“If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask… for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.” – Albert Einstein
A good question might just be the most powerful tool you have in your communication arsenal.
Why? Well to start, questions are the vehicle through which we understand ourselves, exchange information, build rapport in relationships and persuade others.
But asking great questions isn’t as easy as always starting with “why.”
In today’s episode, my colleague Ali Kershner and I dive deep into the research behind the power of great questions, how to hone your skill, and improve your social agility by knowing how and when to use these skills appropriately in everyday life. Some of the specific pieces we talk about include:
- What makes questions so powerful, and why it’s important to ask better questions in the first place (12:10)
- Specific tactics and examples to help you ask better questions (25:00)
- The 3 C’s to becoming a better question asker (36:30)
- How to manage a conversation when you’re being asked tough questions (56:30)
There is A LOT packed into this episode. So to help you connect all the dots, here are some other relevant resources:
E117: Impression Management in Leadership & Life
E194: How To Become A Better Listener
E228: How To Choose The Right Platform For Your Message
E255: Podcast Strategies: What I’ve Learned After 2,000,000+ Downloads
E257: ChatGPT & AI: What Is Hype VS What Is Helpful for Coaches & Leaders?
Research Paper: It doesn’t hurt to ask: Question-asking increases liking.
Updates on My New Book – Stay in the know
Reflections Questions – See graphics on Competitive and Cooperative Conversations
Newsletter – Be the first to know about our latest content, newest resources, and upcoming live events!
If you find value in becoming more intentional with your interactions, improving your social agility, and strengthening your interpersonal skills, you must put skin in the game and do the work. These qualities don’t just develop on their own – they are skills to be practiced and refined. And to help you do that, we’ve created a wide variety of resources for you to take advantage of, whatever your circumstances may be. From our digital community, to online courses, to live events, we can guide you where you want to go!
Our next live event is the Art of Coaching Speaker School. This live 2 day experience not only gives you the knowledge you need to create a logical and clear presentation, but provides you with a safe environment to fail, one filled with people who want you to succeed, and are there to give you the feedback and encouragement you need to take steps forward.
The 2023 Edition of Speaker School is right around the corner – May 6th & 7th in Canton, GA – and spots are limited so we can give each individual the repetition and attention they need. So don’t wait – sign up today HERE
If you’re looking for something more long term, check out The Coalition. We’re biased, but if you’re in search of a personal board of directors, think tank and way to get around great leaders who will help you build a plan forward, it doesn’t get much better than this.
Our next round is starting soon, and spots fill up quickly! Check out artofcoaching.com/coaltion for all details TODAY!
This episode is sponsored by BetterHelp. Therapy is a powerful tool for enhancing self awareness and understanding. Sometimes we can be unaware of our own desires and motivations, our wants and needs, and talking to a professional can help us gain valuable insights. We all know that leadership and coaching can be incredibly fulfilling, but it can also be challenging. It can lead to compassion fatigue and moments where we feel overwhelmed trying to help so many people to the best of our ability. When you’re constantly giving yourself to others, it’s easy to forget you also need to take care of your own needs. Luckily BetterHelp is here to well help. Go to betterhelp.com/aoc today.
Thanks for taking a moment to sit down with me for another episode of the podcast. I’m Brett Bartholomew.
And today we’re going to be talking about a topic that many of our listeners, our clients, and even our staff have grappled with in the past, and that is finding your voice. Now, it doesn’t matter if it’s as a leader, or in general, we’re gonna talk about what that actually means. Root causes strategies, so that people feel like they can get some momentum when it comes to being able to more accurately and genuinely express themselves and their views. And this is something that really a lot of youth have trouble with a lot of people in a variety of fields that a variety of ages and cultures have trouble with. So if you feel like well, hey, I’ve heard this one before as well. You’re right, this is a topic we talk about a lot. And we wanted to do a sequel, because new information comes to light, as new infer ways of sharing that information. So some episodes that are going to complement this are Episode 105. And that is going to be on dealing with the imposter phenomenon, which is very much related to (Episode) 112, which is our first take, and you’re gonna hear some things on that in here as well. And then Episode 259, which is on perfectionism, so make sure to check those out. Those will be in the show notes.
So what does it mean? Let’s dive right into it to find your voice.
