“Learning to sit with the discomfort of not being an expert is crucial”
“Learning to sit with the discomfort of not being an expert is crucial, as well as knowing when and where to ask for help. We discuss the importance of recognizing and embracing our differences and similarities, particularly in the context of DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) work. This conversation emphasizes the need for better connections and relationships, both in our personal lives and the workplace, as a means of nourishing ourselves and others.” – Greta Lax
In this episode, I had the pleasure of exploring the importance of personal development with Greta, a coach and consultant focusing on DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) and intercultural development. We delved into the process of self-reflection and growth when faced with feedback and uncomfortable situations, and the importance of nourishing risk-takers by allowing them the space to make mistakes and grow from them. We also examined the challenges people face when seeking personal development, and the importance of finding the right program and tools to nourish oneself and develop the necessary skills for growth. Greta shared her experiences with self-care, relationship-building, and seeking help from others as she transitioned from a long-term career to entrepreneurship. Finally, we explored the challenges and benefits of being a beginner in certain areas of our lives and the impact of the “yes and” campaign. Join us for this insightful conversation on nurturing the risk-taker within!
(0:00:02) – Nourishing the Risk-Taker
(0:14:32) – Nourishing the Risk Takers
(0:26:17) – Developing Self-Awareness for Relationship Building
(0:33:05) – The Art of Self-Nourishment
(0:39:55) – Growth and Learning
(0:51:21) – Power of Yes Catalyst
(0:00:02) – Nourishing the Risk-Taker (14 Minutes)
In this episode, we explore the importance of personal development for individuals seeking to make a positive impact in the world. Greta, a coach and consultant focusing on DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) and intercultural development, shares her insights on helping individuals grow and develop the necessary skills to navigate differences and connect with others more effectively. The process begins with an assessment to identify an individual’s current level of comfort and ability to interact with people different from themselves. This assessment also helps reveal any misperceptions about oneself, which can be valuable for growth.
(0:14:32) – Nourishing the Risk Takers (12 Minutes)
We delve into the process of self-reflection and growth when faced with feedback and uncomfortable situations. By acknowledging discomfort as a potential learning opportunity, we can better understand the root of our reactions and work towards personal development. Nourishing risk takers involves allowing leaders and change makers the space to make mistakes and grow from them. As a coach and mentor, Greta emphasizes the importance of walking alongside individuals on their journey, helping them achieve better outcomes in their personal and professional lives, and ultimately impacting the systems around them’
(0:26:17) – Developing Self-Awareness for Relationship Building (7 Minutes)
We examine the challenges people face when seeking personal development, especially in the realm of self-awareness and building relationships. Many individuals don’t feel the need for growth in this area until a specific issue arises or a life-changing event occurs. The conversation highlights the importance of finding the right program and tools to nourish oneself and develop the necessary skills for growth. By equipping ourselves with these tools, we can become better friends, colleagues, partners, and community members, capable of recognizing and repairing harm, and fostering authentic connections with others’
(0:33:05) – The Art of Self-Nourishment (7 Minutes)
In this segment, we discuss the importance of nourishing oneself, both for personal well-being and to support others. Greta shares her experiences with self-care, relationship-building, and seeking help from others as she transitioned from a long-term career to entrepreneurship. Acknowledging the importance of self-care and surrounding ourselves with people who challenge us and help us grow is essential in our personal and professional journeys’
(0:39:55) – Growth and Learning (11 Minutes)
We explore the challenges and benefits of being a beginner in certain areas of our lives, as it keeps our minds active and helps us grow and adapt to a changing world. Learning to sit with the discomfort of not being an expert is crucial, as well as knowing when and where to ask for help. We discuss the importance of recognizing and embracing our differences and similarities, particularly in the context of DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) work. This conversation emphasizes the need for better connections and relationships, both in our personal lives and the workplace, as a means of nourishing ourselves and others.
(0:51:21) – Power of Yes Catalyst (1 Minutes)
We explore the impact of the “yes and” campaign, which encourages individuals to embrace multiple dimensions and maintain awareness of their place in the world. We express gratitude to Greta for her incredible work as a coach and catalyst for personal growth, and invite listeners to follow us on YouTube and other platforms for more insights on nurturing the risk taker within’
Okay. We are live. Welcome to nourish the wrist take occurs. I’m your host, Marissa Low, and I’m joined today by Greta, Lax Greta. Welcome to nurish and risk takers, you’re also one of our amazing members at greater roles catalysts. How are you today? I’m great. I’m excited to do this. Yeah. I’m glad you’re here.
We often talk about nursing the risk takers and and all the things that we need to do, and we’ll jump into that. But why don’t you give us just a short intro of who you are, what you do in the world? Know, all the good things that we wanna hear about you. Sure. So I am Greta. GretaLAX LLC is actually my company name where I am a coach and consultant that focuses on DEI and intercultural development. My passion is really working one on one with folks coaching and kind of leadership, professional development, whether that’s someone who is being asked to do implement DEI stuff where they work in their would like to work go along that journey or other coaches, consultants, even folks who work in DEI, who who are interested in developing themselves for the roles that they’re being asked to perform. Yeah. So why is that important? Why do we why do we need to develop ourselves, but before we go off and make changes and create cool things in the world. Oh my gosh. It’s not something that we just naturally have. Right? There are a lot of skills that just like everything else. Right? We go to college to learn skills. We join apprenticeship programs, training programs to learn skills. This is another skill that we don’t automatically just pick up along the way in life. So and it’s a and it’s a measurable thing. It’s a measurable level of development that we can look at and then we can also from there specifically target what are the specific areas where individuals need to build and expand just so that they can better connect with others so that they can better connect to just not just on the similarities we have between us, which is what we tend to do most easily and comes most naturally to us. But also across the differences that exist between all of us. So helping to nourish, right, folks in those skills and those abilities and the knowledge that helps them to do that more confidently and more comfortable. And we were talking earlier this week about and we were talking about nursing the risk takers, but we were talking specifically about the work you do with people, and I I wanna talk more about this. So, you know, I think it’s interesting you had commented. And and when we say people it’s us included. It’s like it’s you and me. It’s the greater people.
