choice Magazine

Vanguard Conversation Series: Apathy ←→ Inspiration

November 20, 2023 Garry Schleifer
choice Magazine
Vanguard Conversation Series: Apathy ←→ Inspiration
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Leaders at the vanguard of ideas and change inspire us to loosen our grip on the comfortable status quo, in favor of exploring new possibilities that better align with the altering patterns of our personal and professional lives. As we shape a world where people love their life’s work, this live conversation series showcases global leaders who embody the curiosity and discernment that stimulates a new relationship with change.

Join CEO of inviteCHANGE, Janet M. Harvey, MCC, and her co-host, CEO of choice Magazine, Garry Schleifer, PCC, with their guest, Founder and Director of the Commonway Institute, Dr. Shariff Abdullah. Explore the idea of being comfortable with the tension that exists between Apathy and Inspiration. Build your roadmap for how to have a different kind of conversation with your peers, clients, communities ... and yourself!

Read the article exploring this tension deeper: brainzmagazine.com/post/turning-apathy-into-motivation-unleashing-inspiration

See an example of how our leader worked with our handout: shorturl.at/DPV67

Download the Tensions of Presence Reflection Activities and Register for the Series: invitechange.com/vanguard-conversation-series

Access the audio, transcript, and chat: shorturl.at/orswE

Watch Videos about the Tensions of Presence: youtube.com/@inviteCHANGE-leaders/videos

Grab your free issue of choice Magazine here - https://choice-online.com/

Janet M. Harvey:

Happy Friday everybody, as you welcome yourselves into this wonderful virtual space.

Garry Schleifer:

Good to see all the smiling faces.

Janet M. Harvey:

This is our final segment of the 2023 Vanguard Conversation Series. It's really been a joy for me and I think also for my colleague, Garry Schleifer, who is the co-host and sponsor. c hoice Magazine founder and publishing editor. Say good morning Garry.

Garry Schleifer:

Good morning Garry.

Janet M. Harvey:

And, as I forgot to do yesterday, I'm Janet Harvey. Each of our episodes of the Vanguard Series is an opportunity to showcase an inspirational, global, visionary leader who is on the same path as we are around generative work and, specifically this year, navigating tensions of presence that are a method for deeper self-reflection. Before we go into our program, let me tell you why we do this series. Garry and I have felt for a very long time that we don't spend enough time as practitioners talking about the unprecedented times we live in. That's calling us to choose to disrupt on purpose, not as a victim of it, but to recognize and anticipate and move into. It sounds easy to say. I realize it may not be quite so easy to act on, but disrupting on purpose requires emotional courage and maybe a different skill from our daily doing and effort, and that skill is the power of meaningful self-reflection to see what's actually occurring, not what we think, assume, prefer or maybe historically accept is occurring. All of these are the root of bias that can create blank spaces in our understanding of the world as it is. Fortunately, we have a tool for you, those of you have been here before already have it. If not, please feel free to go ahead and download it now, and our gas global leader has a wonderful story to share and an opportunity for you all to be in community discussion to show how the tool functions. And Garry.

Garry Schleifer:

Yes, I have to say that I am sad to see we're at the last one. I learned so much and I know that today is going to be no exception. But I want to tell you a little bit more about why we named it Vanguard, to your point, it means being at the forefront of ideas that are emerging so we can proactively disrupt our thinking. I was thinking about that today and I was thinking as we head into a holiday season and you think of what is normally put together, right, like I used to say, pork chops and applesauce, but that's not everybody's thing. But what about turkey and stuffing? Or apple pie and ice cream? And, I'm sorry to our international people. h, I could say Schnitzel and Spetzle and Rottkraut," and that would help for some of our international people. But it's about taking apart what we take for granted as being together. Our conversations usually focus on our experience of life today, rather than a theory an outcome or a process, or even this isn't even a promotion by anything. We invite you to transform your process of listening to get something, to giving yourself an opportunity to experiment and learn through practical application that is relevant to your life, and today will be one of those days. So put away your pork chop and applesauce ideas and think about separating your plate of food as we head into today's conversation.

