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How to avoid communication breakdowns with Dr. Leeno Karumanchery

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On this episode of Culture, Comms, and Cocktails, we have Dr. Leeno Karumanchery, Chief Diversity Officer at MESH/diversity.

Culture, Comms, & Cocktails is internal comms served straight up, so settle in, drink in the knowledge. Some shaken, some stirred, and maybe even some with a twist, and enjoy the top shelf guest I have lined up for you. I’m your host, Chuck Gose, Senior Strategic Advisor at SocialChorus. On this episode of Culture, Comms, & Cocktails, we have Dr. Leeno Karumanchery, Chief Diversity Officer at MESH/Diversity.

MESH/Diversity software measures inclusion, providing tools and resources for effective D&I strategies leading to better culture. Their approach empowers organizations with the roadmap and tools to bring D&I into their business DNA.

“If you’re a leader who truly wants to understand what your people are going through so that you can support them, so that you can make sure you’re doing the job in the best way that you can so you get the most performance out of them, then you have to use real survey tools. And survey tools that will get around that power dynamic.” —Dr. Leeno Karumanchery

We feature communications leaders every second and fourth Tuesday of the month. Don’t miss an episode of Culture, Comms, & Cocktails, brought to you by SocialChorus. Subscribe now wherever you listen to podcasts (Apple, Google Play, Stitcher, etc.)

Culture, Comms, & Cocktails Episode #32 Transcript

Chuck Gose: Hello everyone, this is Culture, Comms & Cocktails internal comms served straight up. I’m your host, Chuck Gose, senior strategic advisor at Social Chorus. And on this episode of Culture, Comms and Cocktails, we have Dr. Leeno Karumanchery, Chief Diversity officer at MESH/Diversity, Dr. Leeno, welcome to the podcast.

Leeno Karumanchery: Thanks, Chuck. Happy to be here.

Chuck Gose: So grab a seat here at the lounge, it looks like you’re already sitting there in the lounge and let’s go ahead and get started. Wanted to do a quick catch up here between the two of us. We met last year at PRSA Connect in Phoenix and it was great having you there to keynote and I just wanted to let you know, ever since that day you’ve been in my head almost every day. And that could be a very fun place to be, that can sometimes be a very scary place to be but your talk, which we might end up referring to throughout the podcast, had such a big impact on how I view the diversity inclusion conversation.

Leeno Karumanchery: Lovely. Lovely. Anything in particular that I said that was of value?

Chuck Gose: Well I think it was more seeing both your presence on stage and how you stayed very calm but were able to get such a physical response from some of the attendees with your tactics and strategy. But I think also I liked the approach where you said if you are white, if you are male, if you’re over six feet tall, this is not about you. Sit down. And I was like okay, I’m white, male, over six feet tall, this is not my conversation to have. But you gave advice on how people like me or in my circumstance can still be helpful and lead that conversation and make way for others in this world.

Leeno Karumanchery: Yeah I appreciate that, Chuck. I think unfortunately so much of the work in this field comes from places of pain or anger or frustration and it unfortunately gets directed at people who are just human beings. So rather than moving together forward, we end up pointing fingers and a lot of the blame stuff starts to happen. It’s not particularly conducive so much. So I appreciate that that was a useful conversation.

Chuck Gose: It was. And I know it’s something that we were hoping to continue to keep having, but like a lot of other conferences and events, PRCA Connect is on hold. So I’m glad we’re able to catch up here today.

Chuck Gose: The reason I wanted to talk to you today is admitting one of my own, I guess, biases or behaviors that I wasn’t most proud of. And when the pandemic started and people started working from home, I was admittedly a little bit snarky about everybody talking about working from home or finding tips to work from home and advice to work from home. And I’ve worked from home for 10 years and it bothered me that all these things were happening now and I couldn’t figure out why it was bothering me so much. And I realized we’re not all working from home, that’s not what we’re doing here. And I feel like there’s some gaps that haven’t been talked about in how people are trying to adjust in this new world. So how should companies be leveling their expectations when employees are expected to work but not work from their normal work locations or environments?