We are looking to create, you know, we we are in our jobs. We’re in our families. We’re in our communities. We are out in the world. And we are we’ve got purpose. You know, we’re out there doing some things. And we might be really well meaning, and we’ve got, like, the right kind of idea and even the right impact.
But we miss things. We miss things in our in our perspective. We miss things because we haven’t experienced ourselves. There are spots that we just didn’t quite pick up on that made we didn’t notice. And there’s a few things that can happen when when they come to light.
One is how we respond. You know, it’s it’s everything. You know? It’s like, oh, man. I screwed up. You know, how do we respond? How do we interact? How do we make reparations? Or how do we fix things, like, after we’ve made a mistake. And then how do we make it even better? Like, those are those things where it’s, like, or how do we prevent ourselves from, you know, maybe blundering as big. We’re never gonna not blunder, but how do we actually put things into place?
And I said to you, I think being able to work with someone like you and being able to go through and create a personal development plan for myself is really nourishing the risk taker. It’s really about coming in and saying, whoa, I’m not gonna have it all right. I’m not gonna know all the answers to everything. I’m not going to even, you know, do it right, maybe even a majority of the time because we’re all just on these different journeys and learning. But I get to work with people. I get to experience people. So how do I do that and not show up and completely harm or create a negative impact with people? And I think working with you and being able to do these things where we look at okay, we’re good here, we’re not as good here, maybe we could go better here, maybe we could go really big here. Talk to me about that. Talk to me about that process and what that actually looks like in somebody’s life. Oh my gosh. So in terms of working together as a session or what those things look like in yeah. Well, look if I if we let’s take it from, like, working together in a session, and then what can we expect, like, that it happens in our life? Yeah. So so that process really involves at least the way that I do it.
I is it’s just starting off with that assessment because I wanna know where you are right now. And that’s not something scary thing. It’s a little fifteen minute online assessment. That is a really strong instrument. It’s well validated. There’s a lot of evidence backed. It’s it’s and I’m in strongly evidence backed instrument. Sorry. That I use. But it’s brief, and it just gives me kind of an overall picture so that we can start the conversation about not just where you are on the development cycle, but where you think you are. That’s a really interesting comparison. Right?
Because in terms of nourishing ourselves, like, one of the things that is a little bit of that, you know, adds that bit of discomfort that we need in order to grow is when people can hold up a mirror and show us where we really are. Right? As we sometimes need those people who can show us the good about ourselves, and then the people who can show us the room for growth. So this helps us see the room for growth and also see where our perceptions of ourselves is off. Right? We often have misperceptions of ourselves. It’s that’s super common. Whether we see ourselves through rose colored glasses, I think of, gosh, If there’s couples anywhere, there’s always a who’s the better driver. Right? I probably think I’m a more driver than my partner thinks I am. For example, So who are those people and where do we get that realistic gauge of where we truly are? Because then that gives us better information from which to build from which to grow.
So we take a look at that, but then we talk about what’s important to you. You know, what are your goals, whether it’s for your professional life for your personal life. Where does your curiosity lie? Right? What what things are you curious about? Dimensions of culture, dimensions of diversity, and how can we meld these things together into a blueprint for growth? That is meaningful for you.
So it’s not really an entirely painful journey. Right? Because we want something that is also going to hold your interest. Along the way. Yeah. Otherwise, it’s maybe one more thing that you start and and give up on because it’s it’s, you know, frustrating and demanding. So it’s really bad. It’s co creating that plan. So it’s a match for you. And then helping you along that journey with tools and resources and support. That’s the part that I’m there for.
Because a lot of times, you know, people take an assessment, you get the but what do you do with it afterwards? And the follow-up is everything. The research shows that it takes from nine months to a year really on this developmental scale that we use, that I use, to to move from one position on scale to another. So it takes nine months to a year of consistent effort. So whether that’s, you know, half hour a week, that kind of thing. So how do we make that easier for you too. Right? Everybody’s wearing so many hats. Everybody’s already so busy. So how do we build this into what you’re already doing information you’re already consuming, to make it manageable, to make it enjoyable, not that the entire process success is always going to be enjoyable. Right? Learning does involve some discomfort. But yeah. But we can, right, work together to make this journey as meaningful as possible for you as an individual. Now I find a lot of personal development programs, teachers, coaches.
There’s a little this is like a shame element in it. And, you know, can you talk to me a bit about how you look at shame and both both personally and in your work. Because I think let’s let’s be open here and let’s talk a little bit about it. Oh my gosh. Yes. So and I think as someone who’s been on this journey for a long time, there gosh. There are so many elements of that along the way. And And in addition to the internalized shame that we have, there’s also, you know, we see that from other people. We folks do that to each other on social media all the time. And it creates I mean, it doesn’t create a helpful connection. Right? So we can note areas where there are challenges without necessarily having to shame somebody Right? Because that sends you into, you know, to drawing back as opposed to moving forward.
