Difficult Conversations Podcast
Lessons I Learned as an ICU Physician
Episode 107 | September 1, 2020
Leading with the HEART
Chief Heart Officer - VaynerMedia
Welcome to the Difficult Conversations Podcast with Dr. Anthony Orsini. Our special guest is Claude Silver who is the Chief Heart Officer at the mega digital agency, VaynerMedia. Claude is known for taking a particularly human approach to human resources, unlocking employee potential, performing close person to person connections, fostering an inclusive culture, empowering purpose driven teams, and inspiring the entire organization. Her success is driven by a passion for creating spaces in which people can succeed. Dr. Orsini keeps his promise about two things: that you will be inspired, and you will learn communication techniques that will help you in your professional and personal lives.
Claude tells us about herself and how she and the CEO of VaynerMedia, Gary Vaynerchuk, created the incredible title of Chief Heart Officer. She talks about that traditionally people see leadership as an authoritative role and why viewing leadership differently has led to the success of VaynerMedia. Dr. Orsini makes a point to say that every human being has compassion or empathy, but sometimes the rigors of everyday life can get to you and we forget to express that empathy. Is this what happened in business and now we’re recovering? Claude has a great story to tell about this. Claude tells us how she has been able to keep the pulse going at VaynerMedia, despite the challenges of Covid-19 forcing many people to work from home. We find out what she sees as the most difficult conversation she has with her employees and how she teaches her managers to give good feedback. Dr. Orsini shares a great story about one particular doctor who was not very pleasant to his patients and what the incredible outcome was after just one hour of training with The Orsini Way. Claude shares with us advice on what kind of conversations HR people can have in terrible situations such as employees dying from COVID. Having difficult conversations with your boss is also discussed, because even though you can both get along so well, sometimes you don’t always agree on the same things. Claude gives advice to young millennials and Gen Z people on how to speak to your boss about moving up and taking on more responsibility. We learn about the one person in Claude’s life who had the most influence on her, and it is so sweet! We end with this advice from Dr. Orsini, “There is commonality in everyone. No matter who you are, there is something we have in common.” If you enjoyed this episode, please hit the subscribe button to find out more about what we do and how we teach communication. Go ahead and download this episode now!
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Claude Silver (2s):
You know, just reminding myself that we’re all in this together. We are all humans. We are all going through
something before you enter that door. Or before you turn on that zoom, you have had a life, you know, you
have to homeschool your kids right now. You have to get lunch ready. You got to take the dog out, whatever
it is. And so let’s remember that when we enter in to a conversation or when we go to work, let’s remember
that other people are doing exactly what we’re doing or waking up.
Claude Silver (35s):
We’re putting our feet on the ground. We’re having a cup of coffee and we have other things going on in our
lives. Other than just the hustle that we do at work.
Welcome to difficult conversations lessons I learned as an ICU physician with D r. Anthony Orsini. Dr. Orsini
is a practicing physician and president and CEO of the Orsini way as a frequent keynote speaker and author.
Dr. Orsini has been training healthcare professionals and business leaders. How to navigate through the
most difficult dialogues. Each week, y ou will hear inspiring interviews with experts in their field who tell their
story and provide practical advice on how to effectively communicate.
Narrater (1m 17s):
Whether you are a doctor faced with giving a patient bad news, a business leader who wants to get the most
out of his or her team members or someone who just wants to learn to communicate better, this is the
podcast for you.
Anthony Orsini (1m 30s):
Well, welcome to another episode of difficult conversations lessons I learned as an ICU physician. This is Dr.
Anthony Orsini and I’ll be your host again today. Today, my friends you are in for a special treat because
today I have the distinct honor and pleasure to interview Claude silver, who is the C hief Heart Officer at
VaynerMedia. And for those of you not familiar with VaynerMedia, VaynerMedia is a full service digital
agency serving fortune 500 companies.
