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Oct. 28, 2022

Getting cozy, juicy and real with your colleagues - Sophia and Jed Lazar

Board game designers, group facilitators and founders of Cozy Juicy Real, Sophia and Jed Lazar share their journey of co-creating Cozy Juicy Real with their users and their biggest learnings and tips on building meaningful connections with people.


#022 - Would you like to get cozy, juicy and real with your colleagues, friends and family? Most of the time, we stay on the surface while interacting with people . We do a lot of small talk on topics like the weather, TV shows or just work. But those conversations don’t allow us to connect with people at a deeper level and get to know the real person behind the social mask.

In this episode, I had a chat with Jed and his partner Sophia Lazar. Jed and Sophia are game designers and group facilitators who are on a mission to help people have deeper and more meaningful interactions. I had wonderful chat with Jed and Sophia as they shared their story of co-creating the game with their users and their biggest learnings and tips on building meaningful connections with people through deliberate and carefully designed prompts. If you’re someone who wants to build deeper connections with your team, friends or family, then this episode is for you.

In this episode:

  • Creating and co-creating a board game with users
  • Biggest challenges for teams in building connections online
  • Difference between connecting deeply and oversharing
  • Creating a space for trust
  • True empathy vs manufactured empathy
  • and much more!


Shownotes

Cozy Juicy Real website

https://cozyjuicyreal.com/

Online Team building

https://go.cozyjuicyreal.com/dsf-teams

Physical Board Game for Friends

https://go.cozyjuicyreal.com/dsf-notifyme

Upcoming Cozy Juicy Real events

https://go.cozyjuicyreal.com/ig-links

Dilts Pyramid - The Neurological Levels

https://www.landsiedel.com/en/nlp-library/neurological-levels.html

Rose, Thorn and Bud

https://easyretro.io/templates/rose-bud-thorn/

Appreciative Inquiry

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appreciative_inquiry

The Gottman Institute

https://www.gottman.com/

ManKind Project

https://mankindproject.org/


Show credits

Illustrations by Kim Habib

http://iamk.im/

Music by Brad Porter

https://prtr.co/

Episode edited by Niall Mackay

https://sevenmillionbikes.com/

Transcript

Intro

[00:00:00] Jed Lazar: I don't think we see the value of connection, just like we don't think about the value of nature. There's not a value placed on that. And so we think we can exploit the natural environment. There's not a clear KPI for relationship and human connection. 

[00:00:18] Nirish Shakya: that's Jed Lazar, co-founder of the Board Game. Cozy, Juicy Real. In this episode, I had a chat with Jed and his partner Sophia Lazar. Jed and Sophia are game designers and group facilitators, and they're on a mission to help people have deeper and more meaningful interactions, deeper than you. Talking about the weather or just the latest TV show on Netflix. Just recently. I serendipitously bumped into them in Valencia, Spain for the first time through my friend Alona, and they kindly invited me to stay over at their. And we actually ended up recording an interview in person. I had a wonderful chat with Chad and Sophia as they shared their story of co-creating the game with their users and also their biggest learnings and tips on building meaningful connections with people both offline and online.

[00:01:17] And I learned how they do this beautifully through deliberate and carefully designed prompts. If you're someone who's frustrated with how your conversations with your team, friends or family, just stay at that surface level and you wanna go deeper than that, then this episode is for you.

[00:01:35] Let's get cozy, juicy, and real.

[00:01:38] Shivaun: This is the Design Feeling Podcast with your host Nirish Shakya. 

[00:01:52] Nirish Shakya: Hi, I'm Nirish Shakya, and I'm a designer, educator, and the host of my new podcast Design Feeling. Most of the time, you'll probably find me helping organisations put their customers first, or you might find me teaching design thinking and creative innovation, but I'm on a slightly different quest here - to explore the human behind the designer - who you are, what drives you, what frustrates you and why, and ultimately how you can bring more impact and meaning into your work.

[00:02:26] On this podcast, my expert guests, and I will be uncovering ways to increase your self-awareness, creative confidence and meaning.

Welcome

[00:02:37] Nirish Shakya: Sophia and Jed, welcome to Design Feeling.

[00:02:40] Jed Lazar: Thank you. Good. Be here.

[00:02:42] Nirish Shakya: Yeah, Great to have you here. And I have to say this is the first podcast that I'm actually recording in person with my guests. it was a total coincidence 

[00:02:52] and the reason I say it's a coincidence is because, I wasn't in, at the moment I'm in Valencia at, Sophia and Jet's Place. And the reason I'm here is because my passport was stolen in Meca a couple of weeks ago, and I just came to Valencia on my way to Madrid to get my emergency passport from the Australian embassy.

[00:03:12] And I just met Sophia and Jed through a friend, and we hung out. And as we're talking about what we do for work, we realized that, we're actually chatting over email and on LinkedIn, just,like a month ago. And we're actually planning to, interview, do an interview for my podcast, as part of our conversation.

[00:03:33] And. I remember like you telling me like you work for, you run a, a company or a program called Cozy Juicy Real. And I was like, Where? Have heard that before

[00:03:44] And I

[00:03:45] realized, you know what? We've actually been chatting online, um seven billion people in the world. And yeah, it's a such a miracle that, I turned up here and I got to meet you guys.

[00:03:57] Sophia Lazar: It is a crazy story. Yeah. we tell it to everyone.

[00:04:02] Jed Lazar: I called home that night,

What's Cozy Juicy Real?

[00:04:05] Nirish Shakya: So here we are. so you guys, are the founders of Cozy, Juicy Reel. Mm-hmm Well tell us what is Cozy, Juicy Real.

[00:04:14] Jed Lazar: All right. So Cozy, Juicy Real is a board game, that we developed over about four years, and the intention is to help people connect and have the kind of conversations that we all want to have. and so at its heart it's a simple board game with simple mechanics, but there's lots of subtle things built into it that help ease people from cozy questions, like easy to answer questions, to juicy questions where you can share a little bit more about yourself and then if they want to, they can answer real questions where you really get to know each other on a different level. 

[00:04:47] Nirish Shakya: how did you come up with this idea to like, take us back to your origin story, like where it all started, and how you ended up here,

[00:04:57] Sophia Lazar: where to begin, . Okay. So I would say our background is that we're both coaches and group facilitators. We're very interested in people of what's going on for them, how to move someone from being stuck to feeling free and feeling themselves.

[00:05:17] and a part of that in coaching sessions anyway is asking thoughtful and intentional questions. And we've always found that really interesting. So even in our own lives, we tend to ask questions to each other in friends and family and obviously in coaching and. We noticed that often when we'd hang out with our own friends and family is that you don't always have those and it would be like moving from a really meaningful and deep space with a client, a coachee, and then having a really kind of surface level conversation with friends where we're talking about, I don't know, Netflix, how's work? How's the kids? What's new? but I really wanna know what's your hopes?

[00:06:01] Sophia Lazar: What's your dreams? What are you like thinking about lately? What's on your mind? and so an idea came up that was very unrelated to Codes G Real. It was kind of a how we, we could maybe create an app to not just watch another movie. And part of this app, one of the ideas was to have a conversation game.