So, you know, I personally went through that. Right, whether it’s getting feedback from someone who was brave enough and willing to share with me specific feedback about an interaction that we had or something that they saw. Right? That initial reaction is to, oh, god. I can’t believe that I did that. And we can learn to manage that initial reaction or the initial reaction might be the other way. So no way that didn’t happen, that’s not something that I did. But we can learn to manage that reaction, recognize it for what it is, see it for what it is, take it as information — Yeah. — you know, take a beat use that as information then to move forward.
So it’s shaming isn’t gonna help well, shaming ourselves certainly doesn’t help. Shaming when our goal is education and growth is not going to help. So how do we help people move through that piece of it? I will tell you a lot of people even from the first time that they take the assessment. They’re afraid that I’m gonna give them a label. Right? That I’m gonna say that they’re some kind of isp or showing some kind of ism And that’s not specifically what we’re looking for in the initial assessment.
Right? What we’re looking for is just where you are In terms of your comfort interacting with folks who are different from you, your comfort and ability to do so. So in example, like, can you tell me what you might see, like, on the assessment? Like, what what would it look like? So one of the most common things is is that we see that people want to connect solely through similar parties. Right? Oh. Right. So like you talked about, right, that’s the most common thing we do, which try to find something we have in common with someone to connect on. And that’s an important tool to have in our toolkit. Right? And and the majority of people stop there and only focus on those similarities.
So that next step then is understanding what we need to do in order to be more comfortable managing and learning about and interacting where there are differences so that those differences don’t create barriers between us because they don’t have to. Yeah. Why I mean, why do we do that? Why do we stop at the m? Is it just a comfort level? Is it just because we we have the privilege of doing it? Like, what is it? It’s a comfort level, but like I said, it’s also development of knowledge and skills and how to manage those differences. It’s not something that we’re just automatically born with. Some of us, because of our life experience, have had to manage that more than others, But still, that’s generally specific differences. Right? Mhmm.
So, you know, like, a lot of folks have to learn how to deal in a dominant a culture that doesn’t reflect who they are. But so they’ve learned that, but there might still be other ways that they’re not as comfortable navigating differences. So So there’s room for growth for the majority of people in this area. That just helps them to identify where those differences lie, and then work through that because it it may be that those differences provide a broader lens on a problem you’re trying to solve. It might be that they might throw up a barrier because the solution you typically offer might not be the right solution for that person. Right? It might show up that way. It might be a different in communication style that you’re not identifying for what it is. You might be identifying as a personality trait. For example, where it’s more a difference in expectations for that communication, for that interaction. So it shows up in a lot of ways and what the assumptions that we make are really based on the lens through which we look at. The world. Yeah. We don’t really think very often about how our lens was created and how it came to be and how it differs.
From people who have very different lived experiences from us. Yeah. I think we don’t we also like, nobody ever says to us. I mean, well, they do. They do. But say the majority of people don’t have somebody coming up and saying, you know, not everybody’s experiencing the same thing. You know, your talk chemo. Unless you’re, you know, like, leaders definitely are are hearing this more. We’re getting, you know, more questions. We’re getting more people being able to stand up and and talk more confidently and also safely. Although we still have a lot of unsafe, especially for a lot of marginalized groups, they just do not have the to actually speak up in question. But I think it’s a really interesting opportunity that you’re offering here is that if people are actually you know, willing to look at themselves and hear some, you know, hear some good stuff, but also hear some stuff that needs to be left on.
So this podcast is about nursing the risk takers. So let’s talk about this. So, you know, when you discovered this, when you kind of know, went through the tool and went through the training. You know, what did you find about your own self? Like, did you find any surprises? Did you find anything like, So I didn’t, by the time that I had had taken the tool, there weren’t any specific surprises simply because I had already been working on this particular area of myself for for twenty years, my history.
So for me, that part, I guess, the surprise was is that it it wasn’t as surprising because we we anticipate there, you know, a mirror holding up, and that does occasionally happen. Where where there’s not a huge difference. That doesn’t mean there’s not room for growth. Right? That doesn’t mean that I don’t have more to learn and more areas to grow it because I absolutely do. It simply meant for that particular tool I didn’t. But along the way and along the journey, really a lot of having grown up in a really homogeneous community, in a very isolated, pretty rural community at a time where the Internet wasn’t broadly available. Right? Yeah. So there have been lots of surprises for me along the way.
And and being able to to learn how to process those in in a helpful way to be able to sit back and when something brings like, a lot of times when we hit something that’s uncomfortable and unfamiliar, you get a feeling in your pit of stomach. Like, this is just not right. Something’s not right here. Sometimes something that’s not right is just that we’re not comfortable because we don’t know about that yet. Yeah. So a huge part of that process, and and and that’s just true for me, and it’s still true for me, is when I hit upon a piece of information, an opinion, something somebody else is sharing that causes me to have that ball in the pit of my stomach. Right? Really learning how to use that. Again, as a tool. That is information for me. Something’s making me uncomfortable here. I don’t want to be reactive. I wanna sit back and say, oh, you know, investigate that feeling. Where is that coming from? Where is that discomfort? Coming from? Where is the disconnection maybe between what I’m thinking and what they’re thinking? What’s at the root of that? And is there a learning opportunity here? So so that’s a piece of it. And and learning to sit with with that feedback And I kinda talked about that a little bit.
You know, I had some really specific instances where I was working in the community, and thankfully, I had I had been doing it for a while and showing up and putting in the work, so the community members were willing to come to me and say, look, I know this is the way you think things need to be done. Oh, wow. This is not the way we do things here. The culture in community is different. There are very different expectations. And I know we, you know, we come to you because we trust you’re coming from a good place. And and and we wanna continue working together.
