The Elegant Warrior is a podcast for all of those who want to ask for what they want and get it, with elegance. Heather Hansen interviews guests like activist, mom and actress Kelly Rutherford, authors BJ Fogg and Nir Eyal, ABC Legal Analyst and host of Live PD Dan Abrams, and many more, discussing how they define elegance and how they maintain it in times of trial.
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The Entitlement Gap
This week I’m talking about the Entitlement Gap. It’s the idea that men feel entitled to promotions, jobs, support and power and women do not. I read about it in The Female Lead’s study, which is here. And I wrote about it in a Medium article, here.
Bryan McFarland on the 3x5 Life
Bryan McFarland is an entrepreneur and the founder of 3x5 Life. At 3x5 Life they make daily productivity cards to keep track of tasks and celebrate wins. The cards are analog, so you don’t have to go into your phone to check what is on your schedule or To Do List. They’re in sight, to remind you of your tasks. And they also contain morning gratitude and afternoon win prompts, to keep you focused on the good and on celebration.
Bryan’s book choice is The Slight Edge-Turning Simple Disciplines Into Massive Success and Happiness You can buy it here: https://www.amazon.com/Slight-Edge-Turning-Disciplines-Happiness/dp/1626340463
His song choice is Trevor Hall “Everything I Need": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2Ppwwa3zfI
Trade defensiveness for Curiosity
You can pre-order my next book, Advocate to Win-10 Tools to Ask for What You Want and Get It, here. Then send my team the receipt at email@example.com and you’ll get the course with the ten tools for free!
Twenty years as a defense attorney will make you defensive. It’s part of the job after all. But I’ve found the more defensive I am, the worse I do, in the courtroom and also in life. And when I trade defensiveness for curiosity, I win. As a self advocacy coach, I’ve seen this work for my clients as well. When they trade defensiveness for curiosity, they win.
First, you should know my definition of win. It’s from the Cambridge Dictionary, and it is to “receive something positive because you’ve earned it”. You can receive more fun, better relationships, more self awareness, and better outcomes when you earn it by trading your defensiveness for curiosity.
It worked for me. Years ago I’d been in a relationship for a few years and we’d been through a lot together. But suddenly my partner started saying “You’re miserable.” This made me miserable! I got very defensive and I could feel it in my body. My shoulders jumped up and became earrings. My stomach tied itself in knots, my jaw clenched and my hips tightened. So I defended.
“I’m not miserable! Ask anyone. Anyone who knows me will tell you I’m enthusiastic, optimistic and happy. For God’s sake, my nickname used to be Pollyanna!” I’d yell — miserably.
And I’d become more miserable. Then one day I was working on my next book, Advocate to Win, and sharing the 5 Cs of an Advocate. One of those Cs is Curiosity, and I decided to try trading my defensiveness for curiosity. I got curious.
“Am I miserable?” The answer was yes. The thoughts I was thinking about this relationship were making me miserable. As soon as I put down my defenses that became very clear. Then I decided to get even more curious. What if I owned it? “I am miserable.” It didn’t feel good, but it gave me a lot of insight. It was time for a change. After some work and some awareness I was able to change my thoughts about the relationship so that I felt less miserable. And then I was able to leave the relationship and maintain the friendship. No more misery-that was my win! And I earned it by putting down my defenses and being curious.
My clients have had similar results when they’ve traded their defensiveness for curiosity. One of my clients has a husband who called her boring. She told me about this and listed all of her defenses.
“I get up at 4am to play volleyball!” “I love to party!” “I play dress up with the kids all the time!”
She had her defenses ready. But I asked her to trade them for curiosity.
“Are there times you are boring?”
I visually watched her shoulders drop.
“Well, sure. I go to bed early. I don’t always want to watch TV late at night with him. And sometimes I don’t want to go out when he does…..Maybe I AM boring!”
We both laughed. It was no longer such a big deal to be boring when she owned that it was possible. And that meant she could talk to her husband about it without fighting. When you trade defensiveness for curiosity, you tend to fight a whole lot less. They talked about the ways in which she could be less “boring” and he could be less “lazy” (her biggest criticism of him). And now they’re both having a lot more fun.
And trading your defensiveness for curiosity doesn’t mean you have to acquiesce. Sometimes you do have to defend. In those situations, you start with curiosity and then move on to the defenses.
