Trust And Empathy: How To Create Powerful Relationships With Dr. Patty Ann Tublin
What are the ingredients you need to create powerful relationships? How important are trust and empathy in strengthening those? We explore these questions as Mitch Russo discusses things with Dr. Patty Ann Tublin, relationship and communication expert. Dr. Patty Ann talks about how she learned to repair her own broken relationships with trust and how it can impact not just your personal but your business relationships as well. Tune in and learn to create powerful relationships in this episode.
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Trust And Empathy: How To Create Powerful Relationships With Dr. Patty Ann Tublin
I have something special for all my coaches in the audience. As a coach myself, I realized that I had been spending about 30 minutes per session on my admin because I had five applications open all at the same time. One for note-taking, calendar, spreadsheet, browser, Zoom, all my past session history scattered over these big huge screens. At the end of every session, I had to combine all of that data into a single email to send to my clients. I decided to get myself some professional coaching software.
After going through 3 or 4 of them, they were complex and so expensive, I did exactly what all good entrepreneurs should. I had found a problem and decided to solve it so I literally created my own coaching platform for coaches. It’s called ClientFol.io and only $20 a month. I would like to invite you to give it a try for $1. You, too, will then gain full control of your coaching sessions, save time on admin and deliver a better session.
Now on to my guest and her incredible story. Readers, every one of us has relationships in our lives that are crucial to our success and happiness. My guest found herself at a point in her life when she needed help fixing her own broken relationship but didn’t know how so she set out on a path to discover exactly how she could get educated on the art of trust, success and love. She did so in conventional and unconventional ways. She pursued a world-class education, which includes her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, two Master’s degrees, Executive Coaching Certification and by the way, she’s also a Registered Nurse.
Talk about someone who is well-prepared but she has worked with thousands of people and couples along with corporate teams and organizations all helping to create powerful relationships. Her signature work is so incredible that she has been featured on every major TV and print media platform, including ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, Wall Street Journal, New York Times and on and on.
Let’s welcome Dr. Patty Ann Tublin to the show.
Thank you, Mitch. Those credentials make me feel old.
Was she afraid to leave school? She kept on going and going. That’s quite an education and a background, Dr. Patty Ann. Obviously, you are an expert in your field. You have been featured on all these shows and stuff but like everybody else, you started at the beginning and I would like to know that story. Tell us how this all started for you.
Like everybody else that you said, Mitch, I started at the school of hard knocks. You have to fast forward to being a young adult, not quite a bride. I was married a couple of years and I became pregnant with identical twins. I make it a point to say identical because we were shocked. It’s not like we were trying, couldn’t get pregnant and use fertility drugs, which is a whole drama unto itself for people. If you have some women who saw glow throughout their pregnancy, the only glow I ever saw was my reflection in the toilet bowl as I was puking. I was so sick every moment of every day. For the readers, they should know my husband is also a Mitch. Mitch would tell you that where we lived, every corner, he had to pull over at some point, open up the door so I could throw up.We learn so many things in formal education, but nobody teaches us how to have a happy romantic relationship. Click To Tweet
That’s how sick I was and it never subsided. I went into premature labor. The twins were born very prematurely and they almost died. They were in the intensive care unit for a while. It was a pivotal moment in my life and my husband’s life and so much that John and Brian, the names of my twins, are in the medical textbooks. To date, they were starting to do intrauterine steroids to get their lungs bigger to support their body if they would deliver early, which they did.
Fast forward, they came home and they are fine now but what happened was I began the common struggle that everybody is familiar with, which is how to have my career, take care of my children and keep my marriage healthy. I had a husband that was a very successful executive and traveling all the time. We had a dog. How do you do it all? I’m totally sleep-deprived. Mitch and I have got to a point where we were relating to each other as parents but not as partners and not as spouses.
