I believe that everyone has the potential to develop and have healthy relationships with others. I also believe having positive relations with others is one of the reasons we are on this planet. So if it’s not natural, then I help people find out why it’s not natural for them. What experience, for example, is causing this break in connection. Just knowing that others think I don’t have emotional intelligence or sensitivity isn’t going to open me up to have it. In sessions, we work together to find out what happened, why we developed a communication that isn’t working.
A is affinity. Affinity is likeability. Due to societal implants or impressions, we decide from a young age that there are certain people we like and certain people we don’t like and we go with it. We might try to put on a persona of emotional intelligence by telling ourselves; ‘Even though that person triggers me, I’m acting as if I like them because I’m emotionally intelligent now’. What’s happened is that the person doesn’t realize they can originate affinity. I can just decide to like somebody, I can decide to like someone completely different than me. I can decide to like someone, even if they remind me of someone that was abusive and traumatized me in my past. I could still decide to like someone in completely different ways than I have – I don’t have to agree with people to simply be ok with them. Now we’re going a little deeper than simple emotional intelligence.
R is the final piece of C.A.R. – It stands for reality. If we live in a glass box and we’re not aware of the reality of the people around us, then we’re unable to deeply understand them or be in a relationship with them. We might have somebody that shows up constantly late for work and we just may keep on telling them, you have to show up, you have to show up. At the same time, we don’t even understand the reality of their daily commute, or their family, or their trauma – and until we do, we can’t really be in reality with their situation and we can’t truly be in a leadership relationship with them either.
What are the most common obstacles your clients come to you for help with?
People write articles and papers inventing buzzwords and phrases that give us the idea there’s something wrong with us and we should fix it. There’s one that’s being used quite a bit these days called the Imposter Syndrome.
Many people think things like, ‘I am not good enough, here I am doing this work, but I’m an imposter. I’m not an expert. Here I am trying to be an expert. Everyone says that you need to be the expert and so I’m trying to be the expert, but I’m going to get caught. I’m going to be seen and exposed as not the expert.’ This is not a syndrome. It’s a fact of human nature. It’s quite interesting as you work long term with clients as I have over the years. I’ll have a young entrepreneur that wants to build their business authentically come to me and we’ll start exploring their vision, their mission, what it’s going to look like and sound like. We work on the deeper levels of branding. We’re coming in on a solid foundation. It’s just wonderful how inspiring these young people are because they don’t know much but they have confidence. They tell themselves ‘I’m going to do this, I’m going to solve this problem.’ Young entrepreneurs come in free of a lot of the inhibitions that develop as we get older.
With more experience, people start realizing how little they actually know compared to all there is to know – and begin to have self-limiting thoughts like: ‘I don’t have the right to be here’, ‘That person said this much better than I did’, ‘Who am I to think I know this?’. It’s a natural part of human transitional growth. People start out thinking that we can conquer the world, then reality hits and our fears and doubts, our opinions and impressions and preferences of others, start knocking us back. We are simply facing reality and need to develop trust in our path, our value, and our authenticity.
I am working with a client now and she’s one of these young excited people. She is getting a natural following on social media generated by her enthusiasm. People are coming to her and asking, ‘How can I learn from you?’ She also sees comments that she seems angry. She feels it is her passion. We began working on how she is expressing herself and she identified that anytime she feels confronted, or if somebody is pushing against the belief systems she has developed, that she feels ‘a monster’ arises inside her. She now knows that the monster tries to take control through dominance and anger whenever she is confronted and feels victimized. We each have our roadblocks and they’re built into how we decided success and safety looked like when we were young. We can clear these hidden personas.
What inspired you to get into this type of work?
I started as a professional speaker, speaking to youth and adults telling stories that would inspire them. Once I was invited to come and speak at a place where women were getting breast cancer checkups to talk about facing fears and supporting each other. I wrote an article about the healing power of that kind of storytelling and then a local university asked me if I would speak to their graduating health practitioner classes about listening with their whole self. They had identified an ongoing problem due to students making assumptions and not getting the authentic ability to diagnose through receiving all available information the person is communicating – including non-verbal.
I taught that class for the next 15 years. During that time I trained extensively to become better at teaching people how to ‘listen with their whole self’. I now utilize these skills in 1:1 coaching as well as group training. I still love speaking, I still love helping people see each other more clearly. The piece that has the biggest impact on me is when people realize the problems they’re coming to me to solve are really in their mind and if they had clearer thinking they could have easily handled the problem on their own.