September 10, 2021
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Scared of getting “canceled?” We’ve got you!

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Let’s be real for a second. I know you’ve got something you want to speak up about – an issue, a cause, an injustice – but you’re afraid of saying the wrong thing. Or worse, you’re afraid that by not having the right words, you might get “canceled.” 

You know I’m not shy, and I’m not afraid to ruffle all the feathers and make a damn scene. I talk about it all the time! So, I wanted to bring a special guest onto this episode of Rich Coach Club who could bring a fresh perspective to this topic – Erin Brown. Yes, THE Erin Brown! She’s a published author, speaker, and social media wiz. You probably follow her on social media and tap that like button on every single one of her posts. This is one of those episodes where you’ll need a notebook to furiously jot down all of her truth nuggets and wisdom. 

Erin has been addressing topics of racism and equity well before they were “popular” to discuss. She led her first anti-racism workshop all the way back in 1998 when she was in high school. Talk about making a scene!

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Living in a way that feels good and is not a constant “fight” – even when you’re fighting for causes that you believe in.
  • Appreciating when you get called out, disappoint, or make others angry.
  • Handling conflict around sensitive topics without getting defensive.
  • A simple practice to handle feedback that helps you live with integrity.
  • Working through fragility without it being someone else’s burden.
  • Expanding, shifting, and questioning your idea of “good.”
  • Determining your relationship to “positionality” — figuring out your relationship to an issue and how to approach it thoughtfully.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

Susan Hyatt:
Welcome to The Rich Coach Club, the podcast that teaches you how to build your dream coaching practice and how to significantly increase your income. If you're a coach and if you're determined to start making more money, this show is for you. I'm master certified life coach Sudan Hyatt and I am psyched for you to join me on this journey.

Hey coaches. Y'all know I love making a scene. I believe it's better to do something to help even if that means risking doing it imperfectly. Imperfect is always better than silence. So if you're here listening to this podcast, I know you want to stretch outside your comfort zone and share your opinions on important issues and if you're not as vocal as you want to be, you're likely suffering from a case of FOMU. That's F-O-M-U. Different than FOMO, the fear of missing out. I said FOMU which stands for fear of messing up.

What if you say the wrong thing? What if you offend someone? What if you get canceled? These are valid concerns. However, they're not an excuse to sit back and stay silent and do nothing. So in today's episode, you're going to hear from my brand new full-time social media manager Erin Brown. Yes. The Erin Brown. You may have heard of her. She's a published author, speaker, social media wiz. She's amazing.

We dive into white privilege and what to do if you're worried about offending someone or getting quote-unquote canceled for speaking up and you're going to love this conversation. But before you meet Erin, I've got a little pep talk for you so let's get into it.

Even if it's messy, the world desperately needs you to stand up and make a scene but as women in society, we're trained to be obedient and quiet and docile and polite. We're taught not to ask for too much, not to brag about our accomplishments, not to share opinions that might rock the boat and we're warned to stay quiet when a rogue uncle or grandparent says something offensive. We're told to sit back and nod when men share a whiskey, cigar around misogynistic jokes and I say F that.

If we want to create change to make a better world for generations of women to come, we've got to be disobedient, bold, and disruptive. We can't create change if we sit back acting meek and passive but let me be clear about something. Making a scene doesn't necessarily mean you're throwing a tantrum stomping around or tossing someone's personal items out the window, though that can sometimes be fun too.

Making a scene can look like standing up for something that's important to you in a clear and decisive way, firmly asking for what you need and not backing down when someone says no or rattles off a hundred excuses of why you can't have it, creating strong boundaries and sticking to those boundaries when people try to push them, using your voice and refusing to be silenced even if you mess up and say the wrong thing.

Basically, your goal is to be a queen not a sad, silent doormat so let me give you an example. I once had a hunch that my bank didn't process an important application that I submitted and it turns out, my suspicions were correct. The banker never submitted my application. I could have confronted the bank in fury raging about their mistake but instead, I just clearly stated what happened, just the facts, and refused to back down until the issue was resolved.

