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Taking Courageous Action with Christie Hunter Arscott

George Grombacher October 13, 2022

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Taking Courageous Action with Christie Hunter Arscott

LifeBlood: We talked about taking courageous action, how to reframe the way you think about risk, how to ask for and get what you want, why and how to start with intent, and how to get started being a better advocate for yourself, with Christie Hunter Arscott, Rhodes Scholar, career advisor, and author of Begin Boldly

Listen to learn why it’s important to let experiences refine instead of defining you!

You can learn more about Christie at ChristieHunterArscott.com,, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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Our Guests

George Grombacher

Christie Hunter Arscott

Episode Transcript

Unknown Speaker 0:15
Michael, this is George G and the time is right welcome today’s guests drop off of Christie Hunter are Scott Christie. Are you ready to do this? Great. Thanks for having me. Yeah, I’m ready. All right. excited to have you on Christy is a Rhodes scholar, a career advisor, she’s been ranked by thinker’s 50. It’s one of the world’s leading management thinkers. Her new book is begin boldly how women can reimagine risk, embrace uncertainty and launch a brilliant career. Christy excited to have you on tell us a little about your personal life’s more about your work and why you do what you do. Yeah, so I do what I do, because I want to help equip and empower women to lead and craft bold and brilliant careers and lives. And I think we sometimes need a toolkit and a method to do that we need more than inspiration, we need more than this is how I did it, we need this is how you can do it too. And that’s really the focus of my work. It’s really on bridging the gap between what women are aspiring to do and what they’re actually taking action on. And so I always say, do your actions match your aspirations. And for most of us, if we’re honest,

Unknown Speaker 1:28
we’d aspire to be bolder and braver and more courageous and take more risks in our lives professionally and personally. But many of us struggle to put those aspirations into action. And so I really am focused on bridging that gap. And that’s really what I’m passionate about. I appreciate that.

Unknown Speaker 1:50
A toolkit and a method, I couldn’t agree more. I am a person who loves frameworks or a methodology or process because I’m a hardworking person, just like I’m sure most of the people who are are looking at you and wanting to emulate the success you’ve had or want success, but they don’t know. Okay, I, I just want to know if I do these things. This is a result that I’ll probably get. Yeah, but what’s interesting. So, one is to get over a fear of taking risks, you really need a method to do it. Because I say, you know, we’re not telling you to go into paraglide blind, when you’ve never been paragliding and jump off the cliff. It’s not take any risk. And all risks are good risks. However, that human tendency to want to control outcomes, like I’m going to read Christy’s book, and this is going to be the result. It’s interesting, because my book is not about avoiding failure, or minimizing the risk of failure. It’s really about how you deal with failure and use that for growth, it’s even more than if you have a consistent choice to play it safe. So we don’t always control the outcomes, but what we can control is our mindsets, and how we leverage those outcomes for growth.

Unknown Speaker 3:06
Yeah, no doubt, I can’t. No control over what happens. Its position, we position ourselves for success. We like a false sense of control, right?

Unknown Speaker 3:15
We crave we crave that for sure.

Unknown Speaker 3:19

Unknown Speaker 3:21
is it fair to say that women are our have historically and currently not as are more risk adverse than our men? Yeah. So I would say some, you know, different researchers will say different things. And it’s always hard to, you know, paint all women with a broad brush. But I will say that, in general, my work and other research has said yes. And a perfect example is the study that was done years ago by Hewlett Packard, it’s a famous HP study that came out in HBr, and said that, you know, women will only apply for a job when they have 100% requirements, and tick, every box and men will apply when they have 60. And this is a study that’s been done in one shape or form in many different contexts. And it’s just one example of the fact that men are more likely to take a chance on themselves when they don’t tick all the boxes when they don’t feel fully confident or ready, while women are sometimes waiting for this elusive feeling of confidence or readiness to come. And that actually delays our action and our growth.

Unknown Speaker 4:32
From So, and that makes all the sense in the world. That we want to feel confident that we want to to be positioning ourselves and putting our best foot forward and I’m not quite there yet.

Unknown Speaker 4:50
Is is is there a deeper biological risk risk aversion going on there as well that if I step out that that

Unknown Speaker 5:00
that this will be dangerous. Yeah, or?