So I was graced with that. Right? Somebody put in the effort to come and talk to me about a way that I was behaving that didn’t fit with the culture of the situation and wasn’t gonna help move things forward. So was it uncomfortable? Absolutely. And I learned so much from that. And because I was willing to sit back from that initial emotional reaction, which wanted to react and say, oh, no. But I’m a good person. Right? Oh, right. Yeah. I think that I’m not whatever. Right? I mean, it’s it’s it’s that bit of being able to work through that and say, can be a good person and still be making mistakes and not doing the right thing at the right time. And yeah. A good person. And I love your marketing where it’s like this and and I think that’s a really great opportunity because I I know recently I experienced someone who’s you give them feedback.
And then, like, the next thing you know, you get this, like, whole credential about what a good person they are and, like, how great you know, and all the things they’ve done and all of the people that they’ve been and I’m like, I’m not them. I just know this one situation and this one particular time, but, you know, Alright. Like and there was, like, no point in me saying anything after that point because I was just, like, okay. This isn’t gonna be, like, a conversation that we can have without all of that. Like, I don’t need the resume. It’s just this moment in time. We’re just We’re just sharing an experience. I’m not questioning who you are as an overall person. I’m not questioning your entire life’s contributions to the world. None of it really matters because we’re just in this one little relationship moment together. And it’s like, okay. So then you have to, like, take that.
For me, nourishing the risk takers is also knowing when is a good time for me to pursue a relationship or or conversation or an experience. And sometimes it’s it’s not the right time. You know? Sometimes it’s just like, Okay. Good day and and then you move on. But I love the way you said that you’re gonna get that feedback that, you know, and sometimes it just feels uncomfortable. You’re like, oh, gosh. Because you just have never experienced before, or you never had someone give you feedback. And I’m gonna say, you’ve never had someone trust you with feedback. Because that’s something too.
Is there is the like, if someone puts something out into the world and doesn’t come to you first, that speaks big huge volumes. If someone comes to you and says, hey, and then you ignore it or you brush it off or you gaslight it or white light, all those kind of things, and then they have to go into the world. That also speaks volumes. But if someone trusts you enough to be like, hello, this isn’t working, and, like, it’s like, you know, your response in that moment is everything. Right? And sometimes it’s not gonna be good. Like, sometimes you have to go, like, man, I responded, like, honestly, it was something out of a snickers commercial. It was not right. I don’t even know, like, there’s time also to, like, to go in and say, the person I was yesterday literally needed a nap and a snickers. And I’m sorry because all I did was make it even worse. Right? And and I think that’s that’s something we also have to know is that Sometimes when we go to give somebody feedback, it’s not good.
Something else is happening in their life. Right? And so part of it too is, like, having that conversation. You know, is now a good time that I can give you some feedback. Yeah. I just ate. Let’s and I had a nap. Let’s let’s do this. Right?
But we don’t also have those those opportunities to have that back and forth. You have to have a relationship. You have to have trust, you have to have confidence that you recognize in both sides that people are people, whole people, and that there’s a whole bunch of things going on in their lives at any given moment. And so how they, you know, we we tend to police people, like, oh, you should have done this better. You should have done this better. And it’s like, in the moment, you wouldn’t have been any better. You know? Like, what are we doing here? Assigning all of these should’ve would’ve could’ve as one in the moment, we know that we would have been horrible people too. So part of that is like really deconstructing a lot of that shame.
So when we talk about nourishing the risk takers, it’s giving leaders and change makers room to make mistakes. Room to create harm because it’s gonna happen. Create blenders, misspeak, say shit. They just didn’t know they like, it’s just like and you and in some cases, we can say, you should know better. But you know what? There are different experiences, different cultures, different things that are going around the world that we sometimes take for, like, in North America, things that we talk about every single day are not being discussed in other parts of the world. And they look at, like, North America can go are you even focusing on that? Like, it’s not a thing. So then we go to them and say, I don’t know why this isn’t a thing for you. It’s just this back and forth. Right? But at any given moment, in any given culture, in every given country, we’re all dealing with a with a variety of things. Were pulled in different directions.
So someone comes to you and, you know, they they’re busy. They’ve they’ve got this, like, situation. They recognize that they need personal development. You know, how do you work with people to help them actually One, have time to do this kind of personal development because this is big. And then two, like, integrate it and practice it and then not shame themselves when they don’t get it right the first four or five times.
Well, and that’s that’s part of the learning. Right? It’s because we are always gonna get things We’re always gonna get something wrong. Yeah. I get stuff wrong all the time. Right? Less than I did before, but I still get stuff wrong. So it’s part of the that’s part of the learning process is learning how to deal with it when we don’t get things right and providing a space for those individuals in in those sessions. Right? Whether it’s individual sessions or a small group, where we can trust one another to talk through that process, to talk through our reactions, to talk through what we’re thinking and feeling so that when we go out into the world, we’re less likely to do harm. Right? Mhmm. And that we hire skills and information for not just not doing harm because that’s an important part. But actually helping to nourish others as well. So that’s as a longtime coach and mentor and teacher all different roles. Right? To me, that that’s part of of where my passion lies.
