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From Concern to Connection- 4 Step Roadmap to Difficult Conversations -86
Episode 8612th March 2024 • THE GRIT SHOW • Shawna Rodrigues
00:00:00 00:43:01

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On this thought-provoking installment of The Grit Show, Shawna Rodrigues delves into the art of navigating difficult conversations with a deft touch grown from her rich background in clinical practice and high-stakes environments. In today's conversation Shawna extends her sage advice to preparing for and engaging in challenging dialogues, whether with loved ones or within professional realms. With a unique blend of personal anecdotes and expert insights, Shawna invites you to reevaluate and refine your approach to conflict resolution and intentional communication using a 4 step roadmap with concrete ways of looking at things. Shawna encourages you to reflect on your intentions and the right conditions for initiating these vital discussions. With a heartening blend of professional expertise and genuine care, she provides a guide for separating the personal from the practical, and addresses how external pressures like layoffs or anniversaries can add layers of complexity to our interactions. Remember, difficult conversations are seldom about just one thing—often, there's a hidden story. And if you've been waiting for a sign to reexamine your communication strategies, this is it. Tune in to discover the keys to unlocking more compassionate and goal-oriented conversations in your life.

Shawna Rodrigues left her award-winning career in the public sector in 2019 and after launching The Grit Show, soon learned the abysmal fact that women hosted only 27% of podcasts. This led to the founding of the Authentic Connections Podcast Network intent on raising that number by 10% in five years- 37 by 27. Because really, shouldn’t it be closer to 50%? She is the Director of Impact for the network, which offers full-service support for podcasting from mentoring to production. In September 2023 they are also launching the EPAC (Entrepreneurs and Podcasters Authentically Connected) community for those in early stages and wanting a place for weekly connection. She still finds a little time for her pursuits as a best-selling author and shares the hosting of Author Express, a podcast that features the voice behind the pages of your favorite book. Find her on Instagram- @ShawnaPodcasts and learn more about the network and other happenings at https://linktr.ee/37by27.

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Transcripts

We feel it is important to make our podcast transcripts available for accessibility. We use quality artificial intelligence tools to make it possible for us to provide this resource to our audience. We do have human eyes reviewing this, but they will rarely be 100% accurate. We appreciate your patience with the occasional errors you will find in our transcriptions. If you find an error in our transcription, or if you would like to use a quote, or verify what was said, please feel free to reach out to us at connect@37by27.com.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

Are you familiar with that weight in your belly when you have something difficult you need to talk about with someone else? Do you know that feeling of your tongue choking back in your throat because the words are essentially trapped there? Or maybe you've gotten the words out, but they feel like they've just fallen flat and are tumbling over each other, and they're not quite the right words, and you can't find the right words in the jumble of what's fallen out of your mouth, and you aren't sure that they're actually connecting with the person you're talking to. We've all been there. We all have a hard time with challenging conversations. Difficult conversations aren't fun. I definitely enjoy the feeling after they're done, of knowing that we've gotten to the other side and the connection that can happen once we've actually sorted through the mess a little bit. But that initial feeling, that feeling before them, we've all had that. We've all experienced that. And that's part of the challenge, right? That's why they're hard to have.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

So, today, we're going to do a little bit of untangling, a little bit of looking at these conversations a little bit differently and trying to find some tools and ways of approaching them that can make it a little bit easier. That can make it so you feel a little more assured, like you have something in your back pocket. That can make it a little easier to have these conversations instead of feeling like you have to avoid them, instead of having that feeling of dread in your belly. So, stick around. I think you'll get something out of this.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

Welcome to The Grit Show, where our focus is growth on purpose. I'm your host, Shawna Rodrigues, and I'm honored to be part of this community as we journey together with our grit intact to learn more about how to thrive and how to get the most out of life. It means a lot that you are here today. As you listen, I encourage you to think of who may appreciate the tidbits of knowledge we are sharing, and to take a moment to pass this along to them. Everyone appreciates a friend that thinks of them, and these conversations are meant to be shared and to spark even more connections.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

