Welcome back to another episode of the playbook with the Insurance dudes! This time the dynamic duo interviews Dr. Lori Morocco, an expert in coaching and insurance, as she shares her journey and expertise, emphasizing the vital role of effective communication and conflict resolution skills not only in insurance but as essential life skills!
The episode revolves around motivating clients and maintaining commitment, focusing on small, consistent steps toward goals. Also addressing fostering a culture of civil discourse in the workplace, advocating kindness and empathy. Dr. Lori also introduces a three-part assertion technique for effective communication and underscores the significance of active listening!
Lastly, Dr. Lori talks about how her coaching empowers women with support, motivation, and practical tools, emphasizing the need for "brave spaces" for open conversations.
Tune in for an insightful ride with Craig, Jason, and Dr. Morocco.
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The Insurance Dudes are on a mission to find the best insurance agentsaround the country to find out how they are creating some of the top agencies. But they do not stop there, they also bring professionals from other industries for insights that can help agents take their agencies to the next level.
The Insurance Dudes focus on your agency’s four pillars: Hiring, Training, Marketing and Motivation! We have to keep the sword sharp if we want our agencies to thrive.
Insurance Dudes are leaders in their home, at their office and in their community. This podcast will keep you on track with like minded high performing agents while keeping entertained!
About Jason and Craig:
Both agents themselves, they both have scaled to around $10 million in premium. After searching for years for a system to create predictability in their agencies, they developed the Telefunnel after their interviews with so many agents and business leaders.
Taking several years, tons of trial and error, and hundreds of thousands of dollars on lead spend, they’ve optimized their agencies and teams to write tons of premium, consistently, and nearly on autopilot!
Bio of Dr. Laurie Moroco
An advocate of competent and effective communication which she believes equips people with tools for successful personal and professional relationships. She obtained a BA in communication and public relations, an MA in Corporate Communication and a PhD in Interpersonal Communication and Ethics from Duquesne University.
So a kind of fun and crazy story that received recently happened to me is that I had a client here in the United States. And I coached her for a while. And most recently, I made a house call to see her. And the house call was actually in Italy. So yes, I got on a plane, I flew all the way to Italy to meet with my coaching client, who now is actually my business partner. So we have two things going on. I'm her coaching her coach, and I'm also a business partner with her. Wow. My name is Laurie Morocco, and I'm an honorary insurance do that.Craig Pretzinger:
Insurance dudes are on a mission to escape being handcuffed by our agents.Jason Feltman:
How? by uncovering the secrets to creating a predictable, consistent, and profitable agency Sales Machine.Craig Pretzinger:
Hi, I'm Craig Pretzinger.Jason Feltman:
I am Jason Feldman. We are agents. We are insurances.Craig Pretzinger:
Whoa, whoa, that is awesome. You never know what's gonna be on the other end of a of a crazy request or potentially interesting idea. How did it lead to that? What was going through your mind?Dr. Laurie Moroco:
Well, um, what was going through my mind is wow, this is a really big house call. I mean, yeah, I'll meet with people for coffee at the local coffee shop down the street, but to get on a plane and fly to Italy to meet with somebody. Okay, why not? I mean, what's good. Plus, we're working on our business venture together over there. So kind of just worked out that we could do both at the same time. But that's the biggest house call I've ever made for a coaching client and I will go anywhere all over the world for my clients.Craig Pretzinger:
Yeah. Ah,Jason Feltman:
have you ever been to Italy prior?Dr. Laurie Moroco:
Yes. About 15 times. Oh, wow. So it wasn't a stretch to make me.Craig Pretzinger:
You're like, wow, goDr. Laurie Moroco:
there. Exactly. Yeah. Italy, it's amazing.Craig Pretzinger:
It's on my hit list. Oh, my gosh. Yeah, Italy, Spain. I just did Portugal for a month. And that was phenomenal. Yeah, yes, they in Italy are the next next ones. IDr. Laurie Moroco:
think I'll hook you up, let me know.Jason Feltman:
I'm in California. And I just happened to get a business partner that was in Arizona. I wish mine was in Italy. But now he's he's International. So they're my baby.Craig Pretzinger:
Maybe I will beDr. Laurie Moroco:
saying never do what you got to do for your clients.Craig Pretzinger:
Yeah. So why don't you talk a little bit about your background, how you got to where you are, and let's just let's just dive in.Dr. Laurie Moroco:
Okay, so my background has been in higher education since? Well, a really, really long time ago, 20 plus years, I started at a college in western Pennsylvania, a tenured professor, chair of the department, then I moved to Colorado, with my family to try it for a year. And most people that try living in the mountains of Breckenridge never really leave. So I was teaching at a college out here, I became a dean of the college and I thought, Well, I kind of need my own gig, like I need my own side hustle. And so I thought, well, I teach people about business and communication in the classroom. But I would love to take that knowledge and give it to people in the workforce or in the business world. And so I started coaching, I started coaching women who were starting businesses, and then most recently, and interestingly enough, my niche is kind of found me. And that is really women and career transition, and they don't have the assertiveness or the confidence to make that change. And so I'm kind of like, you can do this, you can do this. And we kind of go through all different feelings and how to get to where they want to be. And we network. And so it's been really, really exciting. Yeah,Craig Pretzinger:
