Unapologetically BOLD: I'm not sorry for....
Being an Uncomfortable Space for Others with Jane Adshead-Grant
March 12, 2021
What space are you for people? This is an interesting question to ponder at first but listen in on why guest Jane Adshead-Grant is not sorry for being an uncomfortable space.
What space are you for people?

This is an interesting question to ponder at first but listen in on why guest Jane Adshead-Grant is not sorry for being an uncomfortable space. 

In this episode, you will hear about: 

[00:00:00] spk_0: this show is brought to you by safety there, Fam. Welcome.

[00:00:12] spk_1: I'm not sorry for If you're a person that is tired of apologizing for being, you know, the human part of you that sometimes feels like it has to be different at home versus work versus play. The human side that just wants to be open. Who wants desires? You? Yes. It's, uh, before and I think What? Let's get started. Hello, everybody. Welcome to another unapologetically bold. I'm not sorry for. And I am so blessed today to have such an amazing woman that I've gotten to know just every time I speak with you or hear you talk about what you do like it just opens my heart up to get to the love for humans that you have and the care and the passion it really is. The passion that you have for people is it's so amazing. So welcome, Jane. And welcome everybody that is listening in. This is going to be an amazing podcast. Um, just because this woman right here, if you will get to see her heart, you're gonna get to see her brain in action. You're gonna see what I love her so much so thank you so much for joining me today.

[00:01:37] spk_0: Oh, Emily, It's an absolute pleasure, and I'm thrilled, and I'm really looking forward to our conversation today, and I hope our listeners to well, tonight,

[00:01:46] spk_1: um, So for the people that do have not got the blessed opportunity to get to know a little bit about you or know who you are, just give him a little quick snippet of Who is Jane?

[00:01:58] spk_0: So Jane is I feel really privileged to be mum to two teenage daughters. And actually, I feel a bit of an inflection point in my life as one is about to go on her gap here and then on to university. Uh, and the other one follows suit pretty soon after that. So it's an interesting time in my life to reflect on my role as a mom and how it changes with two teenage daughters. Um, I love to spend my time creating leadership in environments where everybody matters. I do that work through executive coaching and facilitation and help people step into and step up. So you got brilliance and

[00:02:41] spk_1: and I love that. I think that's the thing that we really started to connect on is, and my listeners know this, and you've heard me say there's probably a million times to It's not about being like minded about being like hearted and understanding the principles and the power of internal and external boundaries and setting those things. And the big thing is the environments creating those environments that are so powerful. And I think that is something that I'd love just to go ahead and hop on into it because it flows very well into what you're not sorry for. So the show is called unapologetically bold. What are you no longer apologizing for?

[00:03:19] spk_0: Well, it's this. You know, I'm not sorry for being unfair for creating the uncomfortable spaces for others. And so what I mean by that is that for our listeners, there will be times, perhaps when you've been asked a question and actually need time to think about it and find yourself in a silence. And if you have the privilege to be in the company of somebody who really cares about you, who really wants to listen to generate your best, they will hold that space and that silence for you to think and express yourself, your feelings, your thoughts in a way that's curious and natural for you. And so that's what I love to do. And I use the word uncomfortable here as you know, how many. Because it takes people. Normally, people after about eight seconds feel uncomfortable and so they'll just want to dive right in. And so I think for me, it's about holding that space, that sacred space that often is. We often refer to silence, sometimes doing the heavy lifting. Mm. This is what I'm, you know, part of the work that I do the mom. I am the wife. I am the sister. The daughter is. And in every aspect of my life is to honor the people that I have the privilege of interacting with, um to listen to listen with my heart as well as my my ears,

[00:04:42] spk_1: that is so powerful. And there's a few things that come from that I hear. And it makes me reflect on the time whenever actually hurt you talk about like whenever you and this is not your your exact words. But this is how I interpreted it. Um, is that basically whenever you are interrupting your like punching somebody in the face like that, like that is kind of how you're doing. And my kids we've all taken that we really I've used that a lot in the process of having conversations, because I think one powerful thing is, Is that uncomfortable? Itty like You're right, like Eight Seconds is really where we're at and then we want to somehow appease it or appease others, especially as people pleasers to I am. I am a people pleaser that's trying to recover that. I'm still sucking at it daily. Um, but it's important to understand and the impact that it has had on my life, and it has not been comfortable. It's not been comfortable at all, So I'd love for you to go in more on what are people missing out? Bye. Not allowing that uncomfortable itty. Why not setting that space allowing that space for silence?

