pro-social okay. Gratitude is meant to be shared with others. And when you just scribble in a gratitude journal and stored away in a drawer, only you are getting that benefit.
And so if you take this, for instance, this gratitude question that we ask, if you could give credit or thanks to one person in life that you don’t give enough credit or thanks to who would that be? Right. You could do one of two things. Either answer that yourself, write down that person’s name and go thank them.
Or if they’re dead, you can’t thank them. You can pay that benefit forward. But what we do at these experiences is we get people to practice that gratitude in small group setting. Science calls it witnessing theory. We call it observational gratitude. For instance, I’ll give an example. My friend, Diane, Elaine Miller comes from Tom mill culture of South India.
Okay. In her culture, there’s no word for gratitude. There are only honorific titles, the lowering and averting of the eyes, the kissing of the feet, the bestowing of titles. Actually, there’s a, there’s a word. If you don’t have gratitude, it’s called your gratitude’s lacking dog. . But in her, in her culture, she goes to a wedding.
She bends down and kisses. The feet of her grandma, mother. Now the people around her cry watching her express that gratitude. Hmm. They’re not doing the gratitude. She is there observing that’s called witnessing theory. So gratitude has this effect in a pro-social manner in community. Most people don’t think of it that way.
Most people just do it in a gratitude journal and stored away right here. Here’s the second thing that I have a problem with, you know, gratitude is the acknowledgement that you’ve received, some kind of benefit or value from others. Most people think about just the positive benefits.
Chris: No, it goes the other way as well. Yeah. Yeah. When you give grants to, to a positive autobiographical memory in your life that had some type of positive emotion. Cool. Let’s keep doing that. But you can also to the opposite, the grateful processing of unpleasant memories from your past. Help you de-stigmatize the impact that negative emotion has over you rewire the brain and broadens and builds your thought action.
Repertoire needed for positive app factor. You’re talking hope pride, optimism. Self-confidence self-efficacy. This is resilience. This is purpose. This is the ability to carry forth. So. If you’re talking about within a corporate culture, for instance, don’t just be grateful for a pay check. Be grateful that you got to watch some bad boss, be an egomaniac for four years, and you learned what you didn’t want to be when you grew up as a leader.
Rich: I’m glad that you brought that up. When we were doing it. When team bonding actually had you host us. For one of your virtual events and you sent us, you asked the same question named someone from the past. You’ve never expressed gratitude before and think about why you would, and then sent us into our breakout rooms of the three people I was with.
One was very quick to say, I’m grateful for an old teacher who taught me this. And this was exactly, you know, this is, I wish I could say to them now how grateful I was for the lessons they gave me. But two of us were like, Well, these horrible things happen to us. And we had had to learn how to overcome terrible, terrible things and how those made us, the people that we are today without those happening, we wouldn’t be the same people.
Chris: Be grateful for those tough times. Marcus Aurelius, the emperor of Rome from one 68 D to one 81, a, it was some dude from 2000 years ago once said the impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way those hard times you can celebrate, learn from. And carry on. I’ll give you an example.
Thomas Edison, on December 10th, 1914 was just, he was having dinner in West orange, New Jersey. At the time he was Thomas Edison. He was making a million bucks a year. He was having a good time. He was changing the world. Cool. His son comes in and says, Charles comes in and says, Daddy, daddy. He got to come quick.
All your buildings are burning down. Hurry, hurry. Mm. And Thomas slowly, Mr. Edison slowly goes over to his factories. There’s six to eight different fire departments that are like putting out this blaze. And he, and he just looks at the fire and he looks at his son and says, go get your mom and all her friends.
They’re not to want to miss this. You’ll never see a fire like this again in your life. So we made a spectacle of it and he didn’t go into blaming. He didn’t go into anger. He didn’t go into depression. He rebuilt starting the next day, estimates would show he lost about $990,000 that night, half of his inventions were destroyed.
Half of his blueprints and patents. This is pretty pretty setback stuff for an inventor, right? Yeah. Well that year he would go on and make $10 million. And he would make $10 million a year for the rest of his life. So he actually 10x’ed output. There’s a line in one of our plays, a play about Fiorello LaGuardia one man show about Fiorello LaGuardia, the former mayor of New York city, LaGuardia airport.
He was a real dude, LaGuardia seven term congressmen three-term mayor. And we say in the play from hardship and hard work, the creativity grows and flourishes. See, we’re so soft as human beings. We don’t make the change we want to see in the world without. There being a catastrophe to spark that action and gratitude inspires further action.
What you can do is not have to wait for life debilitating trauma to create action, to develop wisdom. You can use gratitude to hack that space, time continuum. So you’re talking about just in your group, you had someone, I wish they could thank that teacher. But now it’s too late. Sure. All right. So the good news is gratitude.
