Worxbee Interview: Zach Brewster of The Bridge Builder

Zachary Brewster is the President/Chief Visionary Officer of the Bridge Builder, a Consulting Firm specializing in Cultivating Culture and Compelling Leaders. Over the last 15 years, he has aided hundreds of organizations with thousands of employees in talent acquisition, workforce development and strategic planning. He is the author of “How to Get to the Other Side,” which includes many of the tools and foundational principles that are at the core of his purpose.

At Worxbee, we have partnered with Zach to do on-going virtual training for our team. Today, we had to the opportunity to pick his brain on some common issues companies have, and how interactive training can be a great solution to companies big and small. Read on to discover Zach’s take on why it is critical to offer training within your organization.

We know The Bridge Builder is a consulting firm that specializes in conflict resolution and you have helped numerous companies increase productivity over the years. Why did you decide to focus on conflict resolution?  I believe it is the undercurrent of every storm in a company’s culture. The reason I say that is because no one talks about it, because most people are uncomfortable with conflict. Companies were trying to figure out why things weren’t working and the reason is they didn’t have a true  focus on the one thing that is driving every relational issue in the organization.

What are some of the most common problems companies have with conflict? I would say the most common issue is the lack of respect for another person perspective, when you get into a mindset that “I see it my way and there is no other way to see it”, there is always going to be conflict. The other piece is a high level of focus on productivity, proof, and process, and a very minimal focus on People. This applies to people at all levels of the organization.

What process do you use when you go in to consult an organization? We have a pathway that we try to drive. We deal with the why, the what, and the how. We talk about why we do what we do, what we do(The cause and the cost.), and how we can fix it. We talk about the cause of conflict in relation to what it costs. No business will wan tot invest in anything is there is no return on investment. No business will be willing to pay the cost is you don’t identify the cause.When it comes to conflict, there are three primary causes. Which include loss of productivity, unfilled positions, and unresolved issues. We start with the cause which are unmet needs, unclear goals, and unresponsive leadership. When you have these issues in an organization, it cause challenges. Finally, we teach the how. Which is teaching people to have the conversations, the get these challenges resolved.

You are also a Worxbee client. What does it mean to you as a client to know Worxbee is sharing conflict resolution training with our Employees and Virtual Executive Assistants? It means a lot to me. first and foremost finding value in their employees and contractors alike, and empowering them and equipping them to handle workplace issues. It also opened up a demographic for me, that I never intended to get engaged in. I always believed in doing training in-person. I never thought you could train people on conflict, virtually. I always thought it kind of defeated the purpose, you got to get in front of people. But as the virtual workforce grows, they are going to have their own set of issues, challenges and conflicts. So I’m grateful that I was thrust into that opportunity.

Why is training and engagement of employees and contractors important in today’s world? People are most effective when they are engaged. We deal with a society that’s engaged and stimulated in so many ways shapes and forms. If you aren’t engaging your contractors and employees, people aren’t going to work somewhere they don’t feel included. If you aren’t engaging contractors as well, you may as well tap out, its not going to work for you. It’s almost required now, that you engage both. All people are looking for something to be inspired and engaged by . The millennial generation especially, are not going to stay if they don’t feel inspired and engaged.

What does the common phrase “it’s the People” mean to you? I think it means everything to me. I have built my career, my business, and my sole focus on being and expert at focusing on the people. I think we spend too much time trying to manage and lead people. I think you have to focus before you can lead, leading them means you are walking in a direction you want them to follow. Managing means trying to modify behavior. But, focusing means you are trying to understand the people. You first seek to understand in order to be understood.

Finally, what should people know about The Bridge Builder’s virtual training series and how can they get in contact with you? When you have a training with The Bridge Builder, it’s not just information is inspiration. In fact, it’s probably more inspiration. I put information in the middle, which is because if I don’t inspire, you aren’t going to do the most important thing which is application. Training is information, you can get it anywhere. If you are looking for informational training don’t call me. But if you’re looking for inspiration that will empower your people for application, that will impact their lives and your business, then call The Bridge Builder.

Interested in learning more about how Zach can help your business? Check out his website or watch his TED talk!

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