Jenn was like many of us- on the career fast track to climb the corporate ladder. Then at 26 a life changing event occurred that forced her to rethink everything- she had a massive stroke that caused her to have to relearn everything she knew. Today I speak with her about that event and how it changed her life's focus and what's really important.
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| Timestamp Speaker Transcript | | | | | |
| 00:00.16 Jenn Farrer Your of of the show of your interviews I love I love the show I love that you're doing this? Um | yeah | thank you thank you for doing it. Um I don't think so I mean you said it and you know when you were talking to Steve in your episode. It's kind of when you're a guest on on these things you.
| 00:04.75 audraagen Hello Paul ah thank you? Thank you. | | | |
| 00:19.16 Jenn Farrer I don't know I'm I'm following your lead I don't know exactly know what to expect and as long as my is my sound good. That's great. Yeah I've got a mic and the the whole boom and everything. But um | it was a lot to get set up today. Ah so. | | | | |
| 00:19.96 audraagen Down. Sound is perfect. | | | | |
| 00:35.92 audraagen Excellent | yeah and this this fancy setup that you see in here. This is a closet in my office that I converted to a studio. So I.
| 00:36.57 Jenn Farrer I'm I'm all good. | | | | | |
| 00:47.70 Jenn Farrer I Love it I Love it. | | | | | |
| 00:52.70 audraagen You know I still a little bit more of a work in progress. But I just needed a designated area to put my studio so I didn't have to like keep tearing it down and setting it up and it's just it was just too hard so I was like I'll just clear out that closet I need to get rid of all that junk anyway.
| 01:03.21 Jenn Farrer So. | | | | | | |
| 01:10.54 audraagen And and I will just you know use that so so far so good. It's worked out really well good good I'm glad it sounds great. Um I am I'm going to be very transparent is that the part that I screw up the most in.
| 01:17.51 Jenn Farrer That's awesome. Yeah | your sound is really good. | | | | |
| 01:28.52 Jenn Farrer Um | around. Okay. | | | | | |
| 01:30.38 audraagen Is the intro because really it's the only thing that is kind of sort of scripted. Everything else is very organic | really off the cuff. Ah sometimes I have to restart the intro a couple of times. | |
| 01:43.96 Jenn Farrer That's okay | that's all right? Well yeah | we'll go with it. | | | | |
| 01:47.66 audraagen Because editing is amazing. So I ah I will go ahead and get us started I Want to get back to where my notes were okay.
| 01:50.89 Jenn Farrer I know. | | | | | |
| 02:03.98 audraagen Ready all right I'm gonna count us down by 4 3 2 1 welcome in everyone and thank you so much for joining me again this week this week I have a woman that sets a bar pretty darn high.
| 02:04.33 Jenn Farrer Ready. | | | | | |
| 02:23.94 audraagen In when it comes to achievement so hold on this moment and let me tell you a little bit about her I am joined by Jen Farr did I say to say it right? okay okay I am joined by Jen Ferre and first of all | let's get to all of her accolades. | | | | |
| 02:32.97 Jenn Farrer Fair right. | | | | | |
| 02:42.70 audraagen Has a master's in communication and she is a very unique coach where she teaches leaders specifically women on how to lead based on neuroscience which is really unique. Her work has been featured in some pretty impressive publications including Forbes Huffington post and American Banker Bank American And American Banker Magazine and now if that did not and now if that didn't impress you all that much. The fact that she did all of this after she had a. Stroke at 26 should so it is like I said she's a champion and she's a champion at life. So we've got a lot to learn from her. It is my pleasure and my honored to introduce to you Jen Ferrer Jen thank you so much for being here.
| 03:23.56 Jenn Farrer So. | | | | | | |
| 03:37.25 audraagen And welcome to the show. | | | | |
| 03:39.34 Jenn Farrer Audra that was wonderful. Thank you so much I um I love the show I'm such a fan and I'm really grateful to be here I'm grateful to know you? um you were a guest on our podcast at rewire.
| 03:51.41 audraagen Yes. | | | | | | |
| 03:53.98 Jenn Farrer Ah | Steve Scanlan interviewed you and he got off that call and he was like you and Audra are going to be best friends and and so I I just it was one of those things right? We didn't plan for it. We just kind of met each other and I'm just so pumped to to be here and I love what you're doing.
| 04:08.33 audraagen Yeah | and and thank you for saying that and I'm so happy that you're here and being on your show was just such an interesting and and happy accident I yeah I hadn't heard about the work that you were that you had been doing but now that I have I've been following quite a bit. And realize that we're on very similar paths just taking it in ah a slightly different direction and you have a very unique path and a very unique story. Ah so before we jump into why we're here and what we want to talk about to everyone that is listening. Is let first of all | tell us what it's like to have a stroke at 26. | | |
| 04:51.50 Jenn Farrer Oh gosh. Um | well it was definitely one of those things in life that I'm extremely grateful for but I wasn't at the time. Um. I so I was 26 I was on a business trip with my now husband he was my boyfriend of two months at the time he was 24 poor guy. We thought this is probably a casual thing right? and and all of a sudden we're in the hospital and um I I was living in Virginia at the time my hometown is Richmond virginia
| 05:15.95 audraagen A. | | | | | | |
| 05:26.53 Jenn Farrer And I like I said I was in New York city on a business trip and um I had what I I now know the doctor's call is a thunderclap headache. It's basically worst headache you can imagine worst headache of my life um couldn't ah ah | right away vision went black. I couldn't speak I couldn't see but I could hear everything going on around me you know I could hear Ben talking to 9 one 1 I could hear him you know talking to the ambulance I knew I was in any ambulance but I couldn't in fact I have this one memory of him. They asked what. Medications I was on. He doesn't know we just started dating. We hadn't had that conversation yet and um and I I remember him answering it kind of wrong and I wanting to jump in but I can't um and you know pretty soon we realized that I my legs from the knees down were numb.