Anthony Orsini (1m 57s):
Claude works alongside Gary Vaynerchuk, the CEO of VaynerMedia , who is a serial entrepreneur and
public personality. His podcast, the Gary Vee Audio E xperience is one of the most popular podcasts on
Apple for the last two years running. And I highly recommend it and I do subscribe myself as Chief H eart
Officer, Claude oversees everything at anything that has to do with the people who make up the incredible
company called Vayner media. Claude’s current role is the capstone of a career spending over 20 years at
numerous fortune 50 companies, she has known for taking a particularly human approach to human
resources, unlocking employee’s potential for forming close person to person connections, fostering an
inclusive culture, empowering purpose-driven teams and inspiring the entire organization.
Anthony Orsini (2m 44s):
Her success is driven by a passion for creating spaces in which people can succeed. So welcome Claude.
Claude Silver (2m 52s):
Wonderful to be here, Tony, thank you so very, very much. And thank you for all of the work that you’ve been
doing. Well, I have say that, although
Anthony Orsini (3m 0s):
It’s an often overused word, I really am truly honored that you are on this podcast with me. I’ve heard so
much about you and full disclosure. My daughter’s Summer works at VaynerMedia . I think it’s a little bit
more than two years now. So I know firsthand that when it comes to providing a supportive and empathetic
environment that Claude and VaynerMedia practice what they preach, my daughter loves working there and
she loves the environment that you and Gary have created. So I can attest to the audience right now that
Claude and Gary just don’t say the right things, they actually do the right things.
Anthony Orsini (3m 37s):
So please listen, because cloud’s can have a lot of great things to tell you COVID each and every week I
renewed my promise to my audience that by the end of the podcast, they’ll feel inspired and they will have
learned practical communication techniques that will help them in their private and personal lives. Especially
during those difficult times and having you on this show, I have no doubt that I’ll keep my promise. So
Claude, as you know, this is about communication and the difficult conversations that we have, but before
we get into that and go into the communication part of it, I just want them to know a little bit about you.
Anthony Orsini (4m 14s):
So tell us about who Claude Silver is, and maybe perhaps providing just a little context on the incredible title
that you have of chief heart officer.
Claude Silver (4m 25s):
Fantastic. Yes. Thank you. Thank you again, my name is Claude Silver. I am the C hief Heart Officer at
VaynerMedia and in a nutshell, Gary and I came up with the title chief heart officer for a very, very basic
reason. Human beings have hearts. Hearts are the central operating system of any human and human
beings are the central operating system of any organization. We consider people to be human and hearts,
not employees, not people that work for us.
Claude Silver (5m 2s):
We work for them. It really is a self fulfilling organism, if you will. And I got my start a long, long time ago, I
got into the digital world in 1998. I had been working towards getting my MSW. I thought that I would go
down the same path as my mom being a psychotherapist. I have a heart that wants to help. That is just the
way I was raised and the massive belief that I have that through compassion and empathy, listening, and
creating value for people that we can do just about anything.
Claude Silver (5m 37s):
So I’ve been in this world in terms of mentorship and coaching for a very long time, ran ropes courses,
outward bounds, you name it, and I’m here to hold space for people. And then to spring into action is what I
Anthony Orsini (5m 52s):
That’s fantastic. You once said, and I’m going to quote you here. ” I want to bring the human back into
human resources and humanity back into the corporate culture. I believe that everyone needs to know that
they belong. I believe in empathetic cultures and servant leadership, and I’m on a mission to create a
revolution of tenderness. We no longer need to be known as our titles. And that’s pretty important. I’ll get into
that because that’s another parallel between you and me. We are human beings. First. I’d like to know how
difficult has that been for you to do that at Vayner?
Anthony Orsini (6m 25s):
And why do you think other companies are lagging behind vain or when it comes to that?
Claude Silver (6m 29s):
Yeah. So I’ll start with the second part of the question first, which is, I believe that people see leadership as
an authoritative role. I believe people still see leadership as a title leading from an ivory tower. You work for
me. I don’t, it doesn’t really matter to me what goes on in your life other than the eight and nine hours that
you’re punching in and punching out, I report to, this is what a leader would say. I report to my shareholders,
or I have to hit my quarterly numbers so forth and so on.
Claude Silver (7m 4s):
And right then and there, it removes the entire human from the process. It’s an Excel sheet. It’s a, I need to
get from point A to B and you’re going to do that for me. So I think there’s a lot of micromanagement. I think
there’s a lot of power and control and we can get into that in my ideas of why now, the way that we do that at
VaynerMedia comes from the top. We have an incredible leader and Gary Vaynerchuk, who is not only a
CEO, he is a practitioner. He is an executioner.