Well, it’s really about discovering and expressing your unique style, your perspective. For some of you, it could be your personal brand, which we all have your brand or just your reputation in various aspects of your life. It doesn’t just have to be your work relationship, or your personal relationship, it can be in your writing, people ask how do I find my voice as an author, my public speaking through your artwork through your music, so it’s very, very, very multifaceted. And when you find your voice, you establish this sense of authenticity, self confidence, and really empowerment. And that helps you build more meaningful connections.
Now, if you want a different way of defining that, I’ve looked some of these things up to make sure that I can find my own original interpretation. But I’m also giving you stuff that is shared in literature. It has also been described as finding your leadership voice means understanding who you are, then assessing how genuine and consistent that message is. From there, you can work on developing it, asserting it and doing so in a more convicting way. Right? So no matter which way we look at this, it is really about expressing some of our values, some of our core, just the things that we believe in and feel passionate about the most. Well, inevitably, you then get, well, what are the first steps? And it’s not this simple. So but hear me out, we’re going to flow through this and just try to really tease this out.
Well, one of the first steps is discovering your strengths and weaknesses. Right? That’s what the leadership, that’s what the research says. But that isn’t really helpful by itself, right? Because people are like, Well, how do I do that? Do I do some kind of strength survey, you people love Enneagram, and Strengthsfinder and DiSC assessments and all those things have been around forever, which leads you to believe that it may not be a formal process all at all right? Some of this is informal. Some of this is stuff that we’ve got to do, as we get into the nitty gritty of our life, have these experiences and I love Robert McKee, a famed screenwriter says “Self knowledge is the life we live, plus deep reflection on our reactions to that life we live.”
And that’s tricky, too, because some of you might feel like yeah, yeah, reflection, journaling, whatever, that’s fine. I’m going to give you some more concrete strategies. For now, I’m just trying to give you an idea of what people talk about and what’s out there. Right.
I’ve also said in the past, that I’m a big believer that it’s not about finding your voice, that there’s one way in one style. The whole reason we call ourselves Art of Coaching is an art right artwork denotes that there’s many ways to do this. I would assert that many of the problems are society. And this doesn’t matter if you’re looking at America or globally, faces in general, is this sickness of the one size fits all. We still have this sickness, where we are all obsessed with this one size fits all mentality, there’s got to be this one way of doing things. If I don’t find the one perfect way for me, if I don’t find the one perfect way for my situation, then I’m not going to be successful, I’m not going to be accepted, I’m not going to be approved or validated. So that’s a problem in and of itself. You’re gonna have multiple voices when it comes to expressing the things that you’re passionate about, that you feel genuinely convicted about. However, you want to phrase that you’re gonna have multiple voices, just like there’s multiple aspects to who you are. There’s a three dimensional self, quit thinking that you’re gonna find one voice and quit putting the pressure on yourself to find one voice. I have a certain way that I speak in this podcast that’s different than when you come talk to me and have a conversation in my living room. So you’re gonna have different voices about different subjects. The main thing is you want them rooted in core values, right?
So that’s a big thing that you’ve got to understand. Right now, when we look at some root causes of people, it doesn’t matter if you’re a teenager, it doesn’t matter if you’re 65, doesn’t matter if you’re Caucasian doesn’t matter if you’re from Saudi Arabia, if you are struggling to find your voice, whatever that is, right, it does come down to these things. And don’t shoot the messenger here, don’t shoot the messenger, because some of this stuff is not going to be, you know, the inherent reaction, we have to some of these things, especially when it’s something we know is we get defensive, and you can’t get defensive. But let’s talk about what really leads to root causes for struggling to find your voice.
One is, yeah, it’s a lack of self-awareness. People may not have a clear understanding of their own values, passions, and strengths. So that’s always gonna make it difficult for you to express your true selves. It just says, you know, and this is why we always talk about how, you know, life happens when you leave the house. The more dense and diverse experiences that you can have in life, the better, and then actually thinking about those things. Fear of judgment and rejection. I mean, that goes to a core tenant, right? Humans crave validation and acceptance. So many people are afraid of how others will perceive them, which you’re not in control of beyond a point you can, you can alter perception to a degree. But there’s a billion people in the world, a lot of them aren’t gonna like you, and they’re not even going to meet you. You know, if they did meet you, they’re just gonna judge you right away and not like you because humans gonna human. So that’s one thing, all right.
