One Broken Mom Hosted by Ameé Quiriconi

Becoming Assertive with Lara Currie

July 17, 2021 Amee Quiriconi Season 4 Episode 11
One Broken Mom Hosted by Ameé Quiriconi
Becoming Assertive with Lara Currie
Chapters
One Broken Mom Hosted by Ameé Quiriconi
Becoming Assertive with Lara Currie
Jul 17, 2021 Season 4 Episode 11
Amee Quiriconi

Do you have difficulty standing up for yourself? If so, this episode of One Broken Mom will be a breath of fresh air. Ameé speaks with Lara Currie, corporate trainer and high-conflict communication expert, about some of the reasons why it can be difficult to feel confident in your own voice. She then offers ways to overcome these obstacles and communicate more confidently in both work and personal situations. You'll learn how to identify the traits that are holding you back from speaking up - like perfectionism, fear of confrontation, or lack of self-awareness - as well as what steps you can take right now to start feeling more confident.

Resources:
https://difficulthappens.com/

Links to buy The Fearless Woman’s Guide to Starting a Business

Amazon (Audio, Print, Kindle Versions): https://amzn.to/3daO7nA

Barnes and Noble- https://bit.ly/FearlessWomansGuide

Bookshop- https://bit.ly/FearlessWomanBookshop

Visit https://www.ameequiriconi.com/ for more articles about self-help, healing from trauma, leadership, business, and more!

Show Notes Transcript

Do you have difficulty standing up for yourself? If so, this episode of One Broken Mom will be a breath of fresh air. Ameé speaks with Lara Currie, corporate trainer and high-conflict communication expert, about some of the reasons why it can be difficult to feel confident in your own voice. She then offers ways to overcome these obstacles and communicate more confidently in both work and personal situations. You'll learn how to identify the traits that are holding you back from speaking up - like perfectionism, fear of confrontation, or lack of self-awareness - as well as what steps you can take right now to start feeling more confident.

Resources:
https://difficulthappens.com/

Links to buy The Fearless Woman’s Guide to Starting a Business

Amazon (Audio, Print, Kindle Versions): https://amzn.to/3daO7nA

Barnes and Noble- https://bit.ly/FearlessWomansGuide

Bookshop- https://bit.ly/FearlessWomanBookshop

Visit https://www.ameequiriconi.com/ for more articles about self-help, healing from trauma, leadership, business, and more!

Amee Quiriconi:

Well, okay, so everybody welcome back to this show. And it's possible that you may be listening to this either on the fearless Woman's Guide to business or one broken Mom, I this is one of my guests, Laurie curry, who's been on the on one broken mom, many times we've talked a lot about conversation skills, how trauma comes up and creeps up into the way we engage with people. She's actually referenced in my book, the fearless Woman's Guide to starting a business in the chapter on communication. Because she works in with a lot of people dealing with high conflict, which is exactly the moment in time in which we experience you know, all kinds of, you know, I wouldn't call him communication, so pause. But if we're going to struggle, it's in moments of stress. And, and so her book that she has, and their podcasts that she has is difficult happens, which is amazing. And so today, Laura and I, well, we've actually already been talking for about 30 minutes. But we're gonna start the episode now. I have Laura on today to talk about specifically why women in particular have some difficulties with assertive communication in the workspace. And you know that, for me, it's always been a point of surprise, you know, I'm a fairly assertive person. But I have found and through my conversations with Laura, with you, you know, you've brought up some points for me that have made me think about my circumstances and conditions a little bit differently to give me some better insights into why in certain situations, I turn into like the little scared girl who feels insecure, and less assertive, and then why at other times, I have no problems telling anybody what I think or what they should do, or in a healthy way, asserting, you know, a position. So I think that this is something that like I said, talking about it from the lens of women is important because not only is our background, a factor, but also the gender stereotypes that are playing out in front of us, you know, at work, uh, you know, also come into play, which, you know, we have little to no control sometimes over. Okay, so we just cut out me clearing my throat. Okay. So Laura, Laura, welcome back to the show. It's always so awesome to talk with you. We have such great conversations that that I always appreciate. So thank you for being here with me today.

Lara Currie:

It's awesome. It's awesome. Your editor must hate us get together.

Amee Quiriconi:

I'm the editor. Well, least you know when and what happens if I do the Convo? I do? I do. Yeah. And actually, I think that that's one of the reasons why I do like to edit my own podcast. I mean, I'm validating right now. So totally validating why I do this. But when I edit my own shows, I love going back and listening to them again. And because when I'm in the moment of doing the interview, I'm sure you totally know this from doing your own podcast. Sometimes we're thinking about the conversation, but we're also trying to think about the arc, we're going through the conversation and how we're going to wrap it up. And so you're you're kind of a disembodied person at times kind of an observer, but not really hearing and listening as well as you want to, which was what makes interviewing pretty challenging. I don't think a lot of people realize that there's an aspect to it. And so when I go back, I get to be the the listener, you know, the fan of the show, and then I hear and pick up something and just go man, that is that was brilliant, you know, Oh, I should have asked that question. And I missed an opportunity. And so the editing process allows me to kind of reset the size, you know, everything over again. And, and then also make sure that, you know, you know, what I get at the end of the show is something that I'm going to be proud of, and that I know my guests like you we're going to be really happy with and stuff. So I probably will have somebody do the editing because it is long, but I'm not going to give it up that easy because I really do like it, you know, for those reasons. So

Lara Currie:

yeah, and things that I would cut out. Oftentimes my editor won't, like I just sneezed. I mean, I'm pretty sure and cut that.