Let me give you another example. I'm incredibly passionate about obliterating diet culture and when I was asked to get a deal for my bestselling book "Bare", I initially faced a ton of rejection and that was until a literary agent finally showed some interest. But imagine my horror when this top agent said he'd only be interested if I turned "Bare" into a diet book. He completely didn't understand my mission or the point of the damn book. Internally, I was raging but I knew the best way to make a scene was to just firmly turn down his offer and go on to find success on my own terms which is exactly what I did.

Think about the areas in your life where you want to make a scene and I'm inviting you to take bold, decisive action in that area today.

Okay. It's time for Community Wins and this is the part of the show where I brag on y'all. I talk about your wins, your victories, your beautiful accomplishments and this could be a person who is a member of my Go Time Facebook group. This could be a one-on-one client. This could be an On The Six Master Miner or a member of the Mastermind and today I'm going to give a shoutout to On The Six recent Mastermind graduate Gemma Stone.

So during Gemma's final class with us, she moved me to tears and I actually was crying about it again today because I posted a little video of her testimonial from that class inside the Go Time Facebook group and she put the most beautiful comment on there. Gemma talked about how she stopped working nights and weekends. She raised her rates dramatically and is booked solid. She created systems and foundations that she didn't have before.

But what I loved about the testimonial was she really was vulnerable and talked about how it took her a little bit of time but she wrote that On The Six changed her life. She has better boundaries, more sanity, more pleasure, better health, happier relationships, more life alignment, more confidence making a scene, which is what we're talking about today, clients that she adores, programs she's thrilled to create and facilitate, and digital homes that she's proud of. And then she added and we can't forget the lipstick and the Peleton. She wrote my business is perfectly positioned to soar with awesome systems and strategy. I mean Susan, from the bottom, middle, and top of my heart thank you.

Listen. That made me cry because there are times in the Mastermind when my whole job is just holding the space for the client to grow into the vision that's available for them and y'all, I mean sometimes that's some work and so I'm just super proud of the fact that Gemma worked inner and outer jobs and has graduated with everything and more that she came in for. So congratulations Gemma. You're amazing. We're going to miss having you inside the On The Six group but we're so proud of you.

So listen y'all, if you're not yet a member of the Go Time Facebook group, it's free. Get yourself in there. You can watch Gemma's testimonial. We're going to link to the testimonial in the show notes, of course, and we would love to see you in there and if you're looking to join a Mastermind, we'll also put the link where you can have a chat with Patty and see if it's right for you.

It's interview time. As promised, I have the amazing Erin Brown and listen, you're going to want to get a cup of tea or an energy drink and a notebook because you're going to want to take some notes on this one. Here we go.

For those of you listening, Erin Brown, I'm very excited to interview her because I literally ... I mean I think when they first let old people on Facebook, when they first let us on Facebook, you were somebody that I found and followed and always enjoyed reading what you wrote and now, the illustrious Erin Brown is our latest team member. Erin is our social media manager and also faculty member and we're so excited and so I wanted to interview you for a couple of reasons.

One of which is in terms of the University For Life Coach Training, you know, Erin, that a big mission of ours is to disrupt the coaching industry and help train coaches in a way that is less oppressive and anti-racist and you have ... One of the things that stood out on your resume to me was that you have a ton of experience teaching DEI classes and speaking on the topics of racism and equity. I think you started talking about this stuff way before most of us white women started talking about it.

Erin Brown:
It was not very popular.

Susan Hyatt:
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I mean you weren't winning any popularity contests then. What year did you really start diving into this?

Erin Brown:

I started ... Like my first anti-racism workshop that was a training to conduct workshops was in 1998 so this has been part of my life since high school. I was in high school at the time and we [crosstalk 00:10:24]

Susan Hyatt:
Wait a minute. Wait a minute. You were in high school in 1998?