Claude Silver (7m 34s):
He knows what is going on with all of the people there, with the process there, it’s amazing that someone
that is so busy can really concentrate as he calls on the sky and the dirt and the dirt, meaning like the
operations what’s going on under the hood there. So Gary is an empath. He is full of self awareness and EQ.
And if you’re going to work at VaynerMedia media and succeed, that’s the name of the game. It is very, very
rare that you will find a micromanager or a control freak there.
Claude Silver (8m 8s):
It just doesn’t work. You would be the odd man woman out. And you know, that’s not what you want to do at
Vayner. You want to be part of the collective. We are seriously a culture of we not, I. It’s something that I’m,
I’m so incredibly proud to co cultivate on a daily basis, along with everyone, including your daughter, you
know, it takes a village.
Anthony Orsini (8m 30s):
Do you think other companies are having trouble getting to where you are? Is it that they don’t want to, or
they’re just not evolved or, or, and, or maybe possibly they are, is this catching on?
Claude Silver (8m 40s):
Well, I think it’s a mixture of both. I mean, I think there’s a new Dawn right now. Now not only because we’re
in COVID and we’re really all awakening to the black lives matter movement. I mean, yes, that is incredibly
important where we are currently, but we’ve got the millennial generation with us and we’ve got generation Z
right on its tails. And these folks will not stand for the old guard. They will not stand for how it used to be with
boomers or gen Xers like myself.
Claude Silver (9m 10s):
They want to work at a place that makes them feel proud. They want to find meaning in their work. They
want to be given actionable feedback. They want growth and development. They want purpose. They want
to take part in something they don’t want to just be adjuncts. So that I think is one of the real reasons that we
do need to change to meet this incredible workforce and to retain this incredible workforce, because that’s
really key. The other thing is that as we know, you can open up any HBR article or any, you know, inc
Claude Silver (9m 45s):
There is a lot of talk about mental health right now about anxiety. This generation, or these generations are
very open about what’s going on in their worlds and what they’re dealing with. And so we need to meet them.
We need to cross the bridge and link arms with them. Now, I don’t think we have a choice. And by the way, I
wouldn’t want the choice. This is the way to be. Why wouldn’t I treat the people I work with eight, nine hours
a day, the same way I treat my friends when I go out to brunch with them or my soccer team friends, or my
aunt, my, you know, whomever like why I don’t understand.
Claude Silver (10m 22s):
I never have really understood the difference between shutting off one part of your yourself, your being to
walk into a door. And all of a sudden it was just like, you don’t have no feelings or, you know, you’re much
more of a stick figure. So anyway, long way, winded saying times have changed. The revolution is
happening. And I do know that we will continue to evolve and transform into much more empathetic cultures
Anthony Orsini (10m 52s):
So that, that leads beautifully into what I want to discuss next. And there’s so many parallels between what
you do and what I do as you know, I’m in the medicine space. Medicine’s a little bit differently in that, you
know, in the early 1900s, medicine was all about healing compassion. There wasn’t many procedures that
we had other than hold someone’s hand and say, you know, I hope you get better. But over the years, since
1912, to be exact over the years, physicians and nurses have been told not to feel.
Anthony Orsini (11m 23s):
And they’ve been told that you can be a better scientist if you’re not empathetic. And what I saw in medicine
over the last hundred years is that you see that the rigors of being efficient, the administration coming down
on physicians saying that you need to see more patients in a faster amount of time and economics of
medicine. And then being told from the beginning that you’re not supposed to feel, but it’s happened is
there’s been this major gap between the healthcare providers and the patients, and that has led to burnout.
Anthony Orsini (11m 55s):
And we were told to beginning that we wouldn’t burn out. If we didn’t feel when actually the opposite now is
coming to light. And that there’s more and more studies showing when you feel, when you show that tear,
when you show that compassion and you actually protect yourself on burnout. So I guess there’s a question
in there somewhere and what I mean by that. And so, by the way, the RC, anyway, that’s what we do. We
teach people how to reconnect. I believe that every human being has compassion or empathy, it’s there,
whether you’re a physician, a nurse, or you’re a business leader, but I think what happens is the rigors of
everyday life just kind of get to you.