When you haven’t had a lot of sleep, the friendship goes out the window with the sex. That’s where I started my journey to say, “There has to be a better way. I know I can do this all.” I will never listen to people when they say, “You can’t do it.” If you tell me you can’t do something, I will die trying. That’s how I came up with creating the system that I use. It’s based on practical advice, tools and strategies that everybody can use.
Sometimes you listen to people that work with couples and you think to yourself, “What part of that are they on? Who has the time to do that? Would you ever talk to your partner that way? No.” Since I’m rooted in common sense, I wanted to do something that was simple yet highly effective and works. I did that with my work with couples. What happened was, as I worked with couples, I work with very successful couples. You might not want me to go here yet, Mitch, but I was going to say how I ended up working with businesses and entrepreneurs.
Tell us the story. Let me back up here. Did you complete your education before you had your children or were you still in the process of going to school?
I did not have my Doctorate when I had my twins but I went on to have two more children. I was working and then got my Doctorate as I was raising my children and working. However, the real answer to your question is, as I had my twins and I was working, I did three years of Post-Graduate Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Training, which most people don’t have and don’t know about. Quite frankly, nobody practices. However, what it did was that it taught me human motivation and understanding because it’s very similar to the Latin that I took. Nobody speaks Latin but if you know Latin and Greek, you can figure out the meaning of any word. That was the foundation of my training where they kept building upon each other. That’s a long answer to your very simple question.
You have a general degree. When people go to school and get even a Master’s degree in Psychology, it’s a general degree. There was a reason why you chose to specialize and focus on relationships. Let’s get into that because this is important as it relates to businesses and teams as well. Why did you choose to focus on business and relationships, both in your educational process and then later as a point of practice?
No one has ever asked me that question and I’m glad that you did. It’s such an easy, simple, common-sense answer because relationships have always been the most important thing to me. No matter how successful financially you might be, how much money and status you are, it pales. It means nothing if you don’t have people to share it with. The richest people are the people that have rich relationships. I always wanted to understand what makes people tick in all aspects of their life and the core for all relationships, work, marriage and parenting, it’s trust. Trust is at the core.
Fast forward to now because we are always learning. Now, we have emotional intelligence and neuroscience. We can show how the brain operates as you are developing trust, relationships and neuropathways. That’s a little bit of going rogue but it’s also exciting. Relationships are at the core of happiness. If you don’t have that, at the end of your life, as they say, nobody says, “I wish I worked more. I don’t wish I had more money. I wish I had better relationships.” That’s a people person.
That’s important again because you were drawn to that obviously. With all of us when we start out, we are at that stage where we are in school and we are learning, there are a few of us who knew in advance exactly what we would do but most people don’t. It’s the life that guides us and molds us into directing that knowledge to become a specialist or at least competent in a particular area. Let’s go back to the very first time you applied this to a relationship other than yourself. Can you recall what that was like? Tell us a little bit about that.
I was working with an entrepreneur. She was the perfect blend of my skillset. She was having issues in her marriage, her romantic relationship and causing issues in her business, which it always does. It’s the matter of, whether you are willing to admit it or not and to be conscious of it. I assure you, it’s always there. You bring your whole self to everything you do. She was having difficulty creating boundaries with her spouse. I was asking her about what she shared with me, the same issues that she had creating boundaries in her work with her employees and with her clients.
Basically, she was allowing everybody to be a time vampire. Everybody was sucking the time out of her life, in her business and personal life. That resonated with me because everybody is busy. As a working mom of four children who’s an entrepreneur, if I did not have boundaries, which is another way of creating a structure that makes you feel safe, things would have been all over the place.
I had to help this person create boundaries predicated upon what she wanted, not what everybody else around her told her she should want. That was exciting because once she learned the skillset to create boundaries with her husband and her family, we were able to have that transfer into creating boundaries with her employees and her clients. You can’t be on call 24/7, especially with phones now, you will never have a life, and then everybody owns you. The most important relationship we have, which is with ourselves, is in tatters.
