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Experiential Leadership feat. Patrick Ghielmetti: Ep 5

Many leaders strive to create deeper connections and get more effective results in both the workplace and in life. But how is it done? According to Patrick Ghielmetti, the key is embracing authenticity and vulnerability.


Born in Switzerland, Patrick is a multi-cultural, multilingual global leader who is hugely passionate about changing the world – one leader at a time through experiential leadership programs and as a behavior-based executive coach. 


Listen along as Heather and Patrick explore the intersection of leadership and mental health, discussing how creating a safe space for authentic conversations can lead to significant personal and professional growth.



MEET THE GUEST


With experience in 35 countries, Patrick excels as a facilitator of transformational leadership programs and a behavior-based executive coach. Known for his solution-oriented approach, he drives bottom-line results and shifts mindsets to embrace new realities. His exceptional ability to connect and build credibility with everyone from line staff to senior management sets him apart as a true catalyst for change.


Connect with Patrick Ghielmetti: Website | LinkedIn

Connect with Heather Bodie: Website | LinkedIn | Instagram

Subscribe to 'For Anyone With A Job': Spotify | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts

 

Action Items


  • How to embrace authenticity over image

  • Understanding the critical role of experiential leadership

  • Ways to increase emotional vulnerability at work


 

Episode Transcript


Heather: This is "For Anyone With A Job," a podcast on a mission to unravel the yuck and arm you with the tools to talk about mental health at work. I'm your host, Heather Bodie. And during this episode, I sat down with the one and only Patrick Ghielmetti.


Sitting in Patrick's meticulously curated home, I was buzzing with excitement and admiration, and frankly I was a little bit nervous. I'm so grateful that he would spend an afternoon with me. He has just so joyful, such welcome energy. A hotelier at heart turned experiential leadership trainer, Patrick speaks openly about the moment the career he'd spent his life building shifted and he didn't. We discussed self-image, vulnerability, transformation, and the way our social norms at work force us to offer support sometimes in a way that's nearly impossible to fulfill. As Patrick says, "It's not about doing. It's about being."


Patrick: I'm Patrick. I have a weird accent because I was born and raised in Switzerland, but I'm a proud American citizen. I am a hotelier or I should probably say I was a hotelier at heart. It's all I ever wanted. When I was seven, I decided that's the career that I'm going to have. No joke. And I created that, and I became an executive in the corporate hotel industry. I worked for a great hotel company called Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.


Heather: Never heard of it. No, I'm just kidding.


Patrick: And I managed hotels. So, I made it all the way to GM, general manager, what I ever wanted, and then I got promoted to regional vice president and managed multiple hotels. And then just prior to 50, I didn't want it anymore. My world fell apart. I didn't know what to do with me. I blamed it to midlife crisis, but there was more to it than that. And I just know, at some point, that the job shifted and I didn't.


And then I shifted into the realm of human resources. I became an executive in the domain of human resources and managed hotels in Asia for about six years. But about four and a half years into that journey, I knew that I needed to tap into the domain of leadership work. So, I consider myself an experiential leadership trainer where transformation becomes possible. And I've been doing this for the past eight years on my own. In a nutshell, that's what I do.


Heather: When the job shifted and you didn't, did you have feelings like it was you like it was your internal issue or did you have a clarity of self-clarity of understanding of how the role shifted to say you weren't a fit anymore? I guess I'm asking, did you blame yourself when it didn't work?


Patrick: Big time. I did not have that, to use your terminology, self-clarity at all. I was blaming myself. I had a belief I'm Swiss. We are wired, in a way, once you have a good job and had a good job, you keep it until you retire or you die. So, that was in the way for me, and I did not have the clarity to see that the job has changed at that time. I really didn't, and I made myself very rough for wanting something different. And I was labeled by a few people around me, with whom I shared this is no longer working, as, "Are you crazy? Why would you consider leaving?"