Amee Quiriconi:

Well, you know, I am going to cut out the throat clearing part because that was a little weird. But I had to leave my kid like so you know, anybody that's been watching one broken mom on YouTube, the studio is different because there isn't a studio right now I wanted to set up a system in a recording process that actually was like in the living room and a little bit more like the life we've all been living, you know, now for over a year with everybody being a little bit more in their homes. And also I wanted to test some new you know, materials and new equipment and stuff like that. And unfortunately, however, I had to figure out a camera angle because you can see the back door where my dog needs to be led out and so I've had to deal with like the teenagers coming down the hall and you know, getting into the the camera angle and stuff. And so that's made it made it kind of fun.

Lara Currie:

Any a podcast episode has been recorded from my closet with me sitting on the floor. So yeah, it is.

Amee Quiriconi:

Yep. Yeah. So let's, let's talk about this. Let's just jump in and talk about, you know, you are a woman. So, and dealing with communication and things like that. And, you know, I know that in the book I referenced one of the things that I've actually used and I do credit you every time I say it, which I think is a pretty phenomenal Dynamic, which is understanding, first of all, our relationship to whether or not we're talking with people that are in power over us, people that we consider our peers, you know, co workers, things like that friends, and then people that we would regard as pupils, people that are looking up to us. And, you know, I found that to be really insightful, because like I said, I could see when my switch turned, usually, peer to peer was okay, pupil to peer was or pupil to me was pretty good. But that power, you know, finding out that was like my weak link, you know, my kryptonite in my life. You see that when you're dealing with, you know, when you get into communication and stuff like that, is that a common thing amongst the women that you've worked with? Or in any organizations that you've worked in?

Lara Currie:

Oh, absolutely. And it's so funny, because if you do have me on both podcasts, I am both. I have a trauma informed business. And I think I'm wondering mom, so awesome, you know, yeah, I find that it depends on what their triggers are. But anyone who holds power over you, and you know, it, even if it's imagined, even if it's power that you've given to them that they don't even know that they hold will leave you in a more vulnerable spot, what and what's more vulnerable than the time that we had a trauma in our past, that's right, where our body or our mind goes. And so oftentimes, we'll try to mind read and try to fix things or try to guess what's going to happen. And that puts us in a more vulnerable spot, and we know our own weaknesses, and we can become our own worst enemy. I always say the first thing that you have to know is Know thyself, because personal development is the muscle that does all the heavy lifting for professional development for life skills for anything. So if you know what it is that triggers you, and you're honest about it, you know, where it shows up, you can take that beat, take that step to just say, okay, hang on a second, I'm feeling rage towards this person, what's up with that, or all of a sudden, I feel really stupid, fat and short, what's going on? You know, whatever it is that you get triggered into whatever feeling or emotion, just, first of all, question that at least identify it, that's the very first step.

Amee Quiriconi:

You know, sometimes they found in the dynamics of meetings to where self awareness comes in is that, you know, knowing that we've been triggered is powerful. And sometimes the most assertive thing that we can start with, is if we need space, or we need time is to just ask for that. I've seen, you know, in the in my career, you know, I've gone from blue collar to pink collar, you know, I mean, big shifts, I've worked in very male dominated industries, construction, my own manufacturing, company engineering, and then I have swung over to weddings, mostly women, clients are mostly women. I know, it's changed. But for the most part, you know, a lot of my peers and that we're, we're still we're still women, business owners, and then going into nursing, which, you know, again, is still predominantly the demographics are high on with women in that field. And, you know, when women feel trapped in meetings and unable to speak up and feel like they're put on the spot, they, they just don't say anything. And I've been that person to where you feel like you can't actually express a need to call a timeout in a meeting that's going badly, or to let somebody who may be criticizing you know, that, hey, listen, I'm, I'm starting to feel triggered right now. Or I'm starting to feel like I'm getting out of my, you know, good sense of thinking through the problem here. Can I have a bit of a moment? do you advise groups or you know, people to do that? Or do you have a different first step? Sorry, there's like a bug flying around my face?

Lara Currie:

Yeah, the very first thing I say is to practice and safety. So there are a lot of skills that I teach my clientele, especially women who are in these high stress fields, you know, like nursing, they're on the frontlines where their clientele comes to them already in a heightened emotional state. So just on a day to day basis, they're living their life, everybody that they come in contact with, is having a day of some sort. They're in a heightened emotional state that you don't know what it is, you know, are they triggered to anger? Are they triggered to be pleasers? Are they triggered to avoid? Are they triggered to fall into the victim mode, you don't know how they're going to react. And so in order to keep your own equilibrium, one of my favorite things that that that I use, and that I I encourage my women to use, is I'm going to stop you right there. Just practicing that. I'm going to stop you right there. I need you to clarify what you mean by that, or I'm going to stop you right there. I need to think about that last point, or I'm gonna stop you right there. That's not what we're talking about. Let's get back on track, whatever it is, it just stops it. If especially if you use your body along with that. I don't mean to be aggressive. I mean, to be clear. So if you're standing facing them, just putting your hand up, I'm going to stop you right there. They will automatically respond and they will stop whether consciously they know they're doing it or not. And oftentimes, people are verbal processors and they may have no clue what they're doing. And so they can stop and reset and they can just start the whole thing. Conversation again. So what do I mean by practice and safety? What I mean is, you know, like, you're at the grocery store, and you're getting out your change, does anybody pay by cash anymore? I don't think so. But anyway, you're something in your purse, and someone's interrupting you, I'm gonna stop you right there, I was looking for something where it just practice it. And the more you practice it, the easier it becomes use it and safety, and then it'll come in those tough moments. Because trying to trying to pull up these skills, when you're under stress can be really difficult. That's what I just love to practice.