that's awesome.Jason Feltman:
How do you navigate that? Like, I mean, we all go through that feeling of, you know, I don't know where I am, like, where do I want to be? How do you get that? definiteness? Well, IDr. Laurie Moroco:
think what I do is I build relationships with my clients. So I almost become friends with them. And I get really, really invested in their lives as much as they want me to be. And so it's like, I'm talking to my friend, and I really kind of approach it from that angle it. Okay, well, what is your skill set? And what do you really want to do? And like if you can do anything, so I encourage big picture thinking, and then I really get a feel for what they're passionate about. And then we start talking about, okay, well, if this is where you want to be, and this is where you are, what are the things we have to do to get there, and we just make a plan. I become their accountability partner, I check in with them, how's it going, you know, weekly meetings. And so it's kind of just a really fun journey that that we go through together and then they realize this is really what I want to do in life and I'm gonna do it and I'm kind of like, yeah, you can do it. So Don't sort of the journey that we take.Craig Pretzinger:
So transitioning from because you're no longer in the higher education.Dr. Laurie Moroco:
I still am. It's my Yeah, that's I mean, my heart really is in higher ed.Craig Pretzinger:
Okay, how do you see the difference in receptiveness of the information? A real world versus, in the, what some called ivory tower?Dr. Laurie Moroco:
Yeah. So I think in higher ed, we tend to be more theory based, and we're, you know, professing all this great knowledge and that they may or may never use again. But in the real world, I can kind of take that theory that I know and that I've researched, but make it practical. So my my whole thing about teaching, no matter where I'm teaching is Praxis or theory, informed action. So I can give you the theory, but let me show you how you implement that in real life, and how you can make it work for you. And I always say, I'm giving you tools for your tool belt, so that you can take these essential skills and use them in real life. So I have a little formula for having an assertive conversation and conflict management, a lot of people don't like conflict. But here's how you can address that in an assertive manner. So I give them really practical tips, which, you know, not so much in higher ed, if you're in a philosophy class or something.Jason Feltman:
Is it because of like Maslow's hierarchy of need? Where it's like, yeah, there's more. Yeah.Dr. Laurie Moroco:
self actualization type? Yeah, let's make you the best version of yourself, and what does that look like to you? And really, it's kind of defined by every woman on her own terms. I mostly work with women. Not to say I would never work with a man, but it's just like, Man, I really, really need that support system. And we become this like sisterhood and girl power and everything. So yeah, it's it's fun to sort of work in that in that arena. I love it.Craig Pretzinger:
So I saw you have something in common with Jason, you have four kids? I do. And you're a dean, and you're ready to coach a business.Dr. Laurie Moroco:
Let's use throw out some other hats thrown in there. But yeah, how? I think when you have four kids, you can do anything, right? Like you just can like, do a million, you'd have a million balls in the air. And I think it's just started from I was having this conversation the other day with my coworker. And she's like, how did you like, how did you do it? Because she's a young mom, and I'm, you know, not a young mom anymore. And I was like, you know, I just wanted it all. Like, I didn't want to make any sacrifices. I wanted to get my PhD when I had an infant and a two year old, and I wanted big family. So I had, you know, kids during my PhD program, graduated with four started with two and I want I just want everything, I just want it all. And I'm pretty. When I put my mind to something, I can do it. And I like to be busy. And I like creative outlets. So someday I'll slow down but not for a while.Jason Feltman:
That's awesome. Yeah, it's funny, like when you get to that many kids and stuff, like it's like, what's, what's something out? Like? There's so much stuff going on? What's something else? Like you just kind of move stuff around? AndDr. Laurie Moroco:
and then they get older, some honor in their 20s? So they're adulting. So like, oh, with all this extra time I can like start new businesses or you just keep replacing things,Craig Pretzinger:
right? Yeah, yeah. Everybody has the same number of hours in the week, right? 168 hours. And so it's it's interesting how one can say, I want it all I'm going to do it all I'm going to I'm going to get a PhD and have kids at the same time and do all this. And then others could use Oh, I, oh, I got pregnant or we're having kids. And now I'm done with I can't I can't pursue that anymore.Dr. Laurie Moroco:
And no judgment. I mean, right, whatever you need to do to be happy and fulfilled in life, do it. I mean, I never judged my friends who who wanted to be a stay at home mom, that just wasn't for me. I tried it for a year. And I was like, new, this is hard. I need to go to work. So whatever works again, yeah,Craig Pretzinger:
I just I feel like people will have what they come up with the reasons to, I don't want to beat him up here. But it's like, it's easy as humans to when something an obstacle comes in the way to use it as the excuse to not keep going forward. And just blame instead of, oh, well, you know, it probably can be done because it has been done and you've proven that it can be done so. So IDr. Laurie Moroco:
have to say that that's kind of of a frustration for me, is when I have these super talented women and they have these goals and I know they can do them and I kind of give them the recipe for it and they're just like, I'll be like, did you do that one thing now? I'm like, okay, like I can't force people to do things I can give them have the tools but if they don't want to do it, it's really hard to step back. Like probably like a doctor, right? Like you tell kids to eat healthy and don't smoke and don't abuse anything and they do it. Anyone you're like, well,Craig Pretzinger:
like you're out of Vegas every weekend. Yeah. Know whatDr. Laurie Moroco:
you need to do. But only you can do that so hard for me. Okay? Not my life just in her time she'll do it right,Craig Pretzinger:
this reaction, right? It just required the action. And I think a lot of times, it's hard to just get the first foot past the obstacle and keep going,Dr. Laurie Moroco:
Oh, motivation. I'm every day you have to do something to stay motivated. If you're going to have a business or or work toward a new career goal, or whatever that is an email a day or LinkedIn, whatever. Yeah, one foot one of the other everydayCraig Pretzinger:
baby steps.Jason Feltman:
Yeah. 100%. So I wanted to ask you a few questions about an insurance agency. Yeah, since you have so much knowledge with coaching. And I mean, essentially, that's what we do with our teams. Right? And we try to get the best out of them for themselves, but for our agencies as well, like how do you create a workplace culture of acceptance and all the different viewpoints that you might have in an agency?Dr. Laurie Moroco:
Interestingly, I have a little bit of knowledge of the insurance industry from my perspective. And I, what I keep hearing over and over and over again, is there's this like, power struggle almost between people. And so it's like this constant resolution, what they're looking for, I think, is what I've heard, actually, from the ones that I've dealt with. And so, you know, I think there's some skills and some tools that people can use if they're in a workplace with people that have different opinions and different objectives and different perspectives and biases. And so, in a nutshell, well, to me, what it comes down to is just being civil kind people with one another. And I lately have been doing a lot of keynotes on civil discourse. And what that like in the organization, I mean, we've had a lot of things happen in the past four years, there's more big things happening that can divide people at work. I mean, we went through, you know, a contentious election, almost four years ago, we went through a pandemic, we're about to enter another contentious election. And so things like politics, and just social media and all these things get in the way of people's perspective and their the way they treat other people. And so I think there's some things we can do and say, dealing with communication and around communication, and what were those?Jason Feltman:
What are some things that you that would help? Because, yes, definitely something that's needed? And I think you're right, like, there's been a lot going on, and I it's almost like, we've been trained to be more sensitive in a way to, like, oh, like, you know, it's almost like things can be taken incorrectly a lot. So now, there's like, multiple levels of problems that can arise between staff members and team members.Dr. Laurie Moroco:
Oh, absolutely. Well, for instance, I like to tell my clients when I'm, you know, coming in and doing consulting, or coaching for organizations, we've heard of this idea of a safe space, right, where, you know, in higher ed, we'll put these little triangle rainbow stickers on our door. And that means same space come in and say like, I'm going to support you. And that's yes, everybody needs a support system. But what I like to talk about is a brave space. So I will invite you into my safe space. But also, I'm going to push you a little bit, I'm going to ask you things that might be uncomfortable, because I want to have a dialogue with you. I want to see your perspective on something. A safe space is very polite. And we're just like, oh, yeah, you're right. You're right. What a brave space is like, tell me more about that. I want to know more. I don't agree with that. But I want to know where you're coming from so that we can then find common ground and meet in the middle, put our differences aside and still focus on the task, at work, whatever that is, you know, and then we have just knowing our own personal biases and knowing that, okay, I have a bias against this, but I can't let that get in the way you are voting for this person. I'm voting for this person, but how can we put those differences aside and still come together? So again, is that common ground being open minded, being tolerant, being respectful, supportive, again, being brave, being a really good listener?Craig Pretzinger:
A big word comes to my mind that starts with an E. I can think of a lot of E words and it rhymes with sympathy or empathy. Yeah. empathetic.Dr. Laurie Moroco:
I guess they rhyme a little bit.Craig Pretzinger:
Close enough. I mean, not not for the Dean's list, but yes, I mean, for me, it's close. They rhyme and yeah, we're in the insurance world. It's like fuzzy,Dr. Laurie Moroco:
right? Yeah, yeah, empathy. Absolutely. You know. And speaking of that I was having another conversation the other day was somebody's like, yeah, like this, this server was just really, really rude to me, and they're not getting a good tip. And I said, Have you heard ask the person because I've done this. And I've said, you get really frustrated? Are you having a bad day? And I was not being a jerk about it. Like I really wanted to know, like, what's going on? Because you something's off right now with with you? And like, yeah, actually, only this is a complete stranger bartender. So now that you mentioned it, yeah, like, it's been a really bad day. And this isn't like, he walked away and came back and it was a new person. So yeah, like being genuinely interested in people and what's going on in their world? Because you never know, what's happening that could be causing conflict and other aspects of their life.Craig Pretzinger:
So what do you think prevents people? Because that's a rare thing for somebody to do what you do? You just said you did it. Right. I had.Dr. Laurie Moroco:
I've never done that before. So that one time,Craig Pretzinger:
that one time, so like, were you what was your fear?Dr. Laurie Moroco:
I didn't have Oh, prior to that, saying it at that time,Craig Pretzinger:
right. You had to overcome some kind of fear to be brave, right?Dr. Laurie Moroco:
Did you know I think with age comes wisdom, and maybe less caring, I mean, think about, you know, our grandparents who have no filters, like, wow, it just goes off and says whatever she wants,Craig Pretzinger:
every word that you're not allowed to say anymore.Dr. Laurie Moroco:
A little bit of that, like, you know what, I just, I'm just gonna call you out in a nice way. And I I'm going, so it just took me years. And I was not an assertive young woman at all. And you know, what clicked? I don't know, I guess it's just experience and wisdom and knowledge and realizing, you know, I have nothing to lose, like, whatever. If somebody challenges me, I have the skills to engage them in an effective dialogue. Not an argument, but but a dialogue. Yeah.Jason Feltman:
It's funny, it's like self management. It's really, it's funny that like, everything that we deal with, with emotions, really is just a reflection of ourselves. You know, so it's like, a lot of what I see in like, let's say an agency, customer gets upset. Agent starts talking to them, they already think where the conversations going, and they make it happen. Like it literally happens, because they treat the situation with the future outcome. And so like, they literally create that situation to come about. And it is, it's funny, like when you're saying that, it's like when we're young, we just were so reactive. But as we get older, we just we understand a little bit more. Some of us more than others.Craig Pretzinger:
Yeah, not me.Jason Feltman:
That it's like, yeah, it's like we almost self sabotage ourselves whenCraig Pretzinger:
self fulfilling prophecy. Yeah, yes,Dr. Laurie Moroco:
yes. And it's also having the emotional intelligence to know and to be able to read the room, and to be to know your own emotional intelligence and say, Okay, I know what I'm doing right now. I'm sabotaging myself. Yes, I need to stop that. So being aware of what goes through our minds. And another interesting little fun fact about communication is that our brains are like, you know, these computers, and they can process information so quickly, that, you know, you're, you have probably already moved on to your next thought, and I'm still talking, it's because we process so quickly. And we do that in conversations. We're already thinking ahead, like, Well, I'm gonna say this. And it's like, but you didn't even hear what I was saying. Because you are thinking and that's normal. But that's when we have to be mindful and direct ourselves back to the conversation at hand.Jason Feltman:
Yeah, so I just did that the other day with one of my team members is like, it looks like you don't like what I said, you kind of went like this when I said that. I'm or how do you feel like is it that is that like, where are you at? And then, you know, she told me and stuff but like it was it's so much more helpful to come at it from that place, like interpret that, like, what I'm interpreting isn't the right thing. It's because I've known him for for a long time. So I know that it's like what I'm thinking that they're thinking is not right. So like there's a disconnect. So it's like put the words where, where, where I need to be, you know,Dr. Laurie Moroco:
I love that you checked in. So standard, here's my professor hat, okay? When I teach the communication model, you know, it's sender, message channel, receiver feedback noise. So you got your message out, and you realize by her feedback that something was off and you checked in. And if you hadn't checked in and you just kept going, you never would have had that information. So paying attention to people's nonverbal communication. How did they receive that? Do I need to paraphrase? So meta communication? What are paraphrasing what I think I heard you say was this? Or am I Are we on the same page? Kind of like you did? I think that's amazing. Good job. Well,Jason Feltman:
it's funny because I can do that with somebody that's more sensitive. But if I don't feel that they're more sensitive, then I don't do that. Like I will just like the opposite. And then like for some reason, I've been with my wife for 19 years, but like, I'm the worst with my wife withDr. Laurie Moroco:
that's because we holdJason Feltman:
why is that though? Why is itCraig Pretzinger:
on all of the issues that have happened on and it just keeps stacking until all the stuff underneath has been addressed? AndDr. Laurie Moroco:
we call that Gunny sacking or kitchen sinking in the academic world? Very technical terms there. It's true. Yeah.