[00:06:23] And we kind of loved that idea and we prototyped it with a really simple. A piece of paper and a sharpie. and that's the idea that kind of evolved and we'll maybe talk a little bit more about how that happened, in a bit. But we, that kind of idea was, I dunno how to explain it. It just,

[00:06:47] I

[00:06:47] dunno. We felt connected to it. 

How the game works

[00:06:49] Nirish Shakya: I have, had the opportunity to play this game with you guys, but tell us how this game works.

[00:06:56] Jed Lazar: All right. So everybody starts on start. Okay. And when you're on start, you're on a green space and so you can pick any of the green cards.

[00:07:07] The green cards are cozy. And imagine the game board, just like a simple game board with, spaces along the outside, like Monopoly. and there's five decks of cards. Cozy, juicy, and Real are the three core decks of cards. And you get a certain number of points for Cozy. You have more points for juicy of course, and then even more points for real.

[00:07:29] And the card decks, build you up from, cozy questions. You just our chance to answer a question easily. Put your voice into the circle and just, start to dip your toes in to get to know each other. And then after you've answered those, then you can move around the board and you can pick cozy, juicy, real, or you can pick from the other two decks, random and lightning.

[00:07:54] We introduced random and lightning because at the start of the project we interviewed people and we asked them, When, what's the last incredible conversation you had? What's the last memorable con, memorable conversation you had? and what was it like and what we learned were some interesting things.

[00:08:13] for me, one of the most interesting things I learned was that it, people's memorable conversations aren't just about sharing deeply. That's what I would've thought. But it's also about, it's also about being dynamic. So they go,they go back and forth between, vulnerability sharing things, deeply sharing things that are meaningful, but also with play and humor mixed in. And, and so that's why we introduced the random.

[00:08:44] Jed Lazar: And the lightning deck. So those are really there to mix up the energy and to get people to step outside their comfort zones a little bit, be a little bit silly with each other at a level which is not uncomfortable, but maybe pushes us a little bit at our comfort zones so that we're being silly together. and and then we can come back into the cozy, juicy, real decks

[00:09:10] So

[00:09:11] we're not just, we're not just in one tempo or one rhythm the whole time 

[00:09:14] Nirish Shakya: time. 

[00:09:15] Sophia Lazar: So you actually unwinded me what my thread was before. And that was the, So cuz you asked, how did it all begin? And I was sharing about the background in coaching and conversations with our friends and family. and it came. so the question was, I think the core of it was how can we create the meaningful conversations that we love having?

[00:09:38] and the types of depth that we can get to in, say a coaching session. How can we take that out of that space and bring it into like just day-to-day life an easy, fun way without necessarily having us be facilitators? is there a way to facilitate that without a person and so gamification does that

[00:10:01] Nirish Shakya: amazing way you're basically trying to help people connect with each other at a deeper level than what we're used to in like normal day date conversations through like small talk and things like that. plus you are gamifying the experience by making it more fun and dynamic to, I guess experience.

[00:10:20] so I know when I was playing the game, I remember there was some like really deep questions, but the deep questions, came up a bit later, right? You started off with what you called like the cozy, comfortable questions and which really made me, Comfortable to get started with the game.

[00:10:36] is that how you'd recommend people start the conversations as well in terms of people, Let's say they don't have the game with them, but they want to have, those meaningful conversations, let's say the next time they're talking to their colleagues or family or friends, is that how you would recommend them, start with their conversation like with questions?

Starting conversations with cozy questions

[00:10:56] Sophia Lazar: I think so. Cause I think even when we have, an established relationship with someone already, even if you're just meeting them, that like for that day, it's rare that I think we, we just jump into Really deep stuff straight away. I think we, we want to like kind of test the waters and see where someone is at that day cuz our emotions are so pleading

[00:11:19] we can have a good day, we can have a bad day, and maybe we don't wanna have really deep conversations on a day that we're emotional. and so I think, yeah, starting with cozy questions, like easy entry questions, and just, yeah, feeling out like where someone's at, before necessarily digging deeper.

Examples of cozy, juicy and real questions

[00:11:37] Nirish Shakya: Could you give us an example of, these questions, the cozy questions, the juicy questions, and the real questions.

[00:11:45] Jed Lazar: So all the questions are focused on universal human experiences, so things that most people can relate to. and they tend to have a positive bend. and we do that because, people tend to have a better experience when they tend to talk about positive things.

[00:12:01] and so examples of questions are an example of a cozy question would be, what did you want to be when you grew up and why everybody had something, either one thing or many things they wanted to be when they were a kid. and so it's something that everybody can relate to. An example of a juicy question would be,share up the picture that's, share up a picture from your phone or share your iPhone wallpaper, your phone wallpaper. and why did you choose to put this there? Or if you were to get, a new tattoo, what would you get? and why? That's a really interesting one because, on one level it's some, it's, it, you could see a tattoo as something really superficial, but people put on tattoos oftentimes with a lot.

[00:12:44] Jed Lazar: It really, reflects like a deep story or a deep meaning for them. So a good transitional question, juicy question, and then a real question is something like, what's something beautiful in your life right now? And what about it Are you appreciating? When's 

[00:13:01] Sophia Lazar: the time you've been proud? When's the time you've been 

[00:13:04] Jed Lazar: brave?

[00:13:05] Nirish Shakya: So these require more vulnerability from the responder.

[00:13:10] Sophia Lazar: Yeah. something that's coming to mind is, and I think this is a really interesting, framework, for life. there's something in coaching called neurological levels, and I think there's seven levels. It basically moves from, I'm not gonna list them all.

[00:13:25] You can look it up, 

[00:13:27]

[00:13:27] Nirish Shakya: put the links in the show notes.

[00:13:28] Sophia Lazar: Yeah, great idea. so it starts with environment and that's kind of like the base level. and then you kind of move into capabilities and then higher up you move into beliefs, values, and identity. And we recognize that's like when you peel someone back, if, like you imagine a human as a, as an onion, um the outer shell is kind of like our environment.

[00:13:50] What we're good at our skills, they're things that we're not as attached to may be as our values and our beliefs and our identity. And so when we design the questions, we really have that in mind. It's like cozy never really touches that deeply on values and beliefs or identity, but as you move into Jo Juicy and Real questions, that's when you start to touch on those things.

[00:14:12] More and 

The process of creating Cozy Juicy Real

[00:14:14] Nirish Shakya: I'm actually really curious as to your, process you went through to research IDD and prototype this concept and this product

[00:14:23] Sophia Lazar: like Jed said, it was about four years. 

[00:14:25] it was painfully 

[00:14:26] Sophia Lazar: slow. We 

[00:14:27] Nirish Shakya: were 

[00:14:27] Jed Lazar: working full time. We were working full time. And this was a part-time gig.

[00:14:31] Yeah. This was a passion project? Yes. so what did it look like? It looked like us, putting events online on couch surfing.com for people who've heard of that. It's just an open online community. Anybody can host events there. And so we were living in London at the time and, we would just post an event.