| 06:04.47 audraagen Yeah | and. | | | | | | |
| 06:21.78 Jenn Farrer So and I had I've always been a runner my whole adult life. So that was just really really tough. Um | you know | but that this part of my story like it. It has an extremely happy ending I mean I it was a long recovery. And I did a lot of Rehab and I was out of work for quite a while um six months I was out of work recovering. But now you know I've gone on to run the New York city marathon I have a beautiful son who's six years old um | ah like I said married the the boyfriend um and. And and and perfectly healthy and and had a full recovery. So I'm I'm extremely grateful and it changed the trajectory of of my career. Really you know I um I of course identify with you know when somebody introduces you it's always you know it's it's like all the roles that I have which which i. You know | identify with right? I'm a wife and I'm a mom and I'm an executive and I'm a coach and I'm a speaker and ah I just said you know I'm a runner as well. But I I hear people introduce me sometimes and I think like I don't I don't know I'm just trying to have fun out there like I'm just trying to. Just trying to be out here you know chilling out and and having fun and um | of course the the stroke was a huge pivotal moment in my life. Um my own journey and and then in the course of my career as well.
| 07:48.33 audraagen Well first of all kudos to your boyfriend now husbandband because he probably figured. Well it can't get any worse from the from this point so it's all up from here because if she's having a stroke. She has a stroke when I'm dating her everything else should be easy. So so you know.
| 08:01.29 Jenn Farrer Um | to write. Ah. | | | | | |
| 08:07.49 audraagen Smart move on his point on his part for saying yep this is the one ah and then also good on you for taking that moment and taking that time to really figuring out. Oh this is an opportunity.
| 08:10.74 Jenn Farrer Ah | yeah | yeah. | | | | | |
| 08:21.33 Jenn Farrer Frozen. | | | | | |
| 08:23.52 audraagen Me to discover who I really am and what I'm supposed to do here because it sounds like the corporate job that you had before was probably a lot like a lot of us have found throughout the years is that we it's something that we think we're supposed to do but not really in line with what. We really want to do so can you can you talk to me a little bit about that.
| 08:45.50 Jenn Farrer Um | absolutely and I think you're exactly right? I mean most I think most of my adult life. And I'll be 42 next week um so last 16 years has been kind of deconditioning that um need to achieve ah and climbing the ladder and working myself to almost death. Literally and really learning how to um define my value in terms of being and who I am in the world versus what I can do in the world. Um. and and I'm lucky enough too that through my own work right? A lot of coaching a lot of therapy. Um | a lot of introspection and I've I have a very important mindfulness practice in my life. I. I've learned sort of these tools that have helped me help others on their journey as well. So other folks who are sort of identifying with you know | wanting to recover from that ladder climbing workaholic ah drive drive drive. Um.
| 10:12.30 Jenn Farrer Type of lifestyle and learn to chill out and have more fun ah in their lives just being able to kind of accompany them on their journey as well.
| 10:21.57 audraagen Well | you talked about ah mentioned a little bit earlier about wearing labels and we all wear these multitude of labels of of who we are or who we identify to be and it can be very.
| 10:33.40 Jenn Farrer Who. | | | | | |
| 10:40.60 audraagen Confining at least in my own personal experience these these various labels that I wear feel sometimes restricting.
| 10:49.12 Jenn Farrer Um | and I I think it's it's more complicated for women than men and what I see what happened in my own life and continues to by the way this is not stuff that changes right? in 1 you know 1 experience. Um | but I see happen with with my women friends and my clients um all the clients that we have at rewire. You know there's this thing that I see happen with women where I think for guys. Scorecard is clearer um you know and I hope by like my son's generation that we're sort of growing out of it and we so and we saw some of this change in in our generation as well. Where I think for men.
| 11:42.52 Jenn Farrer Expectation is like provider protector. It's very clear and for women it's a lot more complicated than that I think we it starts with like what does it mean to be a good little girl. Um | and then we take on like a good friend A ah. | | | |
| 12:01.13 Jenn Farrer A good wife a good mom a good executive a good leader a good this. Oh and by the way like you should be pretty in skinny also right and and so um | what ends up happening is we we take on all these expectations from society. About all these rules that we take on throughout our lives and for most of us we we do have that moment where we're like wait a minute. What did I even like to do when I was 19 like who am I what do I even want out of life because the scorecard. That society would build for us is untenable. We only have one hundred and sixty eight hours in a week and if you add up all the things you have to do to meet all the expectations of these roles. It's a lot more than that. Um | and so there's this exciting opportunity I think for women to. Define for ourselves. What success and fulfillment look like for us in life and create our own scorecard.
