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Key Takeaways

  • Compassion is a neurobiological skill that everyone should cultivate, and it is needed today more than ever, especially in the face of challenges such as politics, the environment, and race relations.
  • Belinda Chiu's compassion strategy involves centeredness and mindfulness as key components for successful leadership. Technical skills can only take us so far, and the ability to manage oneself and others is critical for success in the workplace.
  • Mindfulness is the foundation of the compassion strategy, and it should be used to positively impact others and the world around us.
  • Agency and self-efficacy are essential for empowering leadership and work. Leaders should focus on the areas of influence to increase their ripple effect.
  • Authenticity, compassion, and integrity should be considered when making decisions.

Executive Summary:

Hello everyone! Thank you for tuning in to the NEGOTIATEx podcast. Today’s guest is Belinda Chiu, Ed.D an author, speaker, and executive coach. She is the founder of Hummingbird Research Coaching Consulting and has over 20 years of experience in leadership, development and training, executive coaching, consulting, public diplomacy, and higher education. 

Belinda also works with individuals and organizations to build more inclusive and equitable global teams. She serves as a visiting faculty member and coach for various executive education programs and is also involved in advisory roles. 

Belinda holds a Bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College, a Master’s from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and a doctorate from Columbia University. She is based in New Hampshire and is also a certified yoga teacher and forest guide.

Now, with that brief introduction done and dusted, let’s delve into the valuable insights she shares in this episode.

Belinda’s Career Path: Navigating the In-Between and Bridging Different Worlds

Nolan kicks off the conversation by asking Belinda to share her journey and work. In reply, Belinda shares how she ended up merging her interests in academic research, coaching, and consulting through her company, Hummingbird Research Coaching Consulting. 

She describes her career path as “squiggly” and credits her success to the support of mentors and colleagues who have helped her along the way. Belinda discusses how being comfortable in the “in-between” has allowed her to belong everywhere and work with different types of organizations and people. 

The Power of Compassion: Redefining Misconceptions and Cultivating a Neurobiological Skill

Compassion strategy is a major focus of Belinda’s work with students and clients. Compassion is often misunderstood as a soft, squishy concept, but it is actually a neurobiological skill that everyone should cultivate. 

On that note, she stresses the need to acknowledge both the good and the bad in everyone, while showing humanity and empathy towards all beings, not just humans. According to her, compassion is needed today more than ever, especially in the face of challenges such as politics, the environment, and race relations.

Centeredness and Mindfulness as Key Components for Successful Leadership

When asked to share more details about the specifics of her compassion strategy, Belinda highlights that centeredness is a key component, which involves mindfulness. Centeredness requires leaders to be present and mindful of their thoughts and emotions and to make wise decisions in the moment. 

Belinda emphasizes that technical skills can only take us so far and that the ability to manage oneself and others is critical for success in the workplace. She also notes that these skills are often not taught in school and are unfairly labeled as “soft skills.” Belinda believes that working with human beings and managing them is anything but “soft” and that decisions made by leaders can have a ripple effect that impacts people in the long term.

Belinda’s Perspective on Using Mindfulness as the Foundation for Compassionate Action

Subsequently, Belinda addresses the criticism that mindfulness is selfish. She explains that while mindfulness is self-awareness, compassion is about showing up and taking action. Belinda notes that mindfulness is in fact, the foundation of the compassion strategy and emphasizes the importance of using it to make a positive impact on others and the world around us. She believes that cultivating decision-making skills and taking action can positively impact the world.

Using Humor To Boost Employee Engagement, Motivation, and Wellness

Next, Belinda talks about the importance of humor in the workplace and how it can lead to more engaged and motivated employees. She mentions that humor can be a skill that can be learned and should be appropriate and used to find points of connection without taking anyone down. According to her, humor can protect people from burnout, and wellness should be important in the workspace.

Empowering Leadership through Agency and Self-Efficacy

Moving on, Belinda talks about the importance of Agency and self-efficacy in leadership and work. She highlights the need to recognize what one can and cannot control and to focus on the areas of influence to increase their ripple effect. Belinda also emphasizes the importance of intentional action and choice, even in moments of inaction or silence, to positively influence outcomes and direction for the team.