Anthony Orsini (12m 31s):
And sometimes we forget. Do you think that’s what happened in business is, was the pursuit of the bottom
line and the perception that if you’re feeling and compassionate and empathetic, that you were weak, is that
how we got here in the first place? And now we’re recovering?
Claude Silver (12m 46s):
Well, I think that’s, you’ve, you’ve summed it up pretty well. For some reason, I believe probably in, after the
great depression people had to feed their families and people had to punch in and punch out. And there was
not a lot of emotion required, required. I saying in parentheses required, needed, or probably desired at the
workplace. It was a place that you were potentially moving up a ladder, but really you were bringing home
bread and butter for your family.
Claude Silver (13m 19s):
And the working world was very much still manual. We started going into our head towards the information
age and you know what, that the head right there, if you’re, you know, going in and building code or techie or
whatnot, you’re really almost decoupled from your heart. I mean, you work in this world. It’s incredibly, very
scientific and it’s very analytical and it’s very left brain. So I think what ended up happening towards, you
know, this is just a one person’s opinion, but I think at some point in the late seventies, the markets opened
up and people began to see that they could make a lot of money.
Claude Silver (13m 58s):
And I think Michael Douglas portrayed it incredibly well in wall street. That greed is good. That’s the
American way, having whatever you want when you want it and work hard, put your head down, you’ll get it,
you’ll get the boat, you’ll get the cars, whatnot. But that is so devoid of heart. That is so, I mean, put your
head down right there. There’s not like w w how about the notion of get your heart into it? So I think society
in many ways, dictated or translated to people what they needed to do if they wanted to get from a B to C,
and here we are, you know, 20, 20, 20, 20, 21 in a global pandemic where what we need to be doing, what
we are doing is putting our hearts into it, to help one another.
Claude Silver (14m 51s):
We are in this collective pandemic together, regardless of what, what, what race you are, regardless of who
you’re going to vote for. We’re all experiencing the same thing. And there’s something I think, incredibly
special and tender about this collective and this experience that we’re going through right now.
Anthony Orsini (15m 10s):
Let’s talk about the pandemic. You once said that it’s your job to keep the pulse of everybody at
VaynerMedia to know about what’s going on. I’m a big body language person. I teach a lot of body language.
70% is nonverbal of our language. I would think that that’s easier to do while you walk the floors of
VaynerMedia to look around, to see what’s going on and pick up things. But now all of a sudden everyone’s
working at home. And so how difficult has it been for you, during COVID to keep the pulse of the company?
Claude Silver (15m 39s):
It’s actually not that difficult because I’m sitting here on a screen and other people are coming on and they’re
sitting on a screen. So, I mean, there’s a real presence here. I mean, when you and I are on a screen
together right now, and we’re looking at one another, I’m not reading the magazine or I’m not looking up and
down. So I’m very focused on you. And you’re very focused on me. And I think that that’s something that by
the way, takes intention, I have to read you in a different way. I have to hear your tonality in a different way
when we’re on these zooms.
Claude Silver (16m 10s):
And we all occupy the same size square. There’s something really fascinating about that, right? It really like
it strips power and superiority and leveling just right out of the window there, because we all take up the
same amount of square. It’s, it’s fascinating. But the thing that I’ve been talking about since we entered the
pandemic in March is that there is a, an incredible awareness that we need to have as we enter someone
else’s domain. As I enter your living room, your closet, wherever it is, you’ve set up shop because, you know,
look, we’re doing what we can.
Claude Silver (16m 45s):
You’re, you know, some people are sitting in a closet, some people are working from bed and as leaders, we
need to be incredibly sensitive and aware and awake to what we are being invited into, because that’s not
the way the working world really was set up. Right. You go to an office, you all look the same for the same
cubicle. So I think there’s this extra element of a listening, making sure that everyone has an opportunity to
speak is incredibly important. That is an and I think ritual.