| 13:04.18 audraagen And I think that that is a really unique opportunity that we are being afforded now and I wouldn't say that society in and of itself is affording it to us I think we've all just started collectively decided together that. Hey I think we want something a little bit different and I think I wanted something a little bit different that society wants for me or I want something different than you want and that's totally okay | they don't have to look the same I think that we're starting to redefine. | |
| 13:30.35 Jenn Farrer Who. Yes. | | | | | |
| 13:42.54 audraagen What we look like and what we want to do and we're no longer caring What society is dictating to us on what we should or shouldn't be doing and what is good and what isn't good and and I mean and when you said good that really.
| 13:56.44 Jenn Farrer Okay. Yeah. | | | | | |
| 14:02.57 audraagen Triggers me because we're we're always supposed to be good good at everything How come it is that guys get the label bad boy and it's okay I mean it's suddenly that's attractive. But if you're a.
| 14:19.57 Jenn Farrer Um | is a. | | | | | | |
| 14:21.19 audraagen Quote Unquote bad girl. There's something wrong with you So that sort of feels uncomfortable for me. What? Ah what do you think.
| 14:24.92 Jenn Farrer Ah. | | | | | | |
| 14:30.16 Jenn Farrer Well look. There are um | there are a lot of things that um | guys get away with that that women don't um. | | |
| 14:37.93 audraagen Totally. | | | | | |
| 14:45.28 Jenn Farrer I Think the most to me like the most significant thing you just said there was I was really like it I think is the new feminism which is you know I think I think growing up I was always sort of. Given the message like I could do anything the voice could right? and um | yeah | and and and you know even even a lot of my career and on the research I've done around like okay how do we get more women to the c-suite. Well that.
| 15:05.98 audraagen Yeah | yes I was given that message to. | | | | |
| 15:22.78 Jenn Farrer I used to write and speak a lot about that in 2 15 16 17 and I'm even reevaluating that piece that phrase because I think this new wave of feminism is exactly what you're talking about which is like yeah we could have. All the same jobs as the guys but some of these jobs suck and you know and and the way that they have historically been done also sucks and maybe maybe what ambition means for me or what success means for me is like.
| 15:44.72 audraagen Yes | yes | they do. | | | | | |
| 16:00.70 Jenn Farrer Not being stressed like not being exhausted. Maybe what ambition means for me is I Ah you know play guitar in my backyard around the campfire. That's that's what I want to do right? and and so. That's what's really exciting to me with the direction of of women in the workplace and you know I relate to the idea of being an ambitious woman right? that phrase but it means something different to me now.
| 16:31.80 audraagen You know I I will say over the last two years as I explained on on your show with Steve is that it's given me perspective that I'd never had before because my world came to a halt just like everybody else's and my ambition started to change a little bit too.
| 16:41.96 Jenn Farrer Yeah. | | | | | |
| 16:51.20 audraagen To a point where I was like this I don't recognize this new feeling which is this desire to rest this desire to create which I had no idea that I had in me and it feels. It feels more comfortable.
| 16:54.10 Jenn Farrer Then proof. | | | | | |
| 17:04.57 Jenn Farrer Um | nothing. | | | | | | |
| 17:09.46 audraagen When I sit back and evaluate it. It feels way more comfortable than all the other stuff all the crazy ambitious stuff and chasing the brass ring and all that stuff has felt in the and the last you know twenty five plus years
| 17:20.84 Jenn Farrer Um | yeah | one and good for you for taking advantage of of that time. Um | because I think what happens is when we get into. Go mode. Um | and we can get very addicted to the achievement and we can get very addicted to stress. Um | when we're in that that mode we actually can't be reflective and creative. Um | about what we really want. You know when when our when we're in that stress cycle and our cortisol remains that elevated. Ah | we actually sort of can't slow down right and and can't slow down in any substantive way that where we can say well. Gosh like what actually is my body telling me what is my intuition telling me like what are these other parts of myself. Um | in addition to this hustle. You know this go mode that I have within me and so I I think a lot of.
| 18:27.54 audraagen So yeah. | | | | | |
| 18:34.33 Jenn Farrer You know it's interesting I I saw kind of 2 things happen during the pandemic. Um I think overwhelmingly people got into go mode even more actually so the opposite of the experience or the opportunity that you took which is. Um | without 1 example is the commute without a commute people never had any downtime they went straight from like bed to parenting to work to parenting back to work. You know to bed and and there was never they never had rest periods. So I actually saw that kind of be the overwhelming trend people became kind of more stressed and more rushed. Um | even though it seemed like everything around us was saying slow down stop slow down you know and then and then I did see folks like you who ended up like.
| 19:23.10 audraagen Yes. | | | | | | |
| 19:30.72 Jenn Farrer Thriving on the other side. Um | because they took the opportunity to reflect and to slow down and um and really let their brains get into that more creative ah Collaborative. Um. Proactive kind of mode that we all have.