And then they’re not sure well, how will people even react to my authentic voice? That’s no different than if you bring a significant other home for the first time. And you’re like, I don’t know how my mom or dad or my parents, however you define them, are going to respond to this. How are they going to respond if I’m taking a new job? We get scared of how people react to the decisions we make. We get scared of how they’re going to react to who we tell them we are and what we value. We’re terrified of those things. And we’re very much wanting to always blend in with cultural or societal norms. And when you dive into our work at our Apprenticeship, you know, we talked about how many different types of contexts there are. And one of the types of contexts is cultural context. What you have to understand there’s cultural context can be distal, or proximal, so it can be disliked, what country am I from? Okay, I’m from Latin America. But the context of that can still be very different culturally, even in your own household. How does your family accept certain things or people in your work culture?
Accept that so when you think about that, there’s going to be so many aspects of cultural context. And that doesn’t matter if you’re from a different country, that doesn’t matter if you’re gay, you’re straight. That doesn’t matter. If you work in finance, or tech, you’re gonna have different cultural contexts where somebody accepts you and who you are and how you communicate in one, quote, unquote, culture, and not another. But fear of judgment and rejection in reality, along with a lack of really knowing what somebody values, even if they think they do, a lot of times that superficial, are, are the main causes of this. And there’s more here, but I just want to make this clear.
Some of you think you know what you value, what do you stand for? Like somebody says, What do you stand for? Okay, answer that question. But then say, well, why do you stand for that? Okay, why would you describe it that way? And what do you think about, you know, take three different angles of this, just dig, dig, dig, dig, and then think, okay, is what I stand for and what I value? How is that rooted? Have I had a lot of experiences where I’ve looked at the other side of that lived experiences where I understand the other person’s point of view? Because there’s not I mean, a lot of people will be like, Yeah, I’ve read articles. Yeah, I’ve seen social media. Yeah, I’ve seen what they post. Sorry, not the same thing, not the same thing.
Then there’s Imposter Syndrome or Imposter Phenomenon. I talked about this in Conscious Coaching. And then as I mentioned, episode, I believe it’s (Episode) 105. As a deep dive, you have a ton of free resources there. free downloads, so check that out.
But a lot of people just don’t feel like, Do I deserve this platform? Do I deserve this opportunity? And it’s really hard to find your voice. If you already don’t know for sure what you stand for. Or you’re not sure if people are going to accept what you say, or you think you stand for. Then you feel like I don’t know. I just had somebody not that long ago that was like, Yeah, I don’t share a lot. Why? Well, you know, I just don’t want it to be misinterpreted. I don’t want – I’m not always good at getting my point across and I don’t want to give people the wrong impression. Some of you can stop the episode right there.
You know, like, I want to say that – I want to say that again. Some of you can stop the episode right there in the sense that you are having trouble finding your leadership voice or your voice in general, because you are so scared of giving people the wrong impression. You understand that the type of people you want in your life and your circle and your business or whatever, are going to be the type that aren’t just going to judge you off of one impression, they’re going to understand that with human interaction, miscommunication is the baseline. You cannot read somebody’s mind. So the type of people you want in your life are the people that are going to seek to understand. And those are in short supply. Well, that tells you to keep your circle small, right?
But people be willing to be misunderstood. What’s wrong with that, be willing to be misunderstood. If you’re misunderstood, that just gives you more opportunity to explain and think through what you stand for and build common ground. But people don’t really want to do that hard work anymore. Do they? Tell me how to exercise, what to eat, what supplements to take, where to invest – but don’t make me do the work on how to communicate. Don’t make me do that. That’s terrifying.
Like, think of the comedy there. That’s tricky. Okay, another thing and that leads into it, lack of experience and practice. You know, we run a program called Speaker School, we didn’t just wake up one day and say, we’re going to teach people how to speak, you know that, that’ll be great. That’ll make us some money. What we thought about is all the people that reach out that say things like this. I want to find my voice, I want to express things to more people, I want to be more helpful. I want to help build more connections and give people solutions and share my experiences and be, just provide more value to the world, right? But they have a lack of experience in practice, and refining the ability to do so. Developing a unique voice, a genuine voice, a distinct voice, a consistent voice, takes time and practice. It takes time and practice. So that’s why at Speaker School, and many of our arbitrators we lean on that role-playing, we lean on those reps. Because we want to give people as many opportunities as they can to explore what they believe their personal style to be, get feedback from other people that are on that journey with them, and then refine their self-expression.