Amee Quiriconi:

Yeah, and you and I have talked about that quite a bit. And, you know, and I, as you were talking about this, like, you know, I'm gonna stop you right there, you know, the hand, give somebody the hand right there, that actually can be especially in a heightened situation can be viewed, you know, will be called aggressive, even if it is assertive, right? You and I both know, the difference between those two words, aggressive as used against women in a derogatory term, when women are actually just being assertive, you know, of holding a boundary. And so in a, you know, in a room where, you know, you're raising the hand and saying, I'm gonna stop you right there. I mean, this has happened to me, you know, where it's like, Listen, I need a timeout, and then been attacked for being assertive and asking for the timeout. And you're just like, you know, some of us can kind of like, go well, FSU, and then some people can't. So the practicing part, let's go back to that. I mean, I love it, you've, you've talked about that too, before, like going to a grocery store. You know, and doing that. I could see, you know, are there some exercises, though, that people could do with friends, because it feels like friends are a good place. And you're, I don't want anybody listening here. We have to actually practice it enough. So that the brain gets a more comfortable with it. It's like going out and running, you don't just go on to the track. And you know, Dart out your 400 yard dash, you know, all at once, without practicing and getting the muscles used to it. And our brains and our behaviors and our emotions work very similar to that. You know, do you do you have some other suggestions on the other practicing techniques? Because I think people fear that they go, good, good talk. I love that idea. And it's still in the heat of the moment when the amygdala and the hippocampus and everybody else's like fire alarms are going off. Their their muscle memory isn't clicking into gear.

Lara Currie:

Yeah, I would say it totally depends on their personality, and what is triggering them. Because there are four main types of triggered reactions. And that is the football the first ones emotions, a feeling, you don't like that feeling, feeling stupid. Feeling, powerless feeling whatever the feeling is sad. A lot of people don't like sadness at all. And they go right to anger instead of sadness, because that's not, it's the emotion itself that's triggering a reaction in them. Then the next one is their, their physical environment. I know that if I step into an office where the halogen lights are going, and there are cubicles, I can't breathe, I can't focus, I can't function, that environment is extremely triggering for me. The Next are the words, you know, pumpkin, honey, aggressive, you know, yeah, whatever it is, I mean, to this day, I there are certain words that I hear it, I'm like, it's not what they meant. Don't worry about it, work through it. And then the mack daddy at the mall is the content, what we're talking about. And that's usually where women in male dominated fields and women in high stress fields get triggered, because it's the content itself, whether it's money, whether it's the route, that we're going to take on a certain job, whatever it is, because time and time again, they've been thwarted, or they've been minimized, or the slog has been so hard that they're like, Is it even worth it? You know? So it's the content of what you're talking about. So knowing what triggers you, and then practicing talking about it. And there are it depends on what fits your personality. But you can use a little bit of humor with your friends. You know, if you're talking about finances, you could make a joke and say, Oh, here we go. Money talk mind goes blank. Oh, okay, you guys, give me a minute. I'm gonna think about this, okay? Because I'm trying to work through this math anxiety that I have. So you know, just practice in what way works best for you. But also, you kind of know what triggers you. And take, take, I would say this, this might go off on a little bit of a tangent, but take a poll. If you are afraid to practice and safety with your friends. Maybe you're not hanging out with the best friends. What I mean by that is often people who have been raised in trauma and dysfunction, we click with people because they're so familiar. The way that their passive aggressive, ooh, just like my daddy, you know, the way that they mock me openly. Oh, just like my sister, you know, whatever it is. It's a familiar sweater, and it's not what's best for us. So also, when you're choosing a place to practice, make sure it truly is safe.

Amee Quiriconi:

Mm hmm. Yeah, I know. That's a great point there too. For sure, like on you know, talk about a lot you know, your herd helps your hurts you. And you know, there are places that are safe for doing that. You know, your content. The fourth part there content, I think is really interesting, because I know reflecting back on me, that's the one I think where I was most surprised. You know, if people used demeaning words or microaggressions, you know, it triggered me in the sense of like, you know, I got a little pissed about it, because I'm a, my trauma responses fight, you know, that's one thing that we become self aware of is that when we're traumatized, and then triggered, will, our responses will either come into like the flight, you know, flight category where we become people pleasing, or we want to escape or whatever, or there'll become fight where we might become, well, we'll want conflict, we'll want to fight back and protect ourselves, or we'll freeze, which is, you know, just depending on that, you know, we talked about that before, where you just you kind of are in a holding pattern to decide when it becomes safe, and which action you're going to be able to take. And so when I hear things that trigger me, you know, usually my motion is kind of like whatever anger, whatever, but content, getting to that point, money, which is huge, for me, personally, was a topic that rendered me speechless, voiceless, no assertiveness at all. And it was the common theme throughout my life at which I did not speak and defend assertively what I should be getting paid from business partners, from employers, you know, services and charging. I mean, it was a, you know, this huge money disorder that really just shrouded everything in my life, and it affected it in so many different ways. And I was surprised by that fact, when I became self reflective of if we brought up a raise caliber, that was the moment in time I became this shrunken. And I mean, I still feel this is how weird it is, this is what trauma does to you, I still feel it in my chest. As soon as I start talking about money, even though I have all the awareness and building on all that, bringing that content up. And we know there's a pay gap out there. And we know that, you know, when looking at research that it's sometimes women feel a lower sense of entitlement, which then kind of feeds into our abilities and desires to actually speak up on behalf of ourselves when it comes to money, whether it's with, you know, with anybody out there, do you have conversations like that in organizations about the content of money and pay raises and promotions and benefits with employees with the with the leadership and companies around that?