| 19:53.37 audraagen It's it's way more Comfortable. It's also a little bit more foreign because that's not something that I had afforded myself in any length of time before and I think I shared with you when you and I first got to know each other is that. I am constantly in so in a space of creating I have to be creating something all the time or else I feel like something's off and ah and it makes me very unhappy actually um and I think it's because I've ah I've given myself.
| 20:12.97 Jenn Farrer Present. | | | | | |
| 20:22.75 Jenn Farrer 1 | | | | | | |
| 20:29.67 audraagen Permission to become who I'm supposed to be rather than what society has dictated to me and ah and with that that thought I want to tap into your passion which is neuroscience.
| 20:32.16 Jenn Farrer And. | | | | | | |
| 20:46.90 Jenn Farrer This is. | | | | | |
| 20:48.62 audraagen Because I know that what I experienced is directly in line with a lot of your of your research and and that it's made it when I told you this you're like this makes perfect sense because it's science and I'm like really it made no sense to me but this is Cool. So tell. Tell me and tell us a little bit about the neuroscience behind all this and why you're so passionate about it.
| 21:13.26 Jenn Farrer Yeah | yeah | well. So first of all um | what you have done in your journey is no easy. Feat. So I want to want to give you kudos for that because it. Requires a level of self-mastery and we talk a lot about self masterstery in coaching and from a neuroscience perspective when I talk about self-mastery I mean you know you have a human brain I have a human brain there are ways in which the human brain. Work for us that are amazing and great and allow us to create just extraordinary things in life and there are ways that the human brain works for us. Ah that are unhelpful to becoming who we are really meant to be who we wants to be and operating in the world. In a way that is really our our highest self and and one of those ways is just the the kind of simple | um | simple facts that our brain has like 2 modes for all of its complexity. It's actually. Pretty simple so the brain has one of is always operating in 1 of 2 modes. The brain is either defending against threat and that's a very reactive kind of automatic instinctual mode or the brain is um.
| 22:46.27 Jenn Farrer Seeking reward and we we talk about that neuroscience as being a toward state we are moving towards something and that is associated with thinking that is a lot ah more proactive more creative slower and more deliberate.
| 22:52.78 audraagen Um | and broke mother. But. | | | | | |
| 23:05.41 Jenn Farrer And because the brain's number 1 job is to keep. | | |
| 23:05.47 audraagen But it's okay I I will cut all of her barking out. No problem. | | |
| 23:16.37 Jenn Farrer Okay | ah so the brain's number 1 job is to keep us alive like for you. It's not actually creating or structuring alone. You know and for me | it's not actually um. You know having these creative and collaborative fun conversations with people the brain's job number 1 job is to keep us alive and because of that the brain spends about 4 times. Ah the amount of time defending against threat and reacting than it does being proactive. In fact.
| 23:34.12 audraagen Um | well. | | | | | | |
| 23:46.56 audraagen Are are. | | | | | |
| 23:51.86 Jenn Farrer Um | the latest research says that like over 90% of human action is actually reaction and so that is that's why life can sometimes feel like this game of whack-a-mole where we're just kind of like reacting to the next. Thing the next email the next phone call and exist that um and the problem though is like when we are defending and reacting. It doesn't doesn't feel very good.
| 24:10.62 audraagen Um I. | | | | | |
| 24:27.50 Jenn Farrer It's not good for Creativity. It's not good for relationships. Um | and ah a side note about about the brain is that the brain actually doesn't know the difference between an actual physical threat on your life and a social threat. Belonging and social acceptance is so hardwired into us for survival that the same areas of our brain the distress center in the brain lights up. Um | if we feel like we're being excluded as as what lights up in our brain. When we are actually in physical pain. So That's if you've ever gotten an email and it felt like oh my gosh. This person is out to get me that that was your brain working exactly perfectly. That's how it works. Um | and so all of that to say the brain has these 2 modes. Um. |
| 25:15.72 audraagen Ah. | | | | | | |
| 25:23.39 Jenn Farrer Kind of reactive and proactive and they're associated with different kinds of thinking and in order to switch modes which we can do. We can do that pretty quickly actually something comes in it stresses us out. It has the potential of. Knocking us off of our game. The rest of the day or week or Month. Um | or we can learn how to switch back into proactive. You know | reflective um a more deliberate kind of way of being. And so when you talk about I I Discovered this new way of being um and the coach in me really wants to ask you about this but ah | you needed to learn how to do that. | | |
| 26:18.10 audraagen Yeah | no holds bared ask ask ask away. No holds bard ask me whatever you want. | |
| 26:19.50 Jenn Farrer And how to let yourself do that. Well so I mean how did you become aware. 2 part question become aware of this other way of being this creative way of being and how did you make it a. Habit.
| 26:45.10 audraagen Okay | so I'll take the first part and that's why I say that that's easy | but it wasn't easy. Um I did not handle the pandemic initially the lock lockdown I did not handle it well at all. At all because my entire world came so to a screeching halt and I was used to running at one hundred miles an hour and then I stop. That's not fun. That's very uncomfortable and my husband said if you don't talk to somebody and if you don't get help.