Finding Your ‘North Star’ and Showing Up Authentically as a Leader

Nolan asks Belina to shed light on the second C in the compassion strategy: courage. The latter highlights that courage is closely linked to authenticity and honoring oneself, which can be difficult. She emphasizes the importance of self-awareness and understanding what really matters to oneself, which Bill George refers to as the “North Star.” 

When leaders are clear on their values and what drives them, it helps them discern the right course of action and who they are in service of. Belinda also mentions the concept of self-compassion and the recognition that everyone messes up sometimes, but it’s important to authentically show up as who we are and allow others to do the same.

Authenticity, Compassion, and Integrity in Leadership Decision-Making

Lastly, Belinda discusses the importance of authenticity, compassion, and integrity in leadership decision-making. According to her, authenticity is not an excuse to intentionally harm or hurt others. When leaders are clear about their core values and what drives them, it becomes less of a personal issue and more about making decisions that align with their values. 

Even though at times, leaders are forced to make tough decisions that may impact thousands of lives, it’s important to be humane. Courage is essential in embracing conflict, reframing concepts, and creating productive abrasion. Candor is also necessary for decision-making but should be balanced with compassion.

Belinda, Aram, and Nolan delve into a wide range of topics. We invite you to share your thoughts on this highly informative podcast by emailing us at team@negotiatex.com.

We appreciate you tuning in!


Nolan Martin : Hello and welcome to the NEGOTIATEx podcast. I'm your co-founder Nolan Martin. With me today is my co-host, co-founder, good friend. Uh, what else can I throw on there, Aram?

Aram Donigian : [laugh] I don't know. We'll have to work. I need to improve your list of adjectives there to describe me.

NM : Yeah, there we go.

AD : Since I know what you're gonna do, you're gonna kick it over me to introduce our guests. Yeah, I'm gonna go ahead and do that.

Author, speaker, and executive coach, Dr. Belinda Chiu focuses on individuals and organizations to co-create healthier ecosystems and cultivate authenticity. Founder of Hummingbird Research Coaching Consulting, Belinda brings over 20 years of experience in leadership, development and training, executive coaching, consulting, public diplomacy, and higher education to be a catalyst for leaders of diverse experiences. So they may be of greatest service to others.

She works with a wide range of organizations such as Burberry, ESPN, Headspace, Paramount Plus, Regeneron, Sony, Stanford, and UNOps. An International Coaching Federation. Professional Certified Executive Coach. Belinda works with individuals at all levels from the C plus suite to emerging leaders.

She also engages at organizational levels to build more inclusive and equitable global teams. She serves as a visiting faculty member and coach for the Tuck School of Business’ Executive Education Program, MBA and MHDS programs. Dartmouth's Leads Program for High Potentials and Rockefeller Center's Management and Leadership Development Program. She is also a certified teacher for the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute. A faculty member with the Inner MBA Teaching Fellow with True North Leadership and Mind Jim Coach.

Additionally, she is an international liaison with the US Department of State, advises EI focus to cultivate female leaders through sports and emotional intelligence, and is a board member of Music to Life. She is the author of numerous publications, a certified yoga teacher and forest guide and improv member. Belinda holds a Bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College, a Master's from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and a doctorate from Columbia University. She's based here in New Hampshire, where I am too, with Bandit, the pink nosed puppy, a.k.a Queen Amygdala. I don't know if we'll see an appearance from Bandit today. Belinda, thanks so much for joining us.

Belinda Chiu : Yes, it's absolutely my pleasure. And thank you for that introduction. So, I was a little humbly to, I'm like, oh, okay. All right. You know….

AD : [laugh] First question I had for you is with everything in your bio, everything you're doing, how do you find time to even visit with us today?

BC : Because you're wonderful and I love talking about this work, and I love people who also recognize that my dog, who yes, Queen Amygdala just came back from a two and a half week trip, and she, you know, most dogs like you, we kind of want that welcome and they kiss you that welcome all. She literally ran by me three times and she wouldn't look at me for about 20… So mad at me…

NM : [laugh],

AD : She'll, I'm sure she'll get over that fairly quickly this afternoon, evening. So I hope so. Anyways…

NM : So thank you again, Belinda, for joining us. So you and your company Hummingbird bring together this wonderful combination of academic research with real world coaching and consulting. Can you share with us a little about the journey that has taken you to where you are today and the work that you've that you're currently involved with?