[00:05:57] spk_0: Well, it's a lovely question, but before I go there, I just love to really appreciate you, Emily, from taking something I shared with you. It's so spot on that it's true that when we interrupt somebody, the brain feels that like a physical assault, as you said on the brain. Um, And so, in knowing that, um, that you won't be interrupted is going to allow you to think better to express yourself with greater articulation. And I really appreciate you for taking back on board and then experimenting, practicing, embedding it in your life and to your point is now, you know, it's the impact that's had in your family. So in terms of your question, you asked, You know, what are people missing out on? Well, gosh, it is. It's what they're missing out on is the lots of different things. One is when we give somebody this space, we get the privilege of seeing them connect with themselves deeper, more deeply. We get the privilege of witnessing their resourcefulness, beginning to solve their own challenges and issues, beginning to create new ways and opportunities of being, and we're seeing, pursuing what they want to accomplish. We also have the privilege of learning when we listen and create that space and not jump in with a solution with a diagnosis with a critique or analysis, we get to learn of the freshest thinking that someone is expressing with us

[00:07:31] spk_1: uh, so powerful. I hope my listeners y'all really got into that one because that is something I have seen specifically with high performers as well, because we're doers. We like to get it done. And we think, and what I found is in the space of trying to help people be comfortable that we are actually missing out on people's growth opportunity. And it makes me think I've talked about it on the podcast. Probably before is it makes me think of an executive that I've worked with, and basically he was coddling his people and he was the fixer, like he fix all their problems and it never never gave them ability to learn. And it also, um, led to a massive Not, I want to say penalty, but they lost a lot of money from it. And I hated to say, I'm like, but how many times it's like that parent, it's like, Oh, don't do that. Don't do that. Don't do that. Don't do that like and continue its like, Yeah, just just do something with this information. But it's creating the space for them to learn and not sweeping things under the rug and confronting things as well. I think that's something that's very important that this uncomfortable spaces not is it is to allow space for silence. But it's also to confront, um, some of the needed issues. I know that you're big on inclusion and diversity aspect of it.

[00:09:01] spk_0: It's an uncomfortable

[00:09:02] spk_1: topic that needs to be addressed. So I'd love for you to go a little bit more in on that aspect on. And how has your work in this helped others?

[00:09:13] spk_0: Well, what I love what you just said then because it's something that I've been witnessing, and I think it's how we came up to to think about this more in that. So I'm creating this space, and I I witnessed sometimes the discomfort. But what I'll also do is I want to honor that. So I find that being this way with another is one of the most dignifying ways we can be with each other. But it seems so rare today that people get listened to free of interruption, free of judgment, free of analysis. And so I will let people know that I won't interrupt them. And so when you know you're not gonna get interrupted, that's when your your thinking is improved. You're able to express yourself more clearly with your feelings, your emotions. You begin to feel that safety and trust builds very rapidly. And so I think with what I noticed. Also, though, is having to educate people a little bit. So I was coaching a client a few weeks ago and, funny enough, we were coaching on the topic of him being uncomfortable with ambiguity and in a coaching conversation. You all know that actually, one of the things about the coaches we were, you know, we understand. Perhaps, you know, we master the process, but we have no idea where the conversation is going. Well, ask a question that we don't know the answer to, and so the very nature of coaching can be ambiguous. And so here am I in this coaching session with this gentleman that's saying Help me. I want to get more comfortable with ambiguity. I begin to ask questions that he doesn't know the answer to for guess what's happening. He is experiencing ambiguity in that moment, and he's feeling really uncomfortable. So I noticed this, and I think to myself, what does he need now and what he needs? His reassurance he needs to know that. Actually, I appreciate his courage for going to the edge of his thinking on the outside of his comfort zone. So I normally sit and I share with him after we've had a few seconds and he says, Actually, Jane, I'm beginning to feel uncomfortable in their silence and I said, That's okay, we've got time. And one of the things I notice is that I know that you got more within you and let me ask the question of fresh. And I asked the same question. And it was just having that time out to encourage him. A whole stream of new thoughts and ideas and connections came. And so what I'm also discovering is is how do I best create and support people who get to that level of uncomfortable and then help them stay there for a little while? Because I know what they're going to come up with. It's going to be worthwhile, and then we continue. And so the more people get used to this way of thinking for themselves, much of which comes in their silence, um can be really transformational.