That’s why I mean, it does drive me nuts. Sometimes as a business owner, you’ll have – I was thinking of somebody the other day, I want to come to Speaker School, I want to do this, some of their colleagues went, I want to do this, I want to do that. And then there’s always, you know, time conflicts or whatever. And then they reach out to me and they’re like, but I’m struggling. I’m like, Well, why wouldn’t you? You’re avoiding the practice. Well, I don’t want people to misinterpret while they’re going to. But better yet people at this thing that we do, they’re there for the same reason you are. So they’re going to help you get around other people that are dealing with that as well get a lot of practice, right. That’s how you refine your self-expression. And a big way that you find your voice.
We already talked about cultural and societal expectations. This goes into fear of judgment. But for some of you, it’s upbringing, it is. I mean, these things play a role, and I’m not a big person and not trying to be insensitive, please just respect my views on this. I’ve done therapy, I’ve done, but I’m not a big person that thinks, you know, whatever trauma you experienced, when you were, you know, 18 months is what keeps you in this pit. Now, you know, we’re not, we’re not all Dexter here, we didn’t like we’re not in a shipping container filled with blood. And I understand that many things impact our lives.
But there’s some people that kind of hold on to that stuff a bit too much. Like you can’t, you can’t, we’re not going to fix the past. So whatever happened in the past, that’s fine. But we’ve got to move forward with it. And I can speak to that. I make mistakes all the time, spent a year of my life in the hospital, that’s well documented. I get it, I get it. But you’ve got to move forward. So whatever that upbringing is, whether your parents didn’t encourage this kind of talk or freedom of expression, or you dealt with this, and that created self-limiting beliefs, only you can make the choice to determine when you are going to let that quit controlling you. You are. You know, and that’s hard. And some of you might want to turn this off and say you don’t get it, I’m going to ask you, is it that I don’t get it? And let’s say I don’t. Or is it that you kind of, this becomes a convenient shield for a while for some of you not to face some of these things. I’m just trying to be real. And even if you’re like, No, you don’t want to okay, what somebody then what’s, what’s the thing, you’re gonna live your entire life like that? You can’t, you can’t do that or you’re gonna you’re basically committing to being unhappy.
And then perfectionism, which we do an absolute monstrous deep dive on (Episode) 259, I think if you just type in ‘perfectionism art of coaching podcasts’, you’ll find it. But that’s always going to hinder the process. The quick thing about that, like, there’s podcasts I’m doing right now, and any of these aren’t scripted. I have some notes I want to hit for sure. But they’re not scripted. And do you really want that? This is where I just don’t understand society. It’s like we say that we want more acceptance, more inclusion, all these things. But then we lift these people up that do scripted stuff. And then not only that, we compare ourselves to that, and then we’re like, why can I? Why can’t I find my voice? You know, why can’t I figure this out?
Now, let’s talk about. Now that we’ve talked about some root causes, we’ve talked about the definition of what we mean to find our voice. We’ve talked about how that happens not only as leaders – as humans, as right authors, writers, musicians, artists, whatever – let’s talk about what not to do.
Because we do think, we – and research shows us it can be very helpful – let’s talk about what not to do, what is not helpful. Then I want you to have a pen and paper ready, or get out the Notes app on your phone and think about if you’re doing these things. Because if you’re waiting for some big drop of, yep, do these things, take these supplements, blah, blah, blah, and find your voice, it ain’t going to happen.
You know, I’ve been through some of those things of, you’ve got to refine it, you’ve got to practice, you’ve got to quit worrying about judgment, all those things. The more you compare yourself, that’s going to lead to feelings of inadequacy, that’s going to lead to discouragement, and authentic self-expression. I could say what am I supposed to say? Oh, my God. You know, Ryan Reynolds just sold mint mobile for one $1 billion. I’m not Ryan Reynolds, how could I ever do something this creative and that clever and blah, blah, blah, blah. Dude, why don’t like, what are you comparing yourself to that person for? Your contexts are not theirs. You’re not that. That body’s taken. That lives taken. Figure something else out.