This inspired you and clearly, it lit you up. I’m putting words in your mouth but it sounds like you realized that, “This is my life’s calling. This is where I can focus all of what I know and what I want to do into one particular area.” In my mind, the reason one might choose that and we are all the same way is because it’s certainly a great profession but because it’s enjoyable, it lights us up and we need it too. You were in a great place. You did some amazing stuff.
One of the things we would like to do with this show is we would like to shift the conversation into basically putting you on stage as a masterclass. Now, what I’m asking you to do is to open the kimono and share your greatest gifts with our readers when it comes to the fundamentals of trust and what they could do now in their lives to either build or reinforce trust? Take it away.
I’m thrilled to share this. Many times, what people will say to me in their business and personal relationships is, “The other person doesn’t trust me.” I will say to them, “Are you trustworthy?” Many times, it stops people dead in their tracks because they are looking for a response about the other person. As I said earlier, it always starts with ourselves, that person that is looking back at you. When somebody is complaining that they cannot get something from you, you have to ask yourself two questions, “Am I worthy of it? Am I giving it? Am I worthy of their trust? Am I trusting them?”
That’s the platform for everything that I do. If you think about it on a global level, good Lord, we would have peace if people could learn to trust each other but it’s not just to learn to trust each other. It’s that you have to earn each other’s trust. That’s the platform. If you were to ask me, “What are the main skills that we need to have?” Trust in all our relationships are, it’s the ability to effectively communicate. I know that is overplayed and it’s clichéd but the ability to effectively communicate determines the overall quality and happiness of every relationship in your life. Why is that?The ability to effectively communicate determines the overall quality and happiness of every relationship in your life. Click To Tweet
The main goal of communication is not for me to give you my message to tell you something. That’s secondary. The main goal is to create a connection. Once you have a connection with somebody, then you can share your message. Think about it. If somebody wants to share something with you, they come up to you and you cannot stand them or you can’t trust them, you are saying to yourself or you are texting somebody like, “I don’t care what this person has to say. I am not going to listen to a word they have to say,” so you have no connection. Your message falls on deaf ears.
That’s what happens in business meetings when you don’t like who’s giving a suggestion. That’s what happens in our marriage when we are pissed off at our partner. The reason why you want a connection is that a connection is a prerequisite for the creation of empathy. Without empathy, we can never restore or repair trust.
You said before that the basis of trust is communication. I want to go a little bit deeper on that. Maybe it’s obvious but is there a rule or a system that would improve communication? We all think we can communicate fine clearly, we are not or else there would be no trust issues. What are we doing wrong when it comes to communicating?
When you check out my course, you will get all the communication information but to answer your question seriously, what we are doing wrong is we are focusing on our message first and not focusing on making the connection. That’s the first thing. In tandem with that or tantamount to that, we have lost the art of actively listening. Nobody listens anymore. Usually, we listen to find what’s fault, what we disagree with the person speaking or listening for them to hurry up and stop talking so I can say what I want to say, all been guilty, guilty as charged or we are listening but not really.
You are looking like you are listening to me but I don’t know if you are sitting there thinking, “I wonder what I’m going to have for dinner.” What happens is messages get lost. Connections are fractured. That’s why you have the forever evergreen issue in business and romantic relationships, “You had never told me this.” The speaker is, “I absolutely did. I remember telling you.” The issue is the person receiving the message wasn’t listening but the onus is on the communicator who didn’t make the connection.
How can we make a better connection when we are communicating?
There are verbal and nonverbal skills but the very first thing is even if you have had an appointment, you made time to speak to your spouse, your business partner or the appointment is on the calendar, the first thing you should say is because you never know what happened in somebody’s life before they’ve got on the call or came into the meeting, “Is now still a good time?” You don’t know if they had a horrific call. That is important. Be respectful if they say, “No,” or if they say, “Sure,” but you are feeling maybe not so much, reschedule it.