Erin Brown:
I was.

Susan Hyatt:
How is it that every ... I'm like the grandma of our team. Like literally, I'm like what is happening. You were in high school in '98. Stop talking. Okay. Keep talking. Go ahead.

Erin Brown:
Yeah and then I got to college. This was a big mistake of mine but I learned so much. I'm from Lawrence, Kansas which is where the University of Kansas is. People say Lawrence is to Kansas as Austin is to Texas for reference.

Susan Hyatt:
Right.

Erin Brown:
And I was really sick of all the conservative Kansas people in Lawrence which is also like a thing you could say. But that's how I was feeling and so my basic understanding of the political, social, political geography of the U.S. is that if I moved north, it would get more liberal and so I went to school in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Susan Hyatt:
And what did you discover?

Erin Brown:
Well, I also went to a small Christian school because my world was just really small and I knew someone there and so that felt like an option. Right? But I was at this small Christian school that was 97% Nebraskan and 98% white. Nebraska's largest cities are Lincoln, Omaha, and the Husker stadium on game day, literally.

Susan Hyatt:
Wow.

Erin Brown:
So I was going to school with a lot of people who had grown up in really homogenous environments and then it's college. Everybody has a lot to say and so I went from a town that really kind of celebrates activism and that being a part of my life to being one of maybe four on my campus. I was quickly the president of all the clubs that had anything to do with activism and social justice work because no one else wanted to do it.

Susan Hyatt:
Holy shit.

Erin Brown:
And it was not fun at all but I learned 8,000 ways to backbend and say things, different ways to use my tone, different ways to approach things which was all really useful but the conclusion I came to at the end of it is that if you don't speak as though everything that you're saying is a curious question or as though anything you have to say is up for debate, your values are up for debate. If you question authority or question, in particular men, I found, it's not going to be liked regardless of your tone, regardless of what kind of tap dancing you do ahead of time.

I spent all of college trying to figure that out. I even like ... I didn't want to be too emotional and so in addition to school, I scoured over statistics and memorized statistics so that when people said ignorant things, I could just rattle off a statistic to combat that. It also didn't work.

Susan Hyatt:
I was going to say that's a smart tactic. Maybe I should try that because I'm always like because.

Erin Brown:
Right.

Susan Hyatt:
So something you just said. 8,000 ways to backbend and say things. Holy shit. Ain't that the truth.

Erin Brown:
Yeah.

Susan Hyatt:
Oh my god. 8,000 ways. So now what's your strategy?

Erin Brown:
In general, because I want to live in a way that feels good to me and not feel like I'm always in a fight even if I am always fighting something, I always try to say the most loving, true thing. That's kind of my compass and then, I just have really let go of the idea that people are going to like me and really comfortable with the idea that I'm always in my integrity.

Sometimes I miss but it's not because I chose to be out of integrity today. It's not because it's too hard that day or I just couldn't find it in me and that's something that helps me sleep at night even though it doesn't always mean being liked which is a bummer because that feels good.

Susan Hyatt:
So yeah. I think saying the most loving, true thing is going to be disliked by at least half the people. What's an example of something where you've been out of integrity but not because it was intentional? And the reason I ask is because I think most people will say well, that wasn't my intention and it's like we get that.

Erin Brown:
Right. I was part of an organization for a long time that I knew had a lot of work to do in this area. It was just really white and when you're really white, then you center whiteness. That's like an uncomfortable true thing.

Susan Hyatt:
Yes. Yes.

Erin Brown:
Because if there's no one else in the room, no one else is even going to notice that everything that you're doing is centering whiteness. It felt like I was working from within that organization to make changes and there was a lot of difficult conversations and a lot of arguing and a lot of uphill but it felt like things were kind of slowly moving along.

