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Key Takeaways

  • Compassionate candor involves separating intention from impact, and communicating effectively and kindly.
  • Mindfulness, self-awareness, and compassion are essential for effectively navigating conflict.
  • Creativity can take many forms, and leaders should understand individual styles of creativity to promote inclusion and create a culture of creativity in the workplace.
  • Unlearning limiting beliefs and experimenting at the edges while staying true to core values are important for fostering creativity.
  • Mindfulness and compassion should be integrated into leadership, reframing the term “soft skills” and incorporating them into the organization’s strategy.

Executive Summary:

Hi everyone, welcome to the NEGOTIATEx podcast. We are continuing our conversation with Dr. Belinda Chiu, an executive coach and founder of Hummingbird Research Coaching Consulting.

In Part A, she shared her insights on cultivating authenticity, courage, and compassion in leadership, emphasizing the importance of mindfulness, humor, agency, self-efficacy, and integrity in decision-making. Today, she delves into these topics in greater detail.

So, without further ado, let’s get to the meat of the matter.

Compassionate Candor: Overcoming Conflict by Acknowledging Impact and Intentions

To start off, the speakers discuss the concept of “compassionate candor.” Belinda suggests that most people have good intentions, but their way of approaching may not always be smooth. She uses the analogy of a “stinky fish under the table” or sweeping issues under the rug, which is not the right way to handle conflict.  

Dr. Chiu encourages people to bring issues to the surface and work through them, acknowledging that it may be messy but ultimately worth the effort. She highlights the importance of separating intention from impact and taking a moment to pause and reflect before reacting. 

She acknowledges that it can be difficult to show compassion to those who do not see your humanity but suggests focusing on intentions and finding a kinder way to communicate effectively.  Conflict can be avoided by changing one’s mindset: shifting from needing to be right to finding a greater intention for all parties involved.

Navigating Conflict with Mindfulness, Self-Awareness, and Compassion

People find it difficult to embrace conflict, a phenomenon that the speakers find to be inherently healthy. Belinda points out that this is often due to past experiences and the models we observe for handling conflict. She emphasizes the importance of putting self-awareness into action and practicing self-compassion in order to better navigate conflict. 

Aram notes that recognizing and responding to physiological responses in conflict is also key, as it allows for more intentional responses. Being aware of where conflict triggers show up in the body allows one to take steps to manage them and respond in a more productive way. 

Overall, the speakers are in agreement on the importance of mindfulness, self-awareness, and compassion in effectively navigating conflict.

Overcoming Challenges in Achieving Compassionate Candor and Fostering Creativity through Curiosity and Conflict

Circling back to the topic of compassionate candor and the challenges in achieving it, Belinda addresses the difference between intention and impact in conflict resolution. Avoiding conflict can lead to insincere niceness and missed opportunities. She talks about the role of curiosity in fostering creativity and leadership and why embracing conflict is healthy. Negotiators must be open to what one doesn’t know. 

Finally, she discusses the connection between improv and creativity and the common misconception that creativity is a talent possessed only by a few.

Embracing Different Styles of Creativity to Foster Inclusion and Innovation in the Workplace

Belinda suggests that many people tend to think of creativity as it relates to art, drawing, music, etc., and believe that they are not creative if they do not excel in those areas. However, the reality is that creativity can take many forms and individuals have different styles of expressing their creativity. For example, some people are great at generating ideas, while others excel at creating. 

On that note, Belinda encourages leaders to explore their own creativity and the creativity of their team members, leveraging their strengths and aligning with their values and “whys”. Understanding individual styles of creativity is essential for promoting inclusion and creating a culture of creativity in the workplace.

Unlearning Limiting Beliefs and Experimenting at the Edges While Staying True to Core Values

Subsequently, Belinda talks about the importance of unlearning and letting go of old ways of thinking to make space for creativity. She also mentions the need to empty “head trash,” which refers to outdated or limiting beliefs and thought patterns that no longer serve us. 

However, Dr. Chiu notes that it’s important not to completely wipe out everything because sometimes, past ideas or approaches can still be useful or relevant. She mentions that the best organizations experiment at the edges while knowing their core, meaning it’s important to stay true to your core values and identity while exploring new ideas and approaches.

Integrating Mindfulness and Compassion into Leadership

Belinda encourages leaders who are struggling to put mindfulness and compassion into practice. She suggests reframing the term “soft skills” and seeking support from other leaders who are pioneers in this work. 