Unknown Speaker 5:04
Yeah, that’s a fascinating question. And I haven’t looked at the research around nature versus nurture enough. I always think to that, once we get into biology, and we’re saying, you know, all women are like this or their brains function like this, we can sometimes end up with research that exacerbates a gender divide rather than closes it. And so, for me, I think it’s multifactorial, I don’t know all of the different factors, what I will say is an example of why women might not take risks, there’s so many societal things. So it’s been proven that women receive different consequences for risks gone wrong. And a perfect example is if a woman negotiates for a job offer, there’s been research out of Harvard say, the woman is more likely to receive backlash, we’re actually have that offer rescinded. So it’s not simple enough just to say negotiate for the job, negotiate for the offer, we really face different societal reactions to us, and therefore risk on wrong have different repercussions. So although the tools in the book could be applicable to anyone, it makes sense that women are more hesitant to, and therefore we want to give them the tools to navigate that to navigate those repercussions and do it in a really strategic way. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense, have had a lot of conversations with with my wife and other women and men, about not necessarily this, but something similar to that, where if a woman if my wife feels like if I act in this way, people are gonna think that, that I am a bitch versus I’m an assertive person. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 6:51
And it’s

Unknown Speaker 6:53
not that I resist that, because I certainly don’t I think that I find that to be gross. And it’s sad, that the that that is the way that that maybe many people feel that way.

Unknown Speaker 7:06
So I just,

Unknown Speaker 7:07
I, oh, it’s such a relevant example. And your wife’s exactly right. I mean, you know, a woman man will be they’ll be labeled confident, while a woman might be labeled abrasive, or aggressive or self serving or, you know, whatever it may be, and,

Unknown Speaker 7:25
and then it or, or the conundrum that your wife said, and that’s a lot of like, what the double binds that women get in, it’s really hard to be likeable and competent. It’s really hard to self promote without some level of backlash. And that’s why I want to give people the tools to do that. So if you want an example of the tools in my book is, you know, I give a story. And I’ve talked about this during my session this morning with women, which is, I was traditionally trained as a debater and public speaker. And from the age of 11, I was doing international public speaking competitions. And then throughout my teens, I went to the World schools Debating Championships that was in Singapore, in the US and South Africa. And then during my time at Brown, I went back and I coached and then I judge the world schools. So I would say I had a fair amount of speaking and persuasive speaking experience. But I always felt like when you go into a negotiation, you should have all of your ducks in a row, all of your data points, almost like preparing a debate argument, like making sure it’s bullet proof, making sure you makes it defensible, go in with your guns blazing. And for me early in my career, using that negotiation technique actually backfired and things that I really, really desired relationships and contracts sometimes just didn’t materialize. And for many of the reasons that I think, you know, your wife mentioned, I think the women that are negotiated that way, face a certain amount of amount of backlash. So one thing I’ve been using with my clients over the years that works really well, is embedding certain forms of curious questioning and strategic questioning into negotiations. So instead of just focusing on what you want to say, also focus on what you want to ask. And there’s been some amazing work on the power questions out of Harvard. I was Edward Brooks, on other universities, I think the woman the researchers named Alison Bray gal, and Adam Grant has featured some of it in that TED talk, the power of powerless communication. I’m Katie liljenquist. So it’s really amazing because although their research showed the power of questions, in persuasion, my research has shown the power of questions not only in persuasion, but that the benefit of that is even more for women because it helps us navigate that that gender bind that we’re often in.

Unknown Speaker 9:52
Can you give me an example?

Unknown Speaker 9:54
Yeah, sure. So I’m going to give you an example that was actually in the research

Unknown Speaker 10:00
which is they did suit to scenario and this wasn’t gender specific so and they it was a deserted island scenario. And they were looking at kind of persuasion and likability in a group. And in this scenario, individuals had to propose what devices they would keep on the island. And they only had, you know, a select number they could keep. So they had to let certain things go. And if one person went in and said, we should choose the flashlight, that is the best night’s signaling device.

Unknown Speaker 10:36
Not very persuasive, not very likable, didn’t get a lot more power. But if I came to you, and I said in this scenario, I wonder if we should choose the flashlight, I think it could be the best night signaling device.