I've had the good fortune of doing some consulting, training, and speaking on various topics that are important to me, largely based on the career I've had before I came into podcasting. One of the things I've been able to have some conversations and do presentations and some training around is difficult conversations. It's one of those things that you don't realize you're good at until you realize this keeps coming up and I keep having some insight on it. Perhaps this is something I have some skill around that I've done a time or two. It definitely helps that I have a clinical degree, and in getting my master's in social work, I was able to look at these conversations from not just a clinical aspect, but also case management, human resources, and various different angles. So, it helped that I was able to do some training that got me to be able to learn a little bit and think about this and have some different insights and perspectives on how to have these conversations. But I honestly feel like my skills with difficult conversations land squarely in my personal life as well and goes back pretty far.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

I was also the person that chose to have a volunteer opportunity of working as an ER liaison, which meant that I was the person that went back and spoke to doctors and came out and spoke to family about what was going on during challenging times. And there was one Thanksgiving where I volunteered at a hospital in Louisiana that I remember distinctly some of the conversations I had with families and with doctors and the challenges of that day. So, having difficult conversations is something that I definitely put myself in the position to have, partially because of my desire to help and be of service to other individuals, if that makes sense. And it definitely is something that you stumble over and get nervous about and get better with time. I also facilitated a work group when I was in Washington, DC, doing a fellowship, which is fortunate to be in a fellowship because it's still kind of a learning opportunity, even though you're much further along in your career and already had my master's degree and a lot of experience, and I was bringing together a lot of different people to do a work group from different organizations with lots of dynamics. And I can remember that after I would facilitate these complicated work groups and meetings that I would go back to my office and just feel like I'd just given so much energy to be able to facilitate those meetings and navigate those different pieces that went into play there. But it was a great feeling to have been able to successfully navigate those conversations and to peek around corners and figure some of those things out and to be able to make some exciting, positive, big change things move forward because I was able to have those difficult conversations and address those hard things instead of throwing my hands up in the air and thinking, we're never going to get these people at the same table and get this to come together and make these things happen.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

So, as much as difficult conversations are hard, and you see the concerns about why a lot of people don't like approaching them and tend to avoid them at times. I've gotten to see the other side of them as well. I've gotten to see how having all the information was comforting to families, even if the information was hard to hear. I've gotten to be at a table with professionals that if we can navigate the complex dynamics between organizations, can actually make really positive things happen for children and families in my career, and I've gotten to work with staff to be able to see how really offering them constructive information about where they are in their role can make really important decisions happen about where they need to be in the work they need to be doing. So, I've been able to see both sides of those difficult conversations, and I feel like that's what's made them a little bit easier, because as much as there's still that challenge, that feeling in the pit of your stomach, that choking in the back of your throat that comes with having these conversations, I have an awareness that it'll still be worth it, and there is something to be had on the other side, and this awareness that the stress lessens once you've had those difficult conversations, and things do get easier and better on the other side. And that goes for relationships in a lot of other places as well.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

So, I'm excited today for us to talk a little bit about some of the work that I've been able to do and kind of apply it for you. So, one of the things that I've done specifically was to be able to write out for the team that I worked with in a recent workshop and presentation I did, I actually made a roadmap. And when I made the roadmap, we used road, ROAD for that roadmap to give them some guidance about difficult conversations. So, today we're only going to have time to really touch on the first two pieces, the R and the O, and then we'll do a follow up next week to get to that A and the D. So, you can have that full road in your roadmap to difficult conversations and hopefully give you some tools that you can find as assets in your way of looking at them and having those conversations.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

So, for that road, the R is about reflection, the O is outcomes, and keeping focus on the outcomes that you want. A is about anticipating what may come up and what you might be working with. And D is all about the delivery, which I think is one of the pieces that we'll all feel better if we have some guardrails to help us when we're looking towards having that delivery. So, today we're going to focus on the R and the O. So, looking at the reflection you can do in advance of that conversation to help support it and make it easier, and the O about the outcomes and how to keep that conversation outcomes driven.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