She also emphasizes the importance of building a business case for this approach and incorporating it into the organization’s strategy rather than treating it as an add-on. Belinda also stresses the importance of self-compassion and acknowledging mistakes while taking baby steps toward progress.

Creating a Momentous Shift through Compassion and Personal Practice

When asked about her next challenge, Belinda highlights integrating her knowledge and certification in forest therapy to articulate and weave in the importance of reciprocal relationships with the more-than-human world into the cold, modern age of constructed leadership. 

She wants to understand how to learn from the mycelium network and mushrooms in organization design structures. Her challenge for the listeners is to bring elements of the compassion strategy into their work and their everyday lives, challenge themselves to think about their practice and how it affects everyone around them, and create a momentous shift rather than disparate efforts.

Thank you for listening!

Transcript

Nolan Martin : Hey everyone, thanks for joining us on the NEGOTIATEx podcast. We are continuing our conversation with Dr. Belinda Chiu, author, speaker, and executive coach. If you haven't already checked out part A of the show, be sure to do that first. Let's jump into the conversation with Belinda.

NM : So when it comes to compassionate candor, I feel like this is one that so many of us just don't get it correct. And so we either feel like we need to sugarcoat everything or that we need to be jerks and bullies. Where do you see compassionate candor lacking today, and what can we do to overcome this feeling that it's an either or choice, of being insincerely nice or blunt directness.

Intention VS Impact In Conflict Resolution (01:43)

Belinda Chiu : I appreciate sort of the, this is one of the toughest pieces that I know I don't always skip. And, that's why we're, it's always considered this, it's a journey for us. And I do think we tend to, as human beings, most of us don't like conflict. even those of us say, “I like conflict”, most of us don't. You know, from a neurobiological perspective, when we're in conflict, right? - That this is my dog.- Why, right? We, our brains kind of go into very quickly like, “I'm in danger”, and when I'm in danger, I'm there to come right back at you or I'm just going to. right? Shut down and, and stop in the conversation.

And so there are spaces where we tend to either say, well take it and leave it, that's it. Like you said, being a bully or a blunt, I said again, keep in mind that most people aren't intending. I would like to argue that most people have good intentions. They really, genuinely do. I mean, the impact is always that smooth, right? So we tend to say we’re on that side, or as you said sort of the avoided, I so say avoiding kindness, right? There's insincere niceness and there's a waring kindness, which is, you know, where everything's nice and everything's great, but we sort of sweep everything under the rug. It's what, you know, Richie Bois/George Kohlrieser calls the stinky fish. He has this great book called, ‘Hostage at the Table’

Aram Donigian : Yeah.

BC : Have you heard, looked like, sometimes about the stinking fish under the table? And she's like, often times in cheek like everyone smells their fish [laugh]- kind of pretend it's not there. And like, what is it like if we just bring the fish up on the table and it's going to be messy, we are going to get our hands dirty, there's going to be, you know, some disagreement, but at the end we can clean the fish and have a nice meal with the fish, right?

So, you know, all of those, those pieces of how do you bring that element of, you know, it's really, is this a lost opportunity if I don't bring this up? Is this a lost opportunity if I don't bring this up? Is this a lost opportunity for me to learn something? Is this a lost opportunity for me to learn something? And it's not about blaming or naming or shaming. And I think that's a really important piece because it's also and this is where compassion comes in too, how do I separate intention from impact because attention is not the same as impact. Now does that mean I ignore the impact? No.

AD : Yeah.

BC : By the way, I ignore the impact, but I also come with greater, perhaps equanimity. And that's, I haven't been able to answer the question of how do you show humanity for those- how do you show compassion for those who don't see your humanity? I'm still, I'll be honest, I'm still working through that.

AD : Right.

BC : It's a big question, but it is one of those is, you know, I always think about it. I was just telling someone today. You know, the three questions I often ask myself is- because I've got myself in many trouble before by not asking these questions- which is, you know, does something need to be said? And something need to be said right now? Does something need to be said right now by me? The answer's all three, I'll probably say something, but it gives me space and that power and that's where centeredness again comes in, is if I'm giving myself that pause instead of just reacting, my response hopefully will serve a greater intention than me just being right. And talking about Marshall Goldsmith, he taught at Tuck, I was there for his last slide lecture.