So, I was in deep trouble, if I can call it that way, for one and a half years, questioning everything that I've ever done. And then at some point, through a casual conversation with a friend of mine who I trust blindly, a shift occurred and I got that clarity. And it was crystal clear that there is no room to declare my decision as right or wrong. Whether I like it or don't like it is also completely irrelevant. And that's where the clarity occurred, and I shifted in a heartbeat. And I created within three months a new job in a domain that spoke to me.


Heather: A casual conversation changed everything.


Patrick: Everything. A friend of mine was like, "What are you [inaudible 00:04:03]?" and I told her my whole dilemma. A very close friend of mine. And she says, "Can you not consider to honor yourself what you have done well and now it's time for something else to what calls you now?" And I said, "Is it as simple as that?" And she said yes. And it was as simple as that.


And I shifted out of blame into... I shifted out of resistance into acceptance. And to me, I define acceptance as a state of neutral. It is just so. And once you're in a space of "it is just so," meaning no more blame, not right or wrong, whether I like it or don't like it all becomes irrelevant. Once I was in that space, everything became possible but only then.


Heather: When I'm leading people through language development on how to talk about mental health at work, I often refer to what I call is the sandwich method. So, describe what it is that you were experiencing or what you need or what you're struggling with as though it were the ingredients on the sandwich you ate for lunch with this neutrality, just "this is what is so," as you said. And it can create a sensation of ownership. And so I love to hear you say that because that neutrality is, while it seems without charge, positive or negative...


Patrick: No charge.


Heather: ...it is so powerful.


Patrick: And it's a starting point of anything that may be different. Without that, what I call acceptance... I use the word acceptance. I use that in my leadership work, by the way. So, what I so profoundly experienced, I now use this as a teaching, if you want, of experiential leadership work. For me, the keyword is acceptance, and acceptance is neutral. It's information. It's a fact. It is just so. So, it's a "so what." And once you're in the "so what," then "now what" becomes possible. But I would advocate the "now what" only becomes possible when you're in the "so what"/acceptance stage.


Heather: Oh, beautiful. Oh, I love that. From previous conversations that you and I have had, you mentioned to me that, in the early part and maybe even the majority of that first career up to age 50, you said you wanted to... I think you used the word perfect, but I don't know if that still resonates, that you wanted people to see you a certain way. Can you speak a little bit about that?


Patrick: Yeah, I used the word image. I think I was incredibly image-focused, meaning I have to be a certain way because that's how I was molded and that was expected of me. I think everybody has an image. I was stuck in my image, and I think that had me also not evolving in a super powerful way. Today, I use a different terminology. I said, "I have an image, but my image is not having me anymore," meaning I have one and I can't put it on. But when I shift from image, what I call into self, which is all about real, and genuine, and authentic, then I know I shifted to different ways of being with people. And through that, I shift into different results.


Heather: Would you say now you exist authentically in self all the time or are you still occasionally finding yourself molding an image for a certain audience?


Patrick: Very rarely. I still can do it, and sometimes I do. When you meet with a CEO of a company who considers himself or herself more important than others, I can put on a show and I can play into that. That's why I say I'm in image mode, and I think there are moments when I'm required to put that image on. But for the majority of the time, I kiss that one goodbye. And I just notice, when I'm me, I call it with all my beauty and all my flaws. When I'm just me and comfortable in the me, I generate different connectivity. And through that, I absolutely believe there's a direct correlation to the results that are generated.


Heather: Let's talk about the results that you generate. So, it sounds like you got great results when image was at the forefront, right? It's how you built that career.


Patrick: And yet, if I may interrupt you...


Heather: Yes, please.


Patrick: And yet I would say it was also limiting.


Heather: Say more.


Patrick: It only got me so far, and it caught me far, right? General manager and regional vice president with a major hotel corporation. It got me far. I own that. But I say I would advocate that having shifted away from image mostly and spent way more time in that self-space, I think I'd go farther. I just think I generate more powerful results. I'm no longer limiting myself. And by no longer limiting myself, I think my results are "limitless." Can I call it that way?