Leeno Karumanchery: You know, I think one of the largest learning curves that, not just organizations but leaders in particular are going to have, we weren’t designed for this. I’m missing a whole chunk of your body language. I can’t see you shoulder down. So we’re missing a kinesthetic, we’re missing a feel. This is not what we were designed for. We were designed to have our visual, our auditory, our kinesthetic, our touch, our feel, our sense of the space. It all gives us context for our communications. I hate the term, just because it’s been used so much, but water cooler conversations, they built a culture in our organizations. Just seeing other human beings sitting across from us or down the way. It builds our ability to feel a sense of being a community, a sense of belonging.

Leeno Karumanchery: All that’s been ripped away from us. That’s not an easy thing to have just taken away in the snap of a finger and just go back to normal just because you’re in a different space with a video conference. So the first piece that I think there’s a massive adaptation is adapting to this. Communication here is a very, very different thing than communication face front. I guarantee the entire world, who’s now doing video conferencing, has been having a conversation with someone and all of a sudden they start to look over in the corner or had a smile or something that didn’t seem like it fit with the conversation. And our human tendency, they’re distracted, they’re paying attention to something else, they’re watching a video on the corner of the screen. So we will tell ourselves stories. And unfortunately, because we like keeping ourselves safe, those stories often end up on the negative side of things to prep us for a worst case scenario.

Chuck Gose: And I think another topic that we haven’t focused on enough in this new, trying to be productive and work during pandemic, even recognizing that even working from home is a privilege for some, not everybody has that opportunity, is the challenge that managers now have with employees being remote. And perhaps new employees being remote and them being remote from the workplace for the first time. So when you think about, from a pre-pandemic state to a current day to a post-pandemic, there have always been good and great managers and there’ve always been bad managers. So what I’m curious is who are the managers who will excel in our current situation, what skills do they have that will allow them to excel?

Leeno Karumanchery: It’s four words, it’s the intent impact gap. Managers who understand the intent impact gap will be able to lead their folks far better than those who don’t. And I’ll just, super quick. If I’m having this conversation with you and I see your eyes roll, my immediate reaction may be that was rude, why is he doing that?

Chuck Gose: I am a pretty good eye roller.

Leeno Karumanchery: So am I, it depends on who’s talking, often family. But if I see the eye roll, my head might tend to spin. The problem is the eye roll is completely ambiguous. It could be everything from, I cannot believe I set up to do a podcast with this guy, all the way over to this is really interesting, I wish I’d learned this a year ago. The problem is from my personal experience of the world, I’m going to interpret that eye roll. And so you may have intended one thing but it’s going to impact me sideways.

Leeno Karumanchery: Managers need to understand that they can have their expectations, they can have their directives, but it may not always hit their people in the way they intend it to hit. And so guiding people in this kind of distance, guiding people through this kind of stress, we have to first be able to check ourselves, what’s going on here? What is my intention? How do I give clear directive in a way that other people can understand? And if there has been a communication breakdown, unfortunately our human tendency is to blame other people. So we have to be able to take a step back and say, “Okay, if there was a breakdown, how was I involved in it? How do I avoid that piece later? How do I increase the clarity of my communication so that people hear what I mean and not what I say?” That’s going to be a massive difference for good communicating leaders.

Chuck Gose: And when it comes to whether it’s the leaders themselves, the managers, the organization, how should companies be gathering feedback from employees during this current situation? Or should they be? Is there any value to getting feedback now and what counts as quality feedback?