And so he said, [inaudible] stop trying to win. And I was like, [inaudible], like, it's hard, right? I'm just like, oh, he's right. What? Right? And he is like, stop trying to win. It's not a competition, it's not a game, right? Like I take that what he said to heart because it's shifting from that needing to be right to saying what's my greatest intention. For me, for you, for us? What's my greatest intention for me, for you, then us? Because then, so what my actual arts teacher says, he's like, it's like wielding an iron sword wrapped in velvet. I use this analogy a lot and I love it and I'm like, oh I [inaudible] that. So it's not again about like, oh you can, you know, I'm not ignoring the impact, but I'm doing it in a way that, cause I know I mess up and when I mess up, I would love for you to correct me, but in a kinder, gentler way. Like, don't just whack me inside with this iron sword. [Inaudible] before you do that..

AD : It's this shift. And what I hear is you, as you're talking about it, so much is goes back to initial points that you were making around, you know, awareness and awareness plus mindfulness plus, it's also this shift in thinking that conflict is always a negative thing, that actually conflict can be a healthy thing. And I think that's probably difficult for a lot of people to grasp and even embrace.

The Power Of Recognizing And Responding To Physiological Responses In Conflict (05:55)

BC : Yeah, absolutely. It triggers so much, right, of our- it's how we grow up. It's how, right when we observe different models of how people handle conflict, right? That has a lot of it, how we are recipients of when things haven't gone well, right? There's certain moments that I can say, there's certain moments of conflict where I'm more comfortable speaking up than others where I'm what, and I can tell in my body when that happens and it's because- it's nothing to do actually with the situation, but it's probably, it reminds me of things that just were so uncomfortable.

And so that's why this practice of not just, again, self-awareness costs and so always, but it's putting it into action. So this is, you know, there's a saying a hundred percent that, you know, the retreat in the woods is one thing, but the real retreat space is in the city, the middle of a city, in the middle of a war room. That's where the work is, right? Because that's where it's more complicated.

And so either recognizing where and the practice of self compassion is part of it, is their embodiment of leadership because we're so, and oftentimes leaders is brilliant, right? Leaders are because they're good at what they do. But then that means we also overanalyze things and we illuminate things we can analyze, we can just buy anything with our words and our rationale or [quote] “rationality” that is in rationale. But the more we're able to tap into sort of our, the different data points and all of this is data points and we have to be careful because the body is that really important book. The Body Keeps Score. It's not an easy book to read, but the body also puts a lot of trauma. But the more aware of how, even physiologically I'm responding to something, the quicker I am or the more intentional and choiceful I can be about how I respond, right? So just, you know, when I'm thinking confident, like I know for me it's like, it starts here and when the minute I notice it, I've got to be like blending out a ring. Cause the next thing you do might not be really useful in this next thing. And I know where it shows up for me.

NM : Well I know that curiosity is the final ‘C’of your compassion strategy. So I know that this is something Aram and I definitely love and that we're convinced that most of us just aren't as curious as we need to be, especially when we're addressing today's issues, whether they're social, political, economic, business, etc. So kind of two questions here, how do you think about creativity and helping someone become more creative? And then number two, how do activities such as improv help create a more creative mindset?

Maintaining Curiosity To Foster Creativity In Leadership (08:47)

BC : Great question then. And as you can see sort of how they all connect, right? This builds back into curiosity really comes back into what we talked about, that intentionality, that purposeful play. The ability to embrace conflict. Because if you think about even conflict, and to your point earlier about, you know, when you think about children, would they have for conflict? Of course sometimes it can be very, but you look at the innocent children's play, right? There's conflict and they figure it out, right? For them it's like, oh, now we figured out who's whatever, I want to play the blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But they figure it out because they're not seeing conflict as a bad thing. It's just their way of working things out. And so the more leaders can embrace conflict and actually set up systems for that kind of healthy discussion. I worked with this one group and then I'll answer your question, sorry, I'm getting sided a little bit.

AD : Yeah.

BC : I've worked with this one agency called Work In Progress. They're awesome. And one of the reasons why that was really insightful, because a lot of times, especially when, they're the big ad agency that did like Dominos, like some pretty incredible campaigns. And oftentimes after a project mirrors post-mortems, right? They don't call it post-mortems, they call it retrospection. And I love it, it sounds so simple, right?

AD : Right.

