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080 - DOC CLUB EDITION: STUTZ

Whether or not you agree with HR's many methods... we can all agree that humans need better tools to be, well, human. With the rise of mental health awareness, an increasing conversation about ending work stress and anti-hustle culture on the rise - it's important to discuss... your intimacy issues. After much fanfare for their first 'Doc Club' episode, Alexa and Tyson review the new and popular documentary, Stutz, with lots of aggressive opinions to share. Give it go!



Watch the doc: https://www.netflix.com/title/81387962

Read Mark Manson’s book: https://www.amazon.com/Love-Not-Enough-Mark-Manson/dp/1713585189

***Important People Problems disclaimer: We don’t think that HR should take on the role of in-office psychologist or psychiatrist. Are there some interesting and valuable resources and tools in this documentary to help humans better understand themselves and maybe better understand how they work? Absolutely. We’re not suggesting you become the Wendy Rhoades of your office. However if you don’t get that reference, we are suggesting that you watch Billions.

Highlights and Key Points:

  • What is a doc club anyway? (11:58)

  • “Stutz” summary (12:38)

  • SPOILER ALERT (15:03)

  • “How do you build trust and rapport between two people in vulnerable situations?” (16:10)

  • Tying the doc and its message back to HR and the working environment (16:35)

  • SPOILER ALERT (17:09)

  • “Your manager is sometimes someone you have to be vulnerable with in order to be managed well. You have to honest about failings.” (17:56-18:04)

  • “You can’t manage people well if you do not know where they come from and you do not know where they are trying to go.” (19:02)

  • The idea of being fallible and how that connects back to work (27:57)

FOLLOW US!

Follow the podcast on Linkedin, Instagram, and TikTok at @peopleproblemspod

Follow the hosts:

Alexa Baggio on Instagram, Tiktok, and LinkedIn

Tyson Mackenzie on Instagram at @hr.shook


Alexa

Tyson! what is up?


Tyson

Honestly, like, it is just like dead winter over here. I got nothing going on. It is just like, you know, grinding it out like nothing to look forward to any holidays are.


Alexa

Passed like a Canadian winter.


Tyson

Yeah, it is just cold. And we've got cold on the horizons for a while now. So it's just, you know, hunker in.


Alexa

Nice. I am two blocks from the beach and it is 86 degrees here yet in my windowless Mexican apartment. So no, to all the listeners, if the windows are closed in the Airbnb listing, ask the owner to make sure that they go outside and not too a hallway. Lesson learned. But beyond that, I basically go from a windowless apartment which is very good for working, very, very focus oriented to 86 degrees and sunny.


Tyson

So that sounds lovely. That sounds lovely. She had to hop on a plane.


Alexa

Mexico it least to Puerto Vallarta. Here we go. All right. Awesome. Well. Any other major updates before we enchant the people with our opinions? About this documentary?


Tyson

Now, let's let's dove right in. I'm excited.


Alexa

All right. All right. So we're here for round two of our club episodes. And for those of you who did not listen to our first one, I highly recommend it. But this is a format for the episodes that I basically ripped off from a thing that my friends do once a month. And if you do not remember sort of the general situation here, it's much like a book club.


Alexa

And we will do some book club episodes this year as well, which I'm really excited about. But we call this doc club short for documentary club. And the idea is that you watch a documentary just like you would read a book on your own time, in your own, the comfort of your own home, and then you come together to talk about it.


Alexa

So I will at some point create a one pager because I'm a nerd in the major world, loves one pagers about how to set up your own doc club. But for the purposes of this episode, we are talking about the relatively new documentary created by Jonah Hill called Stutz, which is about his therapist, Phil Stutz, And yeah, so General Gist here, rules of engagement for Doc Club are that if you pick the documentary, you have the opening commentary or the opening question I believe for our Abercrombie episode, Tyson, that was your pick, and Stutz was my pick.


Alexa

So pressures on me to open up here and clearly I'm delaying because I don't have a great opening thought. I have lots of thoughts. So the first thing that I circled by circled, I took lots of notes as I was watching this because I have lots of thoughts and I'll try my best to organize them. But I definitely circled, for what it's worth.


Alexa

I'm pretty sure Stutz has done psychedelics because there was more talk about love in this documentary than I think I've ever seen between the two men on film ever. But no, I think jokes aside, I think this was a fascinating expo on both an interesting character, which is the therapist Stotts himself. I think we'll talk about him, and I think it was a very interesting exposé on his his what he calls tools.


Alexa

So throughout the documentary, if you've watched it, if you haven't, go watch it. Otherwise, this is just a big spoiler. But he talks a lot about some useful tools but I'm sure you have thoughts on things like life forces and part X and shadow people and gratefulness, parting clouds and all kinds of what I would say are quirky takes on some psychological tools, but found it overall enjoyable.