Lara Currie:

Even more basic, I was doing a workshop for a fiduciary company, and it's a chain of financial advisors. And they brought me in all around the topic of how to talk to women about money. Because they were finding that most of these male fiduciaries were their clientele were female. And they would seem like they understood or they would seem like they were on board. And then they would just question later. And to come back to that the way that we react, it's the fight flight freeze, or appease, they've added this appease, because they've noticed that that is also where they want to call it Stockholm Syndrome, whether you want to just call it you know, surviving, that that is a very common reaction. And oftentimes women will just be like, ah, I'll go I'll figure it out on my own. You know, yeah, I see what you're saying. That's good enough. I'm going to skim it. Yes. Because to not know is a danger. So I went in, I talked to them all about the way that people here and ingest information, triggering words, clarifying words over explaining and just even the cadence because some of these people had a really hard time even just talking to me. I'm pretty good. conversational. do say so myself. It's like, yeah, you're talking in monotone. So I've actually stopped listening to you. I have no idea what you're saying. I'm looking at the poster behind you, or whatever. But yeah, that money is a huge one, an absolute huge one. And me too. I mean, that's a huge one for me. I have math anxiety, and I joked about this on. I did a podcast A while ago, on Oh, Laura has a vulnerability hangover. It's the whole it's just me going on rant about my vulnerability, Hank. And I talked about getting kicked out of school in Miss Madison's math class, because I was getting so angry at her because I didn't understand and what's the easiest emotion rage, and it was pretty witty little five foot, you know, 15 year old. So that did not help my situation at all.

Amee Quiriconi:

So visits to the principal's office for bad behavior. That was three strikes man, they just sent me back and oh, man, that's funny. Um, well, that's interesting to you know, again, when I when I think about women, and I think about the people that might be listening to this, in particular, you know, addressing not only like being able to ask for more money, do you have any exercises or any recommendations that you have when you work through people because, you know, part of it is obviously we need to understand our relationship with money. And sometimes surprisingly, our fears about money don't have anything to do with money they have to do with just overall sense of entitlement and self You know, whether you were just, you know, anytime you ask for something that was meaningful to you, where you called selfish, did somebody you know, turn you down consistently. And in order to create peace in your environment, you just stopped asking, because you wanted to be helpful air quotes, you want it to be nice, you know, whatever the you know, it is, I know with mine, it was also having these Miss mixed messages about, you know, go get a good job that pays you well, but at the same time, bad mouthing people who had money, which can create some really weird conflict and dissonance is in our heads and our relationships. So we feel insecure around money, because we've been told, you know, you know, the directly or subconsciously that people with money, have all these really undesirable characteristics. So when you're in them, are you in the danger zone, do you want to be like them and all that garbage. But being able to get women to really become assertive about what they should be receiving in pay, to me is huge to closing the gender gap, as well as getting women out of poverty and getting them set up to be able to be successful entrepreneurs or professionals and to to have meaningful careers that help them live, you know, and thrive. So when you work with people around the topic about this, what are some suggestions you have for how to practice that muscle? When it comes to the content of money and value and worth? Yeah, this

Lara Currie:

is why I love having a group of women, I have an ongoing membership program. And the reason that I love that is because it depends on what comes up at the month. So I actually had a client just recently, who consistently let money go, what I mean by that is she would bill certain people or a bill would get lost, or one of her staff members would make a mistake with the billing, especially when it came around Medicare, or any of the large companies, she just didn't want to deal with it. So it's like, it's just not worth my time. It's not worth my time. But this last time, I think it was like it was close to $20,000. And I'm like so you know, how long would it take you to make? And I had to walk her through how long it would take her to make that? What would it cost her to go after? What would it look like, you know, and kind of walk through it. So totally depends on what the triggering what the trigger issue is. And for her was the confrontation. And it was also navigating the myriad of BS systems that some of these insurance companies and government agencies set up. And then on top of that, she didn't understand the where the access was also, there was a It's a long story just in general, but having to walk through so it wasn't just one triggering event. It was much easier for her and it really was worth it to her to just say, Nope, I'm not going to deal with that. But what was happening is the universe said, Okay, we're going to give you a $2,000, you know, trigger, does that work? Nope, not worth their time. Alright, about 5000 that worth their time, you know, and it kept escalating and escalating, because when the issue isn't resolved, you know, and then, as we walked through, this was really like a four month period that we walked through each triggered reaction, each conflict with the individuals that she had to basically fight for her money for. And a lot of the conflict was old stories that she was telling herself, right. So she would, you know, someone will respond to her. And she would be like, he yelled at me, it's like, actually, no, I just tried, you know, excuse number three didn't work, you know, throw it out there. Spaghetti didn't hit the wall, you know, whatever. But walking through each one of those, and then after that talk about a vulnerability hangover, shame hangover. Because she's like, why didn't I do that before? Why didn't you know, it's like that, again, useless. But it's this cycle that we go through. So even with asking for a raise, the very first thing is, say the word out loud $20,000. And say it until you can say it, you know, don't say 20 $20,000. You know, practice it. If it doesn't feel right. You know, just keep practicing around that. And if it doesn't feel right, but you know, it is right, then what's going on there? dig a little deeper. Yeah, also, I have to say, we can't spend our entire lives work on ourselves. I mean, I just did this whole series on dysfunctional affirmations. Because I am so sick of toxic positivity. Like, I need a bunch of dysfunctional affirmations because I kind of want to rage positivity.