Heather: Sure. Let's take it out of the conceptual or theoretical of reducing limits. And can you talk to me about some practical things that you teach in your workshops or that you're able to apply in your own work relationships that allow you to be authentic, that take those barriers away?


Patrick: I love that you take it out of concept. Beautiful. So, in the work that I facilitate in a domain of experiential leadership, I make the distinction between leading dynamically and statically. And that's exactly that distinction surrounding resistance and acceptance that you and I talked about just 10 minutes ago. So, that's part of my teaching. We talk about four principles of leadership. There are 50 principles of leadership, but I just take four in my work.


And I have a belief that, if you lead dynamically, which I promote more than statically because static is resistance and dynamic is acceptance. So, if you lead, I would advocate that those four principles of leadership really support you. First one is commitment. Handle whatever it takes, what you say and see through completely. The second one is responsibility. You use that word "ownership." If it's to be, it's up to me. When asked, if it's to be, it's up to me. And the third one is about authenticity. So, I bring this in as a major leadership principle. And I experienced, if I can call it that way, the world as hungry to really spend more time in that domain versus being stuck or defined by image and have some very personal examples that I give in that domain and through that when participants in my work experience the facilitator as authentic. That creates an opening towards greater authenticity between the participants and the facilitator and most importantly, between the participants. And that's where the magic of the work occurs.


So, the question that I'm asking myself, how could I expect that authenticity might occur without me being willing to step in the domain of authenticity? Once I step there and I own my beauty and my crap and I talk all about it, I talk about my righteousness. I talk about my arrogance, which I do not, but let's leave the word particular out, which I do not care, but it is a part of me. They are a part of me. Once I own that and talk about that, I create safety for others to know their stuff that's holding them back as well. And then all of a sudden some very various conversations start to occur.


Heather: I'm glad you use the word safety because I think that actually is one of the big blockers in the urging to have authentic conversations in the workplace, because authentic, like you said, means all of me, including all my crap, right? And so there are some real consequences that some people face when they've decided to bring themselves authentically into a conversation in the workplace, which includes their crap. And maybe you're in conversation with someone who hasn't made that movement, that shift that you talk about, that change yet. Maybe they are still only 10 years deep in that image-driven space, and they haven't had that casual conversation with a friend to shift everything. What do you say to someone who is concerned about showing up authentically because of the way they will be responded to?


Patrick: It's a great question. I'm not sure that I have an answer to that. I know that I succeed in creating that safe space/emotional safety with like-minded people who are all up to the same thing at the same time, leadership workshop for two or three or four days, and there are people in there with me who are, in the end, up to new learning and that up to the same thing at the same time.


Heather: Right, everyone put their hands in the middle of the circle.


Patrick: Exactly.


Heather: Yeah.


Patrick: So, that creates... Even that takes time, but that creates emotional safety. As a group where authenticity applies, greater connection occurs, greater cohesion occurs, greater effectiveness occurs, and greater results occur. What advice would I give to somebody who may be the way you and I talk about that but speaks to a superior who is not and was all image-focused. That's a hard one.


But I would also advocate that, if that superior might not be open to those conversations, I wonder whether the self-aware or highly evolved employee responding to that person might be at the right workplace for the long-term, because I believe it is key for people to feel emotionally safe in the workplace. Otherwise, you just go for the paycheck but not for something greater. I'm not sure that is response to your question. It may be an awkward...


Heather: I mean, I think it's complicated, and I appreciate your honesty around that because when individuals like you and I doing the kind of training that we're doing go in on some high horse of, "We've got the answers. If you just listen to X, Y, Z, all of this will be easy," it's just not true.


Patrick: I agree.


Heather: And the concepts are simple but not easy. And so I appreciate what you just shared.