Leeno Karumanchery: So let’s take a step back before the pandemic. Is there value in getting feedback from your people? From an internal comms perspective, you really hope so, right? Is there value in understanding how people feel? Absolutely. How do I have a communication with you unless I know you’re hearing what I actually mean. If you create a wonderful message but it lands differently in this region than that region, lands differently in this office than that office, it’s not a particularly usage communication message, let alone stream. So how do I craft my messaging so it hits people in the way that it’ll get them to move in a way to make sense? That requires understanding how it’s being received. That requires understanding what the culture is in those spaces. So getting that feedback is massive.

Leeno Karumanchery: The challenge is even before this crisis, the tools haven’t been the greatest. And everybody’s done these one to five, one to seven surveys, everyone’s done these strongly agree, strongly disagree surveys. They’re all based on something called the Likert scale or Likert scale, depending on your pronunciation. And the purpose of the scale is really simple, if I say, “Hey, Chuck, how do you feel today?” And you say good, I have no clue what that means. So the Likert scale is designed to allow us to put metrics on things that are unknowable. So if I say on a scale from zero to seven, seven being awesome, zero being terrible, how do you feel today? And you say good, I’m a seven, okay. That’s awesome. Then if I ask you again tomorrow and you say, “I’m good, I’m a six.” I know that your good is a little bit less than yesterday so it’s useful.

Leeno Karumanchery: But the challenge is the scale was designed for social research. So if I say the president of the United States is going to be re-elected in November, strongly agree, strongly disagree? You can answer however you want. You’re not going to lose your job, people won’t judge you, you know it’s anonymous so you can answer honestly. But the moment those kind of survey structures are used internally in organizations, people lie. People lie for a multitude of reasons. We lie to save face, we lie to curry favor, we lie to avoid stress, we lie for multitudes of reasons and sometimes we lie without even realizing we’re lying. Because it just feels more comfortable with that answer. Case in point, any zero to five survey you’ve ever put out in your organization, I guarantee you had next to no zero, ones and twos. Those surveys are designed to give you threes, fours and fives, otherwise people wouldn’t stay. You know what I mean?

Leeno Karumanchery: So it’s part of the reason we use a quad model. It doesn’t allow you to gain the system. So if you want real data, you have to use a real data gathering tool. And that’s the big key and there’s huge value in that.

Chuck Gose: Yeah I think back to something I saw on Twitter, and we have to take for face value if things are true or not, I’m going to believe this is true, that it was a conversation between a manager and an employee and the manager asked the employee how they’re doing and the employee responded okay and the manager said, “No, none of us are just okay. We’re all struggling now,” and encouraged that conversation to go deeper. And so I think it’s a natural conversation. You said people lie, they’re not even thinking they’re lying, they just don’t want to have that conversation. And I think sometimes that’s where we have that struggle with feedback and employees is we’re asking them things around a topic that they don’t want to have a conversation or give feedback on so they just give an answer to move along.

Leeno Karumanchery: Absolutely. I harp on this all the time because it frustrates me, this notion of courageous conversations. Everybody’s heard of it but back in the day when I used to counsel, if a woman came to me and said, “My husband beats me.” Does anyone think the appropriate suggestion is go back and talk to your husband? Have a courageous conversation. It’s asinine on the face of it, let alone dangerous. With a moment there are power dynamics, courageous conversations are great for the people in positions of power. They’re not particularly conducive for people who are not. And so ensuring that your survey structure, that your survey system, that your tool allows you to get around that power dynamic.

Leeno Karumanchery: If you’re a leader who truly wants to understand what your people are going through so that you can support them, so you can make sure you’re doing the job in the best way that you can so you get the most performance out of them, then you have to use real survey tools. And survey tools that will get around that power dynamic.

Chuck Gose: I think that power dynamic comes into play more than leaders and managers recognize or realize or want to recognize and realize. That even employees, I don’t think, recognize or realize that sometimes when they’re giving that feedback.