The more sensitive the conversation or the discussion is, the more sensitive you have to be to that sensitivity. Check-in with the other person. Just because it’s a great time for you, it’s on your calendar and, “I cannot wait to get this off my chest because it has been pissing me off for a week,” it will fall on deaf ears if the person you are speaking to is not at a good place.
If I could summarize in a simplistic way what I have heard is when you communicate, make sure that the person you are communicating with is receiving your message and hear exactly what it is that you are saying in the way that you mean it by being totally present. Clearly, if you are in the middle of a conversation, you have your phone in one hand and you are checking your smartwatch on the other hand, even if you think you are present, not only are you not present. This sounds like more importantly, what you are doing is alienating the other person who is saying, “The most valuable thing anyone can ever give me is their attention and I’m not getting it. Therefore, this person doesn’t care about me.”
Our most valuable commodity is our time. When you check anything else, when somebody is speaking with you, consciously or not, you are giving the message that somebody else is more important at this moment in time than you are. When I work with clients on Zoom, VIP days in person and I had somebody that told me he’s got three screens up in his office so his eye always used to be going here, I’m like, “Shut the screens off. I know you have three in there.” I had to ask people, “Please, shut off the phone, turn it over, don’t distract yourself. Don’t cheat yourself on this time together.”
It’s a great insight. It certainly is for me and I hope for you, too. Now, Dr. Patty Ann, my next question is I want to elevate the conversation back to the top of the paradigm you are describing. You are describing what I’m hearing as the building of trust by starting with understanding the communication cycle and then refining that to the point that we now understand what each other is saying and we are both paying attention. Where and how does trust work in this process of building? How do we then build trust from there?
Here’s the funny thing about trust. Contrary to what most people believe, it is not absolute. Trust is based upon your truth. Truth is predicated upon your perspective and your personal life situations. If your relationship is struggling with truth, big or little, you have to be willing to consider the possibility that there is more than one truth. That will open up your ability to, “I may not agree with you but I can see your perspective.”
Give me an example of having more than one truth.
There’s a story about five blind men and one elephant. Have you heard it, Mitch?
I think so but I love the story, tell it again.
It’s a great illustration of what you asked me. I could have come up with another one if I knew you were asking the question but I didn’t know. There were five blind men and they were asked if they would like to go and touch an elephant. They all said yes. This is a Reader’s Digest version. The five blind men are brought to this huge elephant and one blind man touches the trunk of the elephant. The other blind man touches the tusk of the elephant. The other blind man touches the leg. The other one touches the tail and the other one touches the butt.We do understand our own individual truths. What we have to do is be open to other's individual truths. Click To Tweet
Fact, they all touched the elephant. They were then asked, “Describe what you felt when you touch the elephant?” The blind man that touched the tusk said, “It felt smooth.” The man that touched the tail said, “It felt like a rope.” The man that touched the husk said, “It felt rough.” You see, they were all telling the truth based on their specific perspective of the experience that they had as the elephant.
Now relating this to the relationship conversation, we all have our own truths. We are in a relationship with either a loved one or a team because I’m going to cover both. Here’s what I’m getting from this. With this understanding, I know in advance that I have my truth and she has hers or they have theirs. Realistically, we are going to build trust. If you think this is too basic, please tell me but I’m enjoying this because I’m dissecting this process may be the first time ever. I understand it better than I ever have before. What you are saying is all of us have to understand our individual truths. Is that what you are saying?
Yes, with the caveat, we do understand our individual truths. What we have to do is be open to the other’s individual truth. That’s where the trust, the healing and the repair come in.
If we are in a team situation, have a couple of senior management people and are together, we need to make sure that the team functions at the highest level and the top of our performance range. How does trust play into that and how to reinforce that trust in a team environment?
The only way the team will perform at its peak performance level and we can take this example from the Navy SEALs, is if there is undisputable trust that each person will have the other’s back. It’s right out of the playbook of the Navy SEAL. Without that undisputable trust, you will not have peak performance because you don’t know if you can make a move and you will be supported or backstabbed in business. It’s the same in our romantic relationship.