Unknown Speaker 10:52
Suddenly, people were engaged in a conversation and dialogue, it built by in it built on power within the group and persuasiveness. So, in my book, I outline the kind of questions you can use when you’re having negotiations or making courageous asks to really focus not just what you’re going to say, but But giving options as well. Another great way is this concept of optionality. So imagine a child, if you say you have to eat your broccoli, the chances of them eating that broccoli are not that great. But if you say you could have broccoli, or arugula, what are you going to pick? Most people would cook the broccoli. So it’s really interesting, like even giving people options has the power to kind of lead something to a solution.

Unknown Speaker 11:40
How do you feel about think about and consult coach on on practicing these these skills? These questions? Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 11:52
So it’s really helpful, just like any important conversation that you prepare for. And I have a simple framework that I use with clients because I like to reframe negotiation as making a courageous ask. And the reason why is negotiation it says that men are more likely to view it as a game, a fun game. And women are more likely to compare it to going to the dentist and getting a two fold. It’s like painful, it’s miserable, you don’t want to go. So language, the language we use can either elicit action or inhibit action. And I find that using the term negotiation inhibits action, and makes us feel self serving makes us feel we’re up to get something like going to the dentist, whatever it may be, while saying I’m going to make a courageous ask that for salary or a package that better reflects my value and contributions that feels so much better. So a couple tips that I give women and men when you’re focusing on this. One is to start off with your intent. And that is what is your why What is your motivation for this conversation? And the reason why I focus on this first is inevitably you will face fear, anxiety, self doubt going into difficult discussions, you will it’s not about saying will it exist? It is it will and the question is how will I move through it? How will I continue? And so for me when I have to let’s say make a courageous ask around being on a podcast or writing an article or negotiating a client contract, I focus on my Y and my Y will always be about like impact or about financial stability or about something bigger than just myself.

Unknown Speaker 13:47
And that when I feel nerves, I always refocus on my why because I believe that anyone with a strong enough why can endure the next step. So then I encourage people to look at the intersection. And that’s really the intersection of the needs and desires of the conversation partner and themselves so often in in training and negotiation. Let’s say I have a I had a client. And she really was struggling. She wanted to push innovation and create this amazing next gen program in a company that was 150 years old. And she was struggling. And she had a manager title. And she really wanted to get a more powerful title so she could move through the red tape and the questions or another solution around how to get things done more efficiently. So she went to the CEO, she she kind of framed her intent, why she wanted to do this. And then she framed the intersection of their needs, which is like you both want us to you know change the culture and bring more vibrancy to it and innovate and build a culture of intrapreneurship. So she aligned on that shared intersection of

Unknown Speaker 15:00
interest, which was really, really important. And then she asked questions, which is the third step. So we’ve got, you know, the the intent, the intersection and the questions where she used strategic curiosity and questioning, to say, it might be there’s a whole list of questions. And, you know, you could say, what would you do? If you were in my position, you could say, you know, here are some options about how we could approach this, what do you think you could say, given the dynamics, what are the things I should be considering? And then in the end, she gave some options. She said, I can either, you know, elevate every discussion and email to you where I need your sign off, I can she get one other and she said, or we could, you know, change my title. And in her early 30s, I think she was 31, she became the first chief officer of the company at that age and was reporting directly to CEO. So that’s just a powerful model, again, you know, content intersection, really, you look at curiosity or inquiry. And then the last one is really options, presenting options. But I find that kind of approach for tactical preparation is really helpful.

Unknown Speaker 16:09
Love it, that makes a ton of sense.

Unknown Speaker 16:12
Because we all, we all have anxiety and fear when we think about going into some kind of a big conversation. And maybe that’s not true. Maybe there’s psychopaths out there that are just that, that don’t care. But for me, I know that I certainly do. So the more prepared that I can be. And I like to play things out in my head and try to say, Okay, here’s, here’s what I want to get across doesn’t mean that it’s going to but so getting clear in what my intent is, what was the intersection piece, again, it’s really the intersection of the needs and desires of you in your conversation partner. So you can even use this in relationships, right? It’s thinking about my intent is to, let’s say, get a better balance of how we manage household and child care tasks. And the intersection of interests with a partner might be like, we both care about this household and about our family and about us both succeeding in our careers. And then so that’s kind of like a shared interest. And then you go into really the questions, and you could even present options. So which of these scenarios do you think would work? What if I took on this and you took on this? What if I took on this and you took on this. And so another powerful tool that I talk about later in the book is, you don’t always have to propose a sweeping forever change, you can use the process of what I call agile experimentation, to take risks on a smaller scale. So what if we try this for a month, and we’ll decide on what matters, we’ll measure that at the end of the month, and then we’ll decide whether to continue with experiment, expand it, you know, abandon it, enhance it. And that’s another great tool of persuasion.