Leeno Karumanchery: Absolutely. It’s a difficult thing to wear a hat that you don’t realize you’re wearing or don’t have to look at all the time. The moment you become a leader in an organization, you wear the hat. And you can be the nicest person on the planet, but you have frailties. We all do. And there’s always potential for those frailties to come through in mismanagement, micromanagement, holding grudges, all those little things, unfortunately, that make us what we are as humans. Of course people don’t want to answer honestly a lot of times, especially when it would be critique. Especially when the response is going to say you’re not doing your job as well as you could or as well as I need you to be. Who wants to have that conversation with their leader?

Leeno Karumanchery: So yeah, getting that appropriate feedback is massive. And from an internal comms perspective, getting the feedbacks that you’re getting real data so you can actually craft your messaging, so you can do your job to the best of your ability, it’s massive. Absolutely massive.

Chuck Gose: Yeah my go to piece of advice for this is from a friend, Julia Markish and I always give her credit for this. What it comes to is only ask what you can act upon. I think so often we ask employees things that their feedback isn’t going to change anything. So if we focus on that and what you shared, I think that’s really valuable.

Leeno Karumanchery: It’s part of the reason that so many employees struggle with employee feedback, right? Because there’s a belief that nothing gets done.

Chuck Gose: And we talked about managers in this sense that there’s some very strong ones and not so strong. The same comes into play with communicators. They’re not all created equal. Some are maybe more procedure based, process based, some might be more creative. But I, obviously based on my network, I see a lot of communicators talking about communicating during the pandemic. What I’m curious and a little bit concerned about is what should they be trying to focus on when you have the organization in mind when it comes to communication during this time? And also, by doing that, are they neglecting some of their own needs as people and employees of a company by trying to be the face and the voice in this hard time?

Leeno Karumanchery: Let’s go with the first question and then you’ll remind me of the second because I’m going to drone on, most likely, and then I will forget what the second piece is. In terms of what they should be communicating, at this particular point in time, it would not be uncommon to find somebody who’s normally the most composed individual on the planet acting like Chicken Little, like the sky is falling. Because the sky is almost literally falling. If you could imagine worst stuff happening around you. And then on top of everything else, forget about the health risks to yourself, to people you love, forget about the financial risks born of the fact that you might not have a job next Monday, we also have this other entirely different stressor about having to work from home. Now some folks, like me, are incredibly privileged. I’m sitting here in a basement. My daughter, I can hear her, I can’t tell if you can hear her but she’s practicing her piano upstairs and it’s [inaudible] because my concern is you can hear it.

Leeno Karumanchery: I have a nine year old son who’s in school upstairs with my wife, who’s not a teacher but forced to be teaching him right now while I’m on a call. I’ve got nine different things running through my head and half of them are irritating me. This is not my normal work circumstance. So in terms of what we should be communicating, you can’t avoid the realities. Trying to put a nicey-nice face on it, it will be read through so quickly by people. Truth with guidance. This is where we are. This is where we want to be going and this is where we want to go with you so this is how we need everybody working together. Just putting out the risks out front, reality. But just doing it in a way that you’re not alone. We are here together. Because at a basic level, if human beings don’t feel safe, we can’t function appropriately. We can’t function at our best, the way our brain is designed it just doesn’t allow for that. We just sit there and cycle in worst case scenarios.

Leeno Karumanchery: Any parent who’s ever had a sleepless night worrying about their child, when that thing they were worrying about was never really going to happen, it’s in our design. It’s called the amygdala hijack. We’ve chatted about that before at the conference. We are designed to look for threat. And unfortunately, given the circumstances right now, the threats, we don’t have to look hard, they’re everywhere. So your ability to actually communicate the organization message, the needs of the organization in a way that has people not feeling alone but feeling like there’s a purpose and they are a part of that purpose and there are people who have their back and actually care about how they feel. That’s why that feedback mechanism is vital.

Leeno Karumanchery: We actually turned part of our micro survey process, one that I was telling you about, to actually focus on COVID specific pieces, particularly for front line but for people in general because getting that feedback is massive in your ability to actually not just communicate that one string but also get back so you can have a good flow through.