Janet M. Harvey:

Thanks, Garry. So now let me introduce our wonderful visionary guest today. His name and on my screen he's on the far left. Please say hello to Dr Shariff Abdullah. We are going to be talking about apathy and inspiration and when we were planning this year, I was like I said to Garry. I said this has to be Shariff's topic, and Shariff is a consultant, and author, and an advocate for mindfulness, inclusivity, and societal transformation. He has a meta vision and a mission that's quite simple, not necessarily to fulfill, but that we can create a world that works for all living beings. He is a multiple times author, but highlighting specifically the power of one authentic leadership and turbulent times, the award- winning book Creating a World that Works for all" and his latest book, "Birthing the Nation of Gaia. He is the founder and director of Common Way Institute in Portland Oregon. Yes, he is a graduate of Boston University School of Law and a former practicing attorney, there's a story there, right? And a national leader, I would say an international leader in defining leadership methods for personal and collective transformation and resilience, for creating dialogue and understanding across diverse constituencies having worked in 120 distinct cultures around 45 countries, it just makes my head spin. For identifying and changing dysfunctional systems and structures, and tools for cultivating sustainable social, environmental and community action. He is one of my heroes. Shariff, welcome to today's conversation and thank you.

Dr. Shariff Abdullah:

Thank you for having me. Whenever I hear the glowing introductions, I keep thinking who is this guy? Friends are saying "Is that really you? So yes, I got it. I have to lower my voice too. "Yes, that's me. I'm really happy to be here. I'm going to limit the number of jokes that I tell, because I do tell a lot of them, but I want to, and therefore that launches me into the serious stuff pretty quickly. So our topic of looking at the two tension points on this rubber band of apathy but that's not quite the right word inspiration, and that's probably the right word, and looking at how you navigate these and sometimes you navigate these very consciously, very courageously, very effectively. Most of the time you don't. Most of the time we're on automatic, most of the time we are in, we're wondering why people are interacting with us or reacting to us in the ways that they do, and it's time for us. We may have had a luxury of wondering about this stuff years ago, decades ago, but we don't have that luxury anymore. We've really got to be focused on how do we, in my language, how do we create a world that works for all living beings? Now, as soon as you say that, it's like it's this huge mouthful. How do you, how do you parcel this out in such a way that you don't go immediately into apathy, which is something that I see people doing they revert back to their favorite language. Okay, I want to make the world a better place. Well, gee whiz, isn't that nice? Having a completely and a completely non- measurable target. Anything you do makes the world a better place. Adolf Hitler wanted to make the world a better place. My goal, our goal, is specific. If there are beings on the planet who saying the world's not working for us, then you've got a job to do. It's not about padding your bank account. It's not about reacting to the latest crisis that the media has handed, has handed you. It's really about looking at what's going on, and what are our challenges in terms of what's going on. So this is the reason that I've written the books that I've written and that's the reason I've written the latest book "Birthing the Nation of Gaia. I'm proposing that we can, out of what we're we're, what we've got in front of us right now are seemingly intractable problems that we can create a world that works for all of us, because all of us, all living beings, are part of it, are consciously part of it. Now, you know you're part of the world. Okay, and many of you have been to places outside of your hometown. I mean, wow, you've gotten an airplane and gone somewhere else. But the challenge is, have you really been there? Have you really connected with the people there? Have you looked at their hopes, their dreams, their way of connecting with the world? And most of the time, that answer, the answer to that question, is no, you haven't looked. You don't know how to look. There's a concept that I've been working with for the past couple of decades and I will introduce it to you right now. But it's a three hour workshop and I've been told I don't have three hours right now. I think I have three minutes, a concept that I call deep identity. Your deep identity are the parts of your identity that you acquired before you acquired the capacity for rational thought. And, again, your deep identity are the parts of your identity that you acquired before you acquired the capacity for rational