Claude Silver (17m 15s):
And it’s something that I’ve talked quite a bit about because as you walk around the office, as you walk
around the hospital, you’re able to say, hi, how are you? How high five, you get a coffee with someone you
check in, whatnot. You go to the bathroom, that’s three minutes of interacting with people, right? And now
you don’t have those micro breaks and you don’t have those micro moments to kind of decompress and
cognitively shut off for a second. So now what we need to do is make sure is make sure that we’re getting
those micro breaks and being able to take our mind off of the screen for little moments in time.
Claude Silver (17m 52s):
So, you know, checking in with people, making sure that you have the rituals when you get back online. No.
How are you talking about something that’s very, almost very benign just to kind of, you know, shoot the, you
know, what, for a bit to remind each other that we’re human and we’re each going through this and then get
into whatever it is you want to get into.
Anthony Orsini (18m 10s):
Great, fantastic. So let’s shift over to difficult conversations now. So what is the most difficult conversation
that you have with your employees and what advice can you give to managers? And to have those
conversations, I’m a firm believer that the difference between a manager and a leader is how they
communicate. And that the biggest problem that companies have is promoting the smartest person in the
group who can’t communicate, who doesn’t have any empathy and then can’t retain employees.
Anthony Orsini (18m 41s):
So what would you say in your every day, or even either a common communication that you do every day
that’s difficult or maybe the most difficult?
Claude Silver (18m 51s):
Yeah. That’s, I mean, it’s a great question. I think that, you know, obviously when you are terminating
someone and letting someone go, it’s a terribly challenging conversation because you are changing that
person’s life right there, you are eliminating a paycheck, potentially. However, those are not the difficult
conversations for me. In fact, when I have those conversations and the person is sitting there with me, what I
will say is this is going to be a challenge in conversation, or this will be a difficult conversation because that
is the truth.
Claude Silver (19m 24s):
So those aren’t the hard conversations. The harder conversations for me is when I have to get out of my own
way and stop chickening out. And I need to tell someone feedback and observations, and what’s really going
on, where are they not excelling? How are they misbehaving? If you will, what we need to see from them?
Performance plans. You know, those are harder for me because look, I know the minute I start that
conversation, the person is waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Claude Silver (19m 55s):
And so how am I holding that person? And how am I holding that space? Whether or not it’s on a screen or
in person so that I can really, really try to help their cortisol levels go down. So their anxiety goes down.
That’s really key. Otherwise, look, fight or flight is happening every minute of the day. If not. So the harder
conversations are more challenging for me because I have to make sure I can be honest and empathetic.
But the honest part is really, you know, I have to be crystal clear with feedback.
Claude Silver (20m 26s):
You have to be very specific with feedback because me telling you, Hey, great job. Nothing. That means
nothing me telling you it was okay. You could have done better. That means nothing, but so I have to go the
extra mile and that’s what we have to train people to do to go the extra mile of the why and how am I going
to help you get there? My book that
Anthony Orsini (20m 48s):
I just published with a few months ago, it’s called it’s all in the delivery. And that’s a quote from WC Fi elds
that old comedian, they asked him why his jokes were so funny and his, his answer was it’s all in the
delivery. And I stressed that so much during my communication training. And it sounds like you’re very aware
of that. How do you teach your managers to do that? Do you use certain exercises or how do you teach our
manager to give good feedback?
Claude Silver (21m 13s):
Well, we role play. That’s exactly how you do it. And so, you know, whether or not we’re doing improv or I’m
giving them some examples to get up on in front of the room and role, play that out with a colleague. That’s
what you have to do. And yes, it’s funny, right? It’s almost like an SNL skit, but why is it also funny is
because we also know how poor we do feedback. It we’re laughing because it’s, it’s, you know, so Kim Scott
wrote an incredible book called radical candor and radical candor is a way to critically give someone
feedback while caring about them personally.
Claude Silver (21m 47s):
And she’s got some steps that are lined out, which is, you know, being clear, being specific, being kind,
obviously being current. So don’t give me feedback from something I did three months ago, or even three
weeks ago and actionable. And we use those principles to really train people on feedback. I call it feedback
training one Oh one, and we take the org through it at least three or four times a year and do a lot of
practicing. And so that’s what, you know, that’s what some of the learning and development that we’re doing
and training and development, because we can’t expect as much as I would love to say, everyone knows
how to turn on their empathy gene.