[00:14:49] Random people would show up to a pub. We would host a game. We wouldn't tell people that we were the creators of the game. We just Oh, this is a game to hang out and get to know each other. And we'd play it and we would just watch. And take notes and also pay attention to ourselves and how we were feeling at different parts of the game to notice if there were things that felt great or things that felt uncomfortable or awkward. that definitely happens . and then just lots of conversations afterwards and feeling into, especially the times when things didn't feel quite right,

[00:15:24] sometimes sitting for months. Yeah. what could we be doing differently to smooth out the edges? So it was really slow and it was painful, but in hindsight it was kind of necessary that it was that slow.

[00:15:36] So what you guys were doing is pretty much like proper contextual GR research where you're kind of going out into the context of the real world context of where your users might be and then actually testing the prototype of your concept with real people straight away.

[00:15:53] Sophia Lazar: Yeah, a hundred percent.

[00:15:53] And like I said before, we started with a piece of paper and a pen and then we upgraded to our home printer

[00:16:01] Nice.

[00:16:02] And we bought an old board game from a load, some cheap shops, like five bucks. And then we stuck our own board onto the board. So it kind of looked a little bit professional. 

[00:16:13] And then yeah.

[00:16:13] And then we'd do our games that way cuz it was, I think we needed it to look a little bit decent, but we recognized that we didn't wanna invest a lot until we, we knew something was working. but yeah, we, I mean we play tested so, so many times and we kind of categorized our feedback and our notes into like visual design, mechanics questions.

[00:16:35] And what was the last one? I think just overall General feedback. and when we see a pattern, if we'd see Oh, this was just, this just doesn't work. Like every time we play it, something about this isn't working, we would just think of some ideas and then just

[00:16:52] Nirish Shakya: test 

[00:16:52] Mm-hmm And you would just It's raining really fast Yeah Yeah 

[00:16:55] Sophia Lazar: Yeah. 

[00:16:55] that was the hard part was finding the time to do that. 

[00:16:58] Jed Lazar: Yeah, it was, but I think a lot of the ideas came from the people that we were playing with. Oh. So at the end of games, people would be like, Where'd you get this game? Oh.

[00:17:05] And that's 

[00:17:06] when

[00:17:06] Nirish Shakya: we 

[00:17:06] made it.

[00:17:06] Jed Lazar: We made it. and then that was really fun because people, when they realized that it's, we would share, Oh, like this, something we're developing. What was it like? what did you, like people would, have a lot of fun being like, Oh, this part was great.

[00:17:19] And they were really honest when there were parts that they didn't like. And so many ideas in the game are from the people who played it as well. Yeah. 

[00:17:25] like what? the go deeper card and ma umI don't know if you ever watch how video you'll know what Go Deeper Card is. but if you like that concept came from a game we were just playing, we didn't have that.

[00:17:36] Sophia Lazar: And someone was like, can I ask a question? and it, we were like, yeah. And they would be like, it would be really nice if I knew that, if I had a card that I could ask a question. And we were like, That's genius. Let's introduce a go deeper card. So we introduced the Go Deeper card and it worked.

[00:17:51] It was just like, then people felt comfortable. It was like, gave them permission to explore and engage with each 

[00:17:59] Jed Lazar: Yeah. so to give a little bit more background, so we have done, everything we can to gamify conversation and to gamify relationships. So there's the core questions of the game itself.

[00:18:08] But then every player has these cards. We call them spark cards cause they spark interaction Yes. To, and those are there to kind of turn up the volume.

[00:18:18] interactions. So for example, like Sophia was saying, there's a go deeper card to encourage people to ask follow up questions, and you get points for that.

[00:18:27] At the same time, if you don't use those questions, if you don't use those spark cards, sorry, you are docked points at the end. Okay. There's also, a What about me card? So this is another example of us playing the game and somebody saying, I really want to do this, and I have a great answer to that question, but somebody else got to answer it.

[00:18:46] I really want to answer that. And so we introduced a What about me card? So somebody can give award themselves points as a way for them to get to share their own story. So we didn't, we don't really see ourselves as the creators of the game. We see ourselves as the holders of the project. We're the ones who've carried it forward. Some of the ideas have come from us, but a lot of the ideas have just come from the people and just watching and listening what's working and what's not working, and changing the experience, making micro changes, and then testing again.

[00:19:23] So essentially you were co-creating this product and this experience with your users.

[00:19:30] Nirish Shakya:

[00:19:30] Sophia Lazar: hundred 

Co-creating and letting go of control of the product direction

[00:19:32] Nirish Shakya: Love that. And how did you let go of your own need for, control of the direction of where a game, you thought would go?

[00:19:43] Sophia Lazar: I, That's such a great And I think that's the key to creating anything in the world, is being able to let go and not being attached to your initial idea of what something's gonna be, but more about understanding what do people need, and then figuring out along the way what will make that because I think we, if we have an idea of the game and Oh, this is what the game should look like, then it's a lot harder to, to create something that people really connect so how did we do that? I don't know. I think we always had the,

[00:20:23] the

[00:20:23] approach of test and observe. It's is it working or is it not?

[00:20:29] And if it's not working, then why should we? That, that, that doesn't make sense to keep it cause it's not working. So the aim, let's be, focused on the aim and the goal is to help people connect and help people have those amazing conversations and be authentic and be themselves and express.

[00:20:46] and if that's the goal, then like how that happens isn't really up to us. That's up to everyone who's experiencing and just like just said, being the holder, the vehicle to kind of making I dunno if that really answered 

[00:21:00] Nirish Shakya: your question. . Yep. Yep. Definitely. 

Managing fear of showing early stages of the prototype to users

[00:21:02] Nirish Shakya: And when you first, um showed your super early concept to people, people who you had recruited through couch surfing.com, how did you feel about your own work?

[00:21:14] Was there any kind of inhibitions in terms of our, maybe it's not ready enough or not good enough, or did you any ever kind of come across those feelings?

[00:21:24] Jed Lazar: I think when we would play with friends, and so sometimes we travel a lot and so we would bring the game as a, as like a worth this when we're on our travels. So we would ask our friends to play. There were times when I felt bad, like I was asking a favor, partially because they didn't understand what we were asking.

[00:21:50] and once they got into it, they enjoyed it. so there were times when I felt uncomfortable about that. your question is like times it is felt a little uncomfortable. Like we've been Actually we ask your question again.

[00:22:00] Nirish Shakya: Yeah. So how did you get over your own inhibitions of putting your work out there when it wasn't like fully ready yet when he was still in his early stages. Did you, For example, like a lot of designers, creators, innovators, they, scared of putting their

[00:22:18] early

[00:22:18] stage work out there for the fear of, shame and failure because oh, maybe it's not good enough. Maybe I need to kind of make it more Perfect. Did you ever go through those, emotion.

