Welcome to the Evolution of Medicine podcast! This episode is our second with Jeremie Kubicek, entrepreneur, keynote speaker, and author of 5 Voices: How to Communicate Effectively with Everyone You Lead. The book holds the key to unlocking your capacity to have honest conversations and build deeper, more authentic relationships, and has been an invaluable resource to companies worldwide. In our first episode with Jeremie, he discussed his work in identifying the 5 Voices (the Pioneer, the Connector, the Creative, the Guardian, and the Nurturer) and how they help you discover what your leadership voice sounds like to others and how to hear and value others’ voices.

In this episode, we talk about how you can apply this incredible understanding of emotional intelligence and behavior patterns to your staff. Your staff is truly the front lines of your practice—the way they interact with your patients, their colleagues and even you have an impact on the overall culture of your practice and the patient experience. As the “gardener” of your practice, it is your responsibility to help every “plant” (your employees), no matter their temperament, thrive. By committing to this, you’ll not only see your practice culture and staff retention improve, but also patient satisfaction. It was a fascinating 30 minutes discussing this important but often overlooked topic in healthcare—enjoy! Highlights include:

  • How to use the 5 Voices methodology to support your staff and help them become a magnet for new patients
  • How to take ownership of your role as “gardener” of your practice greenhouse, and learn what your staff needs to feel supported and thrive in their roles
  • How understanding yourself and your natural tendencies can take your listening and relational abilities to a whole new level
  • How the different personality types execute and what they need to operate at their best
  • And so much more!

Resources mentioned in this podcast:

James Maskell: Hello and welcome to the podcast. This week we feature Jeremie Kubicek. He’s the founder of the 5 Voices. We’ve had him on the podcast earlier this year. He is training organizations, big organizations from around the world on his 5 Voices methodology, and there was something about our last meeting that made me think that we really need to have a conversation about staff because the best practices that we’ve seen with the practice owner, the staff are so aligned that it is just a magnet for new patients in the area. And so we have created this together here in the next half an hour. You’ll hear about the baseline support that staff need. We’re going to talk about the 5 Voices and how they execute and how to support them in your office. And so much to look into when it comes to how to get the most out of your staff and how to get them to be a magnet for new patients. It was a really interesting half an hour. Enjoy.

So a warm welcome back to the podcast, Jeremie Kubicek. Welcome, Jeremie.

Jeremie Kubicek: Good to be with you, James, as always.

James Maskell: Yeah. Great to have you back here on the podcast. Earlier in the year, we did a podcast really looking at the 5 Voices and sort of its application to the communication with your patients. But ultimately as you build a practice, one of the most core things that goes into whether the practice will may remain successful and how it’ll grow and what’s its trajectory is the staff and the team. And so, yeah, I know that this is like right in your wheelhouse, and I know that you’re training businesses all across the world on some of your methodologies. So I just want it to get you back in and have a conversation about that because I think that this is crucial for all the practitioners that listen to us. So let’s start there.

What’s the most important thing that you think that practitioners need to know that stuff and building a staff in their office?

Jeremie Kubicek: So every single employee is a person. That sounds so obvious, but every person has a life. Again, more obvious. The reality is that people’s lives, and when they come to work, they bring all of their life into your world if you’re a physician. And if you’re a physician, you’re trying to serve the client, who’s the patient at the end of the day, and you’re trying to manage the systems and all these things.

Well, each one of these people that come in who are your employees, they’re either engaged or they’re not engaged. And they either have to have a job or they want to have a job. And a lot of the time there’s people who bring their baggage and their world into an office setting, and they have an opportunity to really get engaged with the vision, the mission, serving the clients or they don’t. Part of that is personality and part of that is just life.

So the first thing I always tell people is do they first and foremost, do they know that you’re for them or not? Or do they feel that you’re for yourself, or do they feel that you’re against them? And oftentimes those subtleties of how they feel about you as the position is really simple. Do you say hi? Are you connecting with them? It’s almost the little big things or the little things in the very beginning. And this is just kind of like the appetizer to-go. You’ve got to do the little things well to get your people to really start the engagement process, to feel warm, to feel like they want to be there, and they’re excited about it. That’s just a warm-up. Does that make sense?