Embracing the In-Between: Navigating a Squiggly Career Path [4:15]

BC : Yeah, yeah, absolutely. You know, I think, boy, how much time do we have? No, I think a lot of, you know, folks and colleagues that I work with, engage with probably would have a very similar answer in that nothing's fully ever planned. As one of my dear Coach Heley talked about the squiggly career in many ways. And so I think that's been both a, you know, a combination of a lot of luck and a great deal on very, being very fortunate to be around some incredible mentors and colleagues and just people who have supported me along the way. It sounds really cheesy when I say that, but it's actually very true.

And so being able to really kind of merge a lot of my interests both, I've always sort of sat in the in-between, like my whole life I think has been the in-between, whether it's in between cultures, whether it's in between, you know, spaces of, whether it's the corporate world and that academic world. I've alw ays sort of I always say when you don't belong anywhere and you're raised sort of, kind of where you, you're not, you don't belong. You end up belonging everywhere. And so that's sort of what I've always embraced is just sort of being, kind of being comfortable in that space in between, and not willing quite how we, my need for a lot of different you know, interests and things like that, and short attention span, that all helps in terms of not willing to give up too many things quite yet.

AD : I would assume that allows you then to be able to fit in fill spaces with a lot of different types of organizations and people as well. So my guess is it serves you incredibly well in the work you do.

BC : Yeah, I think in some ways, it's, it's not easy and I'm still trying to figure it out. I'm still always trying to figure out what I wanna be when I grow up. And I do think there is sort of space and need for all types of individuals in terms of, you know, for some folks, and I've always admired those who really know where they're at, one thing that they just grab onto. And I have such admiration for that. And I remember when I was younger, I thought, that's what I need to do as well, grab on that one thing, and I just couldn't do it. It just didn't quite feel right to me until I really started to appreciate how we do need every, you know, different pieces. And so even though sometimes I am still trying to work through that, but more and more it may seem disparate, but there's so many dots and, and what one thing I love doing and this kind of perhaps align with the spaces in between is how do you connect the dots? Because the academic world and the corporate world we think are so different, or c-suite leaders versus, you know, these young activists that, I just came off this, this two trip of, you think they're different, but we're not. We're all dealing with such similar struggles and fears and, and issues. And it's how do we connect the dots not just amongst people, but also live this greater world in which we, we live in.

AD : Well, a major focus of the work that you do with students and clients, revolves around this concept of a compassion strategy. Can you tell us a little bit about what that is exactly, and maybe why it's so needed as we sit here in the year 2023?

The Power of Compassion: Moving Beyond Misconceptions and Cultivating a Neurobiological Skill [7:23]

BC : Whew. Yeah, I mean, it's really interesting because the word compassion has always been in some ways part of how I grew up, but not really understanding what does this mean? And I think I probably always, and I'm, you know, kind of continue to investigate what this means in 2023, right? And in a lot of terms, there's this misunderstanding that compassion is this, you know, as I say, soft squishy concept of like, okay, you know, we're all, you know, going to go meditate on the mountaintop and be friends forever, [laugh].

And while I would love to have us all be friends forever and play with dogs all the time- I am thinking cartoons- but, you know, I think one of the key pieces as we know right now, whether it's, you know, the state of the politics, whether it's the state of our environment, whether it's the state of race relations or all of these things that aren't very real compassion and as we now understand more from the neuroscientists who are studying this, it's not just sort of a nice to have concept or this sort of fluffy thing, but a very real neurobiological sort of skill that we should all cultivate so that we can acknowledge the good, the bad, the ugly that is in front of us, not shy away from us, but still be able to show up with humanity and show up with you know, with, with that really applied empathy, right? Empathy and action towards, again, not just human beings, but of course all the other [laugh] sort of beings that, not that that we inhabit and everything that we, you know, we do impacts others and all of that.

NM : Absolutely. And one thing that we'd love to do is kind of dive more deeply the components of your compassion strategy. The first is centeredness, or what is that exactly and why is it difficult for so many leaders to be centered?