So, in doing this, let's start with that R. So, when you're getting ready to have a conversation that's difficult and this can be work related, this can be with one of your children, this can be with a family member, with a sibling, with a parent. This can be with a partner. We have difficult conversations all the time. It's part of life. Or we need to be having difficult conversations all the time, right? So, in the title for this episode, we talked about that continuum of going from concern to connection. So, a lot of times, if it's easier to kind of frame it is, a lot of difficult conversations are conversations where there's a concern that needs to be addressed. So, something that needs to be addressed is concerning, or that kind of hits something with you that needs to be looked at. And so, in that reflection period, part of what we're doing is to look at what do I need to take into consideration before approaching this conversation. So, what are the things I need to consider that are part of this conversation? And part of that is possibly why is there a concern or what is concerning about this, right? But let's start with a reflection. A little step back. So, how am I feeling overall? Am I in a good place to address this? And this is one that, honestly, this goes into conversations we've had about boundaries in the past. We had some good episodes over the summer about boundaries. I'm sure you remember that, right?

Shawna Rodrigues [:

So, our conversations around boundaries that sometimes you're not in a place and this isn't the time to address something and for you to be aware that that's okay, that you need to be in the right space and mind sometimes to address these things and bring this up, and something keeps getting kicked down the road that maybe you need to look at why that keeps happening, why you're not in a place to address it, but that being in a place that you're overall able to address something that's good and this is a little easier when it's extended family, people that you don't live with and don't see as often that you can possibly wait until there's a good place and time. Oftentimes the best place to address things and this includes with kids and kids’ behavior, too, is not right in the moment when something is happening. So, if there's been a concerning behavior with a sibling, with a parent, with one of your children, that something's happened, that you want to be able to talk to them about, that waiting till you're in a good moment with somebody, that you're in a good place and you're able to talk about it more clearly, articulate what's going on, and be able to reflect on it a little bit better, that that's the time to address it. Not in the middle of when everything's flared up and everyone's flared up and having a hard time being able to see through the emotions and the feelings to be able to kind of address what's going on. So, being in a good place to address things can be very helpful. So, trying to have your first piece of reflection and say, like, how am I overall? Am I in a place to be able to address this and do this, or am I just trying to control three things over here? Because everything is so hard for me to control over here. Am I really stressed at work? So, I'm addressing the three things at home that I can try to address because I can't really address the problem at work, right? So, trying to reflect about where you're at and why you want to address this right now is kind of part of that.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

And so, in your reflection to also think about, is there something of the people involved or the topic involved that makes it more difficult? So, like we said, the concern piece, right? Am I concerned? Is there an extra level of concern because of the people involved or the topic involved? And some of that can be like, am I a little extra sensitive because we are talking about my kids in schoolwork, this topic that I need to have this conversation about at schoolwork and I'm very sensitive to school because maybe I didn't do well in school, and I feel like that's been a shortcoming of mine for my whole life. And so, I'm really sensitive about that with my kids. So, the topic is schoolwork, and that's a sensitive topic with me. And so, am I aware that that's part of like, going into this, I need to be aware that this is harder for me to talk about because it's sensitive for me and I need to keep my part of that sensitivity with me and not necessarily put it on my kids and make this a more difficult conversation because the topic is harder for me and not that it's a hard topic overall and that's what's making it hard. Or if it's something with the people involved, is there someone, like, if it's a work situation, is there something about the person involved? Like, you have someone you supervise at work and they remind you of a sister that you have a very tenuous relationship with or someone you've worked with previously that you have a difficult relationship with. So, is there something about the person involved that reminds you of other people and other relationships that you might be bringing into it? So when you look at the people involved or the topic involved as you reflect, does it trigger and connect to other points in your life or other people in your life that you need to be mindful of walking into this conversation so that you make sure that you're talking about your child and their algebra right now and not talking about your relationship with learning and school and what you think that's done for you or hasn't done for you in your life, so that it can be about them and this topic and not about this bigger piece. And if it's a colleague you're working with, are you just putting on them everything your sister has done to you throughout your life when you're having this conversation with this colleague at work because of something they did in a meeting, when really, it's about the one thing that happened in the meeting and not about all of these things you associated with that behavior because of somebody else in your life and their behaviors that it correlates with. And so being able to really divide out, reflect and divide out what you're actually going to be addressing and talking to this person about and dividing out what about the topic or what about the person might touch up against other things that could easily flood in and come and try to be part of the conversation that don't need to be part of the conversation. So, as you reflect to kind of separate out, so check in about how you're feeling overall and then be able to look at the topic and the person to make sure that there's no other things that are like falling on top of it that can make it more complicated than it needs to be.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