[00:22:29] Sophia Lazar: I know what you're talking about, but I think that, , it's funny cuz I think there's a part of me that's a perfectionist. and I don't think I'd be happy to release the final game in an un what I would say is an unfinished condition, . however, I think that, so I came across like the lean startup method or approach many years ago, and.

[00:22:54] and I saw it work. I went to a workshop and I watched people. I was a volunteer and I watched people doing like the MVP approach, of just putting the most basic shitty version of whatever it is that you wanna create, just to test the, what that skeleton is and does it have even a toe rather than, doesn't have to have legs yet, Does it 

[00:23:16] Sophia Lazar: have a

[00:23:16] toe? and I thought that was incredible and I think that we just went with that. It was like, just put it out there and see what happens. Yeah. 

[00:23:27] I don't think that I was, you know cause I've gotten ego and I, I can be sensitive

[00:23:34] Jed Lazar: who doesn't

[00:23:35] but I think that it was easier because I never.

[00:23:40] Jed Lazar: Thought of this project as being done, and I still don't think of this project as being done. Even when it's a physical board game and we've produced it, it's still never gonna be done. At the end of all of our online events, we ask for feedback. Yeah. And we're always trying to learn. So I'm not attached to a thing being in its final stages, and I'm not attached to it being a reflection of me either.

[00:24:05] And because I'm always in learning mode, I think that, I think that helps me step out of my ego or a fear of, negative feedback because it's like, Oh, great, thanks. That's something else I can do to improve.

Biggest challenges for teams in building connections online

[00:24:23] Nirish Shakya: And one of the things that, you use this particular game for is, also, with team building and building connections online. What are some of the biggest challenges that you see that teams have in terms of building connect connections online, especially in this, post pandemic 

[00:24:42] Jed Lazar: a lot.

[00:24:45] Sophia Lazar: that's an entire podcast gosh, I think the first one that comes to mind, and I think this is kind of maybe an obvious one, is that team's. Especially now because, a lot of companies are remote, or mostly remote is, making the time to connect on a personal level. And that's often why people come to us. because yeah, it's it's very like your day is planned out and we have meetings and we get on the meeting to have a specific conversation about a work topic or a project. And you don't really just hang out on Zoom. You're not just like sitting there co-working on Zoom. So you can't, it's hard to have those like spontaneous random conversations that you might have in an office.

[00:25:36] so I think making the time for connecting, even if it's just 10 minutes, 15 minutes at the beginning of a meeting, to just check in on a human level, I think is really important.

Why we don't make time for connections

[00:25:47] Nirish Shakya: And why don't we make the time?

[00:25:49] Jed Lazar: Because we don't value it. I don't think we see the value of connection, just like we don't think about the value of, nature.

[00:25:59] there's not a value placed on that. And so we think we can, exploit the natural environment. There's not a clear KPI for relationship and human connection, and so it's easy to not put our time into it. And I think that's something that I'm, One of the things I'm really proud of us doing is we have a small team.

[00:26:20] Jed Lazar: We have two employees, and every, we have two weekly meetings, and at every meeting there's time for checking in. We ask a different question. At every meeting, be unrelated, completely unrelated. And we take time. And there, I will say there's times when I feel impatient cuz we're meeting for four hours a week as a team and a good amount of that time about, I'd say 45 minutes to an hour of that time is just checking in and checking out of meetings.

[00:26:48] But

[00:26:49] I think that because we do that, so many potential conflicts are smoothed over because we know each other as people. We know what's going on in each other's lives. and we're all invested. We're all 

[00:27:03] Sophia Lazar: invested. We think we're 

[00:27:04] Nirish Shakya: invest Could you give us an example of that?

[00:27:08] Yeah. And how it's kind of actually resolve a conflict or what's the impact it's had in your day to day operations or your business? Cause what the thing is for.

[00:27:18] I know, like I, it's nice to have those check-ins. It's good for building connections, but I guess a lot of people in business, they might even be like, So was the actual business impact, like this is actually help make the business run better.

[00:27:32] Sophia Lazar: Okay. So one, I kind, I was, I

[00:27:36] dunno if it would say it was avoiding conflict necessarily the one I was gonna talk about or you can share that as well.

[00:27:41] but being invested I think is invaluable. Like you can't even put a price point on it. we're an early, we're like a small startup where we're Yeah, just four of us. and it's not always like smooth sailing. It's not like a clear, this is your role. It's very dynamic. There's things coming up all the time, sometimes are a bit more stressful than others and we're busier than other times.

[00:28:04] Sophia Lazar: And the two women we work with, like hands down will put. All their effort into CO's GC Real. And they will say they, they like, they look forward to work and they look forward to the check-ins. and they put that time in. And I think because we have relationships, like meaningful relationships, with each other, that we are all invested.

[00:28:29] And I think, yeah, you can't, you just can't put a price point on it. I think many people leave their job. and we've read studies on this. This is, definitely like a fact, that many people will leave their job because they don't feel seen. They don't feel heard, they don't feel like they can be themselves or they don't feel like they belong.

[00:28:50] and they're looking for that. We spend so much time at work, so much time, and I think that it's totally forgotten about sometimes. Or we value it and we take it for granted. Like we make time to talk about project, but we won't carve out time for check-ins and 

[00:29:09] Sophia Lazar: connection.

[00:29:09] Jed Lazar: So

[00:29:10] the statistic is that 70% of people don't feel a strong connection to their coworkers, and they've studied the impact of that. Between people who feel a strong connection to their coworkers and people who don't feel a strong connection to their coworkers. And, this is from Cigna Health Insurance, in the US where this research was done.

[00:29:31] So when people don't feel a strong connection to their coworkers, they miss more days at work. They have 45% lower productivity, their quality of work is lower, and there's higher turnover. So when you look at the financial costs of less connection at work, the number is in the US alone, Lonely employees cost companies $406 billion a year.

[00:30:01] That's 

[00:30:01] Sophia Lazar: Crazy. Cause hiring one person 

[00:30:06] The cost of rehiring training. Oh, the 

[00:30:09] Jed Lazar: effort that goes into that? Yeah. Think of how much money you could save if you didn't have to continually hire new people. 

[00:30:14] Nirish Shakya: . another argument that I've heard. is that, a lot of times we think that we go into work to do the work, pay the bills, and the people that we meet are, they're all friends, they're just colleagues, right.

[00:30:27] And we just see them during the day and we say goodbye, and that's about it. And a lot of times, the mindset that people going to work with is, I'm not there to make friends. I'm just there, do my job and go back home. What would you say to 

[00:30:41] Sophia Lazar: What a shame. I guess cuz what I said before, we spend so much time at work and some of the closest friends that I have are from white places.

[00:30:53] and yeah, I think we go into work often because we. We're interested in that industry or that role, and we end up meeting like-minded people and having a relationship with those people is healthy. I mean, just the st the statistics that you just shared 

[00:31:11] Jed Lazar: Yeah.

[00:31:11] What would you say? My answer would just be Why? If somebody said that to me,why not be open to all these different people that you're interacting with every day and having potentially really intimate experiences with the ups and downs of work are big. And if you go through that with people, you can end up on the other side with some really close relationships.