Amee Quiriconi:

Well, you know, I think that what's important, you know, out of this is for the fact that, you know, this kind of change doesn't just happen, you know, our communication styles are pretty well grooved into our systems. And by the time we get to a place where we realize that the dysfunction is hurting us, you know, I think that there's also this expectation that we can unfortunately set for ourselves well, now that I know I should be able to fix it. And then like your, you know, your colleague there or your member did was I have this awareness and our immediate reaction, which is completely normal is to feel embarrassed and ashamed that we reacted that way for 40 years of our life. And that's, you know, it's normal to feel that way. But We have to snap out of that as well and realize that, you know, these patterns are really deeply grooved. You know, they're grooved in how we have responded and it's, you know, our default system. And it's not going to happen overnight. And you know, what you're talking about with having groups, where, you know, maybe your friends aren't the right people to practice this, unless they happen to be like minded, entrepreneurial, hey, let's all attack the world. And let's get better, you know, type of people that you can do this with. But signing up for programs like what you have or you know, with any group that's going to focus on on improving communication skills, is truly kind of the heart at which how we end up changing the the wiring and the, in the practice, I go back to that the muscle memory, you know, whether it's emails, I know, for me, some of the first places I started to assert, you know, my assertive communication, when it came around money in value, was spending an hour obsessing over the right email to send somebody to say no, to, no, I won't do that for free here is what I'm being charged, you know, or what I'm charging for the service. And it you know, even that took, you know, a terrible amount of anxiety and still feel anxiety, I guess I want to say that too, like, you know, even when you practice all this, it doesn't mean that the anxiety suddenly just disappears, and you know, all as well, like, it's, you're always trying to overcome the the resistance from doing something for so long. That until it gets to be, you know, more comfortable, you know, to be able to make that change. You know, for you, you are an assertive communicator, you know, how was your journey to getting to this place of, you know, becoming this communication expert.

Lara Currie:

How long? Well, the funny thing is that, you know, I have always used humor, and humor has gotten me, it's gotten me far, but I'm also five foot two grew up, you know, in downtown Seattle, and had a rough go of it, you know, and so, using humor, and appease, and I, you know, my conflict personality type is that of a bit of a pleaser. And now when I say conflict type, I don't mean, in my regular day to day life, in my regular day to day life, I tend more towards the perfectionist, but when I'm triggered, I become a pleaser, because that's what has kept me safe. And so trying to fight against that, you know, and internally just saying, Is this something I really want to know this will solve the situation? But who wants the problem? Not me. Why am I you know, on the wrong side of the fence? Why am I you know, trying to solve something that doesn't belong to me, or, you know, whatever it is, at the time, it's been a long journey. And I think what's really helped with that is just the fact that I have worked for so long around people in trauma, you know, as a, as a journalist, as a private investigator, as a court advocate, everybody I dealt with day in and day out was in such a triggered space that it became, you could see the themes so much more. And I started to recognize the themes within me. And also, knowing that every single person on the planet has the same issues we're all trying to do, you know, the best we can, and getting yourself a break. I mean, I think that's the biggest thing is, where you're at, is exactly where you're supposed to be at. You know, you may wish that, you know, jeez, I wish it wouldn't have taken me 26 years to get out of that marriage, or I wish it wouldn't have taken me 20 years to deal with my math, anxiety, or whatever it is, you're exactly where you're supposed to be. Each step is a step in the right direction. It's one of the reasons that I love, like journaling, or reflecting. And again, I'm gonna put out there that I also fight with the way that positivity has been co opted, because we're not supposed to be positive all the time. negativity has a purpose. Anger has a purpose, sadness has a purpose, shame has a purpose, we must walk through and identify those emotions, if we stuffed them all down, we become a psychopath. I'm just kidding. But we've been, you know, really unhealthy? It's not right. You know, it, we need to be able to talk about what we're feeling.

Amee Quiriconi:

And I think that that can actually, when we're talking about communication, especially in the dynamics of work settings, you know, that that actually, that lack of, you know, allowing that spectrum at times to just be is what ends up creating a lot of conflict, especially, you know, in the dynamics of people, right, like, so you have leaders or people that are kind of in charge at the moment that don't want it, they either want it to be one emotion, right? They're in charge, everybody listens, everybody behaves emotion, compliance. And then when other emotions start to come and go, which they're apt to do, especially as the tension rises in the room, we then start judging ourselves and judging each other for those emotions. And then that just amplifies and you know, that's gas on fire, then, you know, now we have an inferno in there. But when we come in with this awareness that all the fields are going to happen, especially if we have to have a hard conversation, right as a team, and to allow that space for it to process and if and if necessary to take the timeouts and let everybody resolve so that we can reregulate Because your write tension and stress is normal. In fact, we can't do much without enough tension in life, you know, that's the Yerkes Dodson model, like, not enough tension, we're useless, too much tension, we're super useless in the middle, where it's just right, the Goldilocks zone of tension is where we actually, you know, have some grit and we are creative, and we get, you know, we get work done. And so the, you know, the two extremes are extremely positive all the time is not enough tension to be able to, you know, problem solve and navigate, and the brain gets bored. You know, I think of that, as well. So do you what do you, you know, come into an organization and let everybody know, like, hey, it's fair, for people to be amped and to need space and to stop the conversation or to be aware of identifying when somebody is in a triggered state that's going to interfere with the flow of the conversation and the outcome that everybody wants?