And that's part of it because the other question we asked is about outside factors and stressors that add to the difficult the conversation. And so, that's like, beyond just the person and the topic. That's like going into the bigger picture. So, it might be outside factors, and outside factors can largely be invisible factors. So, if you go back to our conversation around the cherry blossoms, do you guys remember that episode of The Grit Show? It was episode 6, and then we did a replay of it. So, if you just search for cherry blossoms on the website, you would also get it. But episode 6, we talked about cherry blossoms. And in that episode, we talked about how there can be unforeseen things that are affecting how we approach things.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

So, sometimes there will be things that you know nothing about that are playing a factor in things. But other times, there may be things that are playing a factor that we haven't paused to recognize that they may be having an effect or playing into things. So, for instance, if you're going to be having a conversation with a colleague, and right now, I live in Oregon, and Nike just had a very large layoff. So, let's say I worked at Nike, and we just had a very large layoff. So, if I'm going to be having a conversation with somebody around moving meeting times and how things are happening and my concern over them fitting everything in the entire time I'm having this conversation, if I'm a supervisor, they may be thinking I'm evaluating their performance in a way that I might be getting ready to lay them off. Right? Because that's in the background at that organization about layoffs that are happening throughout the organization. So, it's like these larger factors that might be at play, right? Or it might be that I work with somebody whose partner did just get laid off. And so, part of the reason they're so distracted at work is because their partner just got laid off. So, if you listen to our conversation with Tomas, not that very long ago, we talked about that interplay right around emotions and that piece at work. So, in episode 83, we talked about that piece of emotional intelligence. So, it might be something that you need to be aware of that the reason they're distracted at work has nothing to do with their work and their performance. It has to do with their concern over them paying the mortgage because their partner was just laid off and they're trying to find work and may have to relocate, and other things are happening in their life right now. So, that's part of having this ability to look at outside factors and stressors that may be behind this conversation. Right? And as you're having those conversations with your family members, that it might be around the anniversary of losing a parent, or it might be something else significant that's playing into the way they're behaving, the way things are happening.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

So, to have that moment of reflection before you're having these difficult conversations to be like, is there something else that might be at play and it's possible that you won't be able to know what those outside factors are. So, sometimes, just like we discussed in our episode around the cherry blossoms, right, you won't be able to know, but you can look at the overall patterns. So, if you know your child, if you know your sister, your partner, if you know your colleague or someone you supervise, and this behavior isn't like them, it's a blip, right? It's not their usual behavior. That instead of you attributing that behavior to 12 other people, you know that the one time that they were late, like they started being late all the time and people are just always late. That the one time your kid is late and it's a blip, that you treat it like a blip and maybe try to figure out what might be the underlying pieces, right? Or you just reflect going in that this isn't their usual behavior. There might be something I don't know and can't know, or going back to the cherry blossom episode, that they don't even know that might be going on for them. And this is a temporary thing. And so, to be aware that that might be the case.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