James Maskell: Yeah. Yeah. No, that makes total sense. So once you’ve established that baseline, is there a certain type of person that you’re looking for or how do you go about getting that A Team around you once you’ve built that foundation?

Jeremie Kubicek: Well, so the next thing you want to do is then you move into what we call support and challenge. So then you start really understanding what support, what is equipping look like for that individual, and what does challenge look like for that individual. So support means basically, “Hey, I’m going to equip you. I’m going to give you the skills you need. I’m right here if you need, if you have a question.” Challenge means, “I’m going to actually motivate you, keep you accountable to those things.” Those have to be calibrated. You need to learn. Sometimes people need more support, sometimes they need more challenge. Oftentimes, certain physicians have a tendency to do the same things to all employees in the same way that like a coach might yell to get what they want or they have a certain demeanor or whatever. So it’s not as effective to every person.

Here’s a better way to describe it. Think a leader, think of a position as a gardener in the office is their greenhouse, and inside their greenhouse they have all of the plants. And their plants are employees. To get the most of the employees, some of the employees and some of the plants need more water, some need more sunlight, and so you’ve got to position them appropriately. Some need more support and some need more challenges at certain times. So that’s like the next stage. They really get to understand that. And then you get into the voices.

But if you can establish, “Hey, I’m for you, and I’m learning how to support and challenge you based on what I see in you,” then they’ll start building relational trust with you as a leader. And when they start building relational trust, they’ll follow you. They’ll be more empowered. I often say if you light a fire underneath somebody all the time, they’re eventually going to be fired. But if you light a fire inside somebody, then that pilot light usually won’t go out. It just takes a lot longer to light the flame inside somebody. So this is all philosophy, but we can get into the 5 Voices. Does that make sense, James?

James Maskell: Yeah, it makes a lot of sense. And look, a lot of our practitioners are very familiar with sort of gardening analogies because ultimately in functional medicine, we understand the importance of sort of like tending to the roots so that the plants can flourish. So I think everyone is sort of understanding it in that concept.

And, yeah, I know one of the reasons why I wanted to get you back in here is that I know that when we spoke about treating all of your, not treating all of your patients in the same way and sort of doing unto them as they would want done to them and speaking to them in that way, I realized that straight away, as someone who’s running an organization with different personalities, that it’s very similar. And actually probably more important because patients come and go. If you lose a patient, no big deal. Whereas if you lose staff that can have an irrevocable, a different…You can make a big difference to your lifestyle, can make a big difference to the success of your practice.

Jeremie Kubicek: So do you think then a position is the gardener, now I often like to ask, “Who’s…” So let’s just take an employee, employee’s a green plant. So out of a green plant, who’s responsibility is it for that plant to grow? And I often say it’s both. It’s the plant’s responsibility and the gardener’s responsibility. So if both of you understand it is equal, mutual responsibility, then there’s a better chance that that employee will grow. So therefore the 5 Voices are nothing. You know in a green plant, they have those little cards, and it tells exactly how much water that plant needs or how much sunlight it needs or how much soil. So it’s a cheat sheet basically on how to make sure that you can be a green thumb for that plant.

Well, the 5 Voices is basically a cheat sheet, it’s the same thing. It’s a cheat sheet for you to understand what that employee needs to thrive, to be empowered. So we have the 5 Voices, the 5 Voices that we’ve taken from union typology, which is where Myers-Briggs comes from and all that. We basically have the nurture.

We have the Guardian, we have a Connector and a Creative and a Pioneer. And inside those, they have different nuances. So a Connector Nurturer is a champion of people. Well, they need a lot more water. They need more time, they need more…They need to know that you care about people, and they need to know that you care about them. If they don’t know that you care about them, then they will turn off or they will basically withhold their care from you. And so they’ll then help and protect all the other sheep because that’s what they do. They protect people. Well, that’s 43% of the population.

So in medicine, it’s even more disproportionate number of nurturers on staff because that’s where nursing comes from. So just that alone to go, you probably on your team have the majority of nurturers, so therefore they need a little bit more niceties. They need a little bit more care. They need a little bit more water than they would then maybe a Pioneer would need, which kind of tends to be more of a cactus. So that’s just one of the examples to go you need to know your staff to lead them effectively.

