Emotional Optimism & Employee Experience with Claude Silver – Chief Heart Officer – E74

Episode released on: May 15th, 2022

Emotional Optimism & Employee Experience with Claude Silver – Chief Heart Officer Customer Experience Goals with the CX Goalkeeper

The CX Goalkeeper had the great opportunity to interview Claude Silver

LinkedIn Headline: Chief Heart Officer at VaynerMedia (CHRO)/Chief People Officer)


  • 0:00 Game Start
  • 00:45 Claude’s Introduction
  • 01:55 Claude’s values
  • 04:09 Claude ingredients for success
  • 6:20 The Role of Human Being in Business
  • 7:43 Claude’s definition of her own success
  • 10:00 Where to start with employee experience
  • 14:04 Definition of Employee experience (“you are moving the ball down the field”)
  • 15:49 Scoring a goal alone it’s not so funny as scoring them together
  • 18:53 something Claude tried and didn’t work
  • 20:30 what we are speaking about in 10 years
  • 21:15 Claude contact details
  • 22:35 Claude book suggestions
  • 23:29 Claude golden nugget

… and much more

Claude’s Contact Details:

Claude’s Podcast – Emotional Intelligence – stop here and subscribe her podcast!!!

Her book suggestions:

  • “When Things Fall Apart” by Pema Chodron
  • “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl
  • “Setting The Table” by Daniel Meyer

Claude’s Golden Nugget:

“We want to leave people better than we found them. And even if we found them out of 100, we can leave them out of 110. So think about that as you’re interacting or listening or sharing or doing whatever. And that is leaving a skip in their step, a little bit more joy, a little laugh, another wrinkle because they smiled so much. leaving them feeling that I’m a good person. I deserve to be on this planet doing remarkable things.”


“”We want to leave people better than we found them. And even if we found them out of 100, we can leave them out of 110” @claudesilver on the CX Goalkeeper Podcast

#customerexperience #leadership #cxgoalkeeper #cxtransformation #podcast

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Gregorio Uglioni 0:03
Ladies and gentlemen, tonight, it’s really a big, big pleasure. I had the great pleasure to talk with Claude Silver. Hi Claude, how are you?

Claude Silver 0:13
I am so well, how are you today?

Gregorio Uglioni 0:16
Very well, I am really thrilled to speak with you to have this great opportunity with you, you are doing so much so many good things for for the world, not only for your company, or for your coachees or mentees, but it’s really outstanding to follow you. You are the first chief heart officer. But I think if you are on the seeds goalkeepers show, then if I speak, I take away time from your speaking time. And therefore close. My first question would be, could you please introduce yourself,

Claude Silver 0:47
I would love to thank you so much. It’s an honor to be here. My name is Claude Silver, and I am VaynerMedia VaynerX , Chief Heart Officer, I’m actually the first Chief Heart Officer. Now there are a few others that have introduced themselves to me. My, my role is to be in touch with every single human being in the agency and ecosystem of VaynerX and to infuse empathy throughout the organization. And it’s an incredible job. It’s it’s one that I wake up extremely happy and very curious as to what will come my way. And I love being at this intersection of people, and the experience that they have and the experience we’re giving them here.

Gregorio Uglioni 1:38
That’s, that’s, that’s really great. And I am always speaking about customer experience about employee experience. And I think now it’s really the great opportunity to chat about employee experience. But before we start deep diving in your daily job, what you’re doing to really create this empathy and and at the end create great results. And and working for a super successful company, which values drive that drives you in life.

Claude Silver 2:11
Spectacular question. I think, I have to say humility. And even to say humility makes me embarrassed that I don’t have humility, but I’m aware of how often I put myself in the back of the bus so that I can be there and hold space for other people. And that is my my job. And it is my honor to do that. And generosity of spirit. Certainly kindness, compassion, empathy. And I would say a healthy dose of of my own self awareness, my awareness of me, so that I know when perhaps I’m getting triggered in a conversation or when perhaps, I need to course correct. You know, I can read the room, I can read the zoom. So I would say those are the guiding ones. For me, there’s so many, but humility, generosity of spirit, compassion, kindness, empathy. And listening, of course, is extremely valuable. And I can go on and on, but really being in a safe space And creating that space together is what I have found the bedrock to have a connection and create meaning with one another.

Gregorio Uglioni 3:41
Oh, that’s, that’s, that’s really great. I think this is extremely important to create a relationship with with with the with the older people. And and I think also looking at your career, you traveled around the world, you work in London, you are back in New York, you did first strategic stop job project management jobs. And and now that you are the chief art officer, and I think you developed also yourself during your career, perhaps which are the key ingredients that made you so successful and gave you the opportunity to have such a great career.