Centeredness: The Importance of Mindfulness and Wise Decision-Making in Leadership Beyond Technical Skills [9:14]

BC : Yeah, yeah. So centeredness, it's interesting because this is a freeze that Bain actually sort of started to use, and I like alliteration. So the three Cs. But really when we're talking about centeredness, it is mindfulness plus. And I know in the last I would say five years, maybe even more than that 10 years, mindfulness has become much more accepted in the workplace because you know, I think before that it was sort of like, oh, you know, it's again, something nice to have in a retreat center or in the large form spaces, but more and more there's this greater acceptance that this is absolutely critical to how we lead and how we show up in the workplace.

And when I think about working with leaders and also being in that role myself a couple times is I will say, you know, that the ability to understand how we choose where our attention goes, how we choose to show up for ourselves and others, and how do we become more comfortable with what's going on inside right? It requires us to be present.

And I think, and it's not so simple as in being present, just, of course it's being present in the moment, but it's beyond that, right? It's really having a choice of how we bring our capacity to really consider what's the wisest decision in this moment that I can make, right? Because when we think about, and there's more and more like Dan Goldman for example, before I've had the honor of work with others, have shown that technical skills will only get us so far, right? So I started my career as a consultant. I was an econ major or the political philosophy major, right?

But learning how to mock those are things that I learned in the workplace. And I was very fortunate to have a great environment that do that. And so the technical skills we can learn, we can teach these other aspects of how you manage yourself, how to manage others around you.

Those are all the things that are not always taught in school, right? Those aren't, and to me, one of my pet peeves is that it's called soft skills. And you know, my thing is what is soft about working with human beings? What is soft about managing all the, you know, think about all the stories we tell about ourselves, all the things that trip us off in terms of being able to make wise decisions cuz it's leaders, artists, isn't, don't just impact us. It has this huge ripple effect on all those, not just around us, but those longer term impacts years down the line.

AD : Yeah. Nothing, nothing's soft there at all. And that's, it's hard because even where to start sometimes in pulling back the layers of that onion, which is myself, right? And so difficult, the things that get in the way of me being present.

Centeredness: Moving Beyond Mindfulness in the Workplace and Cultivating Wise Decision-Making [11:51]

BC : Absolutely. And I love that analogy also said about sort of purely back the onions, right? Because there's this, interestingly, a pushback. There's been a recent article about how mindfulness is really selfish. And I think this is where impassion has to come in because I think sometimes there's a misunderstanding too that mindfulness is, well, it's self-awareness, I'm aware of myself.

And so then we can get really internal right about the work. But compassion really allows us to actually, it's about showing up. It's about action, right? It's about seeing this being mindful is sort of the, the root is search inside yourself, which is started at, and Google really looked at mindfulness is really sort of the, the foundation of it.

Now it's how do we then use that in action? Because it's not just about the internal self, but it's about how do I internally understand what's going on so that I can impact others in the world around me in a way that hopefully leaves it better than not.

AD : That is tough. That is tough work in your, in, as you talk about centeredness seen in your work, this idea of purposeful play, right? As a component of centeredness as you define it as mindfulness plus. And I can imagine that some of the clients that you work with or students are like, Hey listen, I'm a manager of people. I don't, I don't have time for play, Belinda. You know, so what do you mean by purposeful play? And how does that equip us to, you know, lead others and lead our organizations more effectively.

The Importance of Purposeful Play in Managing Chaos and Building Leadership Skills [13:16]

BC : Yeah, absolutely. You know, it's funny cuz that word play, and I will say it took me probably a while to fully embrace that part of it because it's always been very important to me, but sort of, you know, when I'm 20 something years old and, you know, trying to be taken seriously amongst mostly, you know, male dominated sort of you know, [inaudible] wasn't gonna be like, oh, that's clay, that as well I'm, and think about sort of where we are, right? And this world where there's so much chaos, so much uncertainty. We don't know what's gonna, we don't, we, we have no idea what's like day by day. I'm like, well it's, you know, it's gonna show up now in the news. And a lot of times we forget to play in this. And remember it's Purposeful Play. It's not playing just for the heck of like having fun, which is also important, but maybe not in the workplace.

But this sense of play is critical for us to be actually, to actually be open to this chaos that is around us. And as I was saying to someone yesterday, it's not about, it's not about being chaotic as leaders. We have to actually be able to manage chaos. And in order to manage chaos, that has to be ordered, right? So in order to be able to play, we have to have structure. So that's why it has to be very intentional purpose because until you experiment, like you can't really experiment unless you understand your core, right? Just like you can't really sort of think about, you know, improv. So I do study improv as well. I'm not very good at it, but I really enjoy it. But I [laugh] and three, but improv is so important.