When I was trying cases, I’d always start with curiosity. I defended doctors when their patients sued them. And when the case came in, I’d approach the allegations with curiosity. How could this be true? How could the jury think this is tru
Alain Hunkins on Being a Strong Leader
Alain Hunkins is a keynoter, a facilitator, a coach and a leadership expert. He’s also the author of Cracking the Leadership Code-3 Secrets to Building Strong Leaders. You can find his book and all things Alain here.
Alain’s book choice is The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
His song choice is Firework by Katy Perry
When you know your values, you win
My clients want to become better advocates for their teams, their ideas, their products or their bank accounts. They come to me to learn how to build credibility, use evidence, ask better questions, hone their body language/tone of voice and argue if necessary. And I give them the tools to become an extraordinary advocate. But we begin with their core values. Because when you know your core values, your choices become clear and your wins become easy.
Core values are the foundation upon which we build our choices, our actions and our results. In my keynotes I share the 5 Cs of an Advocate — Connection, Compassion, Creativity, Curiosity and Credibility. Those are the core values of an advocate, the foundation upon which they build their ask. And 3 of those are my core values as well. Compassion, Curiosity and Credibility are my core values. They are my touchstones, the three things I measure every decision and every action by, and they help me advocate to win.
I use these core values every day. I use them to decide who to hire, whether to take on a project, whether to work with an individual, when to stay and when to go. They guide everything. But that’s not the most important reason to have core values. The most important reason is to overcome self doubt.
Much of my work is helping my clients doubt more and believe less. We all have self doubt and it won’t ever be completely eradicated. But there are proven tools that can help. And one involves knowing and using your core values. When women know and reflect on their core values before a competitive business endeavor, they do better. And many believe this is because they have less self doubt.
In this study, Zoe Kinias and Jessica Sim took female MBA students and separated them into 2 groups. One reflected on and wrote about their personal values before taking exams and making presentations. The other reflected on and wrote about institutional values. In the group that reflected on institutional values, there was a gender gap in GPA, with the women performing worse than men. In the group that reflected on their personal core values, there was no gap.
Kinias and Sim attributed this difference to participants having less self doubt and more self worth after reviewing their values. And that surely helped. But I also believe that reviewing the values helped the women to remove themselves from the equation. When I’m advocating for Curiosity, Compassion and Credibility it’s a lot easier than when I’m advocating for me. We know that women are phenomenal advocates for others and less so for themselves. Maybe the women in this study were suddenly advocating for their values. And that allowed them to win.
So I encourage you to take the time to know and own your core values. Reflect on them, write on them, commit them to heart. If you have trouble coming up with them, begin by brainstorming all of the words/qualities that most resonate with you. Come up with at least 10 words. Then see where those words have overlap. For example, when I decided on my core values I came up with kindness, love, connection, caring and ability to see through other’s perspective. These all overlapped with one overriding word — compassion. That, therefore, became one of my core values.
Do the work to know your core values. Then reflect on them before you advocate for yourself. See yourself as advocating for those core values. You might find that you begin to doubt less and believe more. My definition of win is always the Cambridge Dictionary definition “to receive something positive because you’ve earned it”. You might receive better grades, more compensation, more clients, better culture and happier team mates if you earn it by knowing and living your core values.
The Power of Women with Elizabeth Lesser
Elizabeth is the co-founder of the Omega Institute and the author of many books including New York Times best seller Broken Open-How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow. She is one of Oprah’s Super Soul 100. Her new book Cassandra Speaks-When Women Are the Story Tellers, the Human Story Changes is an eye opening look at the stories we’ve told.
You can find all things Elizabeth here: https://www.elizabethlesser.org/
Her book choice was A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf: https://www.amazon.com/Room-Ones-Own-Virginia-Woolf/dp/1614272778
Her song was Break the Shell by India.Arie:
The day I found this podcast, is the day I took charge of my life. I never thought I could handle being a pre-med student, let alone maintain a 4.0 GPA. With this podcast I learned how to cope with stress, change negative thoughts, and advocate for my needs in the classroom. If you want to upgrade yourself,I honestly recommend subscribing! Thank you so much Heather <3
I look forward to this podcast every week. It has inspired me and given me more confidence to be my authentic self. I highly recommend it and am so grateful that I found it!
Elegant. Sophisticated. Intelligent.
If you identify with those 3 words as a woman, you need to be listening to Heather! Her background in law (and therefore psychology) is immensely helpful when addressing how we as powerful women can be more effective, efficient, and sane 🤣 Thank you for all the 💎 you have dropped since starting this podcast!!! 🙌🏼🙌🏼