Is is helping people get to those aha moments. Right? Walking along with them. As they get those aha moments that really kinda open their eyes to oh oh, right. Right. It lived long and that never occurred to me. That — Yeah. — and then being able to capitalize on those moments in ways that help you to build better connection, to build better relationship. You know, and ultimately for professionals doing this work to help you have better outcomes at work. Right? So yes, in your personal life, yes, to feel good about yourself and to nourish yourself in your own growth as an individual and. Right? And to have better outcomes in the work that you put out into the world, whether that’s with your customers, your clients, your colleagues, your team that you’re leading, policies, your laws, your governments, and then from there, the effects that we have, the capacity that we have to impact the systems that are out there in whatever way. As an individual voter, as somebody who sets policy, as somebody who sees a practice that isn’t working and can communicate that to somebody who could do something about it if that’s not you, right, all of those things. But really, to me, it’s a gift to be able to walk with someone along that journey and provide that space to to help nourish them on their own journey. In their own growth and development.
So tell me, are people, like, lining up? Like, is this just like an industry that, like, you’ve got, like, thousands of people, like, oh my gosh. Let’s do it. People are afraid. You know, that your initial reaction is yeah. So first of all, most often, and this is kind of funny and ironic because it aligns with the developmental stage. Most people don’t think they need it. Because I’m a good person. I don’t need yeah. Yes. Yes. For for all of those reasons, And so usually when it comes up, it’s unfortunately because there’s been an issue or a specific problem that’s come up or you know, or honestly, it did happen more frequently since twenty twenty because of everything that happened here in the United States after, you know, after Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor and George Floyd were killed.
Then suddenly there were was this kind of upheaval that caused the many more people to to attend to where they were. Right? What they knew, what they didn’t know. And here we are in twenty twenty three and so much of that energy has died down. I know a lot of people who along the way really tried, you know, different things. You know, tap through webinars. They joined a book club. They did this. They did that. And then they got stuck. Right? Yeah. Because who was there to hold their hand along the way and help show them that journey forward.
Now there are, you know, there’s a lot of programs out there. It’s a matter of finding what’s the right fit for you. Right? Options out there, whether your whatever your specific interests are. But if you’re someone who specifically wants to work on your skill development, your self awareness, that’s a little bit different road than can be had in an Internet class. Right? You know, with with a bunch of people. So So again, quite often when folks come to me, like, the most recent group, it’s because it’s a group of managers that were running into trouble there.
Working in a field that requires a lot of sensitivity around some really significant health disparities in this case. And that’s, again, that’s not something that comes naturally. Really. So how do we help them, you know, and get to a better place so that they can better see both on the interpersonal level, as well as the systems level, how to move forward.
So the other side of it is, like, why do we not do this work? Why do we not choose actively until something happens? Until all of a sudden the news happen, or we run into trouble and we’re at work and all of a sudden, you know, backs up against the wall. Why? What’s the reason? We’re all carrying a lot. Right? We’re coming out of And for a lot of this, not really coming out. We are, you know, how many years in, right, to to kind of world changing events. Right? Yeah. We’re all carrying a lot. We’re wearing a lot of hats And if it’s not, right, we there are a lot of things we want to do to develop ourselves. But what are we gonna take time to do.
So that’s one of the reasons that I love your focus on nourish, the risk takers, because it right. Because that can mean so many different things based on what the individual needs, and it’s about finding what that individual needs. And in this case, it is how can I then fit that fit that place? How do I help people see where there’s a a need? Oh, And then and like I said, kinda walk along. But what makes them think about it is is knowing that ninety five percent of people in the world have room for growth in this area. So if you don’t think it’s you, you’re probably wrong. And it was really no right time. Like, I like, it’s like, I find, like, a lot of personal development. I’m guilty of this too. He was like, oh, I’ll do it when I’ll do it when I’ll do it when But there’s always something coming. Right? There’s always, like, another priority, another project, another thing. And it you know, personal development support for my own development.
Because the thing is, like, we talk about this work in relationship to other people. We talk about how we can build relationships but it’s also how we build a relationship with ourself. Because we talk about the shame, we talk about the judgment that can happen, when we’ve been called out or called in, So if we gave ourselves the tools, if we gave ourselves the structure, the foundation, the knowledge, the self awareness, of how we can be in the world and make mistakes and still be a good person and get feedback when we hurt other people and still live very full lives. If we have that framework yeah. If we have that framework, that’s nourishing ourselves.
Like, that’s actually saying, you know, I don’t wanna spend the next thirty, forty years worrying, especially for, like, leaders, especially if we are creating some sort of new cool thing. And, you know, we’ve always got this thing in the back of our mind. Like, I can’t say the thing I wanna say because I’m gonna get count or I can’t say the thing I wanna say because I’m gonna get all this feedback. Or I don’t know how to say this thing because I haven’t been in this culture, but I wanna be in this you know, I wanna be in this group people in this community and I have no experience, I’m never gonna do that because I’m worried that I’m going to f up so much. Or we could say, actually, I’m gonna equip myself with the tools to be, like, you know, just a better relation relationship person, a a better friend, a better colleague, a better partner, a better, you know, community member in that I have the tool tools to recognize when I do harm and have the tools to recognize to prevent myself from doing harm. And I have the tools to recognize that when a harm happen, I can, like, help fix it. I can be an active participant in the reparations or the reconciliation process if it’s there for me to be in. Right? Also, that if it’s not there, I can still I can still go on. Like, right?
But there’s all of these things playing in our heads as we show up in the world at any given time. And I see so many people silencing themselves because they don’t have this ability to see themselves in the yes and formula. Yeah. Very true. Very true. And it’s also finding that making that space. Right? And understanding that this isn’t just about doing something for somebody else. Like you said, it is very much about about doing it for yourself. And and and understanding that my goal is to coach myself out of a job. My my goal is to set someone with leave someone with a toolkit right, that you talked about all these tools. Right? With a base knowledge and a set of tools for learning so that they they can go on and then whatever they come across next, whatever difference, whatever challenge they now have that in their toolkit to continue to do that work themselves. Right? So this isn’t this isn’t one of those things where I wanna meet with you forever for the rest of your life. No. This is a set time period that because I want to be very intentional in our time together to set you up with what you need for your next steps. I like that. So we got a we got a few more minutes here before we wrap up.