James Maskell: Yeah, absolutely. I mean I would tend to think that certain personality types would be drawn to being the employee of the health professional. Right?

Jeremie Kubicek: Yup. Because I had a meeting yesterday, it was not with a physician, but it was with a leader over people. And in his office, he had two green plants that were completely dead. And I pulled them and put them on his desk, and I said, “Okay, let’s talk about this, Jim. Tell me about these.” He goes, “Yeah, someone gave me the plants, and another person told me that they would water them for me. But they haven’t done a good job.” I go, “So wait, wait, wait, wait. It was their responsibility, your plants in your office. It was their responsibility to water them?” And he got it.

He was like, “Yeah, okay.” And so he was having issues because he’s not watering his people. And he made this comment, he goes, “Can I be honest? I don’t need much water.” And I go, “I get it. You’re a cactus. But the reality is you lead other people who do need more water. So you’re letting your people die. That’s why you and I are meeting here. We’re meeting because your people are dying, and you’re not correcting it.” And he made this comment. He goes, “Look, I’ve never received that from any of my leaders.” And I go, “Okay, so back to do unto others as they would want to them.”

Do you want to create a culture where patients will thrive? Do you want to eliminate drama from your organization? Do you want to eliminate or decrease turnover? That is a direct correlation to the intentionality of leaders. If you’re accidental in leading your staff, you will have all types of drama. If you’re intentional with leading your staff, you build a culture, and that culture spreads to patients. And it makes your life better. It’s just much, much harder to build that kind of culture. That’s why most people don’t do it.

James Maskell: Yeah. It’s so interesting you say that because over the last five years, obviously, I’ve had an opportunity to see thousands of clinics. When I was first working going door-to-door to practitioners like 10 years ago and then obviously in the last five years, just seeing a of ton of different clinics and also seeing a ton of different teaching methodologies. And I guess one of the things that I could always feel when I was walking into clinics is within a couple of minutes of walking into the practice, you can really tell like how well this practice is doing. And it’s because you can get a sniff from the staff of like, are they empowered in this job? Are they sitting behind the bulletproof glass just waiting to like bark at you? Or are they ready to welcome you into a healing experience?

And it’s interesting because medicine is going through a process of evolving towards more of a healing experience because they realize that bulletproof glass plus prescriptions is not a great plan for chronic illness. It worked OK for acute illness. So now there’s this transformation that’s happening, and I can just see that those clinics that have taken the culture really seriously, either because they have come to other trainings, maybe like yours or other people that train great staff stuff. But ultimately it’s also about revenue too, because you know that that energy is the way other people communicate, patients communicate when they tell other people about the office, right? It’s not just about the doctor was great. It was like, “You got to check out this doctor’s office. Something different is going on there.”

Jeremie Kubicek: And oftentimes, I know doctors usually say is like, “Hey, I don’t have the time. where am I gonna find time? Do you know how many patients I’m trying to serve? How am I going to do this too? We don’t have the budget. We don’t know what the plan would be that works.” And so we’ve been trying to solve those issues to make it multipliable. So you don’t need an outside person where you can actually do this yourself. But it starts with you. If you’re the physician and you’re listening to this, it starts with you understanding your tendencies first.

So James, I think you and I have the same type in general. I know we’re different people, but I think we’re similar in personality. So we have tendencies, and some of our tendencies have patterns. Well, all of our tendencies have patterns. And we have actions and those actions have consequences that shape reality.

So for instance, we probably come up with a lot of ideas. So if there’s a physician that’s constantly coming up with a lot of ideas, the staff may not know how to handle those ideas and therefore, it creates some drama in time if we are physicians. Versus let’s say we were a Pioneer physician, and the Pioneer physician is short, sweet, they’re curt. This is business. It’s not personal. You don’t need to take it in any other way, therefore, okay. Yeah. Too much information. I got it. So certain niceties may not be around. Well, the consequences of being a Pioneer could create a culture that’s really difficult to thrive and live in. So it’s these dynamics to go, you have to know yourself to lead yourself. If you know yourself and lead yourself, then there’s a better chance for your people wanting to follow you.