We had events and I had one black women in particular, there were several but the conversation was with one, came to the event because I was a part of it and she thought that it was going to be good for her because she was sort of in this neighborhood. It made sense for her to go to this conference and she had a pretty horrible experience and came to me and was like I'm really disappointed in you. I thought that this would be better because you were here and you're the reason that I came.

I thought that I was taking this thing that was really well-intentioned and had all of this possibility to be better and helping it grow when really I was bringing people into an environment that wasn't safe for them.

Susan Hyatt:
Holy smokes. In that moment, when she said I'm really disappointed in you, I came because I knew you were involved and this is what happened, were you defensive? Were you like oh shit? What was your reaction?

Erin Brown:
I was sorry. It was also awkward because there was a lot of people watching.

Susan Hyatt:                     
Oh. This was in front of people. Okay.

Erin Brown:                      
Yeah. Yeah.

Susan Hyatt:                     
Even better. Even better.

Erin Brown:                      
Yeah and she was mad so it wasn't like this Kumbayah sort of moment. But we have a relationship as such that it was okay. I mean I understand. I appreciate when people can be angry with me. I appreciate when people can confront me directly especially when it's relational. When we have a relationship and you're mad at me, then that's something we can work through and also, if you can be mad at me in the moment, that probably means that we can move past this. Right? It's all the stuff that happens when we aren't able to do that that becomes much more uncomfortable and causes long-term damage.

I listened and I heard and agreed with everything that she said and I told her this is what I thought I was doing but you're right. That's not it and now I've hurt you and we're still friends. We actually recorded a whole podcast about that exact thing once because it had so many spectators it was worth revisiting. Yeah.

Susan Hyatt:                     
That's amazing and I think this is a good example, and the reason I sort of said give us an example of that, is because I think so often well-meaning white women, myself included, can get called out about something and immediately get defensive or hide or just delete whatever it was and pretend it never happened and it sounds like how you handled it was really modeling vulnerability and leadership like oh well. Okay. You're right and not trying to defend or explain away or deny her lived experience by saying well no. No. No. I spent months on this event to make sure it was whatever and too bad.

Erin Brown:                      
Right and I left. I've left a lot of opportunities [inaudible 00:19:13] for that reason and I just keep thinking that eventually that integrity will pay off and I feel like being here with you, it has.

Susan Hyatt:                     
Yeah.

Erin Brown:                      
So that's exciting to me.

Susan Hyatt:                     
That is exciting and I think one of the things that tickled me to death ... I sound like my grandma now. Tickled me. I made a little joke about it in the announcement I just did on my Facebook about like you would say ... I was raving about your experience and you would say fuck credentials and also, when we interviewed you talked about how most of what is amazing about your experience isn't recognized by say Corporate America or a regular brick-and-mortar business as an asset and it has worked out beautifully for me because I look at your resume and I look at your published works and your speaker experience and your teaching experience and say whoa. This is everything Susan Hyatt Inc. is all about.

Everything from food and body issues to DEI to trauma to all of the experience you have as a social worker. I think that it has paid off and it will continue to pay off because it is the kind of experience that is lacking, I think, in most organizations which is why white people are sitting around patting each other on the back instead of making change.

Erin Brown:                     
Right or licking their wounds because they got canceled. I mean that is a thing which is a whole other conversation but usually when a bunch of white people are sitting together concerned about a cancellation, it means that one person has made a comment on their Facebook page pointing out something obvious that they had done wrong and then there's like this whole tizzy, which I actually fully understand. I'm a human person. I want to do things perfectly. I'm entrenched in white supremacist stuff which includes perfectionism especially when I really think I'm doing a good job, to hear that I'm not makes me super defensive.

My practice is to always thank someone for the feedback even if that's not how I feel in the moment. Just thank you for the feedback and then sit on my hands because whatever is going to come out of my mouth when I'm feeling defensive, I'm going to wish I could put back in.