Chuck Gose: And the other part of the question points to what should they be doing for themselves in this time? Where so often I think they are now shouldering the burden of sometimes being the voice of the employee to leadership during a very difficult time but also being a voice of leadership or using their channels to get those messages out. How should they be checking in on themselves in this time?

Leeno Karumanchery: I’m going to switch the phrase from checking in to managing themselves. And I’ll give you a good example. We don’t have very many options but to live in the world that we got. And how you drive forward is less about a predisposition and far more about attitude. Would you blame somebody if they said they were in their house with their three year old daughter… Let’s say I’m in my apartment with my three year old daughter, I have to work from home, change diapers, all that stuff, it is driving me freaking batty. Would you blame her for that? Probably not. So the question is can we move ourselves from a place of I can’t believe this is my life right now to I can’t believe this is my life right now? Say it differently. Same exact statement, two different statements from the same exact person. I have to have chemotherapy. Would anyone blame that person for being morose or depressed about that? No. But that same exact person could say, I get to have chemotherapy. There are millions of people in the world who get cancer and will never even have the chance to have it.

Leeno Karumanchery: So it very much is about attitude. We talked about this at a different point in time. I had an issue with my eyes so I had to have needles every month or so, have a look at that. At the beginning of this I was in the I can’t believe I have to get needles in my eye. But these days I get to have needles in my eye. I get to see my kids almost the way they look because the technology is there and health services are what they are. I get to have needles in my eye. So in terms of managing yourself and getting the most out of yourself in this particular situation, find the nugget of fortune in what this has brought. Not necessarily by looking what other people are doing and saying I’ve got it better, but try and find that piece that this has given you. Are there any get to’s in this scenario at all? That’s something to cling to and actually drive a really positive momentum and attitude.

Chuck Gose: I think that’s part of what, when I said at the beginning of all this, I felt very snarky about all the work from home content. It was that mind shift for me in realizing that it’s a very privileged thing to be able to work from home and still be productive and not have to worry about going out and exposing myself. I can stay home, I can work. I, thankfully, still have a job. All of those things are those positives to focus on. So it is the mind shift. I think it’s probably easier to do in my case than someone who has that three year old who’s changing diapers. We all have different challenges but this is such a unique time for all of us in such unique ways for each person based on the challenges that are presented to us.

Leeno Karumanchery: Absolutely.

Chuck Gose: Now you also recently led a webinar called The Indispensable Communicator. And on a previous episode of this podcast I had a lady from Edelman, Tamara Rodman on, she’s a senior VP there and they put out a study around COVID-19 and trust. Edelman always puts out their trust barometer every year. What was interesting about this study in particular was it focused on COVID-19 communication and it came out that employees trusted employer communication above all other information out there, which is pretty remarkable. They were going to the company, they wanted that information from the company. So that, to me, says communications, I’ve always felt they were indispensable, now we know they’re indispensable. So with this webinar you did, I want to tease it a little bit. Discuss what you think makes that indispensable communicator and let people know where they can go to watch that webinar and all the other webinars you guys have done.

Leeno Karumanchery: Okay. Quick little tidbit. When you are communicating with an individual, again massively more difficult to communicate with a large audience, right? Because the key is I have to get everybody to understand what’s going on inside my head. So unfortunately too many of us, we speak to be heard, not to be understood. And in that same way, we listen to sometimes rebut as opposed to actually listen and understand. So that beautiful two way stream when you’re speaking to groups, it becomes a number of different streams all at the same time. So getting out of your own head, what makes sense in your head and trying to get into that other person’s head is massive again. In an organizational sense, it’s why that feedback mechanism, a good feedback mechanism adds value.