BC : But for them, postmortem is like after you die and then we're going to talk about like what went wrong and that can draw conflict. But with them it's about having that space to simply kind of go, “Hey, what can we learn?” Right? And so can that feel like it could be content could come up, that it doesn't, it's looking at things that didn't work well or disagreements didn't a really helping way, right?

And that leads to the sense of curiosity is, how can I be open to what I don't know, right? And most of the time, right, there's that done, what lowering the effect, the more we know, the less confident we are or the vice versa, the less we know, the more confident we are. Curiosity, I really don't know anything. This is what I knew that was faulted or nothing. Yeah, I'm okay with that, right? Because it's the sense of, and it goes back to that child mind, is how do I stay curious? What don't I know, what don't I know? And, part of that helps us too, and that's why connection is so important because we talk about especially DIA inclusion so much, right? But all of us, including me, I'm constantly being like, I haven't heard that term before and children heard this, like, tell me more, right?

So all of these things, it's how do we actually fully get, say, curious about the other? I mean it's Mr. Rogers I think who have, you know, and he actually gave the commencements speech, I saw his commencement speech at Dartmouth. But you know, I think it's Mr. Rogers who said, you know, it's impossible to hate someone once you know their story. I love that, right? Because it has become hard to, I mean, you might disagree with so many of what they do and da da da da. But it's really hard to, once you know their story. And so how do we stay curious to someone's story because their story is different from yours, right? And by allowing that and as leaders for us to stay curious, it's not only about the people who work with us, but staying curious about what we don't know. And I think really some of the strongest leaders, don't know [inaudible], she just popped up to mind.

I won't sort of share exactly who it is, but she maintains this curiosity of everything. And that's who I hear. She's been recognized by our company as one of the top whatever you know, they have these awards and it's because she's always got this, “what don't I know until”, it allows her to always find the different spaces where she can really build and inform what she needs to do in her department.

And that in a way is improv, right? It's taking what is where and drawing from what don’t I know. And I'm not ignoring, I say there's a pink elephant here. There's a pink elephant here right now in the room with us. That's the fourth, you know, best on this podcast. There's a fourth elephant. Now we've have to work with the fourth element- not the elephant. Now we have the fourth- four elephants too. [Laughs] Taking that piece and, and building on and creating something that hasn't been thought about before. And then, so curiosity and creativity, I think to your point, I think oftentimes we have this misunderstanding about what creativity means as well.

AD : Say a little bit more about that. Could you please?

BC : Yeah, I mean, I think, I mean, how many of us go, I'm not creative.

AD : I hear that from my students a lot, right? That, I'm just not a creative person. So what you're asking me to do here is something I'm not wired to do.

The Importance Of Understanding Individual Styles Of Creativity (13:01)

BC : I do, right? Yeah. It's like I'm an analytical person. I'm a [da da dah] person. I'm not creative, because we often tend to think of creativity as- which it is, but it, you know,- art, drawing, music, all of those things, which I am zero talented in music [laugh] and, I play the air guitar. But, you know, so I, it's funny, I've worked with this one organization called Creative Creatures, for example, and Hunt Christianson who founded this, and they've been working on this for now, probably 15-20 years. And it's the psychometric assessment actually about creativity. And what I love about this model, this is one particular model, but I do find it quite useful, is to shift the mindset that creativity is about one type of creativity. And what I love is that her question is always, and when we use that, I just did a session on these creative styles, creative IDs a couple weeks ago. It's not about how creative are you, but it's how are you creative? And many of us have different, we have different styles of creativity.

Some of us are really great at generating ideas, which tends to be the default way of looking at creativity, right? You're an idea generator or you're not creative at all.

But some of the most creative people are the ones who like, you know, I think about, you know, folks who are able to take something and just make it amazing. That's not my skillset set. I'm like, can you just put this like, I can someone just make this? And then someone just, and it becomes this like, like Legos, right? It becomes this magical piece. Whereas mine looks like, you know, [laugh], Thats who I am, I am many different color orange. So, you know, I think for us to encourage leaders to also start exploring; one, how creative they like, in what ways are they created and in what ways does creativity show up with their team members? Because it's going to be different and it doesn't look the same. And when we talk about inclusion, that really, generally, I'm really thinking about how are the different people on my team creative in their own ways?

And am I leveraging their creativity in the best way possible, right? Like, you don't want me to be the one who's putting the finishing touches on anything. It's not going to be pretty like that really everybody's time, right? But at the, you know, so it's, are we matching and aligning people's whys, right? Their authentic, you know, their, their core values. Are we aligning with their whys? Are we really leveraging the strengths that they have and using those strengths to actually develop areas where they could grow?