Claude Silver (22m 28s):
And everyone knows how to turn on their compassion. That’s not the case. People are wired differently. So
the training and getting it instilled into their DNA really is what we need to do.
Anthony Orsini (22m 40s):
When I train physicians on how to have interactions, especially during break venues, we use professional
actors, actors that have been on Broadway, who volunteer their services. And we’ll play a mother who just
lost the baby, or we’ll play a husband who just heard that he had cancer because it has to be so real. We
bring these doctors in and nobody wants to be videotaped. We actually videotape them. And then we bring
them in the room and that’s where they really look. And they see their body language and how
uncomfortable they were in this situation.
Anthony Orsini (23m 11s):
We had one doctor, I was asked once by a hospital administrator to speak to a doctor who was particularly
not very pleasant to his patients. And he was, he was in trouble losing his job. And so we put him through an
improvisational role-playing and he didn’t want to be there. He was very angry. This was remedial stuff for
him. And we brought him in and he had to discuss a medical error. He had to tell the actor that they left a
sponge in her and the actors. She’s amazing. And she was great. And she was playing this old Italian
women with the Italian accent.
Anthony Orsini (23m 43s):
It was really, it was very, it was very clever. The point is he sits back after the conversation is over. He sits in
the room with me, we’re watching the video tape with me and my team and my team is going, he was so bad
and he was such a jerk like D r. Orsini, you’re going to take this one. I I’m not even gonna say anything to
him. And I said, just let him watch. So he watched for about two and a half minutes and part of my language,
he looks up at me and he goes, I am such an asshole. I said,
Claude Silver (24m 15s):
Anthony Orsini (24m 15s):
You said, you think so like, well, you know what, I’m trying to be positive with them. But the point is that that
kind of role playing, he is now an instructor for me. And he teaches other doctors on how to be empathetic
and compassionate. He just didn’t know. And I think the role playing really makes a big difference. The back
to the COVID in the last few months, there’s, you know, the hospital’s been so busy. I haven’t been doing a
lot of training with the hospitals, but what I have had is I’ve had several companies contact me, one
international company that said our human resource, people now are in a position for the first time to call
people on the phone and say, Sally, John who sat next to you for the last five years, just die to COVID.
Anthony Orsini (24m 57s):
And we can’t have a Memorial service because we have to do it by zoom and I have to call. And they’re just
not prepared for that. So what advice for, I don’t know if you’ve had to do it personally, and I don’t know. I
hope they enter, hasn’t lost anyone to COVID. I know you’re one over 800 people, but that’s an incredible
conversation to have. How would you approach that? Or what would you say to your HR people that need to
learn how to do this? This is a terrible time,
Claude Silver (25m 25s):
Terrible time. I mean, it gives me shivers. We have not had that situation happen. Thankfully, there are times
that I’ve had to share with other people that one of their parents has died because I got the phone call first,
but that is a, that’s a different story. You know, my version and my vision for HR is that we are seen as
coaches and we are seeing much more as, you know, Sherpas, if you will. So guides and guides like anyone
else need the same type of training.
Claude Silver (25m 57s):
They need to know what the trail is going to look like before they get on that trail. And so the training is really
important. How you enter into that conversation is with as much grace gentleness and what I like to call, you
know, a generosity of spirit, because you are delivering such life altering news to another person that you,
you may feel ill-equipped, but you know, the idea of empathy is that I’m walking alongside you.
Claude Silver (26m 32s):
And so let’s try to imagine, even though it’s a horrendous leap to imagine that one of your coworkers has
died or your, your family member has died, try to imagine it would be like hearing that news, put yourself in
that position and what would you need to hear and how you need to hear it and then go forth and do it.
There are tons of ways we can step in the doodoo tons of ways, but there are even more ways that we can
leave someone at least feeling held and seen and cared for.
Anthony Orsini (27m 8s):
My audience is probably getting tired of me, quitting rabbi Kushner, they author of When B ad Things
Happen to Good People. I I’ve read everything that he ever had. And Rabbi Kushner talks about those times
and says, when you don’t know what to say, just say, you’re sorry. And shut up for you. Say something
stupid. We teach this, I developed this acronym called program on how to discuss bad news. And the P is for
P lan. It’s amazing how many people go into these difficult conversations, no matter what they are review a
termination as separation as they like to call it without a plan.