Leeno Karumanchery: There’s something called the HALT states, hungry, angry, lonely, tired. Most of the folks listening today know for themselves when they’re hungry, they’re a little bit edgier. Anger is a secondary emotion, it happens when you feel hurt or threatened. Lonely, when you feel like there’s no one who has your back, or tired. Anyone who’s ever had a difficult conversation about finances with their partner in bed before they go to sleep knows they shouldn’t do that. These four states, they’re called HALT states, hungry, angry, lonely, tired. They’re physiologically primitive states. There wasn’t a grocery store on every corner 200,000 years ago so when we start to feel hungry, because we evolved in food scarcity, we start to stress out. It’s not rational, it’s emotional. Anger, hurt or threatened, it’s hurt or threatened by a predator or someone who’s trying to do me harm. Lonely means I don’t have the security of my group to protect me from the predator or the people who want to do me harm. And tired, I don’t have the strength to run and fight.

Leeno Karumanchery: These physiologic primitive states, they’re vital to how we communicate. So as a leader, do I want to have dicey conversations with my folks before lunch? Do I want to have dicey conversations with people or send a communications messages right before the end of the day after they’ve worked all day and are exhausted? Probably not. So understanding those physiological states are massive. But then there’s the what we do and say. These three keys, I talked about it quite extensively in the webinar, put down, let down, shut down. The part of our brain that triggers is 150 million years old in design. It doesn’t know anything about road rage. It doesn’t understand when people cut you off on the street. It doesn’t understand credit cards or debt. It doesn’t understand micromanaging by bosses. All it understands is threat. And the way it figures that out is what I’m experiencing, does it have me feeling put down? Does it have me feeling let down? Does it have me feeling shut down? Out of control? No power? You can understand where the courageous conversations are going to sit.

Leeno Karumanchery: If you’re the boss on a new remote team who just doesn’t get it, the stress that their team is under, it’s worse if you’re a leader that people actually like, the let down could be massive. And if that goes down the route of uncivil behavior from your leaders, it’s put down. Any one of those things, you forget about the physiological HALT states, any one of those things will trip out your amygdala hijack and put you in a worst case scenario. You do that with the HALT states, it’s not generally going to be a good scenario. So communicating, whether an individual or at a group level, it’s about ensuring that people have what they need to be able to engage the message that you’re providing. So the message, you have to do it in a way people can hear, which means don’t hijack them. You have to be able to provide it in a way that they can understand, not language that makes sense to investors or board members, language that makes sense to them. Say it in a way they can integrate into their world, in a way that makes sense for them, why they should want to do it, what’s their impetus?

Leeno Karumanchery: And that’s the fourth piece. Say it in a way that makes them want to work with the information. If you can’t do all four of those, there’s almost no point to starting the communication stream in the first place. And that’s what we really wrapped in in that webinar. And if you want to check it out, go to and you can get into the system, access all of the webinars. There’s a free portal so you can actually do the platform metrics for yourself as well. And it’s all free, it’ll be free forever.

Chuck Gose: I love the HALT because that’s an easy thing for people to remember. Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. I think the challenge with that now is that it’s somebody could be experiencing a multitude of those, if not all of those at this point in time and not just them, it could be their entire household, it could be their neighborhood, it could be their community, it could be their work team. And it’s just that weight people are feeling that they’re looking for those little glimmers of hope, silver linings to things.

Leeno Karumanchery: Yep. If you and I were on the same team, and this is where the homelessness issue, the privilege thing really starts to come in, I can’t help you if you’re hungry. I can’t. I can be on a remote call but I can’t help you with that. But anger is a secondary emotion, feeling hurt or threatened. In just our engagement I can help you to feel less alone. I can help you to feel that there is someone else there with you. And that’s a massive piece we can do for our remote teams. The tired piece, we talked about this in the very first webinar. There’s a concept called Flow. If you’re a leader you need to understand it. Flow is not something you’re born with, it’s about when you are at your optimum. When the world slows down and you’re just focused and you’re getting the best out of yourself, it’s very much contextual. We can help to generate environments where people can just be at their best and with everything that’s swirling it’s not easy to do, but we can try to create environments where people aren’t becoming overly taxed so they’re not feeling tired.