| 27:08.90 Jenn Farrer Since then. | | | | | |
| 27:18.26 audraagen Since you are the core of this family if you go off the cliff. We go off with you and that scared me enough that not that I would go off the cliff but that my family would go with me I was like oh well I guess I got to do something so I put myself in Therapy I put myself in virtual therapy.
| 27:24.83 Jenn Farrer Ah. | | | | | | |
| 27:38.14 audraagen And because I never actually physically saw my therapist in person but I put myself in therapy to figure this out on what in the world was going on and that was able to clear out a lot of the mush and the just the noise and the just the.
| 27:38.56 Jenn Farrer Um. | | | | | | |
| 27:56.62 audraagen Brain matter that just didn't really have any sort of significance to it. That's what helped discover that is calming down the noise and understanding is it a real threat or is it not.
| 28:05.54 Jenn Farrer A. | | | | | | |
| 28:14.22 Jenn Farrer And. | | | | | | |
| 28:16.16 audraagen I Mean there's many many times even now I have this practice that if I start to feel anxiety I'll say is it real or do I Just think it's real so that I so I started this habit of figuring that out and then second part of your question is.
| 28:31.71 Jenn Farrer Ah. | | | | | | |
| 28:35.45 audraagen How do I keep myself accountable to create a couple of different ways I'm learning several different things all at the same time I am learning how to be a better podcaster because this is what I love to do I'm also learning how to make physical things you know | create physical things. If I'm sitting and watching a movie with my husband I probably have a crochet project in my hands to slow down my brain because you can't at least I can't I can't crochet watch Tv and think about something else all at the same time I can't do it.
| 28:53.44 Jenn Farrer Um. | | | | | | |
| 29:13.25 audraagen Um | having that in my hands helps keep me present in that room so and and engaging with my husband in the movie because of course he likes to point and make comments about a movie because don't all husbands do that I mean I don't know ah and then when I need time by myself.
| 29:20.26 Jenn Farrer Okay. | | | | | |
| 29:28.62 Jenn Farrer Ah | what. | | | | | | |
| 29:31.71 audraagen I'm learning how to sew and that helps me physically decompress and helps me be present with myself. So that's that's how I keep myself accountable.
| 29:40.29 Jenn Farrer Um | gosh I love so much about what you said Um I mean first of all good for your husband for bringing that to you? Um i. You know sometimes those things are hard to say and hard to bring up so good. Good for him for doing that. Um | so much of what you talked about um | gosh I can relate to in my own life and um | and. Just in being sort of flipped and in the coach's seat. You know? Um | so much has to happen in order to have an insight. We talk a lot in coaching about about insights. You know that moment where you're in a conversation. Somebody and ah | you're like well now that I'm talking about it I see it differently. You know we're like oh well huh I realize I just you know I just said something and then the second later I contradicted myself like what's that about you can kind of get curious about it. But.
| 30:43.94 audraagen Um | really. | | | | | | |
| 30:56.10 Jenn Farrer In order to have those moments of insight. Um | you use a freeze slow down. It is very much about you know you have to um to kind of slow down and and good coaches and good therapists like were trained and. We have learned how to create an environment where where people sort of slow down create that psychological safety create that towards state. Um that I mentioned a few minutes ago um to create conditions for them to do their best thinking? Um | and then also. You know | seeing the the different ways that we are thinking about the same thing right? like So Sometimes we I think it's true of all of us that we sort of have competing beliefs. About about the same thing like well on one hand I believe that I need to you know work myself to death I need to like be utilizing every moment on my. Day job right? or I just need to hustle hustle hustle right? But on the other hand I Also believe that if I take some time to nurture my creative side if I take some time for me my like athletic side. Um.
| 32:29.88 Jenn Farrer If I take some time for me I know I'll be better at my job I'll be better as a wife I'll be better as a mom I'll be better as a citizen um of the world and so we sometimes have to I think in in what therapy and coaching can do is. Help us unearth all of those different ways. We think about some think about a situation or think about something like ambition or creativity and then we get to pick we get to pick the mental habits that actually reinforce. Who we want to be in the world and who we want to become and that choice is like ultimate empowerment I think.
| 33:08.30 audraagen That I would agree and I mean you you said something about ambition and how we're choosing to what our to to see what our ambition our independent. Ambitions really look like and I'm curious as to from your coach's point of view. What does that and ah being aware of yourself. Yeah | with the neuroscience behind it. What did those 2 look like. In the same space. |
| 33:48.39 Jenn Farrer Can you ask again. | | | | |
| 33:49.82 audraagen Yes | so you talked about ambition changing for women and I'm wondering how does that relate to the work you do with neuroscience of leaders. So how is that translating if if.
| 33:55.79 Jenn Farrer Oh. | | | | | | |
| 34:03.95 Jenn Farrer Who. | | | | | |
| 34:09.75 audraagen These women are are choosing their own adventure now rather than choosing what society has said and you are teaching them the neuroscience of being a leader I'm wondering how that's been evolving and what have been the results.