Greta, I wanna ask you a deeply personal question. Can I you can say no after I asked the question? I’m not gonna say, do you say yes or no and don’t know the question? Like, that’s just rude. But, you know, I’d love to know how you are nourishing yourself.
So I moved recently from a state where I was for the last twenty years back to my home date. And that has meant really significant changes in my life. So in order to nourish myself, there are a couple of things that I’ve done. And it’s it’s practicing what I preach as well is, you know, I reached ahead to make connections with folks in this community before I was even really back. Because I knew I was gonna need some of that in terms of building relationship. And in addition to that, I’ve been really On one hand, I’ve been fortunate. On the other hand, it’s also been very intentional.
I was about finding places to connect that might be out of the ordinary. Right? So I’m I work from home now. Right, the vast majority of the time. So that meant I had to find different places to connect in the world. Right? That meant finding the the catalyst phase. Right? That meant finding other places where I could connect with people that were on several other places on their journey, on slightly different places on their journey. So I have both those comfort places where where it’s easy. And I also have those spaces where people can challenge me and help me grow as well. I I think we need both in our lives. Yeah. And and that that surrounding yourself with people who are gonna help you grow also has to be a very intentional piece of what we do.
So building those relationships has been a huge part of it, taking care of myself, have to be very, you know, intentional about about physical self care for me as a person with with, you know, some as a chronic pain patient and somebody has chronic health issues. There are a number of things that I have changed in the way that I operate in the world in order to so that I can bring my best And and that means I have to take care of myself all of the time instead of what I was doing for, which was push, push, push, crash. Push, push, crash, because there everybody else does. Right? It’s it’s a learning journey, and and I’m afraid that along the way because I had many students along the way, that that I I I was saying one thing in behaving another way. So I’m trying to make sure now that my behaviors live up to in the Manhattan area, what I was trying to instill in those folks that I was that I was either teaching or coaching or mentoring along the way.
And so how good are you at being nourished by others? I think it depends on the context. Okay? So professionally, having made a very severe shift and going into entrepreneurship, that’s been really, really hard for me. Yeah. And, you know, for a while, it’s been really hard for me to know how to even identify the help I need sometimes, much less ask for it from somebody who knows and can help me do that. So I I think that’s where my greatest challenge has has been, and I’ve been very fortunate to to connect with you and some of the other folks in the catalyst that that have helped me through that huge transition in my life. Right?
So and I think that that’s part of it too is acknowledging. Right? We’re all on different journeys. And and for every change that happens in the world, for every change that happens in our lives. There’s that opportunity. What do we do? Do we stay stagnant? Or do we choose to continue to grow and learn and do better in whatever ways that we can. Yeah.
What’s it like when you And this is like another personal question, but it’s like because I’ve seen this where you I I can tell you need help, and I’m just like, how can I help you? And then you’re like, I don’t know. I’m like, okay. What about this? What’s it like when I do that? Like, when I kind of am like, here’s my help. And you’re and I was like, I do some a little bit of aggressive nourishing, but, like, what’s that like? So first of all, I don’t ever think that you’re aggressive. I do think you’re occasionally assertive, which is good. I’m very subtly getting I feel like I’m very sometimes I feel like I’ve I’ve run over to someone, have put in a gigantic bear hold on them. I’m like, I will love you. I thought I thought you’re assertive. I like that. Okay. Yeah. And I think I think there’s a big difference. And and it’s been really helpful for me.
Like I said, especially because this is such a new realm for me and operating in different spaces, learning brand new things where I have spent, you know, twenty some years being the expert. Yeah. You know, that you know, at at this stage in my life. I’m fifty next year.
At this stage in my life, having to go back to being the newbie and the beginner in certain areas, has been really challenging. And at the same time, it’s been really beneficial. Right? Because that also helps keep our minds active and keep us growing and learning and connecting in the world in ways to keep up with the ways that the world is changing. So it’s been really that I mean, it’s occasionally, it feels uncomfortable. But, again, that’s one of the skills of picked up along the way, and some days I’m better at it than others. But learning to sit with that discomfort and say, where is that coming from? And then, like, oh, yeah. Okay. I am used to being the expert. I’m not used to being the newbie, and I don’t even necessarily know what help I need or how to ask for it. And I have a space where I can do that. And and I’ve been very very grateful for that.
So it doesn’t make it easy. It doesn’t mean it’s always easy to do and still, you know, finding those folks that are there support us along the way? I mean, what what more could we ask for? I think, you know, it’s you know, you said something about being the expert and now you’ve gotta ask the questions. And I find this fascinating because I absolutely think that we don’t even begin to enter mastery until we realize we’re always the student. But that being said, we are in a world where we are expected to know everything. And we’re expected to have all the answers. And especially if we’re leading anything or we’re the entrepreneur, the the business owner. We have the team.
It’s like, you know, everybody looks at us and go, okay, you gotta have all your ducks in a row. Meanwhile, our ducks are running, like, eight thousand directions. And you’re, like, ducks. I don’t even want, what row, what ducks, you know, and you’ve got it, but you’ve gotta look like, you’ve got them all. Like, oh, yeah. Those ducks. Yeah. They’re all in there. Yeah. They’re all in a row. But meanwhile, silently screaming inside going hell, you know.