Then you need to know your team to be able to lead your team. If you’ve got six people in your team in your office, six plants is very manageable. You can manage six clients to get them to thrive. But it starts with knowing yourself first. And that’s what the 5 Voices is all about. There’s obviously the build there too, but we’ve created even more. We put it on GiANT TV, which we’ve talked about. A way where people can actually watch three minute and five minutes snippets and videos of how do I have water plants and how do I take care of my people. And we’ve done it in a very easy format. But that’s what we’re finding it has to happen is you have to be committed to it, and you have to be consistent in your gardening.

James Maskell: Absolutely. Yeah. So first step you have to work out who you are and how you want to lead and how you like to operate in the world and maybe what normalizations that you’ve made in your own mind about how things work based on your own experience and be self-aware enough to deal with that. Then the next step is now you have to like understand. What’s the best way of sort of diagnosing and treating as it were your staff? So let’s just say you get involved in this. You want to know what their personality type is and obviously they can go through the process of the 5 Voices to work that out, and you can understand them from there. But we’ll just say what does that nurturing process look like or that leading process look like for the different 5 Voices as far as how often you need to be having meetings with them or kind of support they need or otherwise.

Jeremie Kubicek: So two things. One, you go to 5Voices.com. It’s a free assessment. So people can use that, and you can learn. If you haven’t yourself, you can learn what your voice is. Now if you do the 5 Voices on GiANT TV, GiANT TV is actually very, very inexpensive. You go on and there’s actually a lot of free things you can get without having to download. But if you go to GiANT TV, you can take the 5 Voices assessment and then there’s videos directly tied to you. And those videos are things about how do you undermine yourself, where are you maybe not as good as you think you are, what is your weapon that you tend to use under stress? All of those kinds of really specific things as the physician. And these are like three- to five-minute videos. So they’re meant to be very quick to the point.

From there, there’s pathways that we’ve created. Actually, there’s a whole pathway that says how to take my team communication to the next level. How do I get my team to understand their personality? So we’ve done all the homework for people. If they just want to do the pathway and watch the videos, that’s a simple way. Now you’re doing three to seven minute videos, three to five minute videos with your team and having conversations around them.

I think the key is this, most people like to learn about themselves. Staffs actually really get intrigued by this because it’s really personal and you’re looking at who they really are. And if you do this well, they’re noticing that you’re taking time to invest in them personally. The 5 Voices is beautiful because it doesn’t label people. It’s not saying, “Oh, you’re a Pioneer. Okay.” You’re actually a Pioneer Connector. Or in my case, I’m a Connector Creative Pioneer. So it enables people to know the complexities of the person in a way that it’s much, much easier than Enneagram or then Myers-Briggs or DiSC or any of those things.

So I think just the intention and the desire is where you start. Then you can start with some meetings with people. We have processes. You can get certified. You could have one of your people get certified on this, and they actually become the expert in the internal champion that you don’t need an outsider. So there is a lot of options here that people can do, but that’s really meant to be paced in however they want to pace it.

James Maskell: Yeah, I could see, for instance, if you, let’s say a Pioneer, which many of the doctors in our community are, or practitioners because they’re doing something that’s like they’ve chosen to go on this path where they’re doing something unique, a new type of a way of taking care of patients. I could imagine that if you understood that you had certain weaknesses in your…Oh, not weaknesses, but different ways that you did it that I’ve seen a lot of clinics where there’s sort of like a two-person combination that’s really strong. Like doctor/office manager where the office manager is really more than an employee. It’s sort of like someone who’s going to be there forever and someone who’s taking care of the rest of the team and maybe has a different personality type that’s more suited to that. Ultimately that can be a great gift, especially if a doctor is super-busy at the beginning of their practice taking care of patients or otherwise.

What have you seen as sort of like the best structure for personality types to build a leadership team? Because some of the clinics that we’re working with graduate from one or two person to six people and then suddenly you’ve got four physician’s assistants and three health coaches and three doctors and you’ve got like a 20-person team.

Jeremie Kubicek: Well, the problem is a lot of times people will do personality things and they do them one time and one and done. And people will all get excited for about two weeks, maybe a month. And then it just goes away. The beauty about the Voices, it’s actually tied around five things. It’s tied around communication, relationships, and emotional intelligence. It gets into alignment. It even talks about execution and capacity. So it’s the team performance process.