thought. So lots of things in your life you acquired at an early age, some in your middle ages. Some of you are acquiring social security cards now, so these are identities that you acquired later in your age. But there are key elements of your life that you acquired before the age of seven or eight or nine, when the child psychologists say that you pick up the capacity for rational thought, and those things affect you, but you can't think about them because the tools for you to think about them, you got them before you got the identity, before you got the rationality. Things like gender, you can't think about it. You were told that you are a boy or you were told that you are a girl and you just said, okay, I'm a boy, I'm a girl. And then other stuff comes in and you can't think about it. Race, identity, like religion or culture, these are all things that you participated in well before you were seven years old, but you can't think about it. And how that plays out in our societies, all of our societies, all of us have deep identity issues. How that plays out is difficult. I grew up in Camden, New Jersey, worst city in America. Time Magazine's worst city makes you proud, and when National Public Radio went looking for the worst high school in America, they went to my alma mater. Being the poster child for the top of the bottom, okay, somewhere in there I managed to do exceptionally well on standardized tests, still do, and so I'm scoring in the 99th percentile on all of my standardized tests but I'm going to Camden High School. Somebody figured this out and decided, and figured out that I probably could go on to get a BA degree and get a law degree. When I went to law school, all of the people there, all of my fellow students and many of my fellow, many of the professors there, believe that I didn't belong there. The conservative students were saying "he doesn't belong there and we should get him out so we can get a more deserving White student. The liberal and progressive students believed that I didn't belong there and they were going to help me. They're going to show me how to hold my crayon and they're going to show me how to have a color inside the line so that that I could fit in. Now my LSAT scores were higher than theirs, and I started to get a t-shirt and put my LSAT number on the t-shirt and then say, how big is yours? That would have been an act of anger, because I'm about being about assumptions being made about me simply because of the color of my skin. But how do you deal with that? It's an unspoken conflict. People are looking at me and smiling and saying, how are you doing? e tc. And the whole time they're saying "e doesn't belong. So our challenge is how do we learn how to peel that back? How do we learn to stand in the light in a very different kind of light? How do we, as Janet was saying, disrupt on purpose, but also disrupt with compassion, with gentility, with you know, know when you have to get thermonuclear, when the time comes, but also knowing that most of the time it's not the time. Okay, one quick story, and then I'm going to hand it back to Janet so that we will do something else. I was in an organization, a non-profit organization that wasn't mine, and I was on the board of directors, and we were in one of my, one of the first meetings and they were saying something. An issue came up and one of the participants, one of the board members, said well, we need to get a lawyer to come in here and give us some advice on this issue. And I said "well, I'm a lawyer, I can give you the advice on the issue and I gave the advice. And the guy says, "oh, you're a lawyer? I said, "Yeah, I'm a lawyer. We have another board meeting and another legal issue came up and the same person said, "We need to get a lawyer in here to find out what to do here. And I said I'm a lawyer. And he says, oh, you're a lawyer? So, yeah. So after the meeting, I asked him to come over and I said, you know, you seem not to be able to remember that I'm a lawyer. Is it because I don't wear a tie, or is it because I'm black? And from the color of his skin turning into this very, very vivid pink, I knew which one it was. So next time an issue came up that needed a legal answer, he says, "Shariff is a lawyer. Let's find out his advice on this." Now that I thought was a, I didn't embarrass him in front of the meeting. I didn't call him out. I knew his intention. I was able to follow his intention. He turned out to be a really, really impressive advocate. But is that what we want to do? I would assume that, because you're here, that's what you want to do. You want to be able to open the door, but in a generative and not in a debilitative way. You want to be able to take on gnarly issues, but take that gnarly issue inside of yourself first and then work with others and work and to determine the appropriate way of doing. Okay, that was my speed talk. I'm going to talk some more, but we're going to change our context on how we're going to do that.