[00:12:13] spk_1: Uh, that is so true. And the thing that it also makes me think back on that the situation with that client and allowing that space and one of the things that I love to do. Um, well, it's a twofold. And I'm also I'm also hearing from you is one I can see that and you probably see it too, whenever people deal with perfection that that that is a big reason why they don't have the right answer so they don't have the answers right then there are the person everybody goes to when they don't know it, how uncomfortable it is. And I think the cool thing with that and that's the thing that I quote unquote preach about a lot is that stress can do two things it can heighten. Your awareness can actually get you to innovation, creativity and this next level, or it can shut you down. But you have to be able to, like, understand your response in between and sit in that space. But also whenever you sit in that space, I like to heighten awareness. And one thing that I asked him, I'm like, What's the best case scenario? What's the worst case scenario and what's the logical case scenario? Do you think will actually happen because he couldn't sleep. He couldn't eat like he was so sick because of that, and he was that uncomfortable. It literally was causing physiological aspects to him. So that's something that I want to talk about. And Gary in a little bit more is how do we teach and help people to get in these uncomfortable spaces? Because for him, he is a high risk business. It is high, high demand, and that's not risky, like that's not uncomfortable. Chaos is not uncomfortable for him. But whenever we get to sit down and we can't sweep something underneath the rug, now that that's true discomfort for him. So how do we help people or invite them to look at that and explore that more?

[00:14:13] spk_0: Gosh, what an amazing question and a great example. And it reflects some of the work that my clients to that, you know, are incredibly bright, intelligent human beings working in very fast paced, you know, financial services, professional services, environments. And, you know, the stress they're under is really high, and then they'll come for a kitchen conversation and then they'll they'll find it. This is the one and only time they'll say to me in a month that they can have their fullest opportunity to reflect and really think, and then a bit like my client the other day. Finally, this is more uncomfortable than I imagined. And yet, um, sticking with it and coming to breakthroughs. So what can we do then? How can we, as coaches, parents, mentors, teachers help people in this discomfort? Well, in my experience, it's the way we show up. So how do we behave in a way that says you matter? And that I believe and my philosophy is that you are an intelligent human being that has gifts and talents unique to you and at the moment, perhaps, where you're feeling this resistance, this stress is that actually the resources are not yet or rather than untapped. They haven't yet been able to to be fulfilled. And so there are a number of ways that we can be with them. The first of all, and the kind of one that I find is just so critical is we give our attention. When somebody is in that stress mode, it's the first thing is enabling them to talk out loud to say, you know, to invite them to share what they're thinking, what they're feeling for us to give our undivided attention free of distractions. We put the laptop down, we move the mobile phone and I'm saying I'm here with you. Share more with me. The second thing is that we are at these ourselves to be a calm, peaceful environment so that our mind is clear. It's not. We're not trapped in that kind of internal urgency. And I've got to be somewhere else rather than with you right now. So we can quiet on our own mind to give our attention wholeheartedly to this individual. We also hold this kind of way of thinking and being that you and I and this person, perhaps in this example um have this sense of equality. I the equality that we can both think and express our feelings independently. I don't want you to be like me. And yet I'm just like you because of our humanity, and I celebrate your difference. I celebrate the fact that you you may get stressed by things that I wouldn't and I'll get stressed by things you wouldn't. But in this moment, what I know of you is that you do have the resources and capacity to think well. And I'm going to provide this environment the way I show up through my encouragement by giving you attention, my appreciating the quality or something I see in you. And that's been my experience of helping people come down from that stressful place to a place where they can think more clearly, express their emotions and feel trusted, that they're not going to be where they know they're not going to be judged or criticized or analyzed. And that in itself alleviates a lot of the stress because they can be themselves in a world where perhaps in other places, they feel they have to be someone other than they really are. What do you think? How do you How do you create this environment