So if anyone wants to really take it on and go for it, they would have one person certified, and they basically run the system for the team. And so it’s not an external person that’s costing a ton of money. It’s actually very low amount that someone who gets certified, they become the champion internally, and they set up a process of the language where everyone starts to learn each other and know each other. Then they start analyzing and understanding from their patients. And that’s where the magic happens. Because if the doctor can know themselves and leading themselves, if the doctor can know their staff and the staff ends up understanding each other, then they’ll start understanding their patients. And if they understand their patients, now that connected three levels. All of a sudden you become more mature, more emotionally intelligent. And you’re connecting in a relational way, which will only affect referrals, which will only reflect patient care.

So the benefits are amazing. If you can get a team flywheel spinning, and the flywheel of that team is directly related to the relational trust between the doctor and staff. If there’s discord between the physician and the staff, it will show up in the way that the patient care is handled. Patients can feel it. And at best, there’ll be a compliant staff. They’ll do what they need to do to keep their jobs because they need a job. But an empowered staff means that there’s ingenuity, there’s better communication. That means the relational trust is so high. It means that they’re actually aligned. They’re getting things done. It’s a flywheel, but the physician has to invest in a flywheel of time, energy, resources to get that rolling. And we just think we’ve figured out a system that actually works. The system is actually not having an outsider to come in and do it. The system has to train your people internally to do it themselves.

James Maskell: Yeah. That’s super interesting. I can definitely see that working. So what you see happening then is now all the stuff are self-aware of their own skills and patterns and help each other out, but ultimately then start seeing patients come in and typing those patients and ultimately providing the right experience with those patients. Because we’ve heard a lot about that. In fact, we’ve had a few conversations about DiSC scoring and Myers-Briggs and those kinds of ways of individualizing the patient’s needs. Seems like these Voices are something that maybe is a little bit more memorable. I can’t even remember which Myers-Briggs I am.

Jeremie Kubicek: That’s right. No, totally. And that’s what’s happening. So we’ve simplified it and not only simplified it, we’ve given people a system for multiplication. We call it 100X. How do you get each one of your team members to 100% health or moving that direction? And then how do you teach them to multiply? Whereas most employees, they come in 60 minus. 60% healthy, barely healthy and they’re negative and jaded and cynical and they spread negativity. Maybe your best employee is 75 plus, generally healthy and they’ll add value wherever. We just created a way that people…We’ve kind of learn how to engage people inside companies and teams, and they become empowered. And then we help leaders empower people by lighting that pilot light of their employee. And if you do it, it will be unbelievable. We have so many stories and case studies of people that have done this, but we use this phrase, James, progress is a process.

So if you want to make progress, you have to have a process. The problem with most leaders is their impetuous nature of all of us is we’re impatient and we want to solve people. And the one way that we solve people is we turn people who are liabilities, and we tried to send them to a seminar thinking that we’ll solve it or we try to give them a book thinking this will solve it. It will not solve it. They actually have to go through and see in a mirror themselves what it’s like to be on the other side of themselves. They have to see the broccoli in their own teeth and want to change. But they’ve got to have a process that will help them change. And so we’ve created this process called the 100X System that uses the 5 Voices inside the companies. And it works. But it’s a process. And I think that’s the key to any leader. If you want to see change, you have to commit to it, invest in it, and then you have to be consistent with it. We just have created a system that runs itself.

James Maskell: Yeah, super interesting. You mentioned one of the five different ways in which you can see how things work inside the organization. I’m interested in execution as an example just because I know that getting stuff done is a lot of…When I hear from practitioners in the Practice Accelerator, it’s like they go so much to do, they just want to get things done and executed. Can you give us some insight from that particular vertical as to how the different personality types execute and what they need to operate at their best?