Like I keep doing it because it keeps my skills or I try to keep my skills, you know, really sort of sharpened so that I can respond in the moment. And I always encourage any leader, take an improv class and they're like, what? I'm like, just take an improv class. And I remember we had one session where we would tell we were leaders that it was an improv class. Cuz if you say that, people would run away. So we just called it a leadership session. We had so much fun, right? We had a lot of fun. But there's actually a real sort of skill building around it because there's so, and, and Robert Quinn, that professor has really talked about these four fundamental states of leadership. And so much of leadership is being other focused. It's being result focused to really being able to pray in that way of creating, innovating and creating.

Innovating isn't creating something out of nothing necessary. It's sort of cheapen what we have and seeing the possibility. So that play becomes critical. That, again, play is not without intention, it's intentional play, but it also enables us to also come to different situations and with people with an open mind. Cuz when you look at children, they don't have preconceived notions about things. They just see something. They're like, Hey, let's like whatever. And you know, there's that famous study of, oh, the marshal, the SpaghettiO, the marshal test, right? Where they take MBA students and they take kindergartners and you know, who does it better? The kindergartners, right? Because the kindergartners like, oh, let's just figure it out and we just have to meet and have a strategy and we have to think about [laugh] and they get tricked up, right?

And we all do as we get older. So part of the play is to invite us to look at thi ngs with that beginner's mind, which is connected to mindfulness of course and centeredness. But how we approach things with a different mind so that I'm challenging those stories and assumptions I have about myself. I have about you, you have about me, right? Think about the listeners here, right? We all have stories now created already about what I'm saying, about what you're saying. We all have stories. How do I interrupt those?

AD : Well, I love how you laid that out. It made me think about Legos for a moment cuz my kids love to play with Legos. The creativity involved there, this purposeful play. And so much of it starts with the structure of an instructions that they get to build something. And then where it goes from there, this creative, innovative approach to create other things. And then it's always amazes me what they, what they come up with. I love Legos as a play tool. How about humor? Is there room for humor in this purposeful play? And is it important to leadership?

The Power of Humor in the Workplace: Balancing Serious Work with Playful Connection [17:10]

BC : Yes, I would argue yes. And I think, so research suggests that to be the case. Like Robert Half has, you know, done a lot of research that, humor, you know, there's evidence that employees who see their leaders as having a sense of humor, they're more engaged, they're more motivated. I mean, let's not, you know, let's be real right now. Wellbeing is such an important topic, especially in this COVID world that we're in. And you know, having, you know, we're spending most of our days working in the office, there is an element of fun. And I think a lot of times fun gets equated to not being serious. And I think it's important to know that we can do very serious work and still have fun while we're at it.

Is everything fun? No. Should everything be like, no, that's not what we're talking about.

But it's really important to think about humor in its appropriate way. So there's a group out at Stanford, a couple professors now that have published some books about humor at play. I think it's actually yes, [unclear]... worked seriously. And so there's more and more research around. And Stanford, this is why I think is actually teaching classes on humor in the workplace.

Now it has to import what kind of humor? Because I've also. And I'm sure you have been in places where someone thought it would be funny to say this and you're like, inappropriate, right? So humor has to be, and it's a skill that can be learned. Cuz some people be like, I'm not funny. It's not about being the standup comedian, right? It's about how do I use affiliate? We'll call affiliate shoe work to find those points of connection.

And it's not to take anyone down, it's not to sort of belittle because we know the harm that it can cause, but sometimes just the right amount of humor at the right moment can shift, right? Can just shift a whole a tense moment. It can shift a tough dynamic. It can also invite people again to allow themselves to release again some of those very limiting beliefs or stories that we have, right? And the example of just as a mentioned to earlier on this, amazing, I was very lucky and, and being on this project for the last year, or 86 people from the 61 countries, all leaders from different sectors on DIA: diversity, equity, inclusion, equity. This is tough stuff, right? For some, for some of these, many of these individuals, some of their whole identity means life or death, right? And we definitely had some very tough discussions, but we made sure that we had some purposeful play, a bit of shame because it allowed, because it allows our brain to kind of open up that space or for those tough discussions.