Susan Hyatt:                     
Oh my gosh. I'm writing that down so y'all listening, take some notes here. Thank you for the feedback and sit on your hands because let me tell you what I'm bad at is sitting on my tongue or my hands. I have had to learn that skill and I am often so thankful. My mom used to always say give 24 hours before you respond to a nasty email. Social media, I mean, 24 hours can seem like five years to not ... My proclivity is to clap back and say oh yeah or some dumb equivalent instead of just like taking a beat.

Erin Brown:                      
Yeah. Well and it depends. I mean I think you have to hold onto all of your feedback just long enough to see if this is worthwhile. Right? Is it like you shouldn't be talking because you're not pretty, which is a favorite of the internet. You're not worth my time and I can ignore it or say something or whatever but if it's something I'm feeling defensive about, it's probably because there's something about it that's true.

So I need to actually go ahead and sit with that and for me, that probably means call my friend and say I need to say all the things I'm not supposed to say but I think right now.

Susan Hyatt:                     
Yeah.

Erin Brown:                      
Get them out of my system. Maybe write them down. It's like vomiting up the ugliness that comes with defensiveness but privately because nobody else should have to deal with that labor and then you arrive at the point where you're like okay, so they're right. You got to [inaudible 00:23:26] faced on that but I feel like that's normal.

Part of that is fragility but figuring out what your process is to let yourself work through that without it being someone else's burden. That's super important.

Susan Hyatt:                     
This is such great learning for myself and everybody listening. So let's say somebody has a point. They go on your Instagram and say hey ... I would say something that my daughter has called me out for multiple times on social media is co-opting language or using phrases that I shouldn't be using and I'll get super defensive like no. I heard that on and insert some other podcast or a music video or whatever and I'll be all like I can say whatever I want. Blah. Blah. Blah. Then later being like oh. I'll do my research and then being like shit.

So my question is let's say somebody publicly calls you out for something and then you determine, like you just said, you go mouth off to your friend and then come to the realization that they were right and you come back. What do you say? Do you say you know what, you were right? I'm sorry. What's your approach?

Erin Brown:                      
I always start with thank you for the feedback and then if I'm going to circle back, I would say I went and looked more of this up. I did some work without asking you to do more for me. I really appreciate you bringing this to my attention and then if it's in public, then I also publicly acknowledge this was my misstep and this is who let me know about that and here's what I've learned.

It's actually really simple and it's something when things are really particularly tense because of recent events sort of things, that I get anxious about because I know that that's time to get to work and it's also really important to me not to cause more harm in the way that I show up to work. Right?

So both of those things feel very important and it's scary. I don't want to cause harm. I don't want to screw anything up and so that's the thing that I remind myself is that the course correction there is actually pretty simple and when you see unfortunate sort of case studies of people not doing well with that on the internet, it's always because they snap back with defensiveness.

I think with white women, it's particularly kind of an interesting subject because we have both a marginalized identity and privileged identity. So there's some part of us that's still like I'm getting my voice now. I talk back. I'm allowed to do that and then you have to go wait a minute. Am I stepping on someone to do that? Am I doing the exact thing that I'm trying to rally against? And so constantly figuring out where your lane is and when it's time to sit down and consider and when it's time to clap back and it's hard to know without really sitting with it sometimes.

Susan Hyatt:                     
Yeah. I think that that's the important distinction because there are plenty of people who have a lot to say on a daily basis to a woman who uses her voice that you should clap back at. It's all right to clap back at that. Like the example you gave, oh you're not pretty enough so shut up or you're overweight or you're this, you're that. But then I think what you just said is such a great litmus test. Am I stepping on someone else by doing this? Let me make sure.

I also think, backing up. The thing you said about I don't want to do any harm. I think asking yourself if you're being cognizant of that is another thing because I think most people when they're clapping back and they're being defensive aren't asking the question but by holding on to this and defending this, is it potentially doing harm and I definitely think that I have in the past been defensive about things that I didn't want to let go of until I asked that question.