[00:17:35] spk_1: that's so powerful? It's psychological. Safety is really what I hear from that, and and for me, it's the twofold. It's creating a space for them to be secure and open and feeling safe, a safe space, but then also creating trust and that. And I think the important thing to is what you said. Um, early on in my career. They talked about open door policy and I just didn't feel like it was right for me. And here's the reason why, because people would keep coming in and distracting and I couldn't get my full attention. And then of, as you know, to like, I practiced everything on my kids or my guinea pigs like and what I started for doing to them is telling them like I can't pay attention now. And at first I'm like, I'm being so rude. But it wasn't what it was is. I can't give my space and I can't give my full attention to you that I'm gonna give you half hearted answers that may not serve you. I want to be fully present. I want to be there and to teach that I've seen to be very impactful for my kids to at a young age that whenever we actually can be fully there, we can actually listen in because our brain is so easily distracted. Like you said earlier, like eight seconds. And it was even this morning. I was frustrated with myself because I could find myself whenever I start to get a little uncomfortable. I went to my phone like it was like the lioness blanket of like, Charlie Brown, you know, and line is like, I had to have it. It kept me. And I know for me personally that is creating what is called dopamine releases. Is that what I call that rah rah cheerleader? It's not what I need.

[00:19:16] spk_0: Mm.

[00:19:17] spk_1: And I think the important thing that you that I know that you do, But also something that I have come to realize after getting offended by it first is that, uh, somebody told me I was not motivational, and I'm like, Okay, that's okay. Um, they didn't know much about what I do, but they wanted to bring motivational speakers in, and they want it. And I'm like, Okay, I'll take this. I will. I will respect what you're saying. Um, I may not agree with it, but then I went and I thought more. I don't want to be that. And here's the reason why I think this is the reason why I create the space and why I think you create the space because it's love and love is to be honest, I am going to give you honesty. I'm going to create uncomfortable situations. I'm not going to be your rah rah cheerleader every time. It's a good job. Yeah, you did awesome. Instead of calling out those things to help you grow and be better and I think it's coming with the authenticity that you that you come so easily with of I am here, I am here for you. I am truly here for you. But I'm not going to cheer you on or encourage you in aspects that you know that you need to grow in. I'm going to be open and honest to that. So I love to talk a little bit more about that. And I think the power of people sometimes come to us as fluffy. It's gonna feel right, because what they may assume, but this is hard work. You want people to create uncomfortable spaces for you because that's where growth is.

[00:21:01] spk_0: It is, and yet not everybody wants

[00:21:03] spk_1: it.

[00:21:04] spk_0: And so, in my experience, there will be people that say, What I need right now is I want the encouragement, the care and the support because you know what? My life, it's so tough, you know, it's I feel I'm in this uncertain environment, you know, anything could happen at any time. It's very volatile and very unstructured. And so what I need from you is some encouragement and some safety. And so I really get that. I like to meet individuals where they're at, and I also know that the moment of growth is when we're at the edge of our comfort zone. And I lived there most of my life, too, because it's one of my lifelong values. And so what I offer is is that I'll gently challenge. So there's two things I would love to share in response to. What you shared is one I would love to gently challenge you to grow at an though I keep the environment where you do feel safe to your point earlier and that growth that gentle challenges questions that you haven't thought of before. Hence you asked me to help you with it. Those questions themselves can make you uncomfortable because you don't know the answer to them, and you really have to think and dig deep, and sometimes they will get you to really, you know, think of fresh as to you know what it is that you might have been assuming about yourself, the situation, the other person. When I challenge, it's truth. You might think, Oh my goodness, no. I realize I've been assuming all of this time something about that person or myself is simply untrue. And yet I've lived it as if it's true that in itself can be transformational. The second piece I offer is is that I do love to encourage people, and that encouragement is an encouragement that takes them to the edge so that encouragement is not a fluffy encouragement. It's an encouragement says that I believe in you. I know that if I'm holding this space the uncomfortable bit for you, the silence that you're going to get there with my love with my intention for you and it's okay because we're going to get there together and so and I will always finish the interaction experience with an appreciation. And I love to appreciate the quality that I see in that person, and quite often it can be the appreciation of their courage of where they went in that session. It can be an appreciation of a willingness to adapt, having discovered something for them for themselves. So I think it comes both ways. The challenge, a gentle challenge and also the encouragement that takes them to the edge of their comfort.

[00:23:35] spk_1: I love every bit of that. Ironically, um, this morning I was talking with my daughter and my son on something very similar to this and about the power of using encouragement. What I say is correctly with it is that what I hear is a lot of times people just say good job and people don't get true. They don't take time, but yet they will see that net pit picky area of where they made a mistake. And so my daughter were wrestling to see if she she may have dyslexia. She made this beautiful picture and she wrote something. And it was the challenge was to do it with numbers. So she made a math book and her two was backwards. It was an s. He said, Good job. Oh, here's the s like it was not making space to see what she did and see the time and take the time to look and and to dive down deeper. It's the one thing say, Oh, this is what's wrong and I want to also put that on. The aspect of that is not what an uncomfortable spaces now uncomfortable spaces not to call people out and be direct and dominating. That is, that is actually you walking out in your comfort while diminishing others. And so I'd love for you to talk about that, too. And I think that's a good segue on understanding how to encourage properly and uncomfortable spaces, because you have to have that you have to have both.