[00:31:35] Maybe they're not your best friend. Maybe you won't even call them friends, but they're people that you've experienced something meaningful with and you've learned from them and they've learned from you. And so why not bring your full self to that?

Difference between connecting deeply and oversharing

[00:31:49] Nirish Shakya: And how do you make sure you're not oversharing?

[00:31:53] Or

[00:31:53] is, that is that even such a thing?

[00:31:54] I think, no, I think there is a, I think there is a distinction between,bringing our dramas to work and allowing that to influence our work. For example, what I think is, is too far, is like when something's going on in our personal lives. And, I think it's one thing to bring that and share it. So a healthy example would be, Hey guys, this, there's something going on in my personal life.

[00:32:15] Jed Lazar: I'll share, to the level that I'm comfortable,I'm gonna be as present with you as possible. And, I just want you to know I'm sharing this because,I may not be a hundred percent right now. Yeah. Something that is unhealthy is, is. And I think this is why, where quote unquote oversharing has, like, where it gets that the terminology is like oversharing.

[00:32:39] Why we call it oversharing is bringing our emotional baggage and just letting loose, emotional diarrhea on our coworkers. This is all the bad stuff that's happening. And and kind of viewing it as like a therapy space 

[00:32:53] Sophia Lazar: and dominating the conversation. Like all the air time being on that.

[00:32:56] Nirish Shakya: that. So as in like making, about making it about me rather than about us.

[00:33:03] Sophia Lazar: Yeah. I think that could be a good distinction. I think it's a tough line as well. I don't know if it's black and white. 

Creating a space for trust

[00:33:12] Nirish Shakya: And

[00:33:15] how do you create a space of trust when maybe there's lack of trust between colleagues. How do we create this? How do you create this environment where people can feel safe to be vulnerable with some of these questions?

[00:33:36] Jed Lazar: Okay, so I mean, there's a, there's different answers to that. There's how we do that during our events, and then there's how people can do that, in just day to day life. So how we do that at events is, we let people know there's no right or wrong answers to questions.

[00:33:53] We let people participate at the level that's safe for them. So there's never a question that they have to answer if they don't want to. They never have to answer a real question if they don't want to. For example, we put them into small groups, so there's a lot less mental calculation that you have to do.

[00:34:08] You use breakout rooms, so they're playing in teams of four or five or six at the most,and the questions warm people up gradually.

[00:34:16] And I think you're getting a lot of feedback. You're getting courage cards, you're getting affirmations while you're playing.

[00:34:21] Sophia Lazar: What I'm, cuz your questions a good question and all of these questions are shining in my mind. 

[00:34:27] Nirish Shakya: that's what

[00:34:28] I'm here for. 

[00:34:29] Sophia Lazar: I I think it's really interesting cuz I think that's one of the gifts of the game. And I don't just mean the game as in coz juicy real, I mean Gameification in general games because, Having a game ask you questions and facilitating turns and facilitating an experience takes pressure away from There isn't a single person in the room that's asking the questions. There isn't a single person in the room, asking a go deeper question. Everyone has the permission to do that, and everyone is encouraged to do that with smart So there's a very balanced dynamic in a group when you are playing a game and people are choosing, Do I wanna get a cozy question?

[00:35:22] Do I wanna get a GC question? Do I wanna get a real question? Rather than someone trying to, take a temperature check and question themselves. Can I ask another question like that's a little bit deeper, or gc that kind of goes back to your question earlier of like, how do you do that even with friends and family? I think having a game makes it so 

[00:35:42] much

[00:35:43] Nirish Shakya: easier, 

[00:35:44] Sophia Lazar: umbecause it's always by choice.

[00:35:47] Mm-hmm and there's this kind of shared frame of reference and in a shared playground with shared rules.

[00:35:55] Nirish Shakya: Exactly. there's a containerand Yeah. Everyone's playing by the same rules.

[00:35:59] Exactly as opposed to when you just go into any business meeting, there is no shared frame of reference. There's no rules Exactly. Everyone just playing by their rules or what their, what they, their assumptions of what the rules might be. which makes it, I guess, harder for some people to operate in that kind of environment, especially if you're an introvert or more on the quiet side or for more shy, or that, low confidence.

[00:36:20] Sophia Lazar: A hundred percent. So I think to answer your question about how can teams do that and build trust, because I think what builds trust ultimately is empathy. Is that when people can share shared experiences and often the feedback we get events is, oh, We all we're, we are all different, but we're all the same.

[00:36:39] We're all different people, but we ha we share the same kind of experiences. We're all have tough times. We all have positive times. And and just having that understanding builds trust because it's like, Oh, you are, you're another human. You're like me. and so how can we do that? Not necessarily with code of GC Real?

[00:36:56] I think that a, making the time, like carving out the time and giving it its own space, but also having some kind of framework or something to facilitate so that again, there's shared rules, there's a shared understanding, there's a container. Um something that we love and this is something that you can try tomorrow or today, is Rose Lauren and a Bud.

[00:37:18] And I think you know that about this, but in a kind of. general context. Rose tho Abud is, as a team, you can check in with this or check out with this, but, rose is something that's beautiful in your life right now. What's something that is shining, something that you're appreciating, something that you're grateful for?

[00:37:36] the thorn being something that is digging your side. Something that might be a bit painful or annoying or challenging. and then a bud being something that you're looking forward to. What's about to bloom? and I mean, I personally recommend doing this in a personal way, not talking about work, just like something in your life.

[00:37:55] Sophia Lazar: Um and it's 

[00:37:56] a really easy check-in.

Encouraging people to be vulnerable and personal

[00:37:57] Nirish Shakya: How do you encourage people to come up with personal responses? Cause you know, I have tried, getting people to give more personal, answers in these kind of icebreakers, but a lot of times people aren't comfortable about,talk about their personal life at work. 

[00:38:13] Um so there's a lot of things you can do. I, and I think that, as if you're an outside facilitator coming into a culture, for likea event, there's only so much influence we can have. because I think the real influence comes from, the people who are on that team and from the team manager especially.

[00:38:32] Jed Lazar: So it's really about, we're talking to the people who are the team managers here, making time for checking in and checking out, making time for getting to know each other. and, and also,if listeners have heard of appreciative inquiry, that's something we're a big fan of too, is in front of the team.

[00:38:48] Sharing what the team is doing really well or really beautifully or have worked really hard on, or been creative on, or taken risks on, to positively reward all the things that you're seeing that are going right. there's,one of the best known American relationship therapists, the Gottman's.

[00:39:04] they talk about in relationships, intimate relationships. There's a five to one ratio of, of positive to negative. So you want to be giving at least five positives. You wanna be sharing at least five positives, giving positive affirmations to your partner for every one constructive thing you're sharing.

[00:39:24] Jed Lazar: And I think the same ratio is true at work. If you're a manager, you wanna be sharing at least five to one of positive feedback to redirects.

[00:39:33] Mm-hmm So it's not the shit sandwich where you start with something positive and then hide the negative, feedback in the middle and then end with the another positive

[00:39:43] Jed Lazar: you need 

[00:39:44] Sophia Lazar: more bread You d definitely like fire slices, bread, . 