You know some of it – like we had a member of our audience be like, well, you wrote a book at 30. I’ve always wanted to write a book by 35. Okay. And there’s people that have sold 20 million more copies than me, have a book that didn’t write a book until they were 77 years old. You know, a podcaster talked about, he didn’t even start his podcasts while he was in his 40s.
On the other hand, you could look at it, what am I supposed to say, Oh, I’m nearly at 300 podcasts, and we’re not multimillionaires. Alright. Oh, I’ve written a book and I’ve done this. We’re not living in the Hamptons. Hmm. No, the contexts are different.
You keep plowing ahead. You keep plowing ahead and you be consistent. Comparison doesn’t matter. And that’s why so many youth and folks and you know, I’ll just say adolescents, because research dictates that that’s 10 to 24 years old, how can they not compare themselves? Everything in their life is built around that. But at some point, somebody’s got to have the guts and just probably even the language, no matter what your opinion on this, as they say, Hey, that shit ain’t real. You know what I mean?
Like what you’re seeing that adoration – that’s not real. Matt Rhule, Nebraska’s new coach said, and I can’t remember if he said it was that when he was at Temple, or whatever – But they were in a big win streak, big turnaround. And he was in public. And somebody walked in next to him in public or by him and said, “I love you coach,” you know, as obviously a fan that was super excited of all this success. And he looked at his son, he said, I want you to know that that’s not real. That’s fleeting. That’s fleeting.
And some of you know this, you’ve had success in one area of life, and people love you. And then the next minute they dump. Yeah, that’s the reality of it. I think another, you know, I don’t think another one is that you don’t want to do, don’t suppress your emotions. Certain people hold everything in. They hold everything in. And I have a theory about this. But I won’t go too far down the rabbit hole.
While mindfulness and breathing and all these things are helpful and should be a part of your repertoire, you heard me, should be a part of your repertoire. Sometimes, you know, for me, at least, and now I’m injecting myself in the conversation. I just hit a heavy bag, or I lose my shit. Or I do something. Sometimes just yelling, screaming, punching somebody, when we don’t actually allow this stuff to get out of us. Right now. It’s just like people either tell you to cry or journal, or breathe. No, sometimes just scream, sometimes go hit something, not a person, you know? And then make sure it’s not a wall.
But what is this aversion to just getting it out? Other than just working out? Right? I get that you can go work out? What am I going to like, I’m going to give you that advice, go workout – great go workout, like you didn’t know that. But I’m trying to give you things that are counter-conventional in some ways, get it out. Because the more you suppress your emotions, that creates a barrier to self-awareness. And then that’s going to prevent an authentic connection. It just is.
I feel passionately about the subjects I speak to many of you about. That comes across in my voice. Embrace that, and allow you to really foster a deeper understanding of yourself. Of course, you don’t want to just rely on external validation, that’s another one that ain’t gonna help you. That’s not even if you come to our Speaker School or anything like that, you know, take all the feedback, even the great feedback with a grain of salt, you have to. My next book, when that comes out. I expect 50% of people to love it. 50% of people that hate it, hopefully, you know, but even if 70% hate it and 30% love it, man at least I found a certain audience and any of those feedback, whether good bad or whatever, that can‘t define me. You know, I’m gonna have done something that most people never attempt to do and so are you. Most people would never even think about working on this stuff. They wouldn’t. So just by listening to this podcast, you – right – you get a participation trophy and I mean that seriously. Because most people will say, Oh, why don’t people communicate better? And ? Well, they don’t work on it. They don’t. They don’t become more self-aware.
I’ll also tell you not to conform to societal norms, you know why they’re fleeting. This stuff changes constantly, what people want one moment, they don’t want the next. I mean, it’s, it’s amazing. It’s, it’s, it’s really, you think about this, we were just talking about this, a friend of mine. And in movies, there’s a reason the antihero is so popular now in so many movies. Whether you look at the Mandalorian, or Deadpool, or, you know, certain villains and movies. And it doesn’t matter if you’re a movie person, choose your book, right? The people are tired of traditional power structures, they’re tired of traditional ways of doing things. They’re tired of all this. And then you know what, that pendulum swings, it goes back and forth. But if you think that you’re just gonna tune things to cultural and societal norms, and you’re gonna find your voice, you’re wrong. That’s being agile, with your voice, being socially agile, and that’s what my next books on. And that’s hard in and of itself, but that’s not finding it.