[00:25:06] spk_0: Yeah, and I think it comes back to the questions we can invite people to think about so that the encouragement could be simply to invite them to go even further with their thinking on their ideas or if they're trying to figure out a problem, or rather, a solution to a problem not to fall into the trap of jumping in and fixing it for them, as we spoke about earlier on in the conversation. So I think one piece around encouraging people in this zone of discomfort is to challenge their thinking to say, And what more thoughts do you have? So acknowledging the ones you had? I'm not saying what else, because that almost can be seen as a discounting of their thoughts. But what more do you think or feel or want to say about this situation or the opportunity? You know, what fresh ideas do you have? What more solutions might you think about? And so we are encouraging them in that way, I think also, I'd love just to share a little bit about the way that we acknowledge their journey. And so as often people say, you know, good job to your point, and I think so. Often we recognize people for their exemplary performance or their expertise, and we so often overlook their attitude, the hard work, the effort. If you like the effort, they put into it a bit like your daughter and her beautiful example of the work that she did. And so I imagine, you know, if a teacher were to say, You know, I so appreciate you know, the detail and the commitment you've given clearly seen here in this piece of work. Imagine how she would feel when you know they start to recognize their qualities. And that as well for me, encourages people not in a fluffy way in a way that's real. And that's heart lead.

[00:26:53] spk_1: Um, and I think it's so important and you just hit it, um, head on the nail or nail on the head whatever way it goes, but you just hit it is that it's heart lead. And so some people may be like Listen. And like, Emily, you just, like, counteracted like what? You just said the differences were not looking for a dopamine release. We're looking for oxytocin. We're not looking for a rock cheerleader. Good job. Encourage. It's out of love. And that is oxytocin. That's a bond. That's a trust that's knowing that you're not gonna just tell me a good job when you actually don't mean it. It means whenever you come up and your present with me that you're gonna be honest, you're gonna be understanding you're not going to hold judgment against me. You're creating a space that, in essence, I get to be uncomfortable because it's safe. But it allows me to be comfortable and uncomfortable and in an uncomfortable environment. So my heart, I just love you. I hope you know this. This has been such an amazing conversation. So I know we're nearing the end of it. So two part final question first part. People are apologizing for being an uncomfortable space for others for holding that silence. And and some people may be or are helping people to grow in their questioning, whatever it may be, what would you tell them? What? We don't know.

[00:28:16] spk_0: I would share this piece of information. Did you know, for every 30 words that we say out loud, we have 300 thoughts in our head. And so the next time you think about interrupting somebody hold back, resist the urge to interrupt and give the gift of that space and listen to them with your heart as well as your as well as your ears.

[00:28:40] spk_1: See, this is why all over y'all you

[00:28:43] spk_0: make my heart so

[00:28:44] spk_1: happy. Okay, so the second part, um, people love this. They love what you're saying. They cannot not love this because you have me so like giddy right now. Um, what would you or how can they find you? How can they learn more about you and the work that you do?

[00:29:01] spk_0: Well, thank you for asking, and I'd be thrilled to hear from any of your listeners today If anything is relating to your it's touching your heart in any way. Please reach out. I'd love to hear from you so you can find me on LinkedIn at Jane Ad said grant dot com And also through my website. The same www dot jane adds a grant dot

[00:29:18] spk_1: com Thank you so much for sharing this space with me. Thank you for your time and just your wisdom. It is true wisdom that has impacted my life, and you literally are across the world. And you have so impacted me, my family and things that I know would put into action. Whenever you take that knowledge and move it into action, move it into wisdom that it can really impact lives. So thank you again, Jane. Thank you for all that. Listen in. I hope you have an amazing and blessed day. Thank you so much for tuning in to this episode of unapologetically bold. I'm not sorry for if this test shoot anyway, please, like and subscribe and share with your friends as we continue the message of being unapologetically bold by being hot. Humans who are humble, open and transparent. See you next time