Sometimes even certain humors can protect people from burnout, right? We look at caretakers for example. It can actually be sort of a real difference between burnout. And as we know in this space of wellness has become and should be more important in the workspace. There's that element of it.

AD : The last part is centeredness that you talk about is this idea of active agency. Uh, an Agency is a powerful term these days. And you know, whether it's dealing with change or conflict, you know, leaders often feel that they're kind of you know, in quotes here, you know, at the effect of their circumstances or maybe at what others are doing, rather than in control in those sorts of circumstances. What can leaders do to avoid overreacting or maybe the other extreme, which should be doing nothing instead positively influencing the outcome and the direction that their team is going.

Recognizing the Power of Agency and Choice in Leadership and Work [20:37]

BC : Yeah, absolutely. And I think this is something that, and again, by the way, all of this is, you know, in the process of sort of learning and seeking could bite all the answers. It'd be great [laugh], quite, you know, but I think, you know, Agency, it is a very powerful thing to really remember because self-efficacy, Mr Bandura’s work right. That self-efficacy is one of the most critical components for any individual to feel like we have meaning and purpose in our work, right? And it's this idea we know from, you know, Martin Sullivan's org for example, we can learn helplessness, we can learn optimism, all of those things to the about. And yes, there are many things completely outta control, right? If you've got a restruction going on, right? I'm working with a group right now, that whole reorganization, everyone is feeling like all the do I do, right?

And one of the pieces of agency is to recognize what do we have control and what don't we have control? And I know it sounds kind of simplistic to say, you know, that the only when we do have control is our thoughts, our actions, our responses to things. But when we pay more attention to that. It's sort of back to Stephen Covey, right? Spheres of influence and spheres of control.

When we pay more attention to those things that we can control, our spheres of influence actually can get bigger. Why? Because when we're bringing that intentional focus, we start to sort of separate or at least do greater clarity to those areas that I can and have some influence over and not ruminate over the things that I really don't have control over. Now, does that mean I ignore it, right?

Like if I could wave my wand and say climate change or race relations, I would, and I as a person don't have, I don't think one person sort of has right? Necessarily the ability to control some of those big things. But every action that I do can have that ripple effect. And leaders are in particular, as we know, leaders, actions, leader spots, leaders behaviors have the largest emotional and real life ripple effect, you know, to everything around that. And so recognizing that that agency that we do have and the choice we have, and this is where center just comes into play, is that it allows us to better discern what's the most appropriate action in this moment. Because the only choice I have is this moment right now. And it's a choice. And if I choose an action that's still a choice.

Cuz oftentimes we think I'm gonna get home head, I'm just, print's not working, you know, it's not happening and therefore I'm not responsible. Inaction is a choice. And sometimes with inaction is the most wisest thing you can do, right? Silent sometimes is the wisest thing we can do. And the invitation for leaders particularly is to use it intentionally, use it and choose that action rather than, you know, that external locus of, you know, LAN or external is there explanation of things that everything's happened to me, but that I actually have that agency to show up how I can. Can I control you? Not at all. Can I control your impressions of it. I can't, but I can control my thoughts, my behaviors, my responses to perhaps the [unclear] and see

AD : The power of choice. Thank you.

NM : So the second C of your compassion strategy is Courage. How do you define courage and how can leaders practice it to show up in a more effective way?

The Role of Courage in Authentic Leadership and Self-Compassion [23:52]

BC : Yeah. You know, for me, courage is the reason why sort of that really kind of came up as the second big piece of it, goes back to authenticity. And something that I've discovered working with leaders, it's oftentimes again, maybe on paper we've sort of reached certain levels, right? And I think one of the things I'm sure you know as well through your discussion in your work is that feeling of being really honoring yourself, it's hard, right? It's really hard. And part of compassion also means seeing what is there, right? That's what compassion is about, is seeing what's there, the, the bad, the ugly that includes the wonderful charming parts of ourselves and the less so charming parts of herself that we don't necessarily want others to see, right? But it's part of who we are.