Patrick: You're kind to say that the concepts are simple, and that's one of two reasons why I label my work as experiential. You cannot teach that concept in many ways through a self-help book.


Heather: Yes. Yeah.


Patrick: It is not. It needs to be experienced, and hence experiential leadership work. But it is through the experience of self and through the experience of others that you're witnessing what I believe the magic occurs, the magic of authenticity. So, when I do leadership work and people go to this place of authentic, it always takes one to go first, But when one goes, I call it...it's like somebody just popped. And through the popping, you've got other people's attention. And, whoa, that was courageous, and without fail over the last eight years, I see then others popping. And sometimes if I'm really blessed by the end of two days or three or four, I have the whole room popping. That deepens the conversation, and that deepens their level of, I call it, connectivity with one another from a very deeply authentic place and through that, I say it again, create a cohesion, create effectiveness, greater results. It has a direct correlation to results.


Heather: Working in the mental health space, I have found recently that people say things like important. And, yes, we want to incorporate that into our office or our workplace. We want to make sure that our employees feel cared for and then we actually get into the details of being vulnerable and talking about mental health. And I watch people hard swallow and the eyes get wide and a little bit of almost like disappearing into the bushes like backing out of the room kind of thing. And so I'm so excited to be talking to you because I think, in some ways, it's a little bit semantics. The reason I say that is because you say experiential leadership, two words that we have this wildly positive connotation. We're going to have a leadership course. We're going to bring you into being a stronger leader. I would argue that our concepts have a very strong overlap in the Venn diagram of what it is that we're sharing with people.


Patrick: I would think so.


Heather: And so when you say you have a room full of people popping, are they popping with robust logistical conversations or is it about their feelings and emotions?


Patrick: Oh, yeah, that's a great question. No, they're popping something surrounding vulnerability.


Heather: Emotional vulnerability.


Patrick: Emotional vulnerability. Totally owning themselves in a new way in front of others. It is not what I call the pop, "Oh, now I'm saved or whatever." What do you call that positive space? Not necessarily. It is popping in a way, owning themselves fully with all their beauty and their crap. And it's frequently with their crap and owning up to it, fessing up to it, and having a safe space that they can say that. So, I'm anything but a mental health professional. That's not what I'm in. I'm a facilitator of experiential work, but I have noticed that, in my leadership, mental well-being or mental health is coming up almost all the time. And somebody might say, four hours or eight hours in the program, it is okay for others to know that I had suicidal thoughts. And it comes up more than you think, and it doesn't need to be as extreme. Anxiety comes up almost in every single program, and it can go deeper than that but people not well or feeling not well or not taking care of their wellbeing.


Heather: Why do you say you're not in mental health?


Patrick: It's such a wide term. I consider myself having been trained to facilitate experiential leadership work. And I do not see myself as a sentimental health professional, but maybe I'm becoming one just as I have the courage maybe not to avoid those difficult conversations. In fact, I seek them and I facilitate them and I create an environment where it is okay to do so. I do not know whether that makes me a mental health professional, but I think it's such an important topic. I never paid any attention to that in my image years because it was either shunned or certainly not talked about in a public setting, certainly not talked about in a corporate setting. That's how I grew up. One doesn't.


And something shifted big time for me over the past 15 years, and I would say even more fundamentally over the last 8. As I'm facilitating this work, it's not coming up all the time, and I can only imagine it comes up in such a profound way because people feel emotionally safe. If they didn't, I don't think they will bring it up.


Heather: I challenged you on that because I think part of the stigma that exists that is still prevalent around mental health, despite the fact that the conversation is popular, the stigma really hasn't faded away. So, I challenged you on that to say our mental-emotional health is part of being alive. It's part of being a human. And when we separate out emotional vulnerability and owning your crap from what it means to navigate your mental health, we've bifurcated something that is one and the same. And those who experience diagnosable mental illness, we're really looking at a series of symptoms that happen in a cluster with a certain frequency across a certain duration of time that are all things that all humans experience just with maybe less frequency and over a wider spread of time or a less amount of intensity. So, that's why I challenged you to say that...