Am I, even though I'm being defensive about it that that wasn't my intention, am I doing harm by holding onto this and standing firm in it? I wish I could think of the example of what that was. Maybe I'll put it in the show notes if it comes to me later but I think it's really interesting to ask that question. Am I stepping on someone? Am I committed to not doing any harm? And if you're committed to not doing any harm, then it's worth taking a look.

Erin Brown:                      
Yeah and I think intention matters which is different than sort of like common conversation about that because if someone harms me, it absolutely matters if they intended to.

Susan Hyatt:                     
Yeah.

Erin Brown:                      
If someone harmed me and they intended to, that is very important information for me. Right?

Susan Hyatt:                     
Right.

Erin Brown:                      
I think that your intention, if you're well-meaning, you're positive and such, I think your intention shows up in how you respond to feedback. So if your intention was positive and you get feedback that what happened was negative, then you show that by making a course correction and not doubling down.

Susan Hyatt:                     
Yeah. I think another thing, as white women, to look at ... So I have a friend who woke up this morning to her Instagram DMs just flooded with all of these audio messages from a white woman that she doesn't know. She's black. This woman sends six, seven audios. Then after the last audio, she sent, she wrote a paragraph about ... She was basically saying not all white people. You know? That whole argument. Not all white people are oppressive. Not all white people are racist. You should stop talking about these issues because you are pitting one race against the other.

So I was really thinking about this and how centering whiteness and responding. The way that we feel entitled to take up people's inboxes, this woman thinking she's entitled to my friend's attention, that she's entitled to flood her inbox with all this 'not all white people' stuff and then the expectation that people see us as the good ones. It is really interesting and you've written about this that we have to let go of this notion that we're not racist and that we're the good ones.

Erin Brown:                      
Yeah. We all think we're the good ones.

Susan Hyatt:                     
Yeah.

Erin Brown:                      
Really, really attached to the idea of goodness altogether. That's where dieting comes in. You have the good body and you dress in the good clothes and then you catch the good man and you have the good life and you shut your good mouth. It's all about making good and so when these conversations come up about identity and oppression and what is your responsibility in it, I feel like the primary thing that we hear based on our conditioning is you're telling me I'm not good.

Listen. I'm good and I know that I'm good. I'm good because I check these boxes. I liked this thing. Whatever. Whatever problematic things make us good and sometimes reading articles, particularly pointed at white women or white women who are activists, the more close to home it is for me. Those things I have to sit on my hands about too.

But the practice for me, even though sometimes I have to like feel some feelings and go for a walk [inaudible 00:32:19] is to look at anytime anyone's making assertions about what could be my behavior and asking myself am I like this instead of how am I now. For me, it's easiest to do that while it is something that you have to do on an introspection sort of level.

These aren't things that I came up with. They are ways in which I was indoctrinated and systems that were created for me to succeed in them. These are not personal things. This is a system that I was born into and so I'm trying to weed out the aspects of myself that are still based in this system and that's not personal and it's not about me being good or bad. I don't believe in those things.

Susan Hyatt:                     
What a relief. What a relief.

Erin Brown:                      
Right? It's not me. It's not me and I'm responsible for the way that those behaviors show up but that's different than like trying to be good. You'll die on that hill. On the internet, if we're talking about being good on Instagram, that's just an impossibility because one person of the identity that you are hoping to uplift with whatever it is that you're doing is going to absolutely love you saying X and another person of the same identity that you have well intentions for is going to say you should absolutely never say that and that's just not possible that you're going to make everyone happy. It just isn't.

Susan Hyatt:                     
Well it's true and I mean each group is not a monolith. There's no ruling on this. This is the correct good way and also, as you and I have discussed, it changes. Ideas change and expand and what was an okay reference before is not an okay reference now and instead of being exacerbated by it, I think it's important just to be curious about it and learn from it.

I think a lot of people and probably many of y'all listening will be like I just can't say anything anymore and it's like no. You can say lots of things. It's just important to know what things might be hurtful.