Claude Silver 4:17
Again, a great question. You go you go right to the heart of it, which I appreciate. I, I didn’t expect much from myself. Growing up, I didn’t think I was a very poor student. And so I often contributed everything to luck. I was in the right place at the right time, right place at the right time, right place at the right time. And one day, I opened my eyes and I said okay, something that I’m doing must be at least creating the right place at the right time. And I mentioned all of that to say that I’m a learner. I’m a student. I think having that type of mindset of a beginner’s mind and feeling like I know, I know very little has given me the, you know, created an engine inside of me to propel myself into different rooms and different doorways, as a student, and then one by one, I, I believe that the way I articulate things is very simple is very common sense. And I think that is what is appealing to a lot of people, you know, I don’t want to make things overly complicated for people.

Gregorio Uglioni 5:42
I think it totally makes sense. I think human beings are enough complex entities, and therefore, there is enough complexity inside. And therefore it’s important to create this dis relationship, you mentioned that you were a poor student, people that are following you also know the story that you told several times, and that you were around with, with the colleagues and then you, she told you that the first thing that you need is to know yourself before that you can before you can start knowing other people. And, and for me, related to this topic, it’s it’s I think, independent in which business we are, you are working in an agency, I am working in a hospital, but basically, we are all human beings, and which is the role of the human beings in businesses.

Claude Silver 6:39
We are the heartbeat, without without us, there is no business without us. There is no culture, there is no camaraderie, there is no warmth, there is no success, there is no failure. So the I believe that, because we are the heartbeat, we are the engine. The role is to create relationships to create, to create healthy relationships, if possible. And that’s utopia. I realize it’s not every day. So I believe the role of humans in business is to create relationships, collaborate, invent with one another, be curious about each other, push each other, and, and drive each other towards towards great success. And success can mean a variety of things to a variety of people.

Gregorio Uglioni 7:40
And and what does it mean to you success?

Claude Silver 7:44
Well, success is really the happiness and health of my family. I mean, that’s for sure. That’s the first thing I have to say. Success for me is also when I’m in conversation with someone and listening, I get the chills on my arm or in the back of my neck when I know something very special is happening. Even if it’s not the greatest conversation about the happiest things. But when we’re locked in with one another. That’s success. To me. Success is also seeing teams build resiliency together, build trust together, and within that, build a sense of autonomy. When you have that trust, you can create that autonomy with one another and, and no one’s jealous of each other. You know, so? Yeah, yeah, yes. Why not? Right. I think when I was set, when I answered the second question, what I really am trying to say is, because I failed so often in school, and I feel like I fumbled a little bit in my later adolescent life. I didn’t expect I knew I had potential, but that was it. Everyone has potential. I knew I was one of those everyone people. And it wasn’t until I saw repetitively Right place, right time, right place, right time being chosen for the team, that I was able to think a little bit more highly about maybe what I have to offer, and found a way to belong. And my my one and only thing that I want to do every single day is to create places and spaces where people feel like they they belong really, truly, authentically, consistently alone.

Gregorio Uglioni 9:47
And I think this is exactly the perfect definition of employee experience. And you are really working in a super successful company. And perhaps the question is Where should people start? And where can should people improve this employee experience? You shared also one great example. Giving to each employee, one rose, and it was more than 800 roses, and you will have no written and written notes. And this shows not only empathy, but that you really care for for people. But I think this is the key ingredient of the success of what you were doing. But not every company is so focused on on people. Where can we start?

Claude Silver 10:38
Yeah, you can pick up your phone right now. And you can text a random coworker, or a co worker colleague that you really appreciate and say, I really appreciate you or a random colleague and say, I’d love to get together for a coffee. Thanks for you know, thanks for bringing great energy to the workplace, whatever it is, you figure it out. But the point is connection, and gratitude. That’s where I think anyone can start. You don’t need a title. You don’t need to work for Gary Vaynerchuk. You can just be Bob Jones, Kathy Smith, Claude silver doesn’t matter. And say thank you. I see you, you matter to me. Done.

Gregorio Uglioni 11:31
And I think it’s not so expensive.

Claude Silver 11:36
No, no. I mean, maybe your thumb gets a little tired if you do it often. But that’s about it.

Gregorio Uglioni 11:42
But I think if you train enough, then then you’re quick enough. Perhaps this is a really a great example. Do you have another example that we can show you can share with with my audience?