I definitely love the fact that I do a very small amount of coaching with a select group of managers. And when I meet with them, we've been able to talk about that they have staff, that maybe this might be the reason, and I don't know the staff that they supervise, it very well is not the reason. Right? But to be able to have the moment of saying maybe they just found out their partner has a terminal illness diagnosis, maybe they just found out that something else happened with another family member, perhaps it's related to this and they're not comfortable sharing that information. And so, to be able to walk into those circumstances, I might not know everything going on here, and to be able to have that benefit of the doubt, so to speak, or that room for that bit of information you don't know that might be playing into it, to have that openness before you go into these difficult conversations that you don't have all the answers and it is a conversation for you to gain more information, know about that the person is not going to be comfortable sharing with you, but to leave grace and room for what those things might be. So, as you're having those conversations, to maybe just consider that whatever difficult conversation you're going to have with your child, with your staff that you supervise with a colleague, that there might be room for other stories and what the base information of what you know is all you know. And I think we had a conversation with Victoria when she was on the podcast that she talked about how when somebody else walked on the other side of the street, that they just didn't see you. They just didn't say, hi. Like, you don’t know. You just know they didn't say hi to you. You don't know why. Even if they saw you, if they didn't see you, if there was a reason or not a reason. And try to let go of all that additional piece of that story. So, try to let go of all the things you don't know and realize that there could be a lot of things you don't know, that there could be other reasons why.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

So, that's the reflection, and the other piece of that is actually the digging deeper and the five whys and why the conversation is important. But to start with a reflection of trying to figure out how you're feeling, trying to see is there something about people involved or topic involved that might be a trigger that needs to be kind of sussed out? And then what are some of the outside factors? And try to boil it down, just the facts a little bit. And to think about the outside factors that might be affecting the conversation when you have that conversation that make it a little more concerning or a little bit more difficult.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

Yeah, I know. There's a lot there. Okay. So, the outcomes focus. What is the desired outcome? What is it that you're trying to get out of this conversation and for you to know that, because sometimes we go into these difficult conversations and we don't know what we want to get out of it. And sometimes what we want to get out of it is something different than what we walk into it with. Like, sometimes we're having a conversation with our colleague, and we think it's because we need to find out what happened to this report, but really, the conversation’s about we need to connect and get better flow on our team and get things to work better for us to feel more connected as a team. And that's kind of the outcome, is to get us to feel better connected so information can flow a little more strongly. And so, really, the focus is getting information to flow and for us to feel more connected as a team, and that's what the outcome is.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

And so, really, resolving this one document, this one piece of information on here, is less important than getting this overall flow and understanding to come into play. And sometimes when you're trying to resolve a conflict between two of your kids, like, what is the outcome you're going for? Is it to get peace for the afternoon and quiet in the house? Or is it to help your kids be able to better express how they're feeling and what their needs are? And so, kind of knowing what the outcomes you're trying to get from the conversation can help you figure it out. Knowing what you're trying to get out of it is so important sometimes, and we don't often get times to really reflect and think about that. If you're just delivering your punishment to a kid who stayed out too late, that's not a difficult conversation. That's just delivering a punishment. But if you're actually trying to gain deeper understanding, build connection to your teenager, if you're trying to better understand what happened, if you're trying to help them see that their safety is important to you, if you're trying to do these other pieces, then it's a difficult conversation. If you're trying just give them a punishment and walk away, then that's not a difficult conversation. That's like giving an edict, and this is what it is and walking away.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

And so, if you remember that you're there to do those other pieces, that you're trying to help them understand that you care about them, that their safety is important to you, that you want clear communication, and those things can be very different conversation. And what you say or don't say and what you try to get them to say can be very different when that's the case. And having that and again, when you're doing the reflection is part of this, right. So, this outcome focus, and the reflecting on what those outcomes are, right? That kind of just fold them together very nicely because you want to be focused on what that outcome is that you're really actually looking for. You're not looking to have a surly teenager trapped in your house for two weeks. That's just part of the fact you want to have boundaries and you want to keep them safe, and so you need to have boundaries for them. And this is the consequence of what's happened, right?