Isn’t just about paying it back. Gratitude’s also about paying it forward. So you can, you can use gratitude to pay for benefits that you’ve been bestowed by others. Um, but look gratitude when you develop a daily habit. A daily practice when you practice it in community, you don’t have to wait until you’re 60 years old to look back at your third grade teacher and say, God, I’m now just realizing in hindsight, because of all this time and distance.
What they meant to me, you can hack that. You can do it now, right. It’s never too late to start.
Rich: Right. Okay. So let’s look at this from the, the corporate standpoint. Again, if we can get it back in that direction, let us say that I’m looking for something to offer to my employees or, or even to, cause I understand you also do this for like companies who are looking to come to connect better with clients.
Um, how do you convince someone who just sees this as yet another method of touchy, feely, you know, you know, emotionally driven as opposed to what what’s the goal that you set for them? Or that they think that you’ll be able to get them to
Chris: great question. Rich, I’m going to sound like an asshole for saying it by all means.
I don’t convince nobody. I used to run around all my life, trying to impress others, trying to appease and please others. Okay. But we are so good at what we do. And we are so in demand and we are so loving life. We just wait for it to come our way. Okay. We do, we do good, hard work. And so why I say that is assholes.
Need not apply?
No. What what’s happening is. You know, everybody’s got that bad boss. Everybody’s got that disconnected team. Everybody’s realizing that people are missing massive amounts of productivity by not being actually connected. There is fear when you don’t connect with your team on a frequent basis, you develop a fear of speaking up.
You develop, not a psychological safety needed for creativity and innovation in order for a company to grow, you have to have the self-confidence knowing there’s someone on your team. That’s not going to laugh at you. If you raise your hand and say, what if we did it this way? And so gratitude creates that psychological trust and safety.
It creates those emotional attachments needed to support innovation and creativity, you know, in, in life, people have a habit of. Kissing up and kicking down leaders, especially they step over people and kiss the ass and the people whose job they want. Well, we believe in the polar opposite. We believe that he gotta take care of and kiss the people beneath you in order to rise together, right.
Rising tides, lift all boats. And so the opposite of having a culture that’s driven by ego and narcissism. That’s got a whole group of leaders that pretend they got the right answer all the time. The opposite of that. Yeah. Is gratitude. Gratitude helps create a posture of openness. It helps when you acknowledge that you’re not a self-made person, that other people in your team helped you get to where you are today, that there is benefits and value you’ve received of others.
That’s pretty humble. Humility. Isn’t thinking less of yourself. It’s just thinking about yourself less. Nice. And so when you can develop that posture to listen to the feelings and perspectives of others, that’s empathy, gratitude helps develop that. And so companies are really struggling with that. You know, when, when you go through trying times leadership thinks they have all the right answers.
And so they’re just pushing content and they’re pushing directives out to their team without taking the time to listen to how they’re actually doing. See gratitude is the link to get us into the past. Here’s what’s happening with people these days, employees are so uncertain of what tomorrow will bring companies.
The future has never looked so unpromised, and that is a period of anxiety. That is a period of stress, nervousness overwhelm, and that’s where people live. What’s going to happen to me tomorrow. And so gratitude is that pause. To reflect back in the past, which is a safe space. It’s calming. It’s relaxing.
It’s already happened. Yeah, no, I made it
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Trauma and stress doesn’t occur from the actual event itself. It comes from your response to the event and the only difference between post traumatic stress and post traumatic growth is gratitude. And perspective, it’s not seeing failure or adversity or setbacks as a loss it’s seen as a learning opportunity.
And when you can champion that and you can create that psychological safety, that is what will set up further inspired, social change within your organization.
Rich: Fantastic. Let me ask you one last question here, Chris. Let’s look at it from the other end of the spectrum. Then say that I am an employee who thinks that I am never going to get a chance, you know, listening to this podcast.
This is not the kind of thing that I’m ever going to get a chance to come on and listen to, or to work with. What would you recommend for that one person who is just hearing you now to help get them
through that day?
Chris: exercise? Okay. Number one, sit down and honestly, write down. What’s one word that honestly describes how you feel right now in the moment.
Okay. You could feel lonely, you could feel tired, you could feel nervous, cautious, anxious, overwhelmed, or maybe you feel hopeful, optimistic, write down why you feel that way. Write it down. Okay. Maybe turn to one other person, whether it’s at your office, whether it’s at home, whether it’s with your neighbor and ask them to do the same.
Once they’ve written down their thing. Ask them. What was your one word and why do you feel that way? And if you all have a chat for 10 minutes, maximum 10 minutes on what each other’s one word is and why you feel that way you will have just successfully come into the present. That’s important because in the world of positive psychology, there’s only two things that have a lasting impact after a positive psychology, micro intervention, mindfulness, you just did and gratitude we’re going to do next.