And one of the biggest ones, like, the more you avoid challenges and discomfort, I don’t know what to tell you. And then internalizing that, and this some I tell my staff too, you know. If we get into, well let’s just talk about everyday folks, the more that you just don’t get outside of your comfort zone, or get into positions where your self-concept or your self-worth, or your competence is challenged, but you’re also not going to develop that boldness as well.
And I talked to my staff about this recently, because we have hard conversations as a staff, and I did this. I said, listen, if we’re gonna get up there and lecture people on how to communicate, and we’re gonna have these experiential learning opportunities, where people come up and roleplay in real time and do the hard stuff. And we don’t do that, we get sensitive, we shut down, we do these things, that ain’t gonna work. So make sure that you intervene if you’re somebody that gets out of your comfort zone.
And you’re like, well I do this, I teach, I lead, or whatever. There’s gonna be some area where you don’t, you don’t do that. You’re not. You’re, you’re shielding yourself. And for me, you know, I looked at a lot of performance coaches, or strength coaches that will say, I’m lifelong learners, yet, they’re just always going into training type stuff. Until a lot of them started realizing, Oh, shit, yeah, like I’m a leader, I actually need to go learn communication strategy and problem-solving. And, and we see this in all these other professions that deal with this, you’ve got to do hard things, right?
And you’ve got to quit overthinking too. If you over analyze every decision, every decision or every expression or every, you’re going to prevent, it’s going to prevent you from taking even more action.
Practice letting go of the need for certainty. Just do that, I literally, I mean, and some of you need to hear that multiple times, practice letting go of the need for certainty, and embrace that process of exploration, experimentation, and improvisation. When you seek control, your world is gonna get small. And when your world gets small, so does your perspective. So does your level of self-awareness. So does your ability to be agile and take risks and learn from those risks. And then you start back in that little self-help system of looking for that one size fits all drug from some guru, that’s going to help you find an answer. And then you’re gonna say, Well, why can’t I find my way? Cuz you’re always looking for some guru, and some little step-by-step analysis to help you find your answer. And that ain’t gonna happen, right? That’s just going to perpetuate rigid thinking, and isolated perspectives. And neither of those things are helpful.
And believe me, it’s tricky to me, I can record this. And I could even send this to a future staff member. Let’s say, they say they’re having trouble finding their voice, and they hear all these things, and they could get done and be like, why? So I still can’t find it? Well, no shit. Just listening to these things doesn’t help you find it. You’ve got to actually say, How am I going to do this? How it like, what is the strategy and the practice that comes from this?
So, you know, you think about how would you encourage self-awareness? Well look up the Johari Window. We do that, that looks at how you behave, and how you disclose selectively across different contexts, what you feel like you’re expressing versus what you’re not, right? Like because so much of self-awareness, and making sure that you’re getting the right feedback comes from this weird, and it’s a very, it’s a thin line and it depends who’s drawing it. You have to find this balance of revealing and concealing. There’s a balance between revealing and concealing. Not everybody needs to know everything about you, for you to get great feedback. At the same time, they need to know some things and you’ve got to, you’ve got to be able to lock and load with them. You’ve got to be able to chat with them and say like, okay, I get it, like help me learn how I can suck less there.
What can I deal with your – Give me Give me some strategies there. Give me some ways that I could work on this. And then let’s try it again. Let’s try it again. Let’s try it again. And so whether for you that’s journaling, meditation, other exercises, getting feedback, encouraging, you know, vulnerability, sharing stories, whatever, or just getting in front of people and letting them say, You know what, let me have it, tell me everything I do, that either makes you feel like not heard or like something I feel is not genuine. Just get in there. Right? If you just took five minutes, and you absorbed all that hard feedback, and you realize that those people that give you that hard feedback, are doing it, because they actually respect you, you would take an entirely different perspective. Because anybody that takes the time to give you constructive feedback, and I mean, constructive, like, Hey, here’s, here’s how this comes across. Here’s what I think you could do. Here’s why I think that’s different than being like, “you suck.” That’s not constructive. Because then you can think about, well, well, what feedback should I listen to?