Anthony Orsini (27m 40s):
And I think that’s the first step. And the G is that is gradual and genuine. If they feel that you genuinely care.
And part of the plan is that take a deep breath, imagine what it’s like to be that person and then speak to
them. So I think it’s just wonderful advice that you gave before we close. Just a couple other questions,
difficult conversations with your boss, you and you and Gary. I’ve seen so many different interviews with
you,. And you and Gary have this great relationship.
Anthony Orsini (28m 11s):
And you’ve, I think you’ve even described yourself as two sides of one coin, but good leaders don’t surround
themselves with people who say yes all the time, because, and I’m sure Gary doesn’t want to do that either.
So although you guys are so great together, there’s probably, I’m sure sometimes you disagree with Gary.
How do you think that conversation? Cause that’s a difficult one.
Claude Silver (28m 32s):
It is a difficult one. You know the thing about Gary that I know, I always know ahead of time, is that at least
he’ll listen. And I mean, at least isn’t even the right word. Gary will listen and he may disagree, but he will
always hear me out. And then tell me his side of the coin. We’re always going to come at things with the
same type of heart, which is based in humanity. And we’ve had a lot of these conversations as of late, as
there have been things due to COVID are due to diversity, equity and inclusivity that we’ve had to move on
very, very quickly.
Claude Silver (29m 8s):
And so there’s not a lot of planning that takes place. So some of what we’re doing is shooting from the hip
and you know what? His hips may say something different, but they’re always going to be aligned in some
way, shape or form or else. I wouldn’t be able to work there if he and I were so off base, if the way he and I
communicated was so off base or our beliefs, then it wouldn’t be the right match. So that’s the first thing. I
think the second thing that he and I are both getting much better at is being candorous with one another is
just there and where my, you know, none, he, he nor I like conflict.
Claude Silver (29m 47s):
And that’s kind of where, again, we’re the two sides of the same coin, but you know, well, so be it, you got to
get involved in some of these conversations. So we both been doing a better job at being much more
candorous with one another.
Anthony Orsini (30m 4s):
So there’s a millennial out there, or a gen Z or someone who is in a position they’ve been at work for three,
four, five years. They want to have that conversation with their boss and they want to go in and they want to
say, you know, I don’t think that I’m, I’m not going to put words in your mouth, but they want to move up.
They want to do more. What advice can you give that person to say, this is how you speak to your boss
about, Hey, I’m ready to do more. I’m ready to move up.
Claude Silver (30m 30s):
So the boss is always going to be listening for what are you going to do for me? How are you bringing me
value? So, I mean, I think that’s really a huge part of it. So I think that you want to couch that conversation in,
I believe I’m a good fit for this role because I have done X, Y, and Z. And I can bring more value to you by
training the rest of your staff or by going after the bigger kahuna or whatever it is. So, you know, look bosses
are going to, managers are going to want to hear, like, in a way, like, what are you going to do for me?
Claude Silver (31m 4s):
What are you going to alleviate for me or for the team that is, that is true, right? Because we’re all hustling
here. But I also want to just say for that gen Z or that millennial, it is also okay to say this is a hard
conversation for me. I’m working on myself, confidence, hear me out. I may stumble on my words. Like,
there’s nothing wrong with saying things like that because it’s real. And I know not every place is like Vayner.
I know it. So these are not easy conversations, but when someone takes that second to just, you know, give
them the real, real, I believe that you are then activating some kind of feeling of goodness in that other
person, the person listening, where you can almost be like, okay, I can get a little soft here.
Claude Silver (31m 50s):
I can be vulnerable here as well. I remember what it was like to be 23 years old asking for a raise. And the
drum that I want to always beat at is, remember you were there. Remember you were there. There’s no
difference between me and someone that I manage. I was already there. And also that’s why as a leader, I’m
very, very clear that I’m here to turn them into a champion I’ve already been there.
Claude Silver (32m 20s):
So they, yeah. So, so they got me whatever they needed.