| 34:28.44 Jenn Farrer Um | okay. | | | | | | |
| 34:28.48 audraagen I Know big fat | juicy question and but I'm super curious as to what that looks like together. | |
| 34:39.62 Jenn Farrer Um | um | gosh There's so many so many ways I can go with that. You know I want to say first that um.
| 34:55.53 Jenn Farrer Specifically around women. Um that common narrative around women and ambition and leadership. Um. Is incomplete. Ah the common narrative that made it from the peer reviewed journals into the press and then into popular culture is incomplete and what I mean by that and and by the way I'm I'm.
| 35:18.94 audraagen Oh no. | | | | | |
| 35:34.60 Jenn Farrer There's There's sort of the collective cultural mindset around women in leadership and there's systemic bias and and we need to change a lot about our society in order to support women and give us more opportunities and more advocacy | especially women of color. Um. And and there's also this individual piece which is really where you know coaching plays in so I'm going to speak a little bit more towards the individual mindset piece. Um the common narrative around women in leadership. Or or ambitious women and making women making it to the top goes something like this um women hold ourselves back because we don't lean in we don't speak Up. We don't step into the Arena Um | and that is is very incomplete. It's the part of it that is true and that um. Gosh is born out in Researchers. There's a few parts of it that are true and then I'll tell you some pieces that I think are are less well known that the research shows so women and this will probably be no surprise to you? Um | it wasn't to be. | | | |
| 36:59.48 Jenn Farrer Um | we're really hard on ourselves Did you know that did you know that women are hard on ourselves.
| 37:03.67 audraagen Ah I had no idea none shocker. Oh my gosh. | | | |
| 37:05.96 Jenn Farrer Um | completely new information I know. Ah so um | there was a decades long research program ah 2 pioneers and ah of this field. Ah Bob Kaplan and Rob Kaiser I worked with them for 5 years of this program and um. We looked at um | 3 60 surveys so that's like for anyone listing that doesn't know that's when you 3 60 surveys when you rate yourself on certain competencies and then your coworkers. Three hundred and sixty degrees around you. So your boss your direct reports and your peers also rate you on those same competencies and what after analyzing tens of thousands of three sixty s ah we found out is that women are twice as hot on ourselves. As our colleagues are and twice as hard in ourselves as our male counterparts are now when I say twice as hard that kind of doesn't sound that much. But for sake of simple math if you think about um | you know | rating yourself on a 10 point scale. Um | jen does effective follow up. Let's say that's an item I rate myself on and my colleagues rate me my colleagues might so if they see that as an opportunity for me to grow or something I need to get better at they might go like yeah I think jen.
| 38:36.16 Jenn Farrer Could be a little bit better at that. She's probably an eight and I'm going to look at that same thing and go oh I suck at that and I'm a 4 I'm a 4 you know and so and and by the way our male colleagues are also looking at themselves going like yeah.
| 38:54.85 audraagen Yeah | oh absolutely they are. | | | | | |
| 38:54.94 Jenn Farrer Be a little better I think I'm an 8 right? and and and that manifests in a lot of different ways. So that that kind of being hard on ourselves that lack of confidence. Um | it comes out in a couple of ways. 1 is the popular narrative like yes | it does means for some of us that we hold ourselves back in some way we don't speak up. We don't lean in you know | um | we don't step in um | for others of us it. It can come out as this need to prove ourselves which is actually. Can manifest as the opposite of holding ourselves back like what that looks like is sort of overttaking ah overexplaining um | working too much busyness ah taking on too much and and that is related to. Um | you know you asked with the neuroscience. Um | that's related to this wiring that women have to be really responsible. So what happens when we're sort of hardwired to be responsible. Um. And then we've taken on this kind of mindset that we need to prove ourselves. What happens is that sense of responsibility tips over into this exaggerated sense of responsibility where we start.
| 40:20.82 Jenn Farrer Being the one to do all the things and we sort of get ourselves branded as um | oh man | she can get a lot of stuff done. She can get a lot of stuff done the problem with that with being the person doing all the things is that in order to advance. In our life and in our careers. Whatever that means to us. We also need to think we can't just be doing. You know we talked about this earlier we need to be reflecting. We need to be in a creative space. We need to be planning and what can happen to women I think is.
| 40:46.53 audraagen Um. | | | | | | |
| 40:58.87 Jenn Farrer Especially in corporate America is we sort of um | get seen as a really good right? Hand man for lack of a better term because we get a lot of stuff done. But then we're up for the next.
| 41:10.26 audraagen No. | | | | | | |
| 41:16.72 Jenn Farrer Opportunity and it's like oh she's not strategic enough. Well that may not exactly be true | but we I think a lot of us haven't I Loved your phrase earlier haven't given ourselves permission to step out of the doing. And the checking off the list long enough to be creative and do some of the strategic thinking and so that is a really big piece I think of the narrative that that we're missing.
| 41:49.91 audraagen How do we change that and that's something I Guess as you as you have been explaining it and I've been thinking about it as you've been explaining it. That's some internal work that needs to be done obviously. But I Also think there's an opportunity for some external work too meaning that we as women and to teach our male counterparts that you know I'm good at all these this other stuff and I don't want to be. I Don't want to be your mom I don't want to be your work wife I don't want to do any of that stuff anymore because none of that ever felt great I Want to be I Want to be my fully the fully realized self.