Patrick: Yeah, a beautiful challenge.


Heather: You're absolutely working, in my opinion, in the mental health field.


Patrick: I will consider owning this. Thank you.


Heather: Because what is the difference?


Patrick: Yeah.


Heather: Truly, besides what I said around diagnostics, where's that line between "I've lost all hope" and "I'm having suicidal thoughts"? I would argue that line is thinner than a piece of floss.


Patrick: I would have to agree with you.


Heather: But one feels like, oh, hope, well, that's not a mental health issue. And the word suicide carries all this charge when, oh, my gosh, they're books sitting right next to each other on the shelf.


Patrick: So true. And I think it's so healthy that there is an environment where it is allowed to talk about it because it may possibly save lives.


Heather: Mm-hmm.


Patrick: Because if there's no room to express it, they may actually act on those thoughts at some point. And I just think it is so healthy to say... And then all of a sudden, people see, "I'm not alone in this," vulgar English, that others have shit going on too. It's not about perfection, but it's basically everyone else... As I said, when everyone pops, everyone has shit going on.


Heather: Everyone. Yeah, we all have shit going on.


Patrick: Literally everyone. Permission. Oh, you know, I'm okay. There's nothing wrong with me. And I think when people go to this space, it's pretty magic.


Heather: Do you find sometimes in your trainings that... Because we're talking right now about the people owning their own stuff and sharing their own stuff, do you find some people have a hard time hearing other people's stuff?


Patrick: Such a great question. Very rarely, very rarely. I think there is such a willingness to hear and actually intended to be of support. I occasionally find people who are checked out or halfway checked out, but it's very rare. What I experienced that not everybody is willing to go to that same space of vulnerability, because they are more attached to image than the self because it can be very scary place.


I speak from experience. I was attached to image for 45 years of my life. Forty-five years. I think I have stuffed my anger down since 5, and I think I learned how to express it from a place of authentic at 45. That means I stuffed it down for 40 years. That is all image-focused. And one maybe doesn't break through this overnight. For me, it took a breakdown and the breakdown led to the breakthrough. I'm not sure where I'm going with this based on your question.


Heather: Yeah. No, you're all right.


Patrick: But I actually very seldom experience people unwilling or incapable of listening or hearing what's really said. Very rarely. And I experienced great willingness just to be of support, however that looks like, but I certainly experienced not everybody within a two, or three, or four-day leadership program go to that level of... Let me rephrase that. Take that risk to really talk about self in such a profound way because it is uncomfortable. Price to pay. And it takes a risk. Price to pay. Can't take it away from you. This is for most people uncomfortable to do that, and they take a certain risk to put it out there. Those are prices to pay. In my book, I [inaudible 00:23:46] from.


Heather: In my workshops, I've seen the same thing, that people are willing to listen and quick to offer solutions. But lately, I've got a growing suspicion that we just have more practice at being verbally supportive in the workplace, that we have this practiced and accepted language of, "You can come to me with anything. My door is always open. Yes, of course, thank you for sharing."


So, what's missing for me is I think the vulnerable component of hearing someone and listening to them is being truthful in response or authentic in response when you don't have space for that conversation, you don't have time for that conversation, you don't have a comfort level to hold that conversation, to hear about that topic. You don't have an interest or a clue around the ways to converse about it or where to send someone for resources. Specifically leaders, specifically people in management scenarios I think find themselves in this, "Well, I'm supposed to have the answers and I'm supposed to 'manage' my people. So, if someone comes to me with something vulnerable, I'm supposed to have the solution."


Patrick: I believe that's a belief that doesn't work.


Heather: Yeah, it doesn't work. I've just recently become suspicious in rooms, and it came up once recently at a training. No one would have one of those popping moments that you're talking about. And it's because there were multiple levels of management in the room. The group I was training was the, sort of, mid-level managers, and the executives were lined up against the wall in the back and had taken the workshop previously.