But there’s this this appearance where we’ve we have somehow in the world created being helped as a weakness, like, oh, you gotta ask for help. And I see this from, like, you know, like, asking, you know, I we’re we’re about to move. We’re we’ve got two days left to get out of the house. Does anyone have a truck? You know? And and we’ll we’ll buy you pizza. And it’s like, You know what? We don’t want we don’t want the pizza. We really want you to feel safe and secure in a home, and we get it that sometimes you just you thought you could get all of those dishes packed but my gosh, you’ve collected eight thousand mugs over the years and you didn’t realize that, you know, like, these things happen. But yet, we we see this.
We’re worried that we’re gonna be a burden on other people. We’re worried that we’re gonna ask too much. So I’m curious, do you have it too much do you have a spot in your brain that says, oh, I’ve asked for too much help, or oh, that might be too much. Absolutely. I do have that. And, again, I think it’s very Shaul. It depends on, like, the person, the relationship, the time, all of those kinds of factors kind of come into play. Yes. I’m an over thinker too. It was. Oh, god. Stamps of that’s a variable. So I do try to be very conscientious of that.
And at the same time, that that skill of of knowing when and where to ask for help is a really important part of the learning process. And it’s been, you know, something I’ve kinda had to relearn. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I can say that I’ve been expert in some areas for for decades. But that was always with a learning component. You know what I mean? So So there is always growth along that path and that was very intentional. But now it was just like clean slate, you don’t know nothing. Starting our own scratch is like, I know my subject area. I know my content area. But how to be an entrepreneur? Oh oh, no. That was that was the shock to the system, shall we say? It can be. And you know, I think it’s a shock to the system the whole entire time we decide to be business owners or entrepreneurs because it’s just when we think we’ve got to figure it out, we don’t.
A lot of people are like, how do you know how to do all this stuff? I’m like, I made a lot of mistakes. And I’m still making mistakes, like I’m still figuring it out. I I don’t I don’t put a lot of pressure on myself unless I, like, knew better. And then I’m like, oh, like, what were you doing there? But, like, riding riding the line hoping it wasn’t gonna knock me off, and then it always knocks you off. Right? But I I also have learned like, I’m a bit of a scientist, so I try to prove all the ways this is horrible. Don’t take this as advice. By the way, anybody’s entrepreneur.
I literally will try all of the ways I think it’ll fail first before I do the one that I think will actually succeed. And it’s just mostly like because I I’m horrible to myself, but also because I’m just like, what if something else did work? But, you know, I’m I’m okay with failing. And and I do it a lot, and I’m open about it. Like, I’ll come in, you hear me come into the cast. Like, whoa. I learned whoa. Don’t do this part. You know? Like, I’m pretty like, we’re like, wow, that sucked. That did not work. You know? And I I think part of it is, like, I’m just willing to fall a lot in it. But that’s like that’s of forty five forty four years of learning and falling and and being okay. Right?
Not everybody has that privilege. Yeah. There are there are marginalized folks in the world where people are watching them and waiting for them to fail, waiting for them to just not get it right. And then it’s like, it’s devastating. And I I think this is something then, like, you know, I’m trying to get out into the world. Like, we gotta stop putting so much pressure on people. We gotta stop you know, hoping that they’re gonna be perfect all the time. And we gotta stop also, you know, really stop and look at our own beliefs and look at our own judgment of other And so I’m really excited about this work that you’re doing with people, giving them the opportunity to have the skills because it’s not just DEI work.
It’s really every kind of relationship that we have with ourselves and in the world. Right? You’re looking at it from a d e I lens because you’re passionate about creating, you know, different outcomes in the world, but it really is a tool for us to just, like, flow better in the world. And and see where we’re not letting other people flow in the world. Without maybe we’ve got blinders on, maybe we’ve got, you know, a limited world view or we’re maybe we were taught that our view is the only view. And those things are are happening, and they continue to happen. Right? So that work with you comes into play where it’s basically it is nourishing ourselves. Oh, it absolutely is.
And there are so many when we talk about similarities and differences, especially in the world right now, I mean and especially when we talk about DEI, people automatically start thinking about race. They start thinking about ethnicity. And sometimes gender there’s a few other things that but immediately, some that’s usually that trigger right now because of kind of where we are in this space, but there are so many. And and those are really critical aspects that we need to focus on and and even when you’ve got And, you know, even when you’ve got two people in the room who look very similar. So, right, there can be significant differences between us that aren’t visible. That if we don’t have the skills to have that conversation, to ask the right questions, to attend to what’s happening, we’re putting ourselves at a disadvantage. And when we assume, right, all of those similarities. So I think that’s also an important thing about kind of where we are and the assumptions that we make.
And another reason why people don’t think that they need this work. You know, all of most of the people I work with look like me, but it doesn’t mean that they worship like you. That doesn’t mean that they live like you at home. That doesn’t mean right. There are a lot of significant differences that go beyond and that this work can help you better identify when it’s appropriate and work through to help you, like you said, to nourish yourself by nourishing better connections. And better relationships with individuals, with communities, and then workplace. Cool. I love it. Okay.