Lara Currie:

Absolutely. When I work with women, business owners in particular, especially entrepreneurs and small business owners, there's going to be conflicts with practice, you know, what are you going to do as the leader to address that conflict, and part of that is being pre emptive. So the first thing I do is we walk through the different conflict personality types, how people respond, because each conflict type has a kryptonite. For me, being a pleaser when I'm triggered a victim is my kryptonite, you know, for someone who wants to please and take care of, well, what's better a victim saying, I can't do anything, you know, it's just, it's a dance that you get into, you know, you can become triangulated. And it just becomes a real toxic environment for everybody. The other thing I, we've kind of worked through is what is your appreciation language? How do I show that I appreciate you? Because for me words, words, words, nothing. You know, I, my mom isn't a sign language interpreter and founder of a ASL school here in Seattle, but I just see her say Taka, Taka No, good. It's a great show me, show me what you're gonna do. You appreciate me, where's my bonus? Where's my week off? Where's my group vacation? Then someone else is like, What a waste of money. Don't do that. What I want is a brand new computer, whatever it is, you know? How do your people feel appreciated? Is it words, is it actions, if you think someone wants to be recognized in front of the whole group, and you're like, hey, Sally, you did great, that was fabulous. And you make her a spectacle. And she's like, Oh, my God, public, you know, this is the worst nightmare, Oh, my gosh, everyone's staring at me, you know, you need to know who your people are. And then you need to be able to talk about certain things you need to be able to name whatever it is that you're feeling. Or if someone you know, you could say, you know, I really feel like you're upset about something, or I really feel like you're feeling angry that I didn't appreciate you enough, or you seem really upset that you didn't get it, whatever it is, identify and name it and talk about it. Whether you do this on a weekly, quarterly, annual, you know, your group, you know, your team, but it is something that's ever evolving and ever moving. I love that my dad always used the Newton's cradle, with the little balls, where you just it's like, yes, we're always in motion. And we hit that sweet spot every once in a while. But it's gonna keep on going, you know, we're going to be on this end. And that end, it's going to be seasons, not only physical and emotional seasons, but actual seasons, financial seasons, everything is in motion. So keeping, you know, keeping tabs on your team, knowing your team and growing your team.

Amee Quiriconi:

Cool. Now, the kind of the last thing I want to talk about before we start to wrap up the conversations, I think about, you know, the women that do feel comfortable with assertive communication, and can stand up for themselves and maybe for other people when it comes to meetings, but when you're in an environment that stifles that, or challenges that and it isn't they, you know, you're dealing with a person who doesn't have that kind of healthy awareness of dialogue and humans. What's your advice for people in that because there is a penalty that's been measured in research for women who are assertive, and because of what you know, happens in terms of stereotypes about how women should behave air quotes around the should, you know, and how they should communicate with one another, which is to be collaborative and, you know, team player and, you know, and not say hard things and you know, stuff like that, where what's your advice for the for the women that are in those seats in companies or in our organizations for how to navigate the world, you know, or maybe a person that may be in their organization that and kind of, you know, undermine them every time they are? Because women, you know, again, research shows this women are apt to actually keep their mouth shut, because they don't want to deal with the backlash that's associated with it. But that doesn't help us either. You know, so we have to say something, but how do we do it in a productive and safe way for us professionally?

Lara Currie:

Yeah, one My favorite phrases, and I use it all the time, especially when I think that someone is saying something that they don't really mean, or they don't. You know, it's like, I don't think that means what you think it means, or I can tell the

Amee Quiriconi:

bride when you say that,

Lara Currie:

exactly. I do not think that word means what you think it means. Sorry, I love to say, you know, especially if you're in the one down position, or that you know that that peer or pupil position and someone in power is look at them and say, Oh, that's really interesting. Can you tell me more about that? Or? I think I understand what you mean. Can you explain a little more? Or just to clarify, getting curious? Because oftentimes, they might think through it and say, Well, no, that's not actually what I mean. What I mean is, you know, let's say you're you just say, I want to stop you right there. I need to think about it. Whoa, whoa, what are you getting all angry for? It's okay, I seem angry. Can you tell me more about that? What exactly, you know, that seemed angry about that, you know, just, and that, again, takes practice, because I was thinking my sister back in high school, and she was in the girls bathroom, she got bullied all the time. And this girl came in, and she was like, picking a fight with her whatever, called her a bunch of names. And my sister said, Yeah, same yours. And they just kind of looked at her like same horse, what she meant to say was Same to you. But it just didn't roll off your tongue. And it worked, though, they just kind of like looked at her and backed up. And they both went about their day. But you need to practice this. Otherwise, it kind of comes out weird. And you know what, it's fine if it comes out weird, because people can feel vulnerability and tension. And they kind of want to help. It's it's human nature, especially in a group setting. So other women might stand up and say, Oh, I know, right, Amy, I thought I thought that he meant this and this, is that what you meant, or you know, and encourage people along with that, when you see a woman floundering, when you see someone who you feel like might need help, you know, together, we rise, let's stand together and lift each other up, and help them out, maybe use some of these phrases.