| 42:32.20 Jenn Farrer Is it. | | | | | | |
| 42:44.82 audraagen So I am saying this out loud because I'm thinking that yes the internal work is important but the external part I think is just as important. What do you think of of that thought I have rolling around in my head.
| 42:54.86 Jenn Farrer Um | yeah I mean they inform each other very much. Um | so um | there is a piece of the internal. Where we have to learn to say no to busyness and and not take on more responsibility than is within our scope of responsibility. Um | that is the internal work. Ah | the system that we're in which is the external piece. Um | is really important as well. So you know I Always like I say this tongue in cheek. But I Really mean it um look at your male colleagues say say no say no to the busyness that they say no to you know.
| 43:42.93 audraagen Yeah. | | | | | |
| 43:49.63 Jenn Farrer Um | if they're not doing it. You know if you're if your're if your male counterparts are are not doing it then it you know not to say they're making the right decision but there might be some good information in there for you. You know | look at that. Um I do when I do sort of company wide. Um. Talks I do I share this information about women and how we're so hard on ourselves because I think it's just really | it's really important that we um understand that that is something look. This is a decades long research program like this is. This is stuff I can show you quantitatively um to be true and I and I think that's really important for everyone to know it's not just on us to um to to for lack of a better term fix that about ourselves. It's really important that. We understand that that's part of the organizational dynamic. Um for companies like 1 you know 1 thing that can be really helpful is to have a culture of like 3 60 feedback and so because what happens is. When let's say I think I'm doing a lot worse at my job than I really am and then I get feedback from 10 colleagues. What ends up happening is I'm like oh I think I'm good at that I didn't think I was good at that huh maybe I am right.
| 45:25.32 Jenn Farrer Or like man I've been beating myself up over this 1 thing and like 1 person sort of alluded to it out of the 10 but everyone else didn't even think about it right? and so having a culture of um of constructive feedback constructive feedback could be a whole other. Episode you know | um | but having having a culture of constructive feedback. Um | understanding that um you know women are hard on ourselves and also that we.
| 45:46.84 audraagen Um. | | | | | | |
| 46:02.54 Jenn Farrer Need to be given strategic opportunities right? to be taken out of the busyness or the role of taking notes at the meeting. Um | whatever you know | However | that manifests and be given the strategic and be in the strategic conversations. Um I Think. You know the the external and the internal in that way work together.
| 46:26.22 audraagen Yeah | it's funny that you mention being the note taker in meetings because I've been in many rooms where whoever's leading the meeting will always defer to a female will you take notes say no say no I need to be doing other things.
| 46:42.49 Jenn Farrer Um | yeah | yeah. | | | | | |
| 46:45.36 audraagen And the other thing when you and when you do get the opportunity to be in a room like a physical room with other people and there's coffee cups or what have you stop picking up after other people I I stopped doing that because it's such a. It's just such an automatic thing and it's it's not.
| 46:55.30 Jenn Farrer Um | yeah. | | | | | | |
| 47:04.68 audraagen Is it my fault probably but it's also what I've been trained to do I'm a mom I'm a wife I'm constantly picking up after stuff.
| 47:09.90 Jenn Farrer Um | yeah it I mean even our virtual assistants these days like Alexa and Siri like they're all female voices. It drives bonkers because I think about my six six year old and I'm like.
| 47:22.60 audraagen Yes | they are. | | | | | | |
| 47:27.57 Jenn Farrer He's even hearing that our our assistants in our house. Our virtual assistants have female voices. Yeah.
| 47:34.61 audraagen Well here's that here's a tidbit to that. Um | on my Apple phone because if I say the name right now. It'll start going off I change the voice to a british dude and the the voice on.
| 47:44.96 Jenn Farrer Yeah | very good. | | | | | | |
| 47:52.50 audraagen The Amazon devices I've changed to Samuel L Jackson so you can fix this and I decided to I decided to fix this and that's the weird way that I did it so retraining I'm retraining myself and everybody else in the household that hey you know.
| 47:56.24 Jenn Farrer Um | nice | nice. Okay. | | | | | |
| 48:11.42 audraagen Everybody can pitch in this is not just a meat fig so that everybody we are running out of time just like when I was on Steve's show he was like oh my gosh I looked up at the time and it is just whizzing by. So I I want to ask you a question about.
| 48:11.46 Jenn Farrer I Love that? Yeah I love that. | | | | |
| 48:27.72 Jenn Farrer Who. | | | | | |
| 48:31.00 audraagen So you changed your whole life because you had a life-threatening event. What did you give up to become who you are now.
| 48:40.78 Jenn Farrer No. | | | | | | |
| 48:47.84 Jenn Farrer The biggest thing I Love that question I'm going to use it in coaching. Um the biggest thing I and I'll say I'm I think I'm still working on.
| 48:51.27 audraagen And and. | | | | | |
| 49:04.41 Jenn Farrer Giving it up is the pressure I put on myself to have it all figured out. You know you and I we talked about this a little bit The first time we met. Um. I think that we put so much pressure on ourselves to have it all figured out and look if my so stroke like taught me anything and the pandemic I mean the last three years if we learned anything. We.