[00:39:50] Jed Lazar: Yeah. I think that's, I think that's really important. But I think, if you're an outside facilitator, I think you also have a certain magic because you are not part of that culture and there's a freshness and a newness and a naivety to that, which gives you an advantage.

[00:40:03] So you can come in with your own culture in not influenced by the culture of the team. And you can shake things up a little bit and you can do things like use breakout rooms and you can, take risks that, and that people on that team might not take to do little resets on the team's culture as.

[00:40:20] So yeah, there's, there, there will be resistance if you're in, if you're facilitating a team that there's a really low level of psychological safety or if you're working with teams and we work with a lot of teams in different cultures around the world. We're sharing things about their personal lives just isn't something they do naturally.

[00:40:38] And so you want to, and we try to, we have different additions of the game for these teams to adjust, expectations so that you're warming up at a level that's appropriate for them. 

[00:40:51] Sophia Lazar: Yeah. what's real for me might be very different from what's real to you. the other thing that came to mind is, and we often say this in our events is lead with vulnerability.

[00:41:00] So to answer your question about how teams. Help share more personal things is the person, if you are, if there's a hope to shift, the culture is lead, lead with vulnerability. So if you are the first person to be sharing, share with vulnerability, and then more often than not, there'll be someone else that does the same because they feel comfortable now to do the same, and then two people have done it, and then the third person will be like, two people have done it.

[00:41:25] Maybe I can do that. and so that kind of trickles on and it's fine if someone doesn't want to. if that's not the where they're at, then that's not where they're at and that's okay. I think that should also be, accepted.

True empathy vs manufactured empathy

[00:41:38] Sophia, I wanted to kind of just take us back to, what you mentioned around empathy and how that builds trust.

[00:41:43] Nirish Shakya: Now I've heard the word empathy so many times it's just gonna, gets thrown around in the business world, just likeany other buzzword. Right. and I've also, seen teams and people, kind of trying to manufacture empathy just cuz it's, it sounds cool and, people think it's the right thing to do.

[00:42:01] So how would you create like true empathy, especially with a game like this where people know it's just a game, it's only gonna last 60 to 90 minutes. is it real empathy or is it just for the sake of the game?

[00:42:16] Sophia Lazar: That's an intense question. 

[00:42:19] Empathy's a big, it's a, and I totally agree with you.

[00:42:22] It's such a, is a word that's thrown around and I think that's a distinct difference between empathy, compassion, and sympathy. And I think those can sometimes get blurry. for me empathy is like, Stepping into someone else's shoes, and or relating to a very similar experience. And that doesn't necessarily mean that you've experienced the same thing but have touched a similar feeling. And so I think when I talked about that before, in terms of the game, I think hearing people, sharing, I don't know, stories or experiences that were painful, experiences that bring them, joy, experiences that bring them purpose. Those are the things I think we can relate to. And Jed said earlier, we stick to things that are like universal experiences.

[00:43:19] We do not touch on politics or religion or anything that might bring up division. because at the end of the day, those are our personal, belief systems as opposed to shared emotional human experiences. What was your question?

[00:43:40] Nirish Shakya: Empathy. True empathy. And how do you make sure that people are actually empathizing for real rather than just manufacturing empathy?

[00:43:49]

[00:43:50] Sophia Lazar: I don't, I'm trying, I'm wondering if I can really answer your question cuz I'm not them. I don't know.

[00:43:57] what they're feeling For real. All I know is that people come back and they say, I cried for the first time in front of my team. And I'm so glad I did.

[00:44:08] Mm-hmm . And that itself is evidence that they're empathizing 

[00:44:14] Sophia Lazar: and Yeah.

[00:44:15] And vulnerability is coming up and Yeah. People just reapp appreciating like, they're like, Oh, for the first time I feel like my colleagues are my friends. like that's big. and we, and I will say that we've had teams who come back for multiple games share with us, like how much of a difference it's made.

[00:44:33] How now, say for example the people, head of people. Can jump on like a call with someone and really have a heart to heart with them and what's going on for them. Whereas before it might have been very kind of like logistical, and how much that's made a difference

[00:44:50] to their experience.

[00:44:51] Nirish Shakya: Yeah.

[00:44:52] Jed Lazar: I would say

[00:44:54] if

[00:44:54] people are in an experience in a meeting where the word empathy is being used, but it doesn't feel like it's landing or doesn't feel like it's, genuine, then, or it feels like it's being used as a buzzword, then my guess is that there's a disconnect between what the people. Between the stated mission of the company or the stated purpose of the product or service and the people who are in the room.

[00:45:21] There's some, lack, there's some lack of integrity there. There's some, there's a misalignment because there's going to be empathy if you really give a shit about the people that you are trying to serve naturally. And if there, and if you're working on a product that you don't really care about, that your heart's not really in, then there's just not gonna be empathy.

[00:45:42] So I would say if that's coming up, then there's some misalignment with the people in the room and the thing they're trying to create and the values of those two things. 

[00:45:53] Nirish Shakya: I think we could probably have, an entire, another episode just on empathy cause such, it's such a heavy topicbut I wanted to know, Now that you have, created this game, you've tested it, you've iterated it multiple times, you have, a really successful startup going here in terms of, you've got people who have gotten a lot of value out of it.

What would Sophia or Jed do differently

[00:46:14] knowing what you know now and then looking back, what would you do differently in terms of creating this game or testing or ideating or prototyping? Is there anything that you did differently?

[00:46:26] Sophia Lazar: Something that's coming to my mind, I dunno if I would've created the game any differently. I think that, I think the way that we create the game was healthy

[00:46:37] however, I, what I think I would do differently, if I were to go back is when we started kind of the. Sharing it with the World journey. I think we fell into the trap of what we think we should be sharing versus the true voice of cos juicy reel.

[00:47:02] and I think even now, like going to our website, I'm still like, it doesn't really, it's not really us. It's like a, it's like a part of it, but it's not Kodi g in, at the heart. So I think if I could do anything differently, it would be to go back and do that part from a more authentic place. 

[00:47:26] Jed Lazar: So do you the difference between having a quote unquote brand versus it just coming from 

[00:47:33] Nirish Shakya: people? 

[00:47:34] Sophia Lazar: I dunno. I still, I mean, I think you are, we are the brand or the game is the brand and the people who play, tested and create the game or the brand. Like it's all the brand. There is a, you can't really get away from the cause anything you put out there is, becomes a But how I would deliver

[00:47:55] that into the world I think I would do that differently. 

[00:47:59] Jed Lazar: Yeah. The way I hear what you're saying is trying to speak to people in a way that we think they'll hear it versus just speaking what's 

[00:48:11] Sophia Lazar: real for, for us, what we're hearing. Yeah. And what we are hearing, like what we are Because I think what happened, so one, one thing that happened that we didn't anticipate was the team building side. Like we built codes of GC R for friends, family, strangers to have meaningful connection, and fun. And we didn't anticipate that when we took it online in a virtual space, that it would become so popular in the team building world.