Claude Silver 11:55
Sure, sure. One of the things that I think is really important is to listen to people. And it’s one thing to listen to people one on one, but you can also bring a 10 people into a jam session, and maybe that’s on Zoom or in the room. And you can do an Ask me anything. And provide them with transparent responses. That’s the key. If you’re asking them to show up authentically, then you need to show up authentically. Now, sometimes, those of us that work in the back office, there’s a lot of things we can’t say. So figure out what you can say before you go into that room, and then open it up. But most importantly, in that room, what you’re doing is you’re allowing other people to connect on that Zoom, you’re allowing other people to connect. I did a one of these yesterday, I call them culture jam sessions. There’s nothing nothing beautiful about the name. There are 16 people counting myself random, random people. And I started out with saying, Okay, what are you? What is your name? Where are you? What do you you know, what do you do here? And what is your sign? astrological sign? Okay, then I said, Okay, who else is a cancer in the room to other people here have cancer, and then made the connections. Oh, who other who else saw saw that show with them. Someone saw Rage Against the Machine, a band. This guy over here said, I saw that same exact show I was there. Well there by the way, those two people will probably never meet face to face, ones in California. And ones in London, they probably there’s no reason for them to meet in the workplace. But just this connection, and I do it as much for me because I’m curious about people as I do it for them, because I want them to get to know each other so that we can scale the culture. And also because while you might meet a friend who knows. And so that, you know, employee experience, I mean, what is it? What are we really talking about? We’re talking about the enjoyment of being at work, how do you how can you enjoy and feel like you’re moving the ball down the field every single day in a way that brings you joy, and in a way that brings the company whatever that KPI is joy, success, new clients money. So I just think of it as wouldn’t you want to spark joy in someone else?

Gregorio Uglioni 14:40
Yes, I think this is this is really key and what you’re saying it’s, it’s exactly what what you said. For me the most important thing is my family. I care most for my family. I’m f Italian and F Swiss, and therefore it’s clear that I need to care for my family and I want that’s directly. And what I’m seeing and feeling is if they are happy, I am happy to. And then when I’m going when I’m going to the office, then I spread my happiness by only smiling to people saying thank you or something like that. And the day they start also getting up, and I think this, this, this really help me, if I have a good balance at home, then I can bring that with me into the office, and then try to spread to spread that I feel responsible for that because I have the opportunity to lead a team to lead a team. And it’s important that they are motivated that they are feeling well. Because as you’re saying, and thank you for taking a soccer example, that you need to move the ball and score and score some goals. And I think that’s that’s the best way.

Claude Silver 15:49
Yes, exactly. And by the way, scoring goals by yourself isn’t as fun as scoring them with other people.

Gregorio Uglioni 15:56
Because then if you score a goal alone, nobody will. Nobody. That’s right. That’s right. And nobody see your Joy, real joy.

Claude Silver 16:06
Yeah, exactly. Exactly. It’s really about taking togetherness. And sometimes people used to ask me or say, well, Chief Heart Officer, that sounds so soft, it sounds so sticky. It sounds so sweet. You know, Oh, how sweet is that? And I would say to them, you know, talking about love and friendship isn’t sweet, necessarily. It’s kind, it’s good. It’s the right thing to do in the workplace. And I don’t look at myself and say, Oh, she’s so sweet. I say no, I’m kind, I have a backbone, I’m strong. And my strength happens to be being with people. And someone else’s strength might be balancing the checkbook, or the P&L. And whatever it is, if we can put our employees in positions where they’re strong, and positions that we know they will find success, then game over. That’s great.

Gregorio Uglioni 17:17
I think then you can win win the game. It’s not game over. But you can.

Claude Silver

It’s like game over? Let’s get let’s start. Yeah, exactly, exactly. Then you have a game to play. And you have people that you know, are in the right positions. And, and let’s go and it’s in theirs. It should, it shouldn’t be enjoyable. This is where we spend all of our time, as we well know. And as we’ve seen, even in the past two years, finding the balance at home is difficult, just as finding the balance when you go off to an office every day. And then come home is difficult. There’s nothing easy about about the juggle that we do. But there is opportunity to find, I think, some synergy in there and some and some fluidity, you have to be willing to. It’s like when you deal with human beings, nothing’s black and white, you have to be willing to roll with the changes a little bit.

Yes. And and our people understand what you’re saying, because perhaps you are meaning something, but they understand it differently. And then it it can have a different impact on on people. And I think as you are mentioning, this is extremely important. If you have the team that works together and each other trust themselves, then it’s easier to play together. Yes, exactly. Perhaps to try to ask a question that not everybody is asking you. You are doing a lot in your company a lot for your employees and those outside, but it’s perhaps something that you tried and didn’t work well.