Leeno Karumanchery: Good leaders, especially remote, we’ve got to be tuning in. Are we creating conditions for flow? Are we creating conditions where people are challenged and not too challenged? Are we creating conditions where people can get that good stress that doesn’t leach over into anxiety or frazzle? We can do all of those things together. I think the biggest piece is good leaders who want to be better leaders understanding those pieces that they could do better.

Chuck Gose: Well, like I said since last May, Dr. Leeno, you’ve been in my head in so many ways, news articles, conversations. I’ve even emailed you a few times with scenarios that I’ve been in and how to better handle things. Thank you so much for your time, your energy, your attention, coming on the podcast and we wrap this up with always what’s your favorite cocktail but now we’re in this amazing setting here. Leeno, when we started recording, I didn’t even know you built an Irish pub in your basement, so that’s why it looks the way it does in there.

Leeno Karumanchery: There you go. It’s all Scotch.

Chuck Gose: Unbelievable.

Leeno Karumanchery: Strangely enough, even though it’s an Irish pub.

Chuck Gose: It’s unbelievable so I have very high expectations to find out, Dr. Leeno, what is your favorite cocktail?

Leeno Karumanchery: I have really started loving old fashioned’s recently. But even more specifically smoked old-fashioneds. They’re a beautiful, beautiful drink. Little tricky to make but they’re beautiful. You want me to tell you how to make it?

Chuck Gose: Please go follow Dr. Leeno on Twitter. One, you see a lot of great advice and stuff they’re sharing but you also see these amazing cocktail pictures. Which, we saw and saw, also a big fan of old-fashioneds, saw that you have one of those kitchen torches to work on the orange so I’m waiting on Amazon to deliver me a kitchen torch now because I’ve got time to do this. So yes, I want to hear from you how you make this great old-fashioned.

Leeno Karumanchery: All right, really, really simple. You need some Angostura bitters and a little simple syrup. If you don’t have simple syrup you just take some sugar, equal parts sugar, equal parts water and melt them together in a pot and then just set it to the side to cool. You take a little bit of orange peel, put it to the bottom, a couple dashes of Angostura bitters, a couple dashes worth of simple syrup and then take your muddler and squeeze that orange peel down and get all that nice oil out into there. And then you put your ice cube in, your alcohol of choice, bourbon for this or rye, probably. I choose bourbon, a couple shots of bourbon, stir it in, that’s your normal old-fashioned, right?

Leeno Karumanchery: Now what you do with the smoked old-fashioned is you take something that you want to smoke, so I like cinnamon, I like cherrywood, you put it on a little surface that can burn, you take your torch, you burn it get a nice smoke, turn your cup over, or your glass over and let the smoke ensconce the glass. It’s nice for presentation too, it’s very cool. And then you lift it up once it’s nicely smoked and then you do all of those fixings I just described and you have a beautiful smoked old-fashioned that you will love forever and a day.

Chuck Gose: Yeah, well now is the time for us to all find those little things that we each enjoy to get us through this pandemic and find those silver linings, find those moments that we can cherish. Again, thank you, Dr. Leeno for being on the podcast, it’s been a great pleasure.

Leeno Karumanchery: Thanks, Chuck. Cheers.

Chuck Gose: If you enjoyed what you heard from this episode and want to check out others, find Cultures, Comms & Cocktails on Apple podcasts, Google Play, Spotify or wherever you like to listen. And when you do, hit that subscribe button so you don’t miss any future episodes. This has been Culture, Comms and Cocktails, internal comms served straight up. Thanks for listening.

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Chuck Gose

Chuck Gose

I’ve always said the best part of my day is when I spend time talking and creating with internal communicators. And now that’s what I do for Firstup as the Head of Community & Industry Insights. In my nearly 25 years of communication experience, I’ve found internal communicators to be the most passionate. . . present company included.

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