[00:48:39] And so then when we really took some time to create a website and copywriting and all that kind of stuff,we did that with the team building at the 

[00:48:47] What was the main need you saw at the time Exactly.

[00:48:49] Sophia Lazar: Rather than the core mission. and coz GC real at the forefront, it became more team building.

[00:48:56] And so now there's been this like, shift towards that and that doesn't feel totally true for me. It's like a branch of.

[00:49:06] Nirish Shakya: core. . And what can you do to start to evolve it towards that direction, the original intention of the mission you 

[00:49:13] so we kind of have started, so one of the, things we've done is look at all the feedback that we've had.

[00:49:23] we have a trust pilot page with reviews and it's really easy to kind of see what common threads are in trust pilot. And we also have lots of feedback on all the games that we've played. We also feedback at the end. And so we've started to like kind of collect that and gather that and start really hearing what the people's voice and our community versus what we should be saying.

[00:49:45] Sophia Lazar: the team kind of.

[00:49:48] Nirish Shakya: So you're pretty much leading with people 

[00:49:51] Sophia Lazar: Yeah. Yeah. I, that's why I wanna kind of lean towards, and then we wanna kind of change

[00:49:56] our

[00:49:57] homepage so it's more about the mission and what we are all about. And then, say we do team building and you can get this game and play with friends and family, like that's what 

[00:50:07] Nirish Shakya: we're about Mm-hmm Nice 

[00:50:09] Sophia Lazar: one 

Introducing a new tool as an external facilitator vs internal expert

[00:50:10] Nirish Shakya: Yeah. Another thing I wanted to ask was, like for example, I have been an external facilitator. I've also been an internal part of the internal design team facilitating workshops with the internal stakeholders.

[00:50:22] What I found different between those two experiences is that I found easier to be an external facilitator, go in with an entirely new activity, and then just run that activity and then just leave. Whereas if you're an internal designer, facilitating workshops for your team, I found it a lot harder to introduce a new way of working a new game or a new activity or whatever because.

[00:50:45] People would question me like, why are we doing this now when you haven't done this ever? Right? So if you're an in-house design team, you were trying to bring in like new ways of working and new ways of facilitating events or, activities, how would you recommend, for example, a loan designer or a loan innovator in the, in, in their organization introduced this new concept, new way of working or new way of running meetings to their teams without, feeling scared of, being ostracized for 

[00:51:17] Jed Lazar: I've been in that position too. I think it is tough to be part of a team and also somebody wants to shake it up. 

[00:51:24] Sophia Lazar: I have a first thought. Yeah. My first thought is kind of what we talked about already starts more test something out. And MVP style. if you, if your aim is to create more empathy and trust in the group, and there are like, maybe, I don't know, a hundred ways to do it, just starting small, like something that's not intimidating for the group, that's not gonna be a shock.

[00:51:51] that's and maybe framing it in a, Hey guys, let's try something new. Like, how about we test out an idea

[00:51:57] Sophia Lazar: play with 

[00:51:59] Nirish Shakya: so 

[00:51:59] you're

[00:52:00] not going with the entire game, but maybe a little portion of that game that might be easier to introduce with the team.

[00:52:05] Sophia Lazar: Right. Or testing waters. LikeHey, how would everyone feel about playing a game one night or Introducing it in a really like low pressure way rather than, Hey everyone, I want us all to connect in a deep, meaningful way.

[00:52:20] let's do this thing. yeah, I think starting some more testing the waters, if you have anything to add. 

[00:52:25] I think you could start with bringing in an external facilitator. That's true. To shake up the energy a bit. That's true. And then that, maybe makes space in the team to bring things internally.

[00:52:40] Jed Lazar: Yeah, 

[00:52:40] Sophia Lazar: that's a nice And also maybe you in a tool that you already use, like if there's something like you already use, like everyone always uses Murro, for example, mural. to do project stuff is Oh, I found this really cool game on Murro that we could do, should we try 

[00:52:56] out. so it's not there's less friction.

Best resources that've helped Jed and Sophia

[00:52:59] Nirish Shakya: Cool. So Sophia and Jed, what's the best resource that's helped you in your career?

[00:53:06] what do you mean by Could be a book, a person, a philosophy, mindset, anything that comes to mind.

[00:53:13] Nirish Shakya: Is there anything that really has helped you to get, to help you, to get you to where you are now?

[00:53:23] Jed Lazar: Exactly. So for me, I would say the Mankind Project has been a big part of my personal development. 

[00:53:32] Um 

[00:53:33] what's the Mankin project Mankin project is, a movement that started out of the women's movement. and it was the men's response. Okay? women are doing things differently. Women are, liberating themselves.

[00:53:48] Women are redefining their roles. So what's our new role as men? Right? We all, we've all heard the term toxic masculinity and, and so how do we show up differently? but also how do we, how do we step into our potential? How do we live in integrity? How do we, become more aware of our habits that don't serve us, the patterns that don't serve us?

[00:54:13] And,and do something about that. And so the Mankind Project is an organization that was started in the us It's now. Global. It's all over Europe, Australia, South Africa. mostly English speaking countries, uk but it's also all over mainland Europe and Israel. and it's essentially men's groups that have a really specific framework that, help men come together every week or every two weeks and look at themselves, hold themselves accountable, hold each other accountable, and be really transparent, really open, and to as a group, help each other be stronger and, feel into what our dreams.

[00:54:59] So that's, I went to a men's group every week, every Tuesday from seven to 10:00 PM for four and a half years. . And man, I got to know those guys fucking well, and they got to know me really well. And still, those are some of the best friendships I've got. And,I've seen them cry. They've seen me cry.

[00:55:16] We've been through, breakups and weddings and new kids and just so much of life together and I've learned so much from them. And I also learned how to facilitate a group and hold space and allow people to experience really deep things because of sitting with people in all sorts of joys and despairs.

[00:55:41] Nirish Shakya: And so that's one of the biggest influences in my life. And I encourage all men who are interested in getting to know themselves better to. Either I do either mankind project or something else that's similar, some other personal development work. But for me that was big. nice Sophia

[00:56:00] Sophia Lazar: resource.

[00:56:00] there's so many come to mind. It's hard to pick one. I think mindfulness yoga is probably one of the biggest, and for similar reasons, giving myself the opportunity to become more aware of myself, aware of my experience in the world, my relationships with everything, everyone, myself. and the big one that comes to mind in terms of like yoga philosophy is non-attachment.

[00:56:24] Sophia Lazar: And that's come up in my career in so many ways. One major one is that I think I, Okay, so I studied three times. And I've had at least five very different And it's so easy, I think, to slip into, Oh, but you studied for three years and now you're not doing that 

[00:56:46] anymoreand I've learned to just let that go and be like, It's that it's okay.