AD : That's a wonderful piece in terms of leading teams. And it's a direction I wasn't sure we'd go in. I was going to ask a question, maybe I'll still go here about how I manage creativity for myself. I like how you made that very inclusive of how I bring in the creativity of others. There's a quote I was shown, I don't know, some time of doubt from Dee Hock, who was founder and former CEO of Visa that said, the problem is never how to get new innovation, innovative thoughts into your mind but how to get the old ones out. Every mind is a building with archaic furniture, clean out a corner of your mind and creativity will instantly fill it. Curious how that does or doesn't resonate with you? And are there practices? I mean, are there things that I could do or should be doing to kind of allow space for creativity?

Authenticity And Centeredness In Letting Go (16:09)

BC : Great point. I guess first I have to say, let's remove the [expletive] and good, right? So there's no [expletive]. You know, what works? But it's interesting, that quote- it's one that I say I sort of agree with [laughs] or in the sense that I do think what I do, what resonates with me with that quote is the importance of unlearning, right? Part of learning is unlearning, and I know I'm sure you have as well, but oftentimes some of the leaders that I work with, which I would say we do on the more challenging sometimes, is that when there's certain ways we've been doing things for a very long time, it's really hard to unlearn. I know, right? I've always done it this way, right? So we sort of have this, you know, because it's comfortable, we know it and obviously in many ways it's probably worked for us in many ways.

Now, is that the best approach or the most effective approach moving forward in this ever-changing world? Maybe, maybe not. So unlearning can be challenging. I do find sort of, for example, one thing I love about sort of coaching tech students for example, is they've got this, you know, kind of very open sort of that that child's mind in some ways and not that they’re children, but that openness, sometimes, is a little bit more evident in emerging. We just for obvious reasons, right? Obviously you said we, that's not a judgment call, it's just, it's kind of obvious why. But, so I think that resonates with me in terms of sometimes it's unlearning things.

The other part of that quote that resonates with me is the need to kind of, and so what Michele Nevarez, who's the CEO of Beyond EI, she says it, I love this. She goes, empty your head trash, right? Because we all have this head trash in our, in our brains. And you know, I'm looking at now, the little recycling bin on my computer right there, right? [laugh] throw everything away. But, then I sometimes get that message of like, you're running out of memory. I'm like, but I still work everything away. But I also kept like, you know, I don't know, 50k [laugh], like the trash that I haven’t deleted. So I think it's out there, but it's still there, right? Yeah.

So sometimes the, and that's where again, centeredness comes in, that authentic sort of, authenticity comes in to say, what is still there in the recesses of my mind that is no longer of service? Is this a dialogue or conversation or recurring loop actions playing over? And maybe I thought I put it aside. Ten years later, poof, there it comes again, right? Is that no longer serving? That said, I do think it's also important not to just completely necessarily wipe everything out just because it was an idea that was done before. Because sometimes, you know, it's Professor Perry, but he says, well, it's, again, I am really good at misquoting everybody, but [laugh]

But he says something about how like the best organizations, they never experiment at their core. So back to sort of like, you know what, like if you know your core, you know, he says is that, you know, excellent organizations always experiment at the edges because if you know who you are now you can experiment at the edges.

And so there is something to be said that you're not bringing the baby out with the backwater, if that's a useful name. Does that make sense? So…

AD : Yeah, thanks. No, I think that was a wonderful response. And you mentioned in there, you know, these different audiences you work with. You work with a wide range from C-Suite to undergrads, and I know you've done some work with veterans as students at Dartmouth too. So as two veterans we say thank you for the work you're doing there too.

As you try to practice these things with students, what do you see as differences in their response and receptiveness potentially generational, potentially of experience, right? That's how we've always been. I'm just curious, like better response from some more difficult, more resistance from others.

Hope For The Future: Emerging Leaders Recognizing Their Power To Influence Change (19:40)

BC : I wouldn't say more or less, I would just say different, in some ways. Different in some ways because of just experience, right? You know, experience and all of that, right? So whether it's, you know, working with our students or someone who's been, you know, well, I've worked with a few retirees, which, you know, I haven't had that experience yet. [laugh], of retiree, we never but, you know, kind of, but I think sort of that human element is pretty consistent, right?