Patrick: Observing?


Heather: Observing.


Patrick: Oh, totally allergic to that. Totally allergic to that.


Heather: So, I called it out. We needed to know the environment we're in and why the room was so quiet. And then one of the executives stepped forward and opened up with the training language we had been working on, and all the mid-levels jumped with support language, "You can come to me. Come to da, da, da. Do you need a hug? Do you need this? Do you want me to get you some water? Do you need a Kleenex?" Right? There was this jump, this leap for support language, and that's where my suspicion, the seed of it really, like, broke through the ground where I saw the first little, like, hint at a leaf, because a room of silent people, not a single person was hesitant to jump with a solution for this individual who was being vulnerable. And I thought, "Okay, what would they have been hesitant to say?" because that's where that authenticity or that vulnerability around that difficult conversation comes in.


So, I'm just curious about it. I don't have the answer. I just wonder what would it have looked like if someone in the mid-level managers had raised their hand and said, "I don't know what to say to you right now. I'm uncomfortable when people cry, and it's making me short of breath. I think I actually need to step out of the room."


Patrick: How awesome is that as a response?


Heather: How cool would that have been?


Patrick: Because that is a completely open, honest, and vulnerable act to say that.


Heather: Yeah.


Patrick: Totally agree with that.


Heather: And so I'm curious how much that is not happening, that other side. And I'm hoping that eventually, we can bring both sides together in that.


Patrick: It's a great conversation. Really great conversation, Heather. Can I go back to the observation?


Heather: Please.


Patrick: Observation doesn't work. So, I have frequently teams with multiple layers. It could be a general manager of a hotel, could be his or her planning committee, could be the department heads, assistant managers, sometimes supervisors. I have five layers all in the same room. We set working agreements that we treat each other as colleagues in this space. And title and position have never been in the way. But if I were to have a group of eight executives in the back observing, I might as well not come. So, I'm absolutely a believer. I'm serious. I'm absolutely a believer. This can only work if everybody's in. Normally, I set an arch. We set an arch, a U shape. An arch or an arch?


Heather: They both work.


Patrick: Yeah. So, I set a U shape, and everybody's in it, and they have a specific place in that. But it cannot be... Sometimes I have people that are, "Can I come to observe?" The answer is always no. In a very rare occasion, I have allowed or encouraged a co-facilitator who does the same thing as I do but maybe does it differently. I have done that with permission of the participants. But even there, it's not just observation. You're in it with me and sometimes I have you in the front with me. So, observation doesn't work. We always clarify the roles. What is my role as a facilitator? What is your role as a participant? Your role as a participant is to participate. It cannot work based on observation.


Heather: And I want to be clear that observation was not the plan...


Patrick: I got it.


Heather: ...but it speaks to the importance of the shape of a room. I'm so glad you brought up the arch or sitting in this semi-circle shape because I didn't determine where people sat. I was at the back half of an all-day training and seats were already established. Sandwiches were in hand, and the higher-level management team just had happened to seat themselves together in the back corner of the room. And so it created the shape of the room, the seating arrangement, created or, I should say, reinforced the dynamic that was already there. And I'll be honest with you, it's fun to call them out.


Patrick: I think it's...


Heather: It was fun.


Patrick: It's awesome. I frequently call out the most senior person in the room. Frequently the person who hires me, the most senior one, I frequently call him or her out, but I always ask permission beforehand. And they allow to and the permission is given, but sometimes they need to be calling up. I'm reacting to sandwiches in the room already in hand. I'm allergic to that one too.


So, when I do the work, we take breaks, but we eat outside of the room because I think food is a total distraction, because that goes then to, "I am not paying attention to what occurs in the room. I'm paying attention to food consumption." So, with me, it's only water, sometimes a cup of coffee or tea, but I have no food in the room when I facilitate so that people are really present to exactly what happens. It's a point of view. And do we need to eat in a 14 or 16-hour workshop? You betcha.