Erin Brown:                      
Right. When people say they can't say anything, my very next question, which doesn't always apply but often does, is about who. About who can you not say anything? Is it necessary? Is it useful? Yeah. I think that that's a tricky thing. If we're talking about white women specifically, white men tend to behave as though everything under the sun is something that they could possibly be an authority on and if we're looking at injustices and the treatment between white women and white men, we might be looking at white men and being like that guy talks about everything with authority. I should be able to do that but that's just whiteness.

Susan Hyatt:                     
Right. Right.

Erin Brown:                      
I think the better you get at positionality, the better you get at understanding these are the things that I understand in my lived experience and anything outside of that, I can empathize. I can start to grasp from one story but it's going to be different in another. Really I'm never going to be an authority on anything that's outside of this specific lane that's mine, the easier it is to not be so baffled by I can't say anything anymore because you can say pretty much anything about your damn self.

Susan Hyatt:                     
Right and I also just wrote down I'm never going to be an authority on dot dot dot and I think therein lies one of the biggest problems is that we want to be the authority on so many things that we are not. You are not the authority on that.

Erin Brown:                      
Yeah and I think if you shift your perspective on that, what a relief.

Susan Hyatt:                     
Yeah. I mean the invisible workload of women is big. Stop trying to the fucking authority on every god damn thing. Okay?

Erin Brown:                      
Right.

Susan Hyatt:                     
Like I don't know. When I started saying I don't know about so many things, I was like that reduced a lot of burden. I don't know. Let me know what you find out because I've got all this other stuff over here I'm supposed to know about.

Erin Brown:                      
I used to have a podcast called Out Of Answers because I felt like I was answering DMs from white women 27/4 starting around 2016-2018 and then I was like fuck it. I don't know anything. I don't know anything. I have like some supposings.

Susan Hyatt:                     
Out Of Answers.

Erin Brown:                      
There are some things I'm clear on but you want me to have an answer, a perfect one? I don't have that.

Susan Hyatt:                     
Nope. Nope and nope. So what do you think, Erin Brown, you are an authority on?

Erin Brown:                      
Myself.

Susan Hyatt:                     
Yay.

Erin Brown:                      
I am really helpful to folks when it comes to positionality so figuring out like what is my relationship to this issue and how can I talk about it in a way that is thoughtful. I think I'm pretty damn good at that and that's mostly from experience. That rollercoaster of white people feelings that people of other identities experience as it relates to their own privilege but white people are just such a great example. We really do that [inaudible 00:37:54] fragility.

I'm good at helping people navigate those things and maybe being more gentle with themselves as they investigate what sorts of things they need to work through to show up actually in solidarity with folks. I'm just gentle with the idea of being an authority or maybe I just need to shift my thinking about what an authority is because I don't think that there's ever going to be a point where I will reach on anything where there's not more for me to consider, more for me to learn, or even just like a whole area I was missing completely.

Susan Hyatt:                     
And so when you're working with people on positionality, what do you think is the ... for people listening to this podcast and they want to really show up as an ally, what do you think is the number one question they can ask themselves as homework after listening to this?

Erin Brown:                      
Why is that my goal? What is my actual intention here and kind of dig on that because you're going to have to revisit that regularly. I think that for a lot of folks, after the previous election cycle, there was so much performative allyship and it was cool which was baffling to me because being an activist, even calling myself a feminist, which now we talked recently about whether or not that word is as inclusive as it could be, but those things used to be wildly unpopular and then all of a sudden, it was like activism was cool which was just mindblowing to me because this had been a part of my identity forever that has always been a problem.

Susan Hyatt:                     
Right. Right.

Erin Brown:                      
Problem for everyone. And so there was kind of a lot of faking it because it was cool and I think if you're faking it, if you're just trying to what I call "get your Berkshire". Right? When people try to diversify their staffs not thoughtfully. Do you want your Instagram to look a particular way or whatever and you're not actually intending to be helpful, then it's going to be really even more difficult when you get the feedback that what you're doing isn't right and that's going to happen. It's just going to happen. We're very new at this and we're not doing great.