[00:56:51] if it doesn't feel right to be doing that thing anymore, it's time to move 

[00:56:54] Nirish Shakya: wrongIt's kind of like the sun cost fallacy, right? you've already invested three years of your life right. Now I gotta keep on pursuing that

[00:57:03] Sophia Lazar: Exactly. and it's so easy to form such r and I like, I think having practice that non-attachment has made it easier for me not to fall So I think that's a, that's been a huge And it's served me really well. Like all my careers have been successful. I've enjoyed them and I've been happy to let go of them.

[00:57:25] And I never think that is a waste of time. I think all the things that I've learned in the past helped me and,give richness to what I'm doing today.

The real question Sophia and Jed would ask themselves

[00:57:33] Nirish Shakya: So you guys have created a game about questions. What's the one real question you would ask yourself?

[00:57:41] Oh, 

[00:57:44] Sophia Lazar: near it. That's a good question.

[00:57:46] Nirish Shakya: I'm For me, that 

[00:57:50] Sophia Lazar: Yeah. So what, 

[00:57:52] Nirish Shakya: Right now, today,

[00:57:54] Sophia Lazar: I mean, I think this Who is influenced by the question that you asked earlier, what would we do differently about Ko G real? And that is a question that's like at the forefront of my mind is what is the true voice of Ko g real? 

[00:58:16] Jed Lazar: I think mine is.

[00:58:19] so without going into, too much specifics out of respect the person that's going through this, there's someone in my family who's struggling with something right now and someone I And so the question I'm asking myself is, what can I do to support I don't live near them physically, but I want to be I wanna be there for So how can I show up support this What can I be doing creatively to be there 

Sophia and Jed's last words for humanity

[00:58:53] Nirish Shakya: Great. 

[00:58:54] So

[00:58:55] Sophia and. It's a question that I ask all my guests, at the end of the interview. Imagine it's your last day on earth and someone came up to you with a tiny piece of paper and a pen, and asks you to write your final words for humanity.

[00:59:17] On that piece of paper, what would you write down?

[00:59:23] Sophia Lazar: For humanity 

[00:59:24] Nirish Shakya: Yes. Just your last words.

[00:59:27] Sophia Lazar: Not like for my family

[00:59:29] Nirish Shakya: or, your family is part of the humanity, so if you wanna write something for your family, that's fine as well.

[00:59:34] Sophia Lazar: For humanity, 

[00:59:38] Jed Lazar: I would put just one word. Listen.

[00:59:42] Nirish Shakya: Listen. That's powerful.

[00:59:45] Jed Lazar: Cause I think we could avoid so much pain and so much strife, so much war just by really trying to hear what people are trying their hardest to tell 

[00:59:58] Nirish Shakya: I like that.

[00:59:59] Sophia Lazar: Final words for humanity. I mean, that's like a fucking huge question. The first thing that's coming to mind is there's enough. Share it.

[01:00:10] Nirish Shakya: Nice. I like that there is enough. 

[01:00:12] Jed Lazar: it 

[01:00:13] Sophia Lazar: There is. There's enough.

Recap of the episode

[01:00:16] Nirish Shakya: Cool. Awesome. I'm gonna do a quick recap of what we just spoke about in the past hour, and I think one of the things.

[01:00:27] Made me go deeper within me was when you asked, what was the last interesting conversation you had.

[01:00:32] And a lot of times we don't have many interesting conversations. Like we stay at that surface level, especially in a work context, right? Where a lot of our conversations is about the work itself, and it's not about the human connections. and I think, like you said, that kind of prevents us from building those deep connections at work and which also has real business impact, right?

[01:00:58] In terms of job satisfaction, burnout, not being able to, give you a hundred percent to your work. And, I think the, what one of the things that we can do is to start small, like you said, and just In your game, coz juicy real, like you start with the easy questions, right? How can we start small to start to build those human connections in,in, at work?

[01:01:23] And I loved how you tested your concept and your idea in the real world. Like by testing fast, iterating, fast learning from that, and also letting go of any initial ideas or expectations you had. And also letting people co-create the ideas and seeing where it takes, the idea. And I, that kind of made me think of maybe ways to do that at work, like co-creating these ideas or ways to build connections within the team or within the organization, rather than trying to prescribe something, Because I mean, like you said, I totally agree. One of the challenges that we have is just making time to connect on a personal level. A lot of times, we don't make time because we don't think it's, it does, it has any business value, right? There's no clear kpi like, revenues and sales and. So maybe it is about starting small to demonstrate that small value to the business. And I'm certainly going to try out, Cozy, Juicy Real. In one of my next meetings in terms of see what component of that I can try out.

[01:02:34] To demonstrate what impact it can actually have on building in a small, meaningful connections. So thank you so much for that Sophia and Jed, it's been great chatting with you, not just about the game, but about how to build human connections in general, at work and also in personal lives, which, I personally have not invested a lot of time in doing cuz I never thought it was something.

[01:02:59] Again, of value of, of use as much as you know what I do in terms of my craft as a designer. So thanks a lot for sharing your insights and wisdom.

[01:03:08] Jed Lazar: Thank you. Thanks. It's been 

[01:03:09] Sophia Lazar:

[01:03:09] Jed Lazar: pleasure being here. Yeah, it's been great.

Finding Sophia and Jed online

[01:03:12] Nirish Shakya: Great, and how can people find you online after this episode?

[01:03:17] They can find us on our website, cozy juicy real.com. They can also just email us, if they wanna reach. Emails the best. Hi there of us. hello. At Cozy Juicy 

[01:03:26] Sophia Lazar: real.com and that's cozy with a Z or a Z if you are in America, So cozy juicy real.com.

[01:03:34] Nirish Shakya: Yeah. Nice. So hello at Cozy, Juicy reel. That's cozy with a Z or a Z if you're an American. and if people want to try out this game, at work, how can they do that?

[01:03:47] They wanna. Play the game with a work team. The best way is to get in touch with us, and we can give them a demo and they can kind of play around, see what it's like, and then we can just coordinate that from there. If you are curious to play a full game and get a good taster, then we do events with a community, awesome community called Creative Mornings.

[01:04:08] and I believe it's creative mornings.com. If you check them out, we do field trips with them. So every four to six weeks we will do an event and you can play with them. And then I think we're gonna include a link in the notes, show notes, in the show notes. and in that link there will be kind of links for upcoming events, our website, things like that.

[01:04:28] Sophia Lazar: So make it really easy.

[01:04:30] Nirish Shakya: Amazing. Well, thank you so much, both of you. And, um, Well, um,I'm staying with you at the moment,

[01:04:36] Sophia Lazar: Yes, you're

[01:04:36] I was about to say, see you later, but I'll be here.

[01:04:39] Jed Lazar: See you in the morning,

[01:04:40] Nirish Shakya: Yeah, see you in the

[01:04:41] Jed Lazar: morning. Bye.

[01:04:44] Nirish Shakya: bye.

[01:04:46] Thank you so much for joining us in this chat. if you are enjoying listening to the Design Feeling podcast, please do consider leaving an honest review on Apple Podcasts. It'll really help get this podcast out to more people. And please do share the podcast with a Design Thinking friend who could benefit from these conversations. See you next time. 

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