Janet M. Harvey:

Thank you, Shariff. Thank you, you framed it beautifully. So, in part two of the reflection tool that you all have been working with this year. It speaks to inviting leaders to reflect a little more deeply, beyond the thorny problem they're working with, to start to appreciate what are my own habits, preferences, assumptions and biases that are operating unconsciously. They're my autopilot and I don't know where my off-switch is for the autopilot so that I can be deliberate. The act of slowing down a little bit to create some perspective, pulling back and examining how did I operate in this situation up to this point in time. In what way have those habits, preferences, assumptions and biases contributed to this thorny problem, which therefore means it's part of unwinding it. We don't give ourselves much opportunity for this. This is the reason why we've brought this particular tool forward, because sometimes we can't just assume we know how to do it. We need a little bit of structure. We're going to break with tradition from past sessions where we put you into breakout rooms. Shariff has generously agreed to convene a fishbowl conversation. I think Paige has reached out to a few of you. If you're still up for it, that's fantastic. Those of you that are wanting to observe and not be part of the conversation will go off-camera and we'll leave Shariff in fishbowl format with those of you that want to do that. If you didn't volunteer, but you want to go ahead, just leave your camera on and your microphone open. Okay, Shariff, it's over to you.

Dr. Shariff Abdullah:

Well, I suggested the fishbowl process because, as you are deliberating in breakout rooms, you'll have all this wisdom going on, but other people can't get your wisdom. So let's take a look at thorny issues. I don't know if anyone has a particular issue they want to raise. We are staying away from anything happening in the Middle East right now. Not that the methodology can't handle it, but it would take too long to unpack it. So, your name something where your preferences, your habits or your assumptions nobody here has biases, of course, but your traditional ways of thinking get you a result that you don't necessarily want and to use this as an opportunity for all of us to connect on the issue. And if you don't come up with anything, I will.

Norma Nielsen:

I'm happy to volunteer, I guess the one thing I guess that is an age- old thing for me which is my assumptions to do with money and wealth. I grew up in a Black neighborhood and so I'd have a tendency not to trust White people with money, and so I tend to I run away from it rather than embrace it.

Dr. Shariff Abdullah:

You run away from the issue. Not necessarily people. Is that what you're saying?

Norma Nielsen:

I would probably a bit of both actually, I make a, you know, it's like my. So, for example, where we used to liven our landlady was, as soon as I heard the name, I was like, oh yeah, she's one. And my partner was like, what's the issue? And I said, well, you know, she went to Bermuda High School, which is the all- girls White privilege school, and so she's going to have an issue with the fact that we're of color and so did. But so what we did was we presented me first. So she looked at me, made the assumption that I was okay, and so when her and you know, daughter and everybody else showed up, she was a little, by that point she was already like me, so she was okay. But I did not trust her from the get- go. And I, you know, it was, where is my partner? Yeah, does that make sense?

Dr. Shariff Abdullah:

You've raised a number of deep identity issues, okay, and how do you handle that? And, of course, you're running up against someone else's deep identity issues. So, issues around class you get it, you get it very early, and how do you deal with that? Does everybody have, regardless of whether you started off lower class, middle class, upper class? Does everybody see class issues? Does that? Do they have an act in your life? Yes, hand up, yes, okay, and Nadia, I don't see your hand, so we're going to come back to you in a minute. Does everybody, you also raised gender issues. Yes, how do you see? How does she see you? Now, your reaction to a man raising those issues may be different. Do all of us see gender issues? Hand up, yeah, you can do the digital hand if you're not waving your meeting hand Issues. ssues regarding race, issues regarding, you know. So, using the four- questions model in this practice wheel, how do you identify that? And anyone can help her to look at preferences, habits and biases and assumptions.

Brian Curtis:

So, just to be clear, we're referencing any one of those things and then how it impacts the way we perform Is that?

Dr. Shariff Abdullah:

Yes, but let's try to stay with with her example of how money issues, class issues affected her in the past and how it may still be affecting her.

Brian Curtis:

Yeah, any negative thought form is going to make you tired and perform less. It gets you out of your creative energy because it's a negative block on your creative circuit, correct? So thinking negatively by yourself, thinking negatively about somebody else, accepting those projected negative energies from your environment, all creates blockages to your natural creative energy. And that's why our society is so unbalanced in the relationships within business and society, because people are trying to draw energy from each other instead of working cooperatively together in co-creative settings. So we're all just vessels that are accessing the field and we're the field itself. This vessel that you see isn't me. It's just how I'm accessing everything. So if any of us are seeing ourselves as just the vessel or the projected energies that somebody is judging us because of that vessel, or maybe delusions that we lived in in the past and decisions, what we made, that causes negative thinking at the same time, growing out. I think making people aware of that and growing out of those things is what really creates the creative process to getting out of those negative cycles internally.

Dr. Shariff Abdullah:

Yeah, and that's where the assumption stuff comes in. Yeah, anybody else chime in on this?

Sterling:

I just think that having a preference right and in terms of who we wanted to deal with whether it's gender or race or class what I've found is that it's just so flawed, because each person is such an individual right and we don't give them or ourselves an opportunity to show up authentically, because we present ourselves with this guarded and I believe that that energy is felt in that exchange and then, once the other side feels that they guard themselves as well, right. So we're both sensing these threats. We don't know what it is. We might know what it is, we might think we know what it is, but unless we ask the question, we don't really know, and so we just go on continuing to reinforce our preferences, right? based on our own litmus test.

