Awareness through Experience

In this episode JJ and Melissa talk about their children and how through different learning styles and past experiences help guide and teach others to notice how to be more aware of what they say as well as how they come off.

July 14, 2020

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Melissa Albers  00:00
Hey everyone, you are listening to the self awareness journey podcast. This little banter is about a car ride long and features your hosts JJ Parker, and Melissa alvers. JJ owns a tech company. And Melissa has been a coach working with influencers for the last 18 years. Well, Happy Friday to you, JJ. Thank you. How's your week been?

JJ Parker  00:22
It's, it's been pretty good. You know, the, the stay at home stuff has been continuing. Ones maybe getting feeling a little bit cooped up which is okay. I mean, this is just kind of part of it. Right. It is.

Melissa Albers  00:45
A lot of time with our families. We

JJ Parker  00:49
spending a lot of time with our families, which gives us a lot of and think about

Melissa Albers  00:58
a lot of material

JJ Parker  00:59
right now. Yeah, I've got pages of notes. But as you know, you know, I've got two teenage boys and a little girl. And the one thing that is somewhat, you know, sometimes amusing to me, and most often kind of frustrating to me is sometimes the boys say like the dumbest things. And this is just part of being a teenage boy.

Melissa Albers  01:32
Well, I've got a 2021 year old and I can tell you it does seem to continue even into my early 20s sometimes,

JJ Parker  01:39
I feel like I'm still somewhere on that spectrum.

Melissa Albers  01:45
Well tread lightly towards the,

JJ Parker  01:48
towards the bottom. So what I thought was really interesting is like sometimes, you know, they're, they're generally well intentioned, but sometimes they say things that you just think like What, like it's on, they just have such little concept of what's happening cause and effect, you know, how they're like, their feelings are, you know, you can totally tell like their feelings inside and what they do externally are completely like not in sync in any way. And, and I felt like wow, okay, like, here's a very easy example of like some humans that are not particularly self aware.

Melissa Albers  02:30
Right, right. Yeah.

JJ Parker  02:33
Okay. Oh

Melissa Albers  02:34
god no, I was gonna say at least you probably give them a little grace because they're your kids are there they are kids

JJ Parker  02:41
because they are kids right? Yeah,

Melissa Albers  02:43
they are good.

JJ Parker  02:44
But then I think like Okay, so we're kind of like in this self awareness biz a little bit, right? We are. We want to help people with this. Like, how would I help? You know, these, these young men be a little bit more self aware or Right, as a parent, like, how could I coach that? But then I got thinking more broadly, like, I know plenty of adults who need a little bit of self awareness. Help. And, you know, we have this podcast, we kind of share these stories, but you know, just the idea like, how do you help people become more self aware? How do you teach people to be more self aware?

Melissa Albers  03:27
Yeah. That's such a good. It's such a good question. And and I actually, as soon as you started to talk about it, and you said more broadly, I was like, right there with you. And I started in my mind, I had like a Rolodex. And I was kind of going through people that we both know, and comparing, like, I know I won't name any names. I won't name any names. But there there's a couple of people that you and I have talked about for a long time in which their awareness is absolutely not present.

JJ Parker  04:00
Yeah, you beat him with a stick, right?

Melissa Albers  04:03
Yeah, that's, and then there's others where they're very self aware, but they don't know what to do with it, right? It's like, Oh, I feel this way. But I don't want to infringe myself, you know, I don't want to push myself on anybody or anything. But it does bring up an interesting question of, how can you help people be more self aware and, and do we have the ability, the scope, the scale, or even the Is it okay for us to even think that we can teach people yeah, self awareness?

JJ Parker  04:41
Because you know, you and I've talked about how we're both self help junkies a little bit. We read all the books we like, and I was reflecting like, but did I actually learn any self awareness by this like academic approach?

Unknown Speaker  05:00
Yeah, like, right.

JJ Parker  05:02
Right. Not discovery. Right. And I, I don't know, that I did I probably learned a lot of, you know, psychology words, but I don't know how it affected me and my own personal journey I'm not really sure.