Anthony Orsini (32m 24s):
So one final question before we leave, I had something happen to me early on that we discussed earlier
about why I got into communication and compassionate and medicine. And I know Gary’s had a big
influence on you, but other than Gary or your parents, I see the soul in you. And it comes through in your
body language and what you do in this heart and this really full soul, if you would. So other than your parents
or Gary, who was it that you can look back on and say, I happened to see him or her and I, she just had such
an influence on me.
Anthony Orsini (32m 58s):
Was it one person that you can name or maybe two?
Claude Silver (33m 1s):
I mean, it was my Nana. So I talk a lot about, yeah, she would have been 105 yesterday. She had the most
empathy of anyone I’ve ever known. She had the biggest heart. In fact, we called each other Heart. I’ve
written a couple of pieces on that. And I’m telling you, she wouldn’t leave trading. I mean, it’s, it’s incredible.
And she was alive, you know, when I got the role, but she would leave trader Joe’s or leave the bank or
leave whatever. And she would say, Tony, cause she’d see your name tag.
Claude Silver (33m 33s):
Would you do me a favor? Would you have a nice day?
Anthony Orsini (33m 39s):
That is so sweet.
Claude Silver (33m 40s):
I mean, right. And so she’s with me every day. And you know, just reminding myself that we’re all in this
together, we are all humans. We are all going through something before you enter that door. Or before you
turn on that zoom, you have had a life, you know, you have to homeschool your kids right now. You have to
get lunch ready. You got to take the dog out, whatever it is. And so let’s remember that when we enter in to a
conversation or when we go to work, let’s remember that other people are doing exactly what we’re doing or
Claude Silver (34m 19s):
We’re putting our feet on the ground. We’re having a cup of coffee and we have other things going on in our
lives. Other than just the hustle that we do at work.
Anthony Orsini (34m 27s):
Tony Robbins talks about building rapport with people and how you connect with people and finding
commonality. And we’re so different. We’re so diverse. And that’s a great thing. When I teach physicians and
healthcare providers and even resource people. What I try to say to them is there’s commonality in everyone
that there is the matter of who you are. There is something that we have in common, right? It doesn’t matter
how many differences we have. And you could find that commonality in just a few seconds, because what
you said was people are going through the same things that you’re going through.
Anthony Orsini (35m 1s):
And so I teach physicians, you may walk into a room and see a book on the table, or you may walk in a
room. And you know, I have patients down in Florida that I’ll walk into the room. Maybe the mother or the
father is not happy because something went wrong with the hospital. Stay, I walk in the room, I see a
Yankees hat and I know bingo I’m in. Right. And so be genuine. And I see that in you. And we can find
commonality with everyone. And this is a time where everybody’s so divided. But if we think about it, no
matter how divided you are, there’s something in common.
Anthony Orsini (35m 34s):
It probably can take less than 30 seconds to find it. Yeah. Well, this has been incredible. I know how busy
you are and I really appreciate you being here. I think my audience is going to be really thrilled when they
hear this drop and it’s just another journey and I’m so happy what you’re doing. And I see so many common
things. I’m in the healthcare, moving into the business. You’re already doing this hard stuff in the business.
My daughter loves working for you. She loves working at VaynerMedia. My cousin also works there. James
Orsini. I hope to have him on to someday.
Anthony Orsini (36m 6s):
I’ll speak to him about that in a few weeks, but thanks again so much for coming. I really, really appreciate
that. Thank you. Thank you and to your audience. So thank you so much for doing what you do every single
day. I really appreciate you. Thank you so much. If you enjoyed this episode, please click download and
please share on social media. You can hit the subscribe button. If you want to learn more about the Orsini
way, we’re at TheOrsiniWay.com and you can contact me with any questions and I’ll be posting this up soon
and we’ll let you know. So thank you so much.
Claude Silver (36m 36s):
Thank you, Tony.
Narrator (36m 38s):
If you enjoyed this podcast, please hit the subscribe button and leave a comment and review to contact Dr.
Orsini and his team, or to suggest guests for future podcast, visit us at TheOrsiniWay.com
Dr. Anthony Orsini
Claude Silver- Chief Heart Officer of VaynerMedia
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