Dr. Shariff Abdullah:

Yes, I am going to fully agree with you, and then I'm going to disagree with you. Okay, so that's why, we fully agree on part is yes, I believe with you. Here's the possible pushback on that, I was. It's like sometimes I just need to understand what a person's preference is. I was hanging out with some friends who spoke Spanish and we were having a ball and we were hanging together for hours and finally one of them left. One of them started to leave and say oh, where are you going? And they said for a couple of hours I need to think in Spanish, which means I can't talk to you when I'm speaking to you in English. And I never. Because these friends were so fluent in English I thought they were just thinking in English. And she says no, I'm doing double duty here. I'm translating everything in my head, I'm then coming up with my own thoughts and then I have to translate those thoughts back for you. So you know it makes sense that you would have a preference to for your own language. For those of us who are linguistically challenged with I don't even speak English, I'll speak American. So can I understand the basis for this other person's preference? You know, in that situation it made all the sense in the world If a person says well, I would prefer to be around a white person because black people are dangerous. It's like, ok, let's get out the bags and start unpacking them, because the preference is not based on something that is experienced as a common reality. So anyone else want to jump in here?

Sarah Graves:

I did have a quick one, Shariff, and to kind of dovetail with what Sterling was saying, my husband and I are in a mixed race or bicultural relationship and what I like to think of it is sometimes, if it has to do with a car mechanic or things like that, we literally will say. Are we interested in efficiency or an experience? So if we're interested in efficiency, we're sending me in and we use my white privilege If we're interested in experience and giving someone and us, you know, just an open forum. But if I go in with the idea I'm going in because if my husband goes in they're going to charge him twice as much or they're going to tell him he needs something he doesn't need or whatever it is, then what am I doing? That's my bias, that's my preference, that's our. We're very clear that it's our bias and I can get through it faster and if we live like that all the time, I'm just going to get more armored. So we really try to be intentional in going for the experience.

Dr. Shariff Abdullah:

Yeah, I had to go to the hospital for my appendix one time and I was on my way and a friend of mine, a medical doctor, said, "I'll go wyou" and I'm like "I know how to get to the hospital," and she said "Yeah, but they see a black man with a beard, okay not with, you kno, shirt, tie, etc, you know, dressed casually. and they will put you last on the waiting list. Okay, I'm gonna walk behind the counte and make sure first on the waiting list and the fact that I walk in there with you means they will see things differently." So that you are actually using their habits, assumptions, biases, etcetera. And like I said, It can play a number of different ways. I mean you like you, you may not be. I'm about to launch into something, and I'm gonna stop. Yes, stop the countdown for the launch and I'm gonna ask Nadia if you want to say anything about any of this. I'm also going to ask Paige if she will give me a countdown here. Cool, so Nadia

Nadia Tserkunyk:

Hi, thank you. For now, if you don't mind, I'm trying to catch up what is going on here. Like I'm not American, I'm from Ukraine and li English is not my first language, definitely. So I'm quite interested and whatever the conversation is going like, I'm having associations and when putting like the examples from my life into it. So I think probably later on I'm not going to be ready to jump in and, let's say, add into the conversation. For now, if you don't mind, I would enjoy like listening to you and put the things up in my mind.

Dr. Shariff Abdullah:

Don't get away that easy. I have a few questions for you, and if you don't want to answer them, that's okay. You said you are from the Ukraine. How long have you been here? Wait a minute, are you here? Are you in the United States?

Nadia Tserkunyk:

No, I'm actually in Ukraine.

Dr. Shariff Abdullah:

You're in Ukraine, right? Okay, very cool. What time is it there?

Nadia Tserkunyk:

It's actually 7:38 at night.

Dr. Shariff Abdullah:

Okay, very good, we're almost opposite. Okay, so I had a bunch of questions about how you would fit into the United States, but you're not fitting into the United States, so I will leave you alone.

Nadia Tserkunyk:

I used to work for American Company and actually I spent there about 10 years, so pretty much I have a lot of American friends and know a little bit about the culture. Let's say I'm aware like I was in touch with America, but at this time I'm here.

Dr. Shariff Abdullah:

There's a lot of cross-cultural stuff that happens when you're interacting not only with Americans, but Americans in a particular working setting. They have made assumptions about you and everybody else in Ukraine. You have made assumptions about them, and some of those assumptions are valid and some of them are based on Hollywood movies, are based on. I can remember the first time I heard someone speaking English with a German accent. They asked me a question and I froze because I'd watched every World War II movie and somebody with a German accent is trying to kill you and I'm like how should I answer this? And he's looking like you know, let's get on with it. He's asking about my brand of beer and so, yes, we all bring those kinds of attitudes forward. So we've talked about preference.