Shawna Rodrigues [:

And so, the outcome isn't just, that may be part of the outcome, but really you want them to understand how important their safety is and how much you care about them and how much you want them to be safe. And so, trying to keep that in and to use that platform and that time to be able to do that will have you trying to find out more or communicating different things when you're having that conversation. If you start with your solution already, so, if you're going in with a team meeting, that's a difficult conversation about how you need to do cuts and you've already decided what the cuts are like, that solved the problem. But are you trying to solve a problem or are you trying to assure your team that even though there are financial restraints, that their perspective is still important, that they're still part of a team, that you all work together, that the priorities of the organization haven't changed, even though there's been a flux in finances. What are the outcomes of this difficult conversation that you want to make sure are held and upheld? If you're having a complicated conversation around somebody's medical care they need. If you're talking to a parent who is in need of their medical choices need to be made for them, the part of that conversation can be, what are the outcomes? What does it actually focus on the outcomes for them? And how are you trying to, like, you want them to know that they're cared and they're loved and that they get to make the decisions, perhaps. And so, trying to remember what that is instead of like, no, the outcome is we have to do what I've decided we're already doing instead of, maybe you thought the outcome was going to be that they were going to end up in this specific care home because you evaluated criteria and that was the answer. But if the outcomes you're focused on is for them to feel loved and cared about and like they have a say and they're able to communicate, then you can lay out the parameters and possibly why this home you feel meets them. And maybe they have thoughts and ideas, or maybe you have a sibling at the table that has thoughts and ideas, and there might be other ways to meet that. So, the outcomes are that we want mom to be in a facility where she feels cared about and loved. That also is within this financial parameter that we feel is comfortable for the family to afford, that everyone might land on the same answer that you've already considered. But there might be two things you hadn't considered, and so that if the outcome is this and not that mom ends up in this specific facility, it can be a whole different conversation. And so, as we think about that, that's important. And part of the outcome’s conversation is, what is the outcomes you can control and what are the outcomes you can't control? Because some of those things you can't necessarily control.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

For instance, you can't control the waitlist at that facility, right? So, what are some of the outcomes that you can't necessarily control? Is it possible that part of what is making this conversation so hard is that you're trying to control something that is outside of your control. And there are a lot of things that are outside of your control. Right? And that example with your mom and the waitlist, right, about where she can or can't get in, that's outside of your control if they have an opening. What might also be outside of your control is her health and how quickly it's declining. And it might be that you really want her to be in a specific place, and her health may be such that she's not able to be in the home you really wanted her to be in. And that's the difficult thing you're dealing with. So, really the conversation isn't difficult, it's a situation. And what's outside of your control that is difficult for you to try to let go of and to reckon with a little bit.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

So, as you approach these conversations, it's valuable to have that little piece of, when you're figuring out the outcomes, to know what outcomes are in your control and what outcomes are outside of your control. Because you really do want what is best and for you to be able to know what things you can control for and what things you can't and what things you need to be able to let go of. So, that's where control kind of comes into play as well as you're reflecting, as you're looking at outcomes, what is in your control, what is outside of your control so that you can be able to release those things. And if we go back to that professional sphere, one of the things that I have been fortunate about in my career is that I have only really had to let someone go once. And in the other circumstances, I was able to work with somebody to help coach them in another direction if the position wasn't the right fit. And the willingness to have those difficult conversations was what helped to coach them in a different direction. Because there's a reason why things weren't clicking and working, and it's that element of being of service to them as well, and recognizing that wasn't the right fit for them. And their reaction to this conversation is not always in my control. Right? And so, there is one time where it was a matter of me trying to work with somebody and it didn't work, right? So, that person had to be moved in a different direction, that they weren't able to see what was or wasn't the right fit. In the other cases, we were able to have those conversations. And when I was doing some consulting work and working in more of a directorial position, the expectation from somebody else's agency was that I would be letting somebody go. My decision and what I did do was to actually work with them and having the hard conversations. It was a conversation. It wasn't that you no longer have a job here. It was, this is happening. This isn't working. Let's talk about this. Is this something we can resolve and figure out so that you can still have a position? Because there had been a long history, and one of the things that I work really well with managers and with doing my own work of finding those trends versus one off thing that have happened. Right? And this person had a good history and things had just shifted. And so, sometimes that's a good indication there's something that can be resolved and things get pointed back in the right direction, and that it might be a circumstance where they aren't feeling connected to the work, they aren't being supported. There might be outside circumstances that are affecting their ability to do their job and to be present and to be able to give what they want to be able to give in their role.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