Amee Quiriconi:

Yeah, in the I refer to that person as a shepherd. You know, when you've got all the different styles of communication that people bring in, you know, you've got sheep that tend to be the people pleasing types of there in the organization, you've got the wolves, which are the aggressive, you know, in your face, put it you know, cutting in cutting everybody down. The other one is the black sheep or the, which is basically the passive aggressive person, but the shepherd is the person who's really there with the shepherd's hook in the in the guardrails around the round the purpose of the meeting, and it's not just to, to create their own space for themselves and their own needs, but also to be mindful of the of the group, you know, and I take that as a responsibility. You know, what can we do as a shepherd in conversations to ensure safety for people that actually do need it? That is, you know, and to speak up and assert ourselves. And sometimes it's actually easier, I will say this for anybody that feels like, they have difficulty speaking up for themselves, but they do a great job for other people. That's not unusual, especially with women, that we actually learned to take care of other people before we take care of ourselves. And sometimes the first steps in becoming more assertive is to lean into that a little bit, practice that muscle, you know, have that protection and safety for other people. And and then see how that feels, you know, how did it feel standing up for somebody else? Now imagine the little girl inside of you that needs that Shepherd speaking up for her, like, How awesome would that feel for her if you actually use those skills to protect that person inside and to say something on your behalf? You know, instead of, you know, your co workers, your teammates behalf?

Lara Currie:

Yeah, and you never know what's going to be that that thing. Things happen really slowly, all of a sudden, change, you know, it feels like it takes. And then all of a sudden, you're there. I was working in a family business. That was a very toxic environment. It was there was a lot of mental health issues. And it was just very toxic. But there was one leader in particular who was extremely passive aggressive. And he would do things like you silence, you use silence, like a knife. And I just remember being in this environment, one of the first time that one of the other gals had said something, and was being completely ignored. And everybody in the room had their head down was pretending like they couldn't hear her. And I just looked her and I said, Yeah, it's weird. They're acting like they can't hear you. But we all know, they can hear you and I just named it. That was it. And it just changed the dynamic in the room just like that. And we just talked as if no one else was there. And I said, I wonder why they don't want to acknowledge this. It's really weird. Do you think that they're thinking and they just need that time to think and we just went back and forth and back and forth, until it lightened the mood enough to where it ended up? The person responded. And the response was so ridiculous, that then he was able to verbally process and be like, Well, not really what I meant was, well, actually this or actually that, and we finally got to a consensus, but if we hadn't, it would just be that elephant in the room that, you know, oh, needed a bath.

Amee Quiriconi:

Yeah, no. And that's funny. And you know, and that's I like that example. I mean, because that is a great place where you can actually again, it, people probably shifted a bit because they started to feel validated somebody speaking out loud for them, and letting them know that like, yeah, we're not all alone here. Right? Like, you know, we're all in the room. And we think that some of these thoughts are our own, but really, we're all experiencing the same awkwardness or tension or, you know, we all believe the same thing. But again, we go back to, you know, our behaviors, that communication are pretty well grooved into us, you know, during some very important years of our life and with our relationships with the family members that we had and the people around us and it is hard to change those gears and shift those gears. And so it's, it's you know, sometimes you just have to you know, one person can start and get everybody and I think that that's fabulous. And if you're an assertive person that's a good way of using your superpowers and so I like to say like if you have the superpowers use them for for other people fall under the queen bee myth. This is another thing that you know a lot of male leaders will use against women. Well, she's just a queen bee. It's

Lara Currie:

like no, she just a bully just like another bully. You know, she's just a toxic person or she's just an ass, you know, whatever. They try to use this Queen v myth against so that we fight amongst ourselves. It is. It's been there have been studies done for the last 15 years since that book came out. And it female leaders are no more hard on women in lower ranks than male leaders. Right? crazily a bully. Call it a jerk.

Amee Quiriconi:

Yep. No, there's I did an episode once with Brett bro guard who's a University of Miami Professor on on one broken mom about why women hate women. And we actually tackle the topic of misogyny, I mean, there's a lot of the same origins out of it, that have nothing to do with just the gender it just has to do with the belief systems that somebody was given around the role of women in the in, you know, what their stereotype typical behavior should be. But you're right like that. That's the same languaging typically given to men and women both and manifest, it's not a women are prone to tear each other down kind of bullshit, you know, mindset I have seen in my career. Again, grooming as part of that. So thank God for this part of it, which is, you know, I go to these conferences that are women conferences, and it is all it's mostly collaborative, it's mostly talking about sharing information and resources. The converse is, you know, working in again, I have worked in male dominated fields, it's all competitive. It's all about hoarding resources, not sharing resources and becoming threatened when competition comes in. And in sometimes women take signals from that type of business, and then they do carry it over. And then you have to kind of unlearn some of that. But for the most part, you know, like this show, bringing on women that are willing to here's my secrets, here, they are taken, you know, go go make money, go live and prosper, you know, go do all kinds of cool things with it. And it's really, it's feels good, like, you know, as a person, it's like, wow, I like that feeling better on my body, like, my body feels whole and it doesn't feel like I'm crippled with, you know, anxiety when I get to share and listen to other people that are supportive, you know, and, and communicate supportively and empathetically and compassionately

Lara Currie:

so and, and everything out there, nothing's new anymore. And so that you can figure out how to do anything. It's who's the squad you're with, you know, who are you riding with that are going to help build each other up?