And you know what, I’m going to make that a completely different podcast. So you have to listen to that one. Because that’s a deep dive in and of itself.
For some of you, you know, when you look at Imposter Phenomenon, recognize some of your achievements, right? Just actually recognize them. You don’t need to seek validation. Recognize, and I have to do this all the time, to have to realize, alright, hey, you did do this. I know there’s many things you didn’t accomplish, and you wanted to do. But you know what, you did a lot of different things. And like, whether that’s the fact that we’ve done a podcast every week, since like, 2018, a newsletter, we put out courses, we’re continually just in the fire in the fire in the fire. And I can honestly say that I, you know, if I sit here and tell you guys not to deal with perfectionism, I’m doing the same thing every week. You don’t think I’d like to sit here and have hours and hours to outline and a whole video crew, and all that and 15 people to edit everything I say. So it sounds like there’s never a slip up. We ain’t got it. But we do have consistency. We do have consistency.
I think, you know, another thing that can help many of you is just be more creative. But when you don’t put work out whether it’s on Twitter, you know, whether it’s tweets, which is what one guests was nervous about, whether it’s your writing, whether it’s your music – if you’re not creative, or you’re not constantly putting those things out, it doesn’t allow you to experiment.
So that’s a tricky – so think about what are areas that you could like, where can you get some more practice? We’d love to have you at Speaker School, or our Apprenticeship where he can roleplay. Those are safe places to fail – it’s encouraged. But if you’re not there, what can you do? All right, we have our community that’s online. If you say Brett, none of those work for me, that’s all fine. But what I’m telling you you can’t do is, what you can’t do is say you want to find your leadership voice, but then say, well, I’m not going to go to any clinics or workshops, I’m not going to dive into any online, I’m not going to take any accountability, I just want to be able to read something, have an epiphany – And voila, the next day, I’m going to have this genuine voice that sounds like Morgan Freeman or Carmen. And I’m going to know exactly what I want to say and how to say it.
That’s not how that works. You have to get you to know, you have to actually handle some stuff to get calluses. And that’s the reality, you know?
Fear of judgment and rejection – something you can do there is just straight-up exposure therapy. And that’s what I mean, like, we do this thing in our Apprenticeship where I say, what is one of the worst things somebody could say to you, like, just the worst. And when individuals like that I’m bad at my job, or that I hurt them or, you know, I hate we had something that was really vulnerable, incredible. And she was like, you know, when I have to tell a parent that their child has a blank level of autism. And you know, because she worked in youth child development, and especially with autistic kids, she’s
like, I always just, I never know what reactions coming. So we work on that. We say, all right, like we’re gonna take turns coming in kind of throwing this at you. And you don’t need to say the perfect thing. But say something, let’s walk through this.
So if that’s too intense for you, fine, just find a space where you can at least gradually share your thoughts and feelings in various situations. Or tell somebody hey, I feel like I feel really strongly about this. But I also feel like there’s holes in my argument, can I struggle through this with you?
Shit, as a writer, I deal with this all the time. Prior to this podcast, I had to turn in another chapter for my book that is going to come back absolutely riddled with red pen. And it’s overwhelming because of the first chapter. I already have rewrites. And at the time of this recording, which is in March 2023, I have to turn in a new chapter to my publisher every single month through July. I’m not joking. And then, pardon me, I’m getting some from my son. They send me edits. And I have to do those edits and send them back in that month, while also working on the next chapter that I’m gonna have to edit. And then in July, once all that’s done, and I have the crappy first draft, I have to rewrite it again. And then by November or December, once there, you know, copy editors and stuff, I’ve looked at it, I’ll have to do it yet again. Yet again and all throughout that time, I’m going to be told to remove certain things in the book that I love, to add things that I hate, and vice versa, you know.
And so you have to think of it as that process.