And so, that was the conversation I was able to have with them. I was there in a consultancy role. I hadn't been there very long. This person didn't know me very well. That conversation could have gone much differently. They could have not wanted to have that conversation with me. It could have been shut down, and it could have ended differently, and they could not have had the opportunity to shift and change and be the person that they were and do really well in that role and shift and be able to work with in that agency strongly like they did. So, you can't control what the other person will bring and how that will occur. Right? And that goes for talking to a loved one, talking to a colleague, talking to someone you supervise. You can't control the other person. So, the outcomes aren't always in your control because there's things outside of your control. Right? But coming with that openness is an important part of being able to have successful conversations. And the more you are open and the less you've already planned everything out, the more likely you are to be able to arrive at something that can create connection and it can move things forward when you have an area of concern, because that openness leaves room for those pieces.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

So, we'll talk more next week about the A and the D, but we've definitely gotten a little peek into the R, the reflection before you have these conversations to kind of see why they are a little more challenging, what the block might be, where the concerns are and the O about what the outcomes you want to see happen so that you can kind of figure out where you want to go with them and what you want to see come of them. And that in our next conversation, we'll do a little bit of anticipating, a little bit of preparing the A and talk more about the delivery and about that actual conversation and kind of how to lay those things out a little bit. So, by the end of all this, we'll have more of a roadmap. Today we got a good laying out, which is that reflection and thinking about the outcomes. I don't know if you noticed, but the last time I did a solo episode, I forgot to do the self-maintenance minute. Can you believe that? And interestingly, my self-maintenance minute this week or the most important thing for me to convey is some AHA moments about things that need to be differently and the evolution of your self-maintenance and your self-care, and that it can shift and it can change. And that historically, one of the things that has been a very big self-care component for me has been travel. That I do go away, get away, and that's like when I really recharge.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

And that's been something I standardly do. And in the last year, since we've been in transition with a move, selling the house, everything else, travel has really been taken off the table. It's been harder to do with the transition, but also where we've moved to, I cannot easily travel from here, and travel takes a lot more time, a lot more effort. And the driving component of travel that can be relaxing for me is not relaxing over these mountain passes without salted roads that are just a little more treacherous and a lot more stressful. And travel hasn't been the same for me in the last bit of time. And so, it's been interesting that I've still done it some. I've still been doing it, but it hasn't been the same self-maintenance piece that it has been in the past. And so, it's interesting for me to be having to reevaluate and recognize that something that was the self-maintenance and self-care in the past isn't having that same effect.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

And so, I need to find other things to fill that in and kind of replace that. As well as you guys have probably heard me talk about, I discovered barre, BARRE, a type of exercise class since I moved to Bend, and have enjoyed doing that. And I enjoy the classes still, but the surrounding bureaucracy and different things I haven't enjoyed. And so, finally, I'm taking steps to actually cancel that membership and actually find a place that is the right fit. And it's so funny because it's the perfect example that today when I was there and was like, I've been trying to find on the website, on the app, like how to cancel my membership and I can't figure out and find how and where to do it, I was like, well, I signed up in person. I guess I have to cancel in person. So, I'm in there in person to cancel it. And they're like, oh, no, you have to send us an email. I was like, an email. They're like, yeah, we'll text you the email address for you to send us an email. And I was like, can you just give me the email? Can you just tell me what it is? I can put it up my phone and get the email. And they did write it down in a sticky note for me. I'm like, do you have a card or something with the email on it? Like, this is really how I have to do this? And then they explained to me that I'll send the email and then they'll get the email. And then I had to have a conversation with one of the managers. It was like this comical thing and it's 30 days before I can cancel and blah, blah, blah, blah, which is just the exact reason why I'm canceling, is all of these obstacles that are put into place that get in the way of my enjoyment because of the bureaucracy. And it's a bunch of different things than that. Obviously, this is the first time trying to cancel and have run into all of this, but everything is just more complicated and more ridiculous than it needs to be for me to do these classes that are good for me and my health from the way you have to schedule and the schedule changes. And I can't put it standardly into when I'm going to do it each time. And then their classes fill up and there's a waitlist and I'll be 12th in the waitlist, but I'll get into the class even though I'm 12th in the waitlist because that's just the way it works with people that have unlimited memberships. They just book a bunch and then cancel them. But if you cancel less than 4 hours before, you're still charged and my cancellation, if you don't cancel the waitlist, you get in 4 hours before and if you still don't have time, you had to pay the $15 cancellation fee because you were on the waitlist. So, you have to be very mindful of you being on waitlist. Otherwise, you have to pay cancellation fee because you'll get in at the last minute because that's when other people canceled, even though you're 12th on the waitlist.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