Alexa

I found it a little staccato, a little all over the place, but that's also part of the film. And we could talk about the style of the film and the film itself at the end. And I think last but not least, I would say out of the gate, I would say I enjoyed it. I think these these are it's useful to see someone else's take on tools and ways to sort of take action.


Alexa

I think that was probably my my favorite takeaway is that he's very action oriented as a therapist. But yeah. What do you think, Tyson? Opening thoughts?


Tyson

Yeah, for sure. So definitely spoiler alert, because there's something that happens very early on in the film that things sort of switch gears and I was really happy that they did because the opening scene, it was very like, I'm a huge Jonah Hill fan, but he was like, No, this isn't about me. And we can't really like he kept like deflecting a little bit.


Tyson

And I'm like, Oh, this is going to be like, really? Like, how is this going to this conversation? Going to be really like one that's of interest? If he keeps deflecting like that, yeah. And then at one point very early on, he's like, all right, I need to be really. So it was a conversation with Jonah Hill and starts and he says, I need to be really honest with you about something.


Tyson

This is not going well, and we need to do something to make this film actually be successful. And the first step of that was me, Jonah Hill. Being honest with you starts about how things are going and how like what are your thoughts in terms of like how we can make this film be one that people are actually going to benefit from Yeah, and I, I really, really liked that action because I think a huge part of this documentary for me was how do you build trust and rapport between two people in sometimes very vulnerable situations?


Tyson

And the first step of that then was in this situation was being honest about things. And I guess like where I sort of like link that back to me and I'm not saying and like I think we've made it very clear on this podcast, like H.R. is not a therapist, but for me it's almost sort of like was this lesson that sometimes like you have to go to people that you're working with, whether it be in a situation or not, and like be honest about where things are failing in order to like move forward so I, I was very interested in the working partnership between the two of them as they were making this documentary.


Tyson

So sort of like slashing down the fourth wall but then also obviously in the tools and the rapport that they built through like therapy with one another.


Alexa

Yeah, I think it was it was interesting to see, you know, again, spoiler alert, you know, in the moment where they show the green screen and they kind of like this what I would call sort of like the second half of the film where they he kind of comes clean and is like, this isn't going well. I need to be honest with you, etc. As you explained, he he goes into this diatribe about vulnerability and honesty and that basically like that is where you create connection, right?


Alexa

And what's interesting is like, you know, I think we just shared in our newsletter recently that there's an article about how like not to bring your whole self to work and how there are like real detriments to actually doing that. And, you know, basically like the workplace is not does not have the scaffolding or the structure to support some of those behaviors or needs or whatever.


Alexa

And so they breed disappointment and hostility and blah blah blah. But but that said, you know, in saying that H.R. is not a therapist, it is also important to say that your manager is someone you sometimes have to be vulnerable with in order to be managed well. You have to be honest about, to your point, failings. I also think what was interesting about this documentary is it becomes increasingly about his Parkinson's, which is something that they mentioned up front.


Alexa

And they have the awkward scenes of him kind of taking the pills while he's, you know, shaking and like he's clearly like such a sweet sweet guy. It's a little hard to watch. But over time, you realize that, like, Jonah Hill also has not asked him a whole lot about this and it has not been a big topic of conversation even though the guys say I love you throughout the whole documentary, you know?


Alexa

And so you think like, well, how can you be this close and not ever ask this man about the thing that has plagued him since he was 21? And so it was really interesting over time for that to become more and more a part of the story of why he's developed these tools, of how he's sort of come to some of these conclusions as a therapist and why he has the philosophy that he has.


Alexa

You almost can't understand his philosophy as a therapist. And his style as a therapist if you do not understand where it comes from, which I think is very in parallel with like you cannot manage people well if you do not know where they come from and you do not know where they are, go trying to go.


Tyson

And I think it also went from probably being what was naturally very one sided. So obviously Jonah Hill is paying an individual as a therapist to help him with his problems. But I think the shift that happened was they became business partners as well. Right? So they are working together in a partnership to create this film. So again, like some of like the connections I sort of thought of is like when you're working with someone.


Tyson

So let's use the example of an H.R. with their manager that they partner with. Okay. So oftentimes it starts out kind of like the way that I'm sure Jonah Hill and such started out, like it's very one sided. Maybe it's like H.R. asking a lot of questions. Then once you reach true partnership, it becomes a lot more like two sided.


Tyson

So like working together to like, you know, be vulnerable and share the issues and like be upfront and that sort of like what switches from in the H.R. world, someone who is just sort of like maybe a generalist and like reacting and like to someone who actually has like a strong partnership, a strong partnership where they actually can do some really good, strong, deep work.


Tyson

Yeah. So yeah, that was sort of.