Heather: You betcha.


Patrick: But we do it outside, and we have a designated meal period.


Heather: I have a slightly different perspective on that, and I think it makes my job easier to have this different perspective.


Patrick: Tell me.


Heather: Because I entirely agree with you that this dedicated time to eat and for break and for rest outside of the content, very important. The mild variation, taking the Rubik's Cube and just, like, turning it a little bit so you still see all the same colors but the angle is a little different, is when these sensitive topics are coming up or we're talking about...whether we're just talking about someone navigating an emotional response to something where we're talking about serious mental illness and everything on the spectrum in between, it can be really physically activating for some people. And depending on your brain functionality or living with some, sort of, neurodivergence, for example, some people it's easier for them to listen while they doodle or easier for them to come back into their body if they've dissociated, if they've got something to sip on or chew on.


And so the rules for the room I like to set are exactly that, that we don't know what each individual needs in order to keep them present in the room. So, that may mean regular sips of cold water. It may mean chomping on some candy. It may mean doodling. It may mean closing your eyes or stepping out or deep breathing. Know yourself and take responsibility for yourself in the room in relationship to others.


Patrick: Totally agree with that.


Heather: So, don't bust out a bag of potato chips and chomp it while someone's telling you something deeply emotional. But to be aware that if somebody is engaging in behavior that you might perceive as, "They don't care," or they're disengaged, that you actually don't know the reality of how their body's reacting to the content.


Patrick: Beautiful response. And pun intended, food for thought for me. I'm already aligned with people. You take a break. You take a breather. People need to leave the room. I'm all supportive of that. Sips of water. Water is always in my room. And even coffee and tea. I'm just reacting to physical food.


Heather: Of course.


Patrick: But I hear you. For a specific participant, it may be a go-to place to feel grounded. As you say, munching on something. So, food for thought for me.


Heather: And the reality is, like I said, at the top of that, it makes my job harder because I am easily distractible. I live with ADHD. I have a high level of anxiety when I present, coming from a place of care and investment.


Patrick: You do?


Heather: I do.


Patrick: Before you present or when you present?


Heather: While I'm presenting, I don't even actually have a conscious awareness that it's bubbling in my existence until I think I perceive someone as checking out. I perceive someone is not caring or checking their emails.


Patrick: And then the anxiety impulse.


Heather: And then almost involuntarily, my focus feels like [vocalization] person, and we could have...90 people could say it changed their lives, and one says, "This was trash," and I've decided I'm trash. And I know that is not the reality but it is what is happening...


Patrick: But it's your reality in the moment.


Heather: ...in my brain. So, that's another thing I share with rooms of people. After I set the "take care of yourselves," I also make a request, "This is how you can take care of me. This is what's going to happen in my body if the following things happen." And I give them... This is a self-protecting tactic. I give them permission to get up and leave the room if they do need to engage in munching on chips, jumping jacks, close your eyes, and take a nap, please leave the room, because I think it makes it easier for people to get out of their seats and excuse themselves. And selfishly, it makes it easier for me to accept it when people do. We've all agreed that it's okay mid-sentence to get up and leave the room.


Patrick: Yeah, yeah. For sure. Very interesting.


Heather: So, yeah, it's funny. I don't know if it's funny. I think it's actually authentically what I'm trying to do, which is live in and exist in the very concepts that I'm sharing with other people, which sounds like you do as well.


Patrick: I believe I share that with you.


Heather: Yeah, yeah.


Patrick: I believe I share that with you. Very, very interesting.


Heather: What do you think are the...I almost used the word "consequences," but maybe potential drawbacks or potential cons? Why wouldn't someone in a leadership position adopt this freedom of limitlessness you had mentioned through authentic communication?