Did we miss anything? Anything else you wanna show or share about nursing the risk takers and your work in the world? No, I don’t think so other than that, you know, that’s it’s it’s the work that I love doing, and I’m really excited to every time I get a chance to connect with folks, Even if you just got general questions, you’re like, I don’t quite get this. I don’t know if that applies to me. Let’s have a conversation. I love having these conversations. So it’s not a burden. There’s a link right of my LinkedIn profile that says, hey, let’s connect. You know, set up a call. Let’s talk about it and see and see how how in the ways that this applies to you and ways that it might be helpful for you on your journey. Oh, I love it. So if you’re watching or listening, and your interest and your courage and I’m like, maybe I need to do this work. Do check out Greta at oh, I’m thinking the wrong way. Greta Lax llc dot com. I put the link up there. Greta, g r e t a l a x l l c, dot com. I passed my spelling test today working as. Thank you so much, Greta.
Before we go, I just I want to recognize some really some just some things about you that I’ve met, like, that we’ve that I’ve noticed about you and that I know about you, you’re brilliant. You absolutely come in in a book, like, a deeply thought full, deeply respected. Like, just you think about things before and I’m in awe because I’m just I blur things out, but you really take things in and you listen to what people have to say and you ponder their words and you consider it. And I think it’s just an credible skill that you do so effortlessly. And I just wanna thank you for being in the world.
Thank you for being in the catalyst. I think you’re I think you’re just doing really cool stuff in the world. Okay? That is so incredibly generous of you. I think and we’ve talked about this. Right? It’s hard to find people who can hold up a mirror for us, and I thank you for doing that in this work as we do this work together. I thank you for being exactly who you are, where you are, when you are, and for being there. It’s been such a critical part of my development in this area of my life. So I’m really, really grateful. So thank you for here, a fantastic addition to the catalyst.
Like I said, I’m so glad you’re there, and I know other members will agree with me and chime in on here whenever they see it. Just thank you for being here. I just really appreciate it and I look forward to us having more conversations and more explorations because we will we’ll be diving going down some stuff. But please do follow Greta. She’s on LinkedIn. She’s on Facebook. I don’t were you somewhere else? I’m a little bit on the gram, but yeah. It’s a little bit on the gram. I definitely go check out her LinkedIn.
With the new campaign that I’ve been seeing, the yes and I think is going to make really big waves in the world because it really does allow us to be multi dimensional, multi focus individuals and still have a a recognition and awareness of where we are in the world and and in relation to other people. So I’m excited to see more of that coming out with the yes and But Greta, thank you so much. Like I said, I can’t thank you enough for just being here in the world, doing the work you do, and being in the catalyst. You’re you know, you’re incredible. So thank you so much. And, Jack, if you’re watching this, do leave comments on the replay. We’re also gonna be publishing this at create the rules dot com as well, we’ll have an audio podcast. So follow us on YouTube. Follow us on everywhere. At create the rules, and we’ll be bringing more guests, more in perspectives, more experiences on nursing the risk taker. Thank you so much for being here, and we will talk to you soon. Thank you.
Greta A. Lax, M.S.,CDP®, is a coach, consultant and facilitator focusing on supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) through intercultural development. She brings a unique mix of training and experience in corporate, education and research spanning multiple industries and disciplines with an educational foundation in industrial organizational psychology, and a lens deeply informed by more than a decade working for and alongside historically marginalized communities.
Today she helps others understand and expand their own lens, developing tools and skills so they can more successfully navigate differences and improve their own outcomes with colleagues, employees, clients, and customers.
Where To Find Greta
Embracing Personal Development: Nurturing the Risk-Taker Within
Personal development is essential for individuals seeking to make a positive impact in the world. In a recent podcast episode, Greta, a coach and consultant focusing on DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) and intercultural development, discussed the importance of personal development and how individuals can grow and develop the necessary skills to navigate differences and connect with others more effectively.
The process begins with an assessment to identify an individual’s current level of comfort and ability to interact with people different from themselves. This assessment also helps reveal any misperceptions about oneself, which can be valuable for growth.
When faced with feedback and uncomfortable situations, it is crucial to recognize the discomfort as a potential learning opportunity. By understanding the root of our reactions and working towards personal development, we can nourish risk-takers and allow them the space to make mistakes and grow from them. As a coach and mentor, Greta emphasizes the importance of walking alongside individuals on their journey, helping them achieve better outcomes in their personal and professional lives, and ultimately impacting the systems around them.
One of the challenges people face when seeking personal development is the lack of self-awareness and building relationships. Many individuals don’t feel the need for growth in this area until a specific issue arises or a life-changing event occurs. It is essential to find the right program and tools to nourish oneself and develop the necessary skills for growth. By equipping ourselves with these tools, we can become better friends, colleagues, partners, and community members, capable of recognizing and repairing harm, and fostering authentic connections with others.
In addition to developing self-awareness for relationship-building, Greta shares her experiences with self-care and seeking help from others as she transitioned from a long-term career to entrepreneurship. Acknowledging the importance of self-care and surrounding ourselves with people who challenge us and help us grow is essential in our personal and professional journeys.
Being a beginner in certain areas of our lives can be challenging, but it allows our minds to stay active and helps us grow and adapt to a changing world. Learning to sit with the discomfort of not being an expert is crucial, as well as knowing when and where to ask for help. It is essential to recognize and embrace our differences and similarities, particularly in the context of DEI work. Better connections and relationships, both in our personal lives and the workplace, are necessary for nourishing ourselves and others.
The “yes and” campaign encourages individuals to embrace multiple dimensions and maintain awareness of their place in the world. By embracing personal development, we can nurture the risk-taker within and create a positive impact on the world around us.
In conclusion, personal development is essential for individuals looking to make a difference and create a positive impact in the world. By acknowledging discomfort as a potential learning opportunity, nourishing risk-takers, and finding the right program and tools for growth, individuals can develop the necessary skills to navigate differences and connect with others more effectively. Embrace personal development, and nurture the risk-taker within.