In a team environment, if I’m reading this and I say, “What can I take back now to my team to increase the level of trust between us? What would that tool be?” Even if it’s one thing, what are you suggesting?
It’s like you started this interview. What I would suggest is to go back to your team and say to them, “Let’s revisit that challenging time when we were killing each other. Let’s go back.” Let’s now try to understand the other’s position. What did we all miss? What did I miss from what you were saying? What did you miss from what I was saying? Inevitably, you will find people who were not listening because they were stuck in their position and their truth, and would not let it go for dear life because your ego gets in the way and you have to be right.
That’s such incredible insight. I wish we could enroll you to fix the Arab-Israeli crisis. I think it sounds like you have the tools to do it.
It’s so true. I always think about that conflict when I talk about this. The issue is nobody is listening to each other because they are so embedded. They have such an ego stake in their own truth. They can’t even consider the possibility that there’s another one. This is important. Just because you tell someone you understand now where they are coming from, you are not saying you agree with them. You can still feel that your position is the right position for where you stand. It’s like the blind man is right when he touched the trunk. From where he stood, he was right but he would be making a mistake to say that the other person was wrong. He doesn’t agree with the person touching the butt.
What I’m hearing is that if we all understand each other’s position, it doesn’t mean that we will solve the problem or we will agree with each other but we will begin the process of rebuilding trust because A) We are listening and B) We see from the other’s point of view. What happens if we disagree? What happens if one side says this, the other side says that? We are in a disagreement yet, we have both are clear on what the other person’s viewpoint is. Where do we go from there?
This is where we have to be adults, which people have lost the art of being an adult. Before I answer that, I think this is important for everybody to know. Part of understanding the other person’s position is once they share it with you, tell them what you have heard. Not in the kindergarten, repeat back to me Coaching 101, not that nonsense but what you heard and felt. It’s the mind, body connection. The value of that is besides the fact that the person that spoke knows you now heard them, you make a little dent in the shift in your mindset and you opened up a new neural pathway. It’s very new so you can’t even see it but with time, you can develop a deeper one where you can relate.
Here’s the answer to your question. You agree to disagree respectfully and in the business world, at some point, usually it’s the hierarchy, they have to make a decision. What the leadership has to do that takes Team A’s position and not Team B is to let Team B know whose opinion was not taken, “I heard you, I respect you, we have decided to go in a different position but I will absolutely come back to you in the future because I want to hear what you think and how you feel.” You would validate their position even if you didn’t go with it.
In your romantic relationship, I agree to disagree and there’s that C word and that can mean all different things. I will let that sink in. The C-word that I’m referring to compromises. At some point, I get the way I want to go forward. Another time, my partner gets to go where they want to go forward. At the end of your life, without keeping score, it balances out. If you do that artfully in both environments, the trust will be maintained even if reactions were taken that you didn’t agree with.
This has been an incredible class. Thank you very much for this. Readers, if you feel as if this has been important to you, don’t forget, you can still go back and see every word over at YourFirstThousandClients.com. Look for Dr. Patty Ann Tublin show page and it’s all there. I know I will be revisiting that as well. At this point in the show, we would like to get to know you a little bit better. The way we do that is by asking a couple of questions. These are the same questions I have asked over 250 other guests. The answer is never the same and I love that. Even if they named the same person, the answer is never the same.
Be careful what you ask for. You might get it.
Here’s the question. Who in all of space and time would you like to have one hour to enjoy a walk in the park, a quick lunch or an intense conversation with?The more sensitive the conversation is, the more sensitive the discussion, the more sensitive you have to be to that activity. Click To Tweet
I’m actually going to tear up because it’s not the answer I would have thought I would have given. I would love to have another conversation with my mother. She used to say to all of us, I’m 1 of 5, “You will miss me when I’m gone.” She was a Brooklyn mom. She passed away several years ago on the 4th of July, which is so interesting because it was one of our family’s favorite holidays. We are diehard Patriots. We always got together. That was my mother’s way of we will never forget her.