And I think most people who at least find the calling, I don't know if calling's the right word, but to say coaching or leadership, there's something that calls to them about there's gotta be a different, or not a different way, but there's got to be another way to show up where I can be more of who I am or be more effective at, right?

So there's this sort of genuine desire usually from, from whoever it is, I would say from sort of young emerging leaders, for example. And I think this is something that I have noticed in the last 15 years or so, there's been sort of a shift of more urgency in how to lead with greater equanimity, compassion, empathy, the words empathy, emotional intelligence, never came up before, right? It was like how can I be a more effective, productive leader. And it's not that those word weren't, it wasn't that the leaders didn't care about that. It's that we’re now more fam- you know we’re more familiar with the words.

But also I think especially since the world has been the way it has been, there's just a greater urgency that I think most of us, again want to be in a society where justice and equity and love and all of those things are, you know, sort of, you know, really, you know, dominate the conversation rather than sometimes what is on the news that's much ignore what's there, but I think there's a greater sense that this is not about us anymore, right?

And I think a lot of the leaders that I have the fortune of working with also see that, right? So, you know, a lot of the leaders that I see, you know, whether they've been, you know, in this world of, you know, building giant buildings all across, you know, countries for decades are really being more open to like, okay, well how does this multimillion dollar building impact the short term, right? In terms of the communities that it impacts. How does, like are the very materials I'm using going to have, what kind of effect does that have on our carbon footprint? Like all of those things are, it's just like, I do find it, and that's where the hope is, is that I think more and more leaders and emerging leaders are recognizing that they are in a position of power to influence where we go.

NM : You know, you mentioned earlier Belinda, that the things we've been discussing today are often called soft skills. Anyone who have ever tried to practice this knows that it's really difficult and it's not uncommon to get them wrong when dealing with the real people in the real world. How do you encourage a leader who is trying to put these concepts into practice but maybe struggling with it or thinks that they may be failing with it?

Building The Business Case For Mindfulness And Compassion In The Workplace (22:41)

BC : I think it's a great question. One is, let's reframe the word soft skill, like that's definitely just my connection, but reframing that. But I guess, you know, your question makes me think of two things. One is building the business case, right? I think for a while, leaders who have done this and believe me, so we have some leaders who have been pioneers in doing this work, they've fed a long struggle. Because sometimes they are the only voice, right? To say this is important. The good news hopefully, is that there's more and more evidence around why there's a business case for this type of work and approach to things. Because to be quite honest, my point of view is we don't have any other choice.

Like we can decide as humans right now to go one way or the other way. I kind of want to go one which the way in which we all sort of guide, that's what I would like to see, even if I'm not going to be here to see it, that's okay, right? That's, again, that's part of the human condition. So I think one is seek out support from others. There's other leaders out there who are providing and offering, doing the work, putting into practice, right? So if you look at, you know, for example, Search Inside Yourself had for a long time worked with SAP and they were one of the pioneers to bring mindfulness and emotional intelligence. SAP, right?

We kind of think, boy, if they're, you know, I mean they said this isn't work and we've seen the impact of it. There's a group mindfulness on Wall Street, right? You think investment bankers and mindfulness, what? There's a broker meaning high impact individuals who understand that what does it actually mean to be, to do this with compassion so that it's not- yes, do they help their clients make money? Oh yeah, right? And it's with- so there's, I think one side of it is that it being okay and asking for the, you know, a business case if that helps to bring this type of work into their work, but also think about that can help inform who's at the table, who's not at the table, how do we, and it's because it's not- I think one thing to consider is this work isn't something we add on, right? Because a lot of times that holding a mindfulness movement, right?

That we call make mindfulness, it's like, oh, a yoga class. And, and I love yoga by the way. I'm not doubting yoga, be it any yoga. But instead of just sort of saying, oh, it's an add on itch and it's just this, it's very so much a equity, it's you know, diverse and equity, its not an addon. It's about who we are and how we do things. So how do we actually bring this? And that's why I call it a strategy because the strategy is how we do things so that we're actually impacting the entire ecosystem.

That said, the other piece that you mentioned is that self part, that own work, right? For leaders, it's, we kind of have to, right being the role model, walking the walk, we kind of have to role model this and yeah, there's times where do I always have a consistent, you [laugh], right? Are there times I fly off the handle? Oh yeah. Right? So it's a thing and sort of that notion of sort of self-compassion is how do I acknowledge when I've messed up? And not that using it as an excuse, but as sort of that opportunity, okay, you know, we learn.