You also have to remember, and when musicians go into a booth, and I don’t care if you like Drake, and Eminem, or the Beatles, or Frank Sinatra, or BB King, or you know, Bobby Womack, whatever, these are people in a booth that have to do multiple takes and have these things edited. So even your favorite artists and musicians, I know there’s some of you out there that just love you some Taylor Swift. Well, some of those songs and lines and bridges and choruses take 20 different takes. And so they may screw something up and be like, cut, I don’t like that. Start again at the bridge and punch me in and the weight and boom, then they hit it, but to you. That sounds like they just got it. That ain’t the case. You get multiple takes in life, too. If you’re willing to take them, you do, you know.
And that’s why we wanted to create some of these outputs, because people don’t inherently seek assertiveness training, exposure therapy, training to be more persuasive and deal with negotiations. That’s why we have those Apprenticeship opportunities, you know, and we want to share those with you. You find support networks in that stuff, you know. So track your accomplishments, work on training, put ideas out there, be creative, seek additional perspective, live more life, live more life, some of you just, you know, I don’t blame you, I wouldn’t have found my voice. And I’m still finding it, by the way. That’s another tip spoiler alert, it’s a process it changes.
But if I didn’t have to travel a ton of places on my own and struggle and not have a ton of people I could rely on for a large portion of the time that I was on my own or throughout many aspects of my life. Frankly, I don’t know that I would have been able to find that, of course, my parents and all that are great. Many of you know what I’m talking about, like my professional journey. Like, I don’t have just a bunch of people behind me whose entire job is to make my life easier. And that can be a curse, but that can also be a benefit. So some of you just need to have a life, you know.
One of my favorite actors, Tom Hardy, and even Christian Bale were talking about this, you see some youth actors out there, they make so many movies, you know, maybe they make movies from 10 to 21. And it’s like some of them will take time off. And it doesn’t even have to be youth actors. But that’s because to bring any truth to a character, they actually have to have a lived experience. And they’ll just be like, Alright, I’m not making movies for a while, I’m going to do something else.
So I’d ask you this, what other this is a big one. So you’re getting rewarded if you stick around? What other aspects of your life do you have? Right? If it’s just work, and by the way, it depends what your work is. Because, for me, since my work dives into this topic, it’s immensely rewarding and beneficial for me to find my voice, because you got to deal with, you know, complex stuff. But for some of you, let’s say you just have work or maybe some of you are too even wrapped up in your relationship.
And I know, yes, I get it if things aren’t right at home they’re not right anywhere else. But you can’t have a dependency either. Right? Do you have any other hobbies or ways of expressing yourself? That is critical, that is critical. You’ve got to have some other and you may not know, but find something else you can do. So you bring different layers to your life.
But I’m not going to tell you. I’m not going to give you like positive affirmations. I’m going to stick more with, you know, deliberate practice, experimentation, consistent practice. I’ll say that, again, deliberate and consistent practice, experimentation, mentoring, feedback, all those things. Those are the biggest pieces.
And we offer those as well. Right? I, like, we offer the things that we feel like people we need. So you can go to artofcoaching.com/mentoring. If you want mentoring on that we want to be that supportive community for you.
Alright, I think that’s enough information for now. Don’t be so scared of being judged. And if you are, I get it, you’re going to be judged anyway, I’ve removed this thing. People are not going to like you, they’re not going to accept you. You don’t want them to quit thinking you have it all figured out. You don’t. Neither do I. we never will.
A leader isn’t some perfect, transformational servant-based person, whatever. A leader is an imperfect guide that helps others in a reciprocal manner because they help them to navigate the gray area of who we are. That’s it. And we struggle with this because just frankly, the indoctrination of normalization of commoditization of visualization of presentation of things that deal with communication, finding your voice and leadership in the past has just been awful. So a lot of resources haven’t helped us.
Then we waste so much time trying to create boxes. Is that we later want to escape from, we wonder why we’re stuck, and be adaptable. You don’t need to be this. You don’t need to be that. You need to be able to adapt the fluid, be willing to be wrong, and you have to know your stuff.
We’re here for you. We’d love to help you on your journey, whether it’s our online mentoring or in person courses, whatever, just go to artofcoaching.com. This is our life’s mission to help you guys overcome some of this stuff so that you can save more time, make a bigger impact, build deeper relationships, and ultimately just be happier and make more progress. I appreciate you. I hope this helped. Please send it to a friend or friends. Talk to you soon.
Did you enjoy the show?
Your support ensures the best quality guests and listening experience.