Nadia Tserkunyk:

You can give me a moment. I can add a story here because I really like yours and when you were telling, when you were at that school where people think you didn't belong to. So when I came first time to the US, I started to work with Americans and, of course, like my English if I could say what I wanted, but it was difficult for me actually to comprehend, like listening skills, yes, because of different accents. And then my colleague, she was from Texas and sometimes she would ask me like Nadia, what is that? And I was trying to speak English. So then it's like quite like your t-shirt, the way you put your score. I was telling her, Didi, like I'm speaking English and you probably need to improve yours if you don't understand me.

Dr. Shariff Abdullah:

I bet that went over well.

Nadia Tserkunyk:

Yeah, so we are using these jokes until now because she like it's been like probably 10 years ago and she's like I'm improving my English. I'm still working on it. I'm like you're doing very good, now you understand me better.

Dr. Shariff Abdullah:

Yeah. So the I think that we've seen from our we should go on another hour, okay, and get to some of the roots of this. But I think that we can see from this that you can skate across the top or you can tap down into each one of these things and you can go deep into each one of these. And going deep will allow that other person that you're talking to to see some things, but also allows you to see some things. It allows you to dig into some of the deep problems that you've got, but to dig in in such a way that you actually get results, as opposed to just venting anger. Don't put it, get doing the t-shirt or vent your anger, but it wouldn't resolve anything. So we're out of time. But what is it that from this that you can take in terms of solving any of your issues that may come up in in the future? How do you open the door for that?

Sterling:

Thank you, If I can, I'll just say having three children 22, 18, and 16, I'm learning more and more about how I respond to thorny problems every day I'm sitting in these old mindsets and beliefs and I'm always constantly being challenged to reconsider, right? So definitely I think that's been my strategy is to start to ask them what they think or what they would do. Having that support system has been very helpful. Regarding this particular topic, I would say there was just so much coming up for me because, really quickly, I grew up in a Black neighborhood and I didn't trust Black people with my money. What I heard threw me off. What Norma said, I'm like yeah, not in New York, that ain't happening. Then you get older and it's like well, I trusted White people and it was just a given because they were going to do right. As I got more life experience, it's like I just don't really trust anybody unless I know them, right? It's like over years I've had to learn or I've developed into a person who maybe is just a little bit more skeptical Instead of just being trusting and giving, you know, upfront. I want to test the relationship a little bit after we've established that rapport, start to build that trust. One word that didn't come up was trust. What I was hearing for myself was like it's about trust. How do I establish trust? I don't know what your process is. I'm still learning what mine is, but that's why I'm a coach and that's why I'm here and that's why I participate today. Thanks for the topic.

Dr. Shariff Abdullah:

Yeah, a very big word and we will not have time to unpack it. But let's just say I spend an awful lot of time trusting, consciously trusting, and then looking at the results of it, and the results are almost always positive. But you have to be conscious about it. What are some other takeaways?

Norma Nielsen:

For me, I think it's about being curious. I find that if I approach something and I've made an assumption based on my own biases or preferences, then I close myself off to whatever the opportunity is and I end up with less. I don't end up with that desired result. Whereas if I age the curiosity, my curious nature, then I'm more open to learning an opportunity. But the day old belief systems which I've had since I was a kid, they're still there. But will I ever release them completely? I don't think so. I don't know because nature keeps improving itself. But I think in the one to one and where I can I do engage curiosity. I also what Sarah said with her husband and with experience or efficiency. I want to play around with that some.

Dr. Shariff Abdullah:

Yeah, very good. You have to be careful with curiosity. Asking some questions are cultural no-nos in some places, and then you can get caught up in somebody else's cultural no-no. This is the part where, being the facilitator, I want to jump in and talk, so but I'm going to ask if anyone else would like to share a closing thought as we're wrapping up here.

Nadia Tserkunyk:

I'd like to add, if it's possible, about assumptions. I do believe, and we can see that we are surrounded with our own assumptions and other people's assumptions regarding us and for me, the way out of this, if let's say the person is important and the situation is important for me, like straight communication in the way, if it's possible, if I doubt, I think it's like, even if it's intercultural or person of other culture, if I use straight communication, saying okay, probably I'm taking something wrong here or that's what it seems to me, could you please explain? Or probably those are my assumptions, straight communication that might help and what I'm using, like my personal things, like sense of humor, sometimes like humor can save the situation, but as well, we need to be careful with that. With sense of humor, we need to be more careful in regards of cultural beliefs and like what culture person is. But straight communication I think works usually.