Alexa

And I love I love it. You know, we can go through some of the tools specifically if you have favorites. But I love and this is sort of a personal mantra of mine said differently, but pain, uncertainty and the need for constant work, our life's three inevitabilities or three truths. I think that's something that I think people, especially in the age of like shitting on your work environment and complaining about having to work and us all realizing that hustle culture is exhausting and non-sustainable as millennials like, yeah, cool.


Alexa

All of that is true. But also like pain, uncertainty and the need for constant work are also life's truths. Like shit changes, shit gets hard sometimes stuff is not always certain. You are not entitled to feel secure all the time. And that goes for sort of like any part of life, right? Like that's where growth comes in is like a little bit in the chaos.


Tyson

I love that when he's sort of like saying to Jonah Hill, like, don't just come in here and shit on me and dump.


Alexa

All your shit on me.


Tyson

Don't dump all your show me. And I just I, I love loved love. Like the humor that he didn't take therapy or psychology or anything like to seriously in a sense. And like, again, like, further to like building the relationship between two people. Like he almost like there was like a levity to it that I think really helped to push.


Alexa

Yeah.


Tyson

Like when you're anytime you're in a position where you're building a rapport with someone like there was curse words and things like that. And even like his approach to his, his tools, like you mentioned, like there's some like sort of like quirkiness to it. I think that is just so relevant to people. So like my my husband watched it with me, for example, and he has like, he's like very like anti therapy.


Tyson

He's like, no, I don't like I don't believe in it. It's just like brings up problems that, like, you probably didn't know the man is like, it just brings things. Yeah. And he but even like in chatting with my husband, he's like, wow, like, this actually is like good therapy. Like, this is therapy that, like, would actually help people versus just, like, bringing up problems that when you.


Alexa

Talk about your shit.


Tyson

For.


Alexa

45 minutes, I say nothing. Exactly. You figure it out on your own.


Tyson

And then you got my bill. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. So it was.


Alexa

By the way, I don't take insurance.


Tyson

Yeah, exactly. So it's very accessible to even someone who is maybe a little bit more like anti therapy in the historical.


Alexa

Yeah, I like that. It's I like that he writes the cards. I think the note cards are very helpful. I think people sometimes forget the power of visual tools. I'm a very visual person. So the fact that he, like, writes all his tools out to me, I was like, Oh, this guy. Like, we could vibe. And just remembering that, like, different people absorb things differently.


Alexa

He's also got a lot of his techniques seem to be rooted in this idea of story. So the stories that we tell ourselves. So for example, what you just mentioned, like, you know, kind of like getting stuck in the maze, which is like stuck in the past and not being able to move forward and the sort of dwelling on the past.


Alexa

And his whole philosophy is like forward action. Those are all things that are stories that we choose to tell ourselves or choose or roommate on. And I think a lot of that is super true. And work environments like I think there are stories and personas and narratives that people get stuck into that can be really detrimental and be really limiting.


Alexa

And again, good, you know, good people, teams and good managers are really good at reconstructing those stories and helping you sort of fit your narrative to the narrative of the larger organization, like the string of Pearls I thought was really interesting. And then with the turds, that was kind of funny. You know, every pearl has a turd, every turn has a pearl however you want to look at it.


Alexa

I think those are like really powerful examples. You know, it's I, I also can't get over the scene where he takes his wig off.


Tyson

Like, my gosh.


Alexa

Like, my mind was blown.


Tyson

Same that was seen. I have no.


Alexa

Idea. You you could make a wig look that real.


Tyson

It was so real.


Alexa

The whole thing was so awkward.


Tyson

Yeah. That even, like, I actually like the film really, really, really captured the awkwardness of that conversation, too. And he how anxious Jonah Hill was to bring this up to him and then his.


Alexa

And watching a guy who is trying to do something great, who's like, known to be successful, admit that something's just not he's just not fucking good at something right now. Like, it's fucking up.


Tyson

It really gave you a palpable the scenes that, like, Hollywood does not expose you to. And also, like, you kind of felt you felt what Jonah Hill was feeling like. Oh, my gosh. Like this poor man stuff like is, you know, at the mercy of Jonah Hill's Hollywood magic. And now he has to come and say that it's not working out.


Tyson

And his response to that was such, like a higher level response, like there was no ego, no at all.


Alexa

And he had no assumed or desired outcome no.


Tyson

He was just like, yeah, it was just it was such was just fascinating.


Alexa

He also says, as he's talking about the tools at one point, something that I think is really emblematic in that situation. When he says, you know, you can't control the outcome of how, um, I think it was he was talking about the maze or something, but he was basically like, you have to use the tool and then you have to see what happens.