So number two, Sit there with this question. If you could give creditor thanks to one person in your life that you don’t give enough credit or thanks to who would that be? Write their name down on a piece of paper, set a five minute timer and just start writing. I don’t care what comes up. What’s their legacy.
What’s the hardest thing they ever got through. What did they mean to you? Where are they now? What do you wish you could say to them? Anything like that? And find other people to do that with whether they’re in your home, whether your company and spend 15 minutes talking about that around the horn. And then the last thing you do is write down five to seven values that the person you just gave credit and thanks to stand for.
Literally spend 60 seconds writing down five to seven values. And if you can look at those set of values and you can somehow align those values into a story from your life, you’ll have just connect those dots, see legacy. Isn’t just the transfer of money from one generation to the next it’s the transfer of wisdom and values.
And so if you can carry forth. Those people’s stories into your life today, you’ve just closed the gap. Stanford university did a 44 page research study, sociological research study called the strength of weak ties. Advocating that vital information is best passed through a social network through a weak tie.
If you want to communicate to others, what you believe in every day. Don’t share your story, share the stories of others. That’s the posture of otherness that humility and servant leadership that we’re talking about needed for connection and growth. And so if you have done all of that thing, you will be able to realize.
There are other people in this world to believe in the same things you believe in, and you will feel that much more humanly connected, but I encourage you to do it in a group of two or a group of three with others so that you can practice the pro-social benefits. Nice.
Rich: Thank you so very much, Chris. I mean, I truly enjoyed when we took part of your, of your gratitude program, it really is. Not the usual gameplay that we expect from a team building event. It really is a moment of absolute connectivity between the people that you work with. Some people I even in my own company, which is a very, a very small social group. Some I knew some, I didn’t know. And I got a chance to know the people I did know better and the people I didn’t know as least somewhat.
So thank you. Not only for that, but thank you for being here on the podcast. I hope you’ll stay with me here, uh, because there’s something I didn’t actually warn you about, which I normally do, but I do want to see how well you do on my speed.
so my speed round is. Kind of a play on one of the old team bonding games that I run where, um, I just want to see if you can give me short, quick answers. And the objective here is in 60 seconds. Let’s see how many questions you can actually give me honest answers too. Okay, perfect. It’s just a fun little quick little game.
And when the music starts again, I’m going to start asking you questions. You just give me the shortest sweetest answers you possibly can. And let’s see how many you get. If you are competitive at all, the number to beat from last season was 13. This season it’s 10. So let’s see where you sit. Okay. What’s your name,
Rich: Which of your friends are you proudest of
Rich: Name one thing you learned from kindergarten that used to remember
Chris: the color blue.
Rich: If you could be invisible for one day, what would you do?
Chris: Walk around Italy.
Rich: Name three favorites. Vacation places,
Chris: Italy, France, Spain.
Rich: Nice. Uh, if you could live in any TV home, what would it be?
Rich: Excellent. What’s your favorite ice cream flavor ?
Chris: Cookie Dough.
Rich: Now, would you rather live in the past or the future?
Rich: what’s your most embarrassing childhood memory
Chris: crying all the time.
Rich: What is your favorite holiday?
Rich: If you could eat only one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Chris: Ice cream.
Rich: And what’s one choice you regret.
Oh, uh, you know what? Okay, that’s fine. That
was actually excellent, man. You gave me 11.
Well done. Very thoughtful, very in the moment. Very short, sweet answers, Chris Schembra. Congratulations. And ladies and gentlemen, my team out there, please give a big round of applause. Once again, to my guests,Chris Schembra.
Chris, would you like to, uh, tell us. Anyone out there where they can find you either on social media or where they can find seven 47.
Chris: Yeah. You know, if, if, if you’ve been listening to this and you’re feeling some of those similar ways that I felt in July of 2015, coming back from Italy, feeling lonely, unfulfilled, disconnected, insecure reach out.
Find me on LinkedIn. Chris email us [email protected]. As I mentioned, we’re always hosting free. Community experiences once a month, if you’d like to join as our guest, just reach out and we’ll welcome you with open arms. Check us out on the team. bonding.com website. Our profile is up there.
We’ve been helping some wonderful companies through this partnership, and we look forward to serving you and your team.
Rich: And of course anybody out there who might be feeling suicidal or feeling like they’re in need of help, please do reach out and find that you can go to suicide prevention hotline at suicide prevention, lifeline.org, or pick up a phone and dial +1 800-273-8255.
Please reach out. Find someone to help you at least get them this day and the next. And thank you everyone out there. Hey, my team. That’s it. Once again, we’ve gotten to another episode of team building saves the world, and I would like to thank my guest, Chris Schembra and each and every one of you. I cannot tell you a team how grateful I am for all of you.
Thanks for being a part of this. And of course, a special thanks to my team out there and team bonding.com. You can find out all about this podcast, listen to it. And other podcasts episodes on team bonding.com/podcast, as well as on Apple podcast, Spotify, or wherever you find your favorite podcast, please feel.