Patrick: I have that belief that we have been so conditioned starting at age 5 to mostly house image versus authentic that we just have become more comfortable in that space. And I think it feels so scary for people to go to that place until they experience, and I use that word very deliberately, a freedom that is associated with authenticity that's different than image. But we have been so conditioned to project ourselves a certain way, and that's the only way that I know and I've been conditioned to be in that space. And to all of a sudden step out of this requires, as I said, courage, get out of the uncomfortable, the willingness to take risks. And some people are not that...you know, it's not that easy for them. You know, it's not that easy for them to...


Heather: And if we have been, which I believe we also have been conditioned to behave that way, because that's a social, communal understanding. When someone steps outside of that, of course we go, "Oh," you point the finger, like, judging, judging, "they're behaving in a different way than we were conditioned." And all of us are like, "I'm that way too, but I'm not going to say it out loud." But look at that person.


Patrick: Exactly.


Heather: It's a bully pointing at someone else so that nobody points it back at them. If someone is listening and they are craving to walk into their workspace today and do one little thing different or make one adjustment, because so many people I found before they experienced the training are just resistant to yet another to do, "Now I have to do this. Now I have to do work on myself. My to-do list is so long, I can't see the bottom of it, but now I got to add this extra layer to it." What is one to-do that can help them start to make those changes into that space where they can experience that freedom?


Patrick: Can I just change the dialogue a tiny bit?


Heather: Please.


Patrick: It's not a doing, it's a being. So, it is not one more thing to do. If you go to one more thing to do, everybody will just about burst, including myself. It is what needs to shift in my being/my behavior/my attitude that will actually possibly take away from the doing list. What needs to shift? And for somebody, it means I may have to be courageous in having a conversation with my boss that I know will feel incredibly uncomfortable. That's being courageous. That's not doing courageous.


For somebody, it may be, "I may choose to take a risk and tell somebody that I'm in a shady place." That's also courage. But for somebody, it may be being vulnerable. It may be being courageous. It may be being purposeful. Call whatever beings you want to call in, which one resonates to you most and which one is the one that I need to apply today? I always say in a conversation that I'm envisioning with somebody that I don't know how to be it. I set an intention. You know, in a conversation with Heather, what is my intention right now over the next 10 minutes as I'm meeting with her? What's the intention? And once I'm clear what my purpose, my intention is in that moment, then always ask myself in a silly way, three ways of being that will support me to manifest that intention into reality. And it's every single time different, and it's not a doing. So, it's not an add on the do list. Forget add-ons on the do list. We are all overwhelmed. I think you are, I am, and every single people that I meet in my workshops, it's not a doing. It's a being. I think that's where the shift needs to occur first. And then strange enough, the doing becomes somewhat more manageable and, again, direct correlation to results. That's an attempt at the response. And hopefully it's not too concept-y.


Heather: Patrick, thank you so much for sitting down with me today. I feel like I just can't wait to have you back on because more to talk about.


Patrick: We do.


Heather: So, maybe this will be a regular segment. We'll do Patrick Weekly. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. That was beautifully said.


Patrick: And right back at you, thank you for the opportunity to be considered to maybe making a bit of a dent, [inaudible 00:39:25] emotionally, a bit of a dent in the realm of mental wellbeing that I never thought I would have anything. That's not my room to play in. And to all of a sudden say, "Hold on, maybe there is a room for me to play and step up my game in that domain higher than it is now," then it is nothing but a privilege. And thank you for creating that space for me, Heather, and to talk to you. I would love to come back.


Heather: The way you speak of it makes me confident that it's not a dent but a butterfly effect.


Patrick: I'll take that.


Heather: If you want to connect with Patrick, head to his website, ghielmettiandassociates.com. Spending just a few minutes a day, talking about, thinking about, putting words to what it is that you're feeling and experiencing will change your life, your relationships, and maybe even your job. Visit heatherbodie.com where you can stay connected, sign up for our newsletter, get access to show notes, bonus content. And remember, you don't have to be an expert to talk about mental health at work.



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