Alexa

Like there is no using the tool to get to an outcome. You have to use the tool and see where it takes you. And he kind of had that attitude towards the whole project. Which was like, I just wanna see where this goes and it's okay. And like, we'll, but we will do better together. Now that you've been honest with me and you've been vulnerable and we've had a minute to connect about the fact that we've been filming for two years to get 90 minutes of film.


Tyson

And he was honest in the fact that he felt like it probably couldn't move forward unless Jonah Hill was open to sharing. Jonah Hill had to open up and share personal examples of the way that he has sort of used the tools and in his discussions with Stutz. So from there the like the movie shifts in that they kind of use Jonah Hill as an example and even starts a little bit as an example of how tools are used using their own very deeply personal stories, which actually it seemed like they didn't want to do that.


Alexa

Yeah. Which I thought was interesting. I would say yeah. And I don't want to go too far into this, but I thought the the end of the I thought the end of the film was a bit of a mess. Like, the whole thing was very like all over the place, even after they kind of had this revelation of vulnerability and, and all those things.


Alexa

I do like that. It got more personal. I like that we met his mom. I liked that. We talked about, you know, the woman that Stutz has been on and off with for 40 years. And that whole revelation, I thought, was really interesting. What I really liked about that, though, and what I thought was really important was which is, again, a little bit of a wishy washy topic for some people in this realm.


Alexa

But this idea of like fallibility, like you can be fallible and still be the best of your craft, right? Like Phil Stutz is in theory, like Therapist to the stars, probably one of the best therapists sort of in and around the Hollywood areas. My guess and the guy doesn't have his love life together. Like he just cannot connect with women because of some shit he's very aware of.


Alexa

Right. And so it just goes to show that like you have to be I think you have to give people some fucking slack sometimes when they're really good at one thing, it's okay that they're not good at the other. And I think especially in work environments, we tend to make personas out of people, especially bosses and managers and C-suite people.


Alexa

And there's, there's this like culture of kind of like fake it till you make it and oh, this is my persona as a professional and especially with this personal branding shit. Now, I think it's, it's really rotted people in a way that we forget to let people have faults and we forget that people still get in their own fucking way, and that's okay.


Alexa

And like, we just have to have better tools, especially as professionals, to talk to each other about this because the lines are not always clear, right? Like I just learned recently, I learned in the last 24 hours that someone that works for me has a recurring illness that I was completely unaware of. And, you know, it's me. It's brought some things to light.


Alexa

It's made more things make more sense. I truly hope this person is okay, and they have a great handle on it. And I, you know, I care about them dearly. I just want them to be okay. But it's like we've been operating together for, I don't know, a year or something. Like I had no idea, like just clueless.


Alexa

And now I'm like, Oh, another layer to the onion. Okay. Right.


Tyson

And there's so many layers to people in there because there really are and.


Alexa

You just ogres.


Tyson

It's, it's also like, again, it's like that self-reflection, like, you have to sort of we've talked about this a lot, but putting your own oxygen mask on to that, that sort of just comes up for me is when, you know, you're always, always helping people. So like steps, for example, is a person who, like you said, helping people all the time, all these Hollywood starlets.


Tyson

But, you know, he needs to take time to reflect on, you know, why is it that he feels as though he can't have a love life because of his own illness and things like that. So it's just sort of this like self-reflection. And I know that might be like that shows up for everybody like differently. But I think it's also really important that we can be helping people all day long but still have our own shit also.


Alexa

Yeah. And I think look, I think, you know, if we were to to bring this back sort of to the, you know, the, the H.R. people side of it, like some of these tools are helpful. I'm not promoting anyone in the air space to be using these tools with people but I do think you could look at bees and look at things specifically like the life force, and you could actually run that lens, you know, all a bunch of the people in situations and teams that you work with, right?


Alexa

So if you if you think of the life force as a tool, it's a triangle. And basically the way he explains it is like your physical body is the foundation of that triangle. The second layer up is your people, the people in your life or your relationships. And the third, the top of the pyramid is sort of your relationship with yourself.


Alexa

And I would argue that, like, you could probably pretty quickly rate a person, an employee in some situations on how they're doing across those levels if you were really paying attention to them. Right. So I actually think those those kinds of skills are really useful, right? If you got someone who has behavioral issues or you know, all the many weird things that pop up when you work with enough working humans, like you could probably scale that back and say like, okay, like are you taking care of your physical self or how are your relationships?


Alexa

Like between those two things, you're going to uncover some shit that's probably not going right for that person. But again, it's not your job to fix or maybe even to, to notice, but would help you in working that person through the system or getting them to the resources that they need. Right? But you have you would have to have that lens to do it.


Alexa

So I think those things are helpful. I also think that part X and the shadow conversations were pretty helpful. Like, I think it is really helpful to take a minute and to personify sort of a demon in the room or the devil in the situation. And then think about how you would address that particular persona if you could separate it.


Alexa