And so part of compassion, there's also that element, right? That Kristen Neff talks about, which is the self-compassion piece, right? Is also understanding that we all have, you know, this sense of shared humanity and that, you know, it's not about if we mess up, it's when we mess up, I mess up, oh, we're charming, right? So we all do this, but it's allowing ourselves to authentically show up as who we are, but also allow others to do that. So it really starts with, again, not just self-awareness, but it is self-awareness and it's also this real exploration to what really matters to me. What, what is it? And we talked about this before, like, you know, it's Bill George, who's a wonderful person who's really sort of put a lot of thought into this. It's what's art? I call like what's our north star, right? What's the compass that really drives us? How does then all my action, my behaviors, thoughts show up into that?

And, is it out of alignment? Because when we're much clearer and it takes, it could be a lifetime of figuring out what that, what that authentic, you know, North star is. But the more clear we can be or at least sort of get it swimming in that direction, the more it helps leaders to discern what is the right course of action. And it is in the service- who is in the service of what, and who is in the service of who.

AD : I love Bill George's work. I use it in my negotiation piece to talk about how, how I show up and being consistent, you know, authentic to my values. This idea of authentic integrity. You know, what do you think it is about when leaders can show up on that way and be very authentic to who they are? And again, this idea of authentic integrity that allows them to handle any of the challenges they might face, whether it's a negotiation, maybe it's planning, directing others, maybe it's any sort of the myriad of managerial tasks that that man that leaders are asked to do. Why is this so important?

Balancing Authenticity, Integrity, and Compassion in Leadership Decision-Making with Courage and Humanity [26:41]

BC : And another piece that you just mentioned that made me think about this is that it's authenticity with compassion, right? And integrity. And I think that's important because sometimes we can mistaken, well, this is who I am and take it or leave it. And so we have to be mindful that when we're talking about this, it is not, authenticity is not permission to intentionally hurt or harm, right? Or, you know, all of those less than positive aspects of, of the power of leadership. But it's really thinking about that importance of integrity. And when we're much more clear about who we are, we are more able to, in some ways it becomes, it, the decisions we make become, it's gonna sound really kinda, and as strange as I'm saying it, it becomes less of a personal issue because it's more of a personal issues and vice versa, right?

Because it becomes almost very clear about what your core values are, what really drives you. And then it doesn't be, it's not about me or you, right? In terms of making saying yes to you or saying no to you. William Urie, who I'm sure you're familiar with. This, of course the classic Getting To Yes. But one book I always pretty much felt every person I go read is the Power of a Positive No. Love this book is such a symbol, but it's like, wow, why did everyone teach me this when I was, you know, but that, you know, notion of all we're really clear about what our values are, then we can say, you know, it's like the roots of a tree and then you be, are more able to say no to those things that might stretch your values.

And that's not saying no to you, right? I'm not saying I, but I'm saying no to this opportunity. So I can say yes to the under wave in which we can say together those, the leader, when we sort of bring and leaders are, they are forced into making some really tough decisions, right? Really tough decisions. And you know, and sometimes it has, and when we think about it from a compassionate perspective, it allows us to really kind of zoom out when we need to at that 30,000 level so that because the decisions we might make may impact thousands of people, thousands of lives, right? And as leaders, we need to not forget this humanity in it and, and at the same time be able to discern when those decisions are in the service of whether it's because of the, the vision of the organization, or maybe it's the, you know, two, ensure that you know, the commitment is to ensuring the longevity of this organization, whatever it might be.

It's to be able make those tough decisions but still with humanity. And so we, when we've heard stories, we've heard stories about how, you know, in the past, what the several months were certain leaders, they have made certain announcements, tough announcements in not the most compassionate way, right? Right. And email is not necessarily the best way you wanna hear it, right? So all of those, you know, that, you know, entire divisions have been in, have been, you know, laid off. And so how do we sort of bring that out?

And so that's why courage to me is not just authenticity, but it's that notion of embracing one conflict and reframing that concept is actually what helps us to be and create, right? It's what called, you know, it's, it's that notion of creative abrasion, but you put two people together, there's friction, but how do you serve, embrace it so that it becomes creative and productive abrasion. And then how do you have that notion of, of candor, but with compassion or am I should think not bio or with compassion?

NM : Hey everyone, Nolan here. I have to jump in and end today's podcast for part A of this show. Be sure to rate, review and subscribe to NEGOTIATEx podcast if you haven't already. And also join us next week for part B, this awesome interview.

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