Dr. Shariff Abdullah:

This is what I look like when I'm biting my tongue, because I got only 10 stories about that. So other last thoughts here.

Brian Curtis:

Yeah, I've got one last thought, and this is something that I have learned over the last oh, eight months or so, you know, for my own process of self discovery, is, if we're ever trying to look outside of ourselves to give value to ourselves, we're looking in the wrong place. All of us have such an amazing ability and unique way of helping one another that, you know, until you find that beauty within yourself, You'll always be looking outside of yourself to validate a part of yourself. And once you find that beauty within yourself, then it helps you to bring that out of other people and you know you won't need any external validation of who you are. What you have to bring, you know, all I see is just some beautiful people. You know that are all and we're all on our own process of self discovery, but that comes from the inside. Don't ever try and look to anybody else to think of what, who you are. You, you know you guys are all just beautiful and you have something unique to share with everybody around you.

Dr. Shariff Abdullah:

Okay, you're going to get a little bit of pushback here, because it's one thing, I believe, that I believe that you know we're all unique human beings, etc. But then when someone else is making a judgment or a or is practicing a bias against you, it makes it harder to not be defensive and not to go into. Well, let me tell you that.

Brian Curtis:

I'm not sure. Yeah, and you know, but that is usually an indication of a trigger, that something you still need to heal on the inside, because if anything in your environment is triggering you, it's telling you that, oh, there's something that I need to work on internally. I'm looking at myself the wrong way, because your environment will naturally attract your unhealed wounds in your environment. So you'll notice that a lot of times, once you're healed of something, then the environment will start to attack you even more because you're cutting those energies off. You're no longer responding to them and giving energy energy n your own mind. You know, you're not letting your shadow feed off of you anymore.

Dr. Shariff Abdullah:

Okay, I'm. I'm being a not great facilitator here, because I see my time is up. Wait, Sarah in 25.

Sarah Graves:

Yeah, I want to just tell one one quick one, Brian, just to give you an idea. So I'm in a meeting it's mixed women and men and the man who is speaking and has his PowerPoint up there is talking about what a great job this is and he's pitching this to my team and it's all in the same company and he uses the term as a benefit. It's a great fraternity and fraternity is bolded. Now I'm already an executive. It's not a trigger for me. I'm looking around the room and I can feel into the energy. So I raise my hand and I use tumor Nadia to say "I'm just curious, because we have a 50- 50 audience here. How are 50% of this audience to get into that fraternity? And he ended up sitting by me at dinner, picked my brain and learned how to present to a room so I could have just sat there because it wasn't a trigger for me. But as a leader and as a voice, I brought forward that truth.

Brian Curtis:

So definitely, yeah, for sure. And that that's how you deal with that when it doesn't trigger you and you don't get mad about it. Then you were able to bring those issues to the surface. You know, I'm in total agreement. Yeah, cool.

Janet M. Harvey:

And that is the moral to the story. This is the purpose of why we added the second step into the reflection tool. Unless a leader causes and says to themselves where are my own habits and Sarah's example of "Of course, I'm a guy, I went to a fraternity I love the term, I loved my fraternity experience. I'm going to use it" Pause to say, "hmm, I wonder if the audience will resonate with that. Whether it was habit or preference or assumption or bias, there are slightly different doorways to go in, but the invitation that we offer here is simply to recognize, when you feel the tension it's likely, Brian, to your point something in our own life experience that is leaving us in an incomplete state in some way, and through reflection we begin to reclaim it and say you know what? Maybe I'm done with that. Maybe that assumption, maybe that bias served me 10 years ago. It hasn't served me now and unfortunately, too many people learn this through tragedy, breakdown, difficulty, discomfort, conflict, anger, and ultimately, the path for all leaders is to find a more grounded space that can say ah, that's the indicator, something needs a little deeper time to talk about. And so what we did here beautifully, thank you all of you in the fishbowl and Shariff really a wonderful demonstration of a conversation amongst us to examine, What's moving and motivating this? Makes all the difference in the world and broadening our understanding. Yes, and so those of you that were watching. what came up for you as you were witnessing that conversation occurring? That's Mike and Sarah and any of you that are off camera. Mike, are you looking for your mute button? I can't hear you.

Dr. Shariff Abdullah:

Yeah, I said how did you know,J J anet? How did you know?

Janet M. Harvey:

I was watching the eyes, you know, it's just.