Amee Quiriconi:

Now, I did say I lied, I said one thing, and then I meant one more thing, which is kneecapping. So you know, kneecapping is something that I think a lot of women can resonate with, which is the apologizing for saying something or kind of shortening our stance, like it undermines our ability to communicate assertively. Do you? You know, do you have any tips or advice when you notice a woman who is kneecapping her statement because a reframe is good. But kneecapping your pre fame? By saying, I'm sorry, I have to say this, you know, like, you know, there's a again, there's a camp that says, Stop it. Stop kneecapping your statements, what are your thoughts on decamping?

Lara Currie:

I was so ingrained in us I even to this day, I have to look through my emails over and over again, make sure that we're just isn't there? Because I often say, Hey, I just want to check and see if you're free. It's like, No, I'm checking to see if you're free. I don't just want to it's so dismissive. So seeing how you correspond seeing how you write and taking out, but just, you know, any of those minimizing words. And the way you talk about yourself, if you catch yourself saying, oh, man, I was stupid. That was so dumb. I remember I was talking my daughter and she was saying, gosh, that was so stupid. And I went, hey, don't you talk to my daughter like that? I want you to do the same thing for yourself. Hey, don't you talk to myself like that? You know, just make it so that you notice it more and more because the more you notice it, it's going to become this huge red flag. You know, you just see the flags waving. And you're gonna say, Oh, you know what it is, it's becoming a self fulfilling prophecy. I'm minimizing myself, therefore, I'm allowing myself to be minimized. And again, that's like saying, so you just hop on the bike, and you ride down the street, there's all these steps to learn how to ride a bike, you know, there's helmets that you need to see which one fits which one, you know which path to take all that kind of stuff. But proper preparation prevents piss poor performance, as they say, you know, practice, practice, practice, whoo, I love me some alliteration.

Amee Quiriconi:

My poetry teacher would be so happy with that. Well, and I know, you know, sometimes the best places are, like you mentioned, emails writing, you know, sometimes we can see and start with writing because it doesn't require that face to face eye to eye contact, which can be very frightening. And so if somebody is looking to improve their assertive communication skills, is to start with something that's safer, like, you know, let's start with our toe in the water and then weighed out to it, you know, into the deeper and deeper water in places where we communicate in writing text messages, you know, social media posts, emails to our colleagues. And note where we aren't communicating assertively, because believe it or not, if it's not common practice for you even hitting the send button on the exact wording you need to say assertively to somebody else is still going to make your heart like race, and then you're going to assume somebody is mad at you. And I mean, and that's okay, like that all comes with the fields. But like, you know, when it when they're, sometimes it can be a good pre frame to allow you to defuse this difficult conversation you may have by maybe saying, hey, I want to come in and talk to you about these things, these are important to me, or these are bothering me, or whatever the context of it is, and then sending it out and writing in an assertive way. And now you got that monkey off your back. And now you can have the face to face, it's not gonna be perfect, but at least it you know, to me, I found in like, in my own personal experience, that was my good ramp to having, you know, a really hard talk with somebody or a talk that was going to require me to set boundaries, you know, with another person. And, and so, you know, that's my, my two cents of advice for somebody that would be sitting there thinking about, like, ultimately, we want to be able to have the face to face engagement if we can, but it's okay, if we're not there yet. As long as we start with one part of how we engage with somebody and you know, work on that one as we keep moving forward, because it is hard. Definitely, even for people like you and I that sit here and make it look like you know, we can talk all day and we're just fine. Not always. It's closed, right? Yeah. Okay. Well, so tell everybody how they can actually get connected with you if they're interested in being able to join a group with you. And to practice their their assertive communication. Absolutely. I'm

Lara Currie:

everywhere at difficult happens. I've got the podcast, Instagram, all the different social media handles. And if you go to difficult happens calm, you can learn more about the inner circle squad, where it's women like you who we get together, and we talk about what's going on using my four pillar strategy to recognize reclaim, restore, and refresh. This is like an ongoing cycle. Because whenever you try hard things, you're going to have a little bit of, you know, an emotional backlash, the fields, and all of our similar experience when I listened to you dealing with difficult things and learning how to say no or whatever. I also learned from that. So I think that a group of women, like I say, together, we rise, So reach out to me. And if you just want 10 tips on how to deal with difficult people, check out the website. I've got some there.

Amee Quiriconi:

Cool, awesome. And all the links to this will be in the podcast notes. So everybody can just like back into the Notes for this episode that you're listening to and push all those links. And I will help you get to Laura. Actually, I just I need to motion this way. Like I'm on my video.

Lara Currie:

That's right. Yeah. Like the I like stream yard because it puts the you know, like the words in the right direction and everything.

Amee Quiriconi:

Cool. Well, Laura, I love you. And I love talking to you all the time. We really truly appreciate you and I'm so blessed that you know our paths did cross in this life and we were able to share our experiences with each other and work together to be able to help other people. So that's awesome in my book.

Lara Currie:

I feel the same. I think you're awesome.

Amee Quiriconi:

Cool.