So, it's one of the things that it's just like disruptive, instead of being easy to go to these classes and easy to be part of this, and it just needs to be easier. But that's the thing that this is my self-maintenance. My self-care is doing this, and yet all these other things get in the way. So, I need to find the things that are for me, self-care and self-maintenance that can go with flow and with ease, and that can be that. And so, travel used to be like that, but it doesn't now. So, I need to find something else that has more flow and ease. That doesn't require so much effort around it, because then it becomes more on that stress meter. Right? So, that's kind of my thoughts around the self-maintenance right now, is that I'm trying to find ways to have my self-maintenance really be that I shouldn't be trying to travel the trips because it adds a lot of stress to trying to do this self-care, self-maintenance.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

And I'm not going to belong to pure barre because the pure barre system is just adding extra stress and layers and extra pieces instead of actually being able to let me care for myself. And so, I'm reinventing the things I'm doing to care for myself that can go with flow and with ease. And so, looking at having my plan for this week for my time is to actually have reading time in the afternoons where I actually block out a time and get some quiet time to actually sit and read. So, I haven't done it yet this week. So, our self-maintenance conversation today is about how to evaluate once you find things that are kind of your self-care and self-maintenance to make sure that your baking, if you do bake as something you do, that's your quiet time, your thinking time, that doesn't turn to this big stress because you have committed to baking for 20 people once a week. And it's stressful and overwhelming, and it's one more thing you have to fit in. So, to make sure that you have that, as we talked about the outcomes, the intent, the reflection piece, right? Even with that, to make sure it's still being what you need it to be. And as we get our takeaway, our grit wit for today, because we talked about these difficult conversations for you to actually reflect on, if there's a conversation you've been avoiding that you need to have with somebody.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

And to kind of start, like as we get ready to add on to next week, to be looking more at the anticipation and the delivery, like, to get prepared for it a little bit, to start doing this reflection piece and to start doing the outcomes piece on this conversation. So, to think about if you've been needing to have a conversation with your partner, a conversation with one of your kids, with your child's teacher, with one of your colleagues, to start taking a specific conversation that you want to walk through this process with, and to start doing that, and to actually do the reflection that we kind of walk through about where you're at with it, what the other factors might be that are at play with it, and to start rolling it around in your mind to get a deeper understanding of it and to start thinking about what the actual outcomes you want for that conversation might be. So, that's your takeaway today. To start actually finding a conversation you want to work through this week and next week, to be able to use and apply this information to, and to start thinking it through, mulling it over, you might start jotting down notes, find a place you're going to keep track of it so that you can start working through that and get to the other side. Because it's great when you can actually apply this stuff and find the ways for you to use it. So, I'm glad you're here. Thank you for being here and part of this, and I look forward to continue this conversation next week.

Shawna Rodrigues [:

Thank you for joining us today. I hope you enjoyed this episode. Be sure to jump on over to Instagram and follow us at the.grit.show. And if you aren't already following Authentic Connections Podcast Network at 37by27, you should definitely be doing that as well. Don't forget, you are the only one of you that this world has got, and that means something. I'll be here next Tuesday. I hope you are, too.

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