Dr. Shariff Abdullah:

Yeah, the very interesting, very interesting topic and and it reminds me of some reading that I did during my training with you as a certified mentor coach reflective practices and the importance, most especially the importance, of leaders doing reflective practice. And I had a conversation just yesterday with a, with a fellow coach, which flipped the script on what Dr Shariff, Dr Abdullah, excuse me, was presenting and presented so very well. It's asking myself, when a person reveals, as in Sterling's example, and perhaps it certainly Shariff's examples, when the person reveals what their perceptions are or their assessments are, I'm frequently now asking myself. what What does that tell me about them? What does that reveal to me about them and how can I again, as Dr Abdullah so well demonstrated, how can I bring forth a little bit more of a discovery and reflection on their part? So, thanks, thanks for the opportunity, Janet, great to see you and thank you. Thank you, Dr Abdullah.

Janet M. Harvey:

And what you just said to, because I think when we give ourselves permission to allow the field that's getting created between us and another, even if that's one to many and we bring a spirit of learning to it, which, thank you I'm seeing that also in the chat here we start to realize wait a minute, there's so much more going on here. There's no way I could have ever figured it out without having that moment of tension. And that isn't the bad thing. It's when we become judgmental about it and say, well, there's only one right way to go, or you know, my history would tell me this is the right response, which is what we were doing in the circle. The question then is hmm, how come this is in my field? What is it? What's the possibility that this conversation ever happens? How could I contribute to this conversation? To open the aperture of the camera lens and this is why this is so important for leaders to have reflective practice. It's not just a good thing to do and actually will keep them from making very serious mistakes because they're not seeing the world as it actually is. Garry, how about for you? What came up?

Garry Schleifer:

I'm going to quote what Sarah said, love the discussion energy that are working behind the scenes and also just the possibility of having a conversation without it creating another tension. Right? To Mike's point reflective practice, pausing to look to observe, to see what's possible other than pork chops and applesauce, my last time saying it this year, but seriously like tearing not tearing it apart because that sounds so violent, but like separating. Thank you, discerning you bet yeah, discerning. There was a good one we have yes, discerning.

Janet M. Harvey:

What I, what I know, I've realized for myself, is that when I'm in platitude, I'm in apathy. To show you some opening comments, right, that you know I really want to do good for the world and so that what can happen and what's my part and where's my agency and who am I in proximity to. In other words, I can be inspired to want to do good in the world, but my apathy is what's actually operating, because inspiration without a commitment of my own motive, power isn't going to create anything. It's just words. Those words, then, make me untrustworthy. So back to our notion of being deliberate and such an important this particular attention is such an important one for us to think more deeply about. All right, I know we're at our witching hour. Oh my gosh, the time goes so fast. Yes, Paige, thank you so much for all of your support this year, and I think you've put some things in the chat for people about Shariff and ways to be yes, his latest book and some ways to be in touch with him. If you're not in our invite, Change LinkedIn, please be. We'll be announcing next year's adventure and the Vanguard Conversation Series which we'll continue to offer and, yes, C C E's will be available for those of you that are coaches, and we hope you had an inspiring year and maybe found your own breakthroughs with apathy.

Speaker 4:

And just for anybody wondering those start and end codes, the start code was 1116 0 and the end code is 12271.

Janet M. Harvey:

Shariff, last word for you.

Dr. Shariff Abdullah:

Oh, last word by, I believe them wanting more and we do In the chat a whole bunch of stuff in terms of other books and I think my Ted talks in the list and other stuff, and I am offering just to this group here, your group, a discount just this weekend, coming up on Birthing the Nation of Gaia, a 20% discount and free shipping. So if that doesn't entice you to buy something, this has been fun. I wish it was going another hour, we could have gotten deeper into some things. We'll remember this for the next time you want to offer the process. I learned a lot. Maybe all of us learned something, grateful to each one of you. So thank you.

Garry Schleifer:

Thank you.

Janet M. Harvey:

Thank you everyone in the US. May you have a happy, safe, fun, joyous, loving Thanksgiving holiday break and stay tuned. Will be in touch in December about what we're up to next year.

Garry Schleifer:

They do everybody.

Dr. Shariff Abdullah:

Bye.

A Conversation on Apathy and Inspiration
Challenging Assumptions and Biases in Discussions
Cultural Assumptions and Trust in Conversations
Reflective Practice and Overcoming Bias
Thanksgiving Wishes and Farewell Plans