| 49:40.66 audraagen Nothing not a not a clue and we are definitely not in charge at all. | |
| 49:40.98 Jenn Farrer Know anything. We don't know anything you know at any time no and and and yet and yet we just Want. We just spend so much time Like. Just stwing over what we're going to do and if I do X then Y and then Z and going through all these scenarios and and planning and and and the truth is um I think that if if we were. If. We're all honest with ourselves and we look back like on our lives and this is definitely true of my life like when I look back at the best things that happened to me | they just happened right? I They didn't happen as a result of. | | |
| 50:33.61 audraagen With her. | | | | | |
| 50:40.10 Jenn Farrer Me staying up all night thinking about it or worrying about it. Um | they happened and so um | I've really tried to I really try to remind myself. Um I don't have to have it all figured out. It's going to work out. It's going to be fine whether I think about it like blood sweat and tears grind it out. You know | no matter what I do everything is going to be okay | um | and so that's been that has been something I've had to. I've had to give that up and and and when I say say give it up I I truly mean that because I was I was one of these. Um you know I was this one of these kids that was really rewarded for for being smart and achieving and and for my brain and so me. Being a person who figures things out um | was really core to my identity. Ah and so making that shift has been a has been a big one for me. But I I'll tell you what I like it a lot better on this side.
| 51:53.43 audraagen Me too because I call that a recovering type a personality. So I'm I'm in recovery which means that I have to learn it every single day. It isn't ass | not something I learned and it's one and done. It's something that I've. | |
| 52:04.40 Jenn Farrer Yes | yeah | yeah. | | | | | |
| 52:12.89 audraagen So I mean let's face it. It's a lifelong habit I'm not going to fix it in 2 years I have I have to always be present in the moment and go doing it again.
| 52:18.15 Jenn Farrer That's right | it. | | | | | | |
| 52:23.15 Jenn Farrer Yeah | we seen that all the time actually like you know I'm like well in coaching we can't give you a personality transplant. You know you wouldn't want 1 anyway | but all these things that that you know. | | |
| 52:31.23 audraagen No. | | | | | | |
| 52:39.00 Jenn Farrer These mental habits and these kind of ways of of feeling. Um these patterns are decades in the making right? I mean they're decades in the making and so rewiring and um | changing our mental habits. It is done a little bit at a time. By just doing the next thing on the next day and you do that enough days of your life and you know six months a year down the road you look back and you're like I'm an entirely different person.
| 53:13.84 audraagen Yeah | it's it's those little incremental steps that lead to the big changes. You just don't realize you're doing it because you're in the middle of it and you're taking one little step at a time so you gave me a perfect segue as to saying if any of what we've been speaking about today.
| 53:20.40 Jenn Farrer This is this is exactly. | | | | |
| 53:33.78 audraagen Resonates with the audience and they want more information about how to rewire their brain maybe choose their own adventure choose their own ambition and maybe help themselves not be in that constant fight or flight mode with their brain. How would they get in contact with you. To to talk to you and ask you these questions and maybe even coach with you.
| 53:58.50 Jenn Farrer Thanks for that I um | the best way is probably email. It's jenjenn at rewireinc.com I'm also pretty active on Linkedin jenferrer and also on Instagram. And that's just jen fair first and last name is my ah is my name on Instagram.
| 54:21.20 audraagen Excellent. So everybody who has any curiosity please I encourage you to please reach out to her because she has fascinating science more science than we could possibly talk about in an hour and she has so much knowledge and so much. Opportunity for us all to grow from that is definitely worth the connection for sure. So Jen I'm going to give you some space. Ah | before we let everybody go so I want to give you an opportunity to leave a final lasting thought. With everybody that's listening to us.
| 54:58.47 Jenn Farrer Um | thanks Audra you know one thing I was thinking about when you asked | you know what I gave up and I said the need to have everything figured out. |
| 55:15.19 Jenn Farrer Um | I think that I would have people really focus on cultivating trust in their lives and by that I mean. Like trust in yourself trust in others investing time in being trustworthy for the people in your life and also trust that everything. Does work out. Everything will be better than before and you know whether that for you is you know | trust in god trust in the universe trust in mother nature. Just. Cultivating your beliefs around sort of the natural order of things and just knowing whatever it is for you that helps you connect with that sense of everything is going to be fine. It's going to be better than fine if I could leave. Leave folks with 1 thing. It's that just cultivate trust in your life everywhere. You can.
| 56:33.86 audraagen That advice is worth its weight in gold. So thank you for leaving us with that and thank you for spending some time with me today and having this amazing conversation. We will do this again as I made Steve promise to bring me back.
| 56:44.23 Jenn Farrer Um | yes | this is really fun. Thank you. | | | |
| 56:51.63 Jenn Farrer Yes I love to I Love to this was really fun. Thanks so much audre. | |
| 56:53.23 audraagen I'm going to make you promise to come back and we'll think of something cool and different to talk about. Thank you again and thank you to all of you for listening and we'll see again next time I got to hit the spot button.