I mean there's not like a lot of great examples to look at. You know? I'll just be like this lady and then who's that. We're all really, really new in the grand scheme of things, historically. And so if you are clear that your intention is to actually be in solidarity with folks, then you will be open to feedback. Then you will receive feedback and think okay, great. That is really useful because that means what I'm doing is not in alignment with my intentions and I can shift from there.

But if what you're doing is being good and what you're doing is making sure that appearances look the way that they're supposed to, it's going to be a lot more hard on your self-esteem, on your life, on your thoughts about your character and everything else because eventually, things that are just about appearances fall apart.

Susan Hyatt:                     
Absolutely. I mean I think we've all seen some of that, a lot of that going on and it's just like wow. Like a rush to hire black people without creating an atmosphere that's actually not going to do them harm when they join the team which is something that we've been working on.

We hired Erica Heinz probably three years ago to start working on some things and I would love to have a more diverse team but it's not as simple as just hiring black and brown people. It's creating an atmosphere that they would enjoy working in and doing all kinds of other work as well.

Doing things just so your Instagram has some black and brown people in stock photos and your team page looks a certain way is probably going to blow up in your face when those people have a lot to say about how they were treated.

Erin Brown:                      
Yes. Yes.

Susan Hyatt:                     
So Erin, what's on the agenda for you at Susan Hyatt Inc? What are you ready to sink your teeth into over here?

Erin Brown:                      
I'm really excited about getting the word out about your school. I think that life coaching, as you know since it's your deal, is an arena that's really important and can be really empowering for folks and can also have equal and opposite harm if people are not prepared for the clientele that they're going to work with. Otherwise, it's just sort of like nearing privilege at one another and not considering what actual obstacles and barriers people meet that might be different than your own.

And so having life coaching which is innately meant to be a positive, helpful aspect to someone else's life become more intersectional and become more thoughtful in the way that that's taught and the way that it's communicated. I feel like the ripple effects for clientele is significant.

I'm really excited to help get the word out about that, about your faculty, about the students there, and I think it's a huge deal and I think it needs to disrupt the whole thing.

Susan Hyatt:                     
I'm so excited to hear you say that. Yeah. I mean we're really on that mission because ... I mean I've been in this industry for 14 1/2 years and I remember my first year in business working with a client who was transitioning from male to female and thank god I coached well and we are still ... I love Kate and Kate is a great resource for many other clients who have come behind her who have needed a mentor to transition. All that to say, had I had the resources that the university teaches, at that time 14 years ago, I could have been of more service.

While I think Kate would say I didn't do any harm, I was totally operating from a place of privilege that was unchecked and so the potential for truly helping people when coaching through the DEI kaleidoscope, if you will, I mean it's huge so we're pretty passionate about it up in here. I'm glad to have your help.

Erin Brown:                      
I'm excited to be here.

Susan Hyatt:                     
Yay. All right. So if people want to go fangirl over you, where should they go?

Erin Brown:                      
I am Erin Brown everywhere.

Susan Hyatt:                     
Yay. I am Erin Brown.com is the website. Erin, I want to thank you for your time today. I know you have many things to do.

Erin Brown:                      
Oh yes.

Susan Hyatt:                     
All right. One more thing before you go. You do not need to ask for permission before making a scene. You don't need anyone else's opinion on the scene you want to make. So my motto is don't ask for permission period. You don't need anyone's validation to stand up and speak up for what you want and you certainly don't need their forgiveness. When it comes to what you want, permission granted.

Thank you for listening to this episode of The Rich Coach Club podcast. I hope this episode has inspired you to make a scene. Thanks for listening and I'll see you next week.

 

Enjoy The Show?

XOXO,
Susan

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