Jeremie Kubicek: Yeah. Every leader loves this phrase, “Hey, can we just get on the same page? And can we make things happen? Can we just get everyone on the same page and just get stuff done?” Right? I mean, I hear that 90% of the time. And I go, “Great, that’s awesome.” But if you haven’t established communication and you don’t have trust, relational trust, then at best you’re going to get compliance. At best, you’re going to get people, “Yeah, yeah, sure. Hey, everyone. Come on, let’s do our job.” And people trudge through and they get things done as well. But if you’re always having to light the fire under that, it’s so infuriating. It’s so frustrating. So we just say take the time to build the trust and understand your plants.

So if I tell you, James, let’s say I was a Guardian and you’re a Pioneer Connector kind of a category. If I’m a Guardian and I’m telling you in a certain way how to do it and it feels like micromanagement, you’re going to get aligned because you need the job and you might do some of the work. But you’re going to despise me in the process. So therefore, what would it look like if I simply read your card? “Oh, here’s James. Here’s how he likes to get aligned. Here’s how he likes to execute. This is his wiring.” If I know that, I can then start transferring and giving you and communicating with you in the way that you want to be communicated towards. All of a sudden, I bet you I get an eight out of you instead of a six. I bet you I get into the nine. And if I do that, the ramifications on that team will go much, much higher.

So that’s what we say is like, “Yeah, we’re all for alignment. We’re all for execution. But if you push for it, you won’t get it to the degree you want. You’ll be disappointed.” If you start focusing on relational trust and on communication via the 5 Voices and they feel that you know them and you start to speak in their language, it’s the same as a green planet. I can wish a green plant would start growing, but until I put it into the right sunlight and give it the right water, it won’t grow to the level it could.

James Maskell: Are there differences in the personality types to desire to want to conform to the 5 Voices system?

Jeremie Kubicek: Yeah, no, it’s actually, usually Guardians are the most cynical. Sometimes the creative thinker, and what’s so fascinating is they’ll sit back and watch the logic of this. And then they’ll start playing it out, and then they’ll start seeing it in their spouse or their kids or themselves. And all of a sudden you’ll see them make a massive change.

I was with a Guardian recently in an academic world who are usually the most cynical, and this guy actually is like, “I get it. It makes sense. All of us are born a little different. All of us have a wiring. All of us have a personality. If I manage that personality, I’ll have more success than if I try to manage everyone the same way. Got it. It’s just logical.”

So to go, if you want to continue to do what you’re doing, how’s that working for you? Well, you’re getting everyone to comply. Great. If you want empowerment and engagement at the highest levels, just makes sense. We’re going to have to…So for those who are jaded or think that that’s rubbish, you almost have to look at nature and gardening to go everything in a garden doesn’t need the same amount of water and the same amount of sunlight. Everything needs a little bit different. If you can start treating employees that way, you’ll get your employees to become assets, not liabilities.

James Maskell: Yeah. I love that. Super cool. Well, Jeremie, look, I really appreciate it. I think this is going to hit home for a lot of practitioners. One, because they definitely understand the gardening analogy for patients, but also because ultimately we’re in a world right now where this is empowerment medicine. Ultimately, we’re in the business of empowering people to be responsible for their own health. And that’s part of the journey that practitioners are taking patients on. And it’s being said that patient engagement is the next blockbuster drug because patients have not been engaged in their healing process. And if you can find a way to consistently engage patients into their care, you’re going to get the best results. You’re going to run a very successful practice. And so I think that the fundamentals of what you shared here are really important.

I know a lot of practitioners are accessing different strategies to be able to bring their teams together. But I feel like everything that we’ve spoken about thus far makes me think that there is some significant value to this.

So if you are interested in finding out more about Jeremy’s work, you can go to 5Voices.com. We’ll have the rest of the details in the show notes about where you can find some of the other content that Jeremy mentioned here today.

Jeremie, thanks so much for being here and I think that in my mind I’ve already got one more topic that I would love to pick your brain on. So if you’d be happy to come back maybe sometime in the fourth quarter, we’d love to have you back. And I’m sure that there are more ramifications of this into patient care.

Jeremie Kubicek: I love it. We’d love to. Thanks, James.

James Maskell: Awesome. This has been the Evolution of Medicine Podcast. We’ve been with Jeremie Kubicek. He is the author of the 5 Voices and his training or groups and organizations and leaders. And you can find out more about him in the show notes. I’m your host James Maskell and we’ll see you next time.


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