Claude Silver 19:04
I mean, many something that I tried it at work inside the company. Yeah, I think I think that having courageous conversations is something that I try often. And it depends on the right mixture of people to have those conversations, you know, especially in times of great duress, what’s going on in the world, what’s going on in the Ukraine, the COVID Whatever, black lives matter. I think that, you know, my idea of everyone living in harmony is is a wonderful fantasy. And it’s not one that comes through every day. And so that’s something that you know, I believe I believe that when we get vulnerable with one another and when we remind one another that were just the same same, our blood is red doesn’t matter where you come from what you speak, what you look like, we have the same red blood inside of us. You know, for me, I want that to be enough so that people can take down their armor and take down their guard and share with one another. And it doesn’t always work out that way.

Gregorio Uglioni 20:23
It’s really, it’s really great. I need to ask the last last question. And then we are coming to the to the closer because I will I want to respect your time. Let’s quickly close the eyes. We are 10 years from now, what we are speaking about

Claude Silver 20:44
my children going into junior high school. And high school really is raising two children that are kind and are generous and are giving to this world. And they are kind and they are generous and giving to themselves. I think that’s that’s really the most important thing I could possibly do is give them that runway. So then spread their wings and fly high.

Gregorio Uglioni 21:17
That’s great. Thank you very much for your kindness of sharing that. The last three question to conclude the game and scored the last three goals. If somebody would like to contact you or to follow you, what’s what’s the best way?

Claude Silver 21:36
Oh, sure. On LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, those are all great places. LinkedIn, I’m probably most vocal. And I do write back to everyone that writes me it sometimes takes me a while. But I love hearing what people are up to and how I could provide value.

Gregorio Uglioni 21:54
Could you please plug also your podcast?

Claude Silver 21:57
Sure, sure. It’s called the silver lining, emotional optimism. And for me, you know, the podcast. Really people I have to say pushed me into doing that. For me, it was just something I like to do on my own just talking and thinking about my thoughts. But it got me out of my shell a little bit. And I’m meeting really fascinating, fun heart. People. I don’t go after a certain type I don’t it doesn’t matter to me if you’re in leadership, or if you’re an artist, I just want to talk to you and talk with you.

Gregorio Uglioni 22:36
Thank you very much. Is there a book that you said this helped me during my career or also for your personal growth that you would suggest to the audience?

Claude Silver 22:46
Sure, I have a few. So I’ll suggest a few. There is Pema Chodron, who’s a Tibetan Buddhist monk, “when things fall apart”, it was just a great book to have. “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl, of course, is amazing. And then to be a little bit lighter, “setting the table” by Daniel Meyer. And that is a book on hospitality in the restaurant business. And I find a lot of similarities between that and what I do all day.

Gregorio Uglioni 23:28
Thank you very much. And now we are really, with the last highlight of this discussion. It’s Claude golden nugget. It’s something that we discussed, or something new that you would leave to the audience.

Claude Silver 23:41
Yeah, exactly what you just said, we want to leave people better than we found them. And even if we found them out of 100, we can leave them out of 110. So think about that as you’re interacting or listening or sharing or doing whatever. And that is leaving a skip in their step a little bit more joy, a little laugh, another wrinkle because they smiled so much. leaving them feeling that I’m a good person. I deserve to be on this planet doing remarkable things.

Gregorio Uglioni 24:27
Thank you very much. It was outstanding. Not allow myself to commend that because it was Claude golden nugget. This is the perfect closing of this discussion. Thank you very much for your time. It was really a great, great pleasure to have you on my podcast.

Claude Silver 24:46
Thank you Greg, thank you so much Grazie mille!

Gregorio Uglioni 24:49
Thank you. They I want to close with all the possible respect that I have for for what you are doing and what you are doing for the for the world. “Would you do me a favor and have peaceful day?

Claude Silver 25:06
Yes, thank you

Gregorio Uglioni 25:07
Thank very much. I hope that the audience enjoyed this discussion as much as I did. It was a great discussion. Thank you very much Claude have a nice day and a nice evening.

Claude Silver 25:20
And you too. Bye bye.

Gregorio Uglioni 25:23
If you enjoyed this episode, please share the word of mouth. Subscribe it, share it. Until the next episode. Please don’t forget, we are not in a b2b or b2c business. We are in a human to human environment. Thank you

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