I remember when I started- so since I was little- with my dad, always did some yoga, but he never told me it was yoga. I just copied him. But when I started meditating, I remember and learning, I was like, I can do this because win, right? I'm like, I'm going to do 20 minutes. And I slept for 19 of those 20 minutes [laugh]. So [laugh] like, this is great rep, but it was right. So I'm like, okay, baby steps. So some of that is just a little bit of humility being like, let me start at one minute and do the other way around. So I had to learn good but [inaudible].

AD : Yeah. Been there. This has been a fascinating, wonderful conversation. I knew it would be. Thank you so much for that. As we get ready to wrap up, I've got a two-part question for you. First of all, where, like, what's next for you? What's your next challenge that you're aiming towards and what challenge would you lay out there for our listeners from the things we've talked about today or anything we didn't get to?

Belinda's Challenges: Articulating The Importance Of Reciprocal Relationships With Nature (26:29)

BC : Yeah. Oh boy, that's a cool, two great questions, man. This is going to be like a good, from me. So as I mentioned, I don't know what I want to do when I grow up, but I do. I think the next challenge for me, I've been, so over the pandemic, I like everybody else, I'm kind of like, what else am I curious about? And I've always been curious about, I've always loved the outdoors. I've always just, you know, that's just been in my space, but, and I've always been fascinated by, I don't know if you've come up with sort of forest bathing in Japan. There's a lot of science around being in the forest. Well, again, the evidence is piling up more and more, but there's a lot of research around, not just about stress reduction, but actually about how being, more innovative, more creative, memory retention, all of that sort of being outside of nature.

And so I actually got certified to do forest therapy over the pandemic. And my challenge right now is to how do I integrate more of, because it, right now it makes sense in my head. Now I gotta figure out how to articulate that out into the world. But it's understanding how do we weave in this important piece of, and it's not a new concept. I mean there's been world, you know, worldviews and many different communities now for a very long time. That's the worldview by which things are done is in sync with, with what now David even calls it more than human world.

And so part of my challenge is how do I get leaders in sort of this other constructed world in this cold, modern age that we've created to embrace and reestablish these reciprocal relationships with the more than human world.

So there's a piece of stuff, I've been working on and understanding how do we learn from my mycelium network and mushrooms into organization design structures. Like it's kind of nerdy and it makes sense. It makes, but I've got to figure out how to articulate it. But that's how generally I work with, like, it's not, I sent a couple copies to friends and they're like, what are you talking about? I’m working on it, I'm working on it. And so, that part I try to figure out how do weave that piece into, and it connects into this purposeful play and improv and this importance of global awareness and this, you know, last project that I was just on, just reinvited that joy I have of, you know, when you bring people together and share space, I mean that's, you know, talk about being a force for good.

I'm like just, and I didn't do one. I was just sort of being able to observe all these amazing individuals to help them, you know, as the Dalai Lama and [inaudible] said, right? Being a force for good. So that's my challenge. How that show, I don't know, that's going to be for the next maybe off the record podcast or you can [inaudible], but it's that staying curious about what, where that takes this work. But, and I guess that maybe leads to the next challenge for our listeners is how do you bring elements of this compassion strategy not just into your work, but into your everyday, right? And, and I'm sure many of us who are listening to this, if you are either one- I’ve bored you to death- or two, you already know this and you're doing it. But how can you sort of challenge yourself to really think about your individual practice and how that ripple affects to everyone around you?

And what do you need from others? What do you need from me? What do you need from your colleagues? Like how do we create this so that it's a momentous shift rather than certain disparate- that's why I like, for example, Michael Wall Street, I find so intriguing. It's not just a couple individuals and different banks that are doing it. They've figured out a way of let's release ego. It's not about my bank is doing this better than yours. It's let's, we're all in this together because we're in the same motion.

We're not all on the same boat. Or some of us are still floating on that door that Rose wouldn't let Jack off of. But be mindful of all those different, you know, spaces where people are showing up. And to make sure that we do have a way to navigate these, these waters we're in

AD : Beautifully, beautifully said. And I love that as a Call to Action. So, I'm going to pass it over to Nolan. Because I think that's a great note to end on.

NM : Thank you all for listening to the NEGOTIATEx podcast. If you please rate, review and subscribe if you haven't already. We'll see you in the next episode.

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