She had such wisdom for a formerly uneducated woman. She was widowed at 36 and had five young children. I didn’t know this until I was older. She did not even finish high school. She went and got a job as a Secretary for CBS and the International News Desk, single woman. She was beautiful until the day she died. She needed her job desperately. I’m sure she could tell her stories, which she never did. She managed to raise five children and stay beautiful. She was a pillar of the community. I don’t think she ever slept. I used to go to sleep and she would be up.
She learned how to sew and made our own clothes because we didn’t have any money. I went to bed hearing the Singer sewing machine until 2:00 in the morning, I would get up, and she would be gone to work. I will date myself. We were the original Latchkey kids and don’t get me wrong, all my grit and determination come from having the circumstance I came from and having the mother I had but I would like to talk to her more as a woman.
Others have said a parent as well, and for me, too, it’s that way. I lost my dad a few years ago. This is the passage of life and that I expected. He lived a very long life. He lived to 94. In his final years, he was declining, as most of us, unfortunately, get to. The wisdom in my life, in many ways, comes from him. My entrepreneurial skills and drive came from him and the way he raised us. I definitely can relate to wanting to have that last meeting with a parent. Here’s the last question and it’s the grand finale. It’s the change the world question. What is it that you are doing or would like to do that truly has the potential to literally change the world?
With all humbleness, that’s a word. I feel like I’m doing it. I work with relationships in all different capacities. If I change one person’s relationship, we change the world.
It’s a gift, skill, and talent that you have that you are readily willing to share with others. I would like to find out a little bit more about how that works. I understand that you have a couple of free giveaways, which are always exciting. Tell me what you have for our readers.
I have some incredible assessments. I have one that’s related to your business. If you are an entrepreneur or a corporate person, I would love for you to take this assessment and get the results that speak to you because it has been customized because everything I do is customize. There’s a common denominator but as you all know, we are all like a fingerprint. There are no two people that are alike. If you are in any type of romantic relationship, please take the assessment and learn about what the assessment offers. You will learn a little bit more come away a little bit smarter about yourself.
You are talking about the relationship assessment as well. You can go over and get it at YourFirstThousandClients.com. The other thing I wanted to ask you a little bit about is I know you do some amazing work individually and with teams. You also have an incredible course. Do you want to chat a little bit about what that program is, how that works and maybe what people might get from it?
The course is the Romantic Relationship Course. What happened was you only have so many hours in the day and I had to find a way to leverage my skillset. People would literally say, “You need to create a course.” After several years, since I’m a little slow on the uptake, I decided it was time to create a course. What I did was I took all the cognitive and emotional knowledge. Pun intended I married them. I created the course so that you would have proven simple but highly effective tools so that your romantic relationship cannot only survive but thrive regardless of the challenges, how severe or not severe your relationship has experienced.
Let’s face it, all relationships thought out like lollipops, roses and unicorns. Unless you live in a cave and even if you live in a cave, it gets a little cramped. You run into difficulties. We don’t learn how to repair relationships. It’s amazing. We learned so many things in formal education but nobody teaches us how to have a happy, romantic relationship. That’s what the course was about. Any challenge that you are facing, it will be addressed. You will have the practical skillsets not, “I could never do that.” It’s practical. You can do it.
For those of us who are reading, take the assessment, get a good feel for where you stand in your own relationships. At that point, if you would like to take the course, Dr. Patty Ann will help you arrange that. I want to say, “Thank you, Dr. Penny.” This has been an incredible interview. I learned so much as I always do whenever I speak to you. Full disclosure, we work together. Dr. Patty Ann is one of my esteemed clients and she’s done amazing work. I look forward to seeing so much more from you in the future. Thank you, Dr. Patty Ann, for being with me.
Thank you. I’m a straight shooter, if you haven’t figured it out by that, Mitch is incredible. If you have the opportunity to work with him, do so. If you don’t, you are missing out. Thank you.
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