And to follow along in our social media, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, we are everywhere on the worldwide web. You can find it’s a team bond podcast there. So for me and everyone at team building saves the world to all of you out there. Never forget it. You go forth in your day, how special you are, not only to yourself, but to me, I am always on your team.
And now you’re always one of mine have a great day team and I’ll see you all next time.
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May 18, 2021
Rich introduces us to Chris Schembra, Founder of the Gratitude Experience – An Attitude for Gratitude, bestselling Author of “Gratitude and Pasta: The Secret Sauce for Human Connection”, and Founding Member of Rolling Stone Magazine’s Culture Council.
Chris believes in building a foundation of gratitude and positivity to strengthen client and team relationships in profound ways. Sharing his personal story of depression, suicide, and addiction, Chris discusses the impact of gratitude and connection, how they work hand in hand to create psychological trust and safety. He states “There is fear when you don’t connect with your team on a frequent basis, you develop a fear of speaking up.” Especially with teams working from home, he realized that individuals are missing massive amounts of productivity by not being actually connected.
Listen to this latest episode with the Gratitude Guru, and how best to develop healthy relationships within your team, and help your company thrive.
" Humility. Isn't thinking less of yourself. It's just thinking about yourself less. And so when you can develop that posture to listen to the feelings and perspectives of others, that's empathy, gratitude helps develop that."- Chris Schembra
Season 4 | Episode 20
Lisa Nordquist’s Proven Strategies To Transform Your Organization. On this episode of Team Building Saves the World we wrap up Season 4 with leadership expert Lisa Nordquist. Join us as we explore practical insights, success stories, and actionable strategies for effective leadership, employee engagement, and organizational change. Listen as we uncover the keys to putting theories into practice, as Lisa shares her invaluable experiences and innovative approaches, guiding listeners towards a transformative journey in pursuit of organizational excellence. You don’t want to miss this one.
Season 4 | Episode 19
On this episode of Team Building Saves the World we dove into the distinction between corporate social responsibility and regular charitable team building events with our CSR Creative Director Baylee Goldstein. The holiday season is a perfect time to bring your team closer together. Join us as we explore creative holiday giving ideas that not only foster camaraderie but also benefit those in need. We’ll provide ways your team can give back year-round and how to make a lasting impact this holiday season while improving employee engagement & company culture.
Season 4 | Episode 18
In this episode of Team Building Saves the World, we delve into the concept of Team MOJO with Diane Egbers—how to cultivate it and sustain the vital synergy that leads to exceptional productivity and performance in organizations. We explore the key ingredients for building Team MOJO, the role of emotional intelligence, strategies for adapting to changing team dynamics, and its connection to mental health and inclusion in the workplace. Be sure to listen to gain insights and practical advice from Diane in improving team synergy, leadership development, and executive coaching.
Season 4 | Episode 17
Mistakes, failures, errors, blunders, and mishaps. Are you feeling uncomfortable yet? No one is perfect, but we all hope for a perfect performance at work. Guess what? It’s not going to happen! In this episode of Team Building Saves the World, we dive deep into the world of workplace culture with company culture expert Chris Dyer. Discover why avoiding mistakes may hinder your organization’s growth, and learn how embracing failure can be a catalyst for innovation. Chris shares practical examples of how cultivating a culture that welcomes risk-taking and learning from failures can lead to colossal business success. We also explore strategies for effective team building and employee engagement, making this episode a valuable resource for leaders and individuals aiming to thrive in today’s evolving business landscape.
Season 4 | Episode 16
Regular corporate training can be blah. In this episode, we explore innovative corporate training approaches that go beyond traditional methods with Jayne Hannah and Amy Angelili. They discuss transformative programs like Laughter Yoga and how they can aid in motivating your team, reshape work culture, enhance teamwork, and inspire personal growth. Join us as we champion a new era of engaging corporate training that sparks lasting change.
Season 4 | Episode 15
An employee listening strategy is more than just a survey. It’s a process—asking employees for feedback, understanding and analyzing their perspectives, and taking meaningful action to improve employee experience and engagement. A survey alone does not improve engagement. Listen as Shane McFeely, Ph.D. speaks with Rich about what research shows employees want from their organizations when it comes to employee surveys and what organizations can do to create and improve upon their employee listening strategy. Don’t miss this episode packed with practical tips for crafting a more engaged and empowered workforce.
Season 4 | Episode 14
In this episode of Team Building Saves the World, we explored how storytelling can be a way to engage, motivate, and inspire productivity in employees, leaders, and companies with expert Karen Eber. Rich and Karen discuss the importance of storytelling in building a sense of purpose and psychological safety, fostering communication, reinforcing company values, and helping to create a positive workplace culture.
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