Unknown Speaker 17:52
I love it. Those are super helpful. And just as you talk through it, it makes total sense. It is changing, really the entire conversation away from me making demands or assertions to to successfully

Unknown Speaker 18:09
having a more fruitful and probably effective negotiation and conversation. Yeah, definitely. And it’s always worth a try, you have to try these different approaches. I will say everything in life is a tried and tweaked approach. So to the listeners online, I encourage you to try out that model and then tweak moving forward, what did you learn from it, the whole thing I talked about in the book is that risking should be a continuous process for the rest of our lives. And I say we should assess the risks, decide whether to take it, assess the rewards and failures are rewards as well, as long as we learn from them and leverage them for growth, refine which is blind, let the outcomes of this risk taking refine me or define me and we should let them refine us not define us. Because otherwise we’re,

Unknown Speaker 18:58
you know, associating just a isolated outcome with our identity. So that’s a really important differentiation, and then we should repeat, and that should happen for the rest of your life. You should be risk, reward, refine, repeat. And when you think about making a courageous ask, it should be one of many risks that you’re taking on a continuous basis. Amazing. Love it.

Unknown Speaker 19:22
Christie, thank you so much for coming on. Where can people learn more about you? How can they engage? And where can they get a copy of begin boldly how women can reimagine risk, embrace uncertainty and launch a brilliant career? And I think, Christie This is certainly the book that will apply to me directly. And men as well. Yeah, so it’s really interesting. One of the the book came out on August 2, and one of the things I’ve been most amazed by is the response from men and people at later stages in their career and you know, this like right at the beginning it says how women and given up I had a man share on Instagram and cross it out and put any

Unknown Speaker 20:00
One and you know, if you look at the reviews on Amazon, so many of them are from more senior senior level men in their careers. So anyways, I just a quick bit in terms of who it’s relevant for. I mean, it is for it could be amazing for young woman, whether they’re in university or the earlier stages of their careers. But if you’re later in your career, the time to start risking, and having a method to do that is now and that’s irrespective of whether you’re male or female. And then also, it’s great for people that coach mentor parents,

Unknown Speaker 20:34
or teach women whether it be in the workplace or you know, women in college. So definitely think about that. And it’s written like a curriculum because I didn’t want just inspiration, I wanted it to be actionable. So for book clubs, you can do one chapter and exercise every month. Because it is written like here’s an exercise each chapter. So in terms of getting it, it’s on Amazon. It’s at major book retailers as well, Barnes and Noble on some of the more small independent ones as well. So just look out for it in your local bookstore or order it online. And in terms of reaching out to me everything’s under my name. So it’s Christie Hunter are Scott and that is my website, you can find me on LinkedIn. You can find me on Instagram and I’d love to hear from you. If you found any insights powerful in this podcast. If you are living more boldly or using some of the frameworks I talked about today, tagged me hashtag live boldly hashtag gimbal they would ever make sense, but I really believe we cannot be what we cannot see and aspirations directly linked to visibility and the more that we make our bold moves visible, the more we’re gonna impact the aspirations of others.

Unknown Speaker 21:52
I love it.

Unknown Speaker 21:54
If you enjoyed as much as I did so Christy, your appreciation and share today’s show with a friend who also appreciates good ideas pick up a copy of begin boldly how women can reimagine risk, embrace uncertainty and launch a brilliant career wherever you buy your books go to Christy Hunter R Scott, Christie, Hu NT er ay rscott.com and find her on LinkedIn and Instagram as well. Let’s all of those in the notes of the show. Thanks Christy. Thanks so much. And until next time, remember, do your part by doing your best

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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