Melissa Albers  05:15
Well, and I always think like, for me when I was younger, sometimes I had a hard time learning stuff. And, you know, now they talk about what's your learning style, you know? Are you auditory? Are you whatever? Do you like to see it read it here? What is it? And I think, too, that a lot of times when we read books, or we hear lectures, it's a theoretical approach to a very emotional and very sensitive thing. Mm hmm. And so I think even in the conversation of how do we teach people, better self awareness. I think that's it's a very slippery slope. Because for one thing if people tell me like, how to be My personality and it's been like this since I was very little. I'm like, Oh, really? You're gonna tell me what to do? Oh, yeah, you're gonna tell me what to do. Well watch me do the opposite. Yeah. You know, like, my dad was the vice president of a college and I gave him all he was like, you're gonna go to college, you're gonna do this. And I was like, Nope, I'm gonna prove I don't have to like that. That was not me. That was not me on my best self aware day,

JJ Parker  06:27
for no other reason to then other than that, just be combative.

Melissa Albers  06:33
I think snot is the word that I've used just to be a snot. But you know, that's interesting was when you think about self awareness. It's like, first of all, when we're talking about kids not being self aware. We always seem to naturally want to give them a lot more grace about it. It's like, Oh, you know, that's okay. They're just, they they have this desire or they they're very immediate or they're just young or you know, we have all these Natural Ways of giving them. It's okay. Right? It's okay that they don't have that because we are optimistic that as they gain maturity and experience that they'll become more self aware as time goes on at least we hope so. But with adults, I think it's even harder because I don't think we give grace to adults like we give to our children.

JJ Parker  07:24
No, right. So adults were supposed to know everything already. Yeah. And gone through, you know, all this and, and, yeah, it feel like adults judge adults a lot quicker and harsher.

Melissa Albers  07:38
Yep. In a really, really harsh way. And so, I so I think like when we're talking about self awareness, if we notice somebody that isn't self aware, I would like to say that that's what we're doing is we're just noticing it, but I actually think we're judging it. And I don't think we're just noticing it. I don't think we're being objective. I think we're being kind of judgy. And I think that that lens comes from ourselves. Like, for me, I really am at least honest enough with myself and you in this podcast. No one else is listening. Everyone, I'm being honest in front of everyone. I think that the hardest part for me is when I see somebody that's, that's acting in a way, that's what I deem as really unaware and dumb. I'm just being honest with how I would think about it inside. And if I'm really honest, and I trace that feeling all the way back in, it's because I recognize that in myself too. Because you can't see something in someone else unless you to have it.

JJ Parker  08:44
That's a really deep statement. Yeah, that one that one, like flips my thinking around and like I have to turn my brain around because that's not like the normal way. Yeah, I think so. You said you When you recognize something in someone else, when you see someone else acting in a certain way, it's more like you recognize that in yourself that's a behavior that you've done. You're currently doing or you've done in your past you have some experience with that. I havior.

Melissa Albers  09:17
Right. So at least the awareness is big inside of you around it. So like if like, like, if you see somebody being very abrasive or, well, let's not even use a really over over the top, let's just say we see somebody like seeking attention in a crowd. Okay? They're like showboating and, and you can clearly see they're doing that. If you recognize it so much in in them. It's because that particular thing, either the having of it or the absence of it is very strong in you. Okay? So if you see somebody being really over the top, and you yourself, have some of that sometimes you'll you'll and you don't feel good about yourself when you do it. You're going to see that person and go, I can't believe they're doing that. If you have the absence of it, if you're a more introverted person and you watch somebody showboating you immediately think oh, I never want to do that. Yeah, that makes me so personally uncomfortable. Because there's some energy with that inside of you. I just think it's so like as we talk about like, so how can you help people be more self aware like to me recognizing our own thinking patterns around our own self awareness is really like for me that's the only thing that makes sense

JJ Parker  10:46
Well, that's such a good example like the eye right the the recognizing it in you and recognizing the lack of it I actually never thought about that, that that showboating examples like really rings true to me. Cuz like that's not me when I recognize it right away, and I just kind of like oh like a bad person that's ridiculous.

Melissa Albers  11:07

JJ Parker  11:08
what part of me wishes like would go up there and do that stuff right?

Melissa Albers  11:14
Maybe and but I just think it's like and we don't even have to like judge it we don't have to. This is the thing is we're so used to putting everything in a judgment. Like we're so used to doing that and, and the more harshly we're judging other people, in my experience I feel the more I am harshly judging other people, if I'm really honest with myself, it's the very topics that I'm judging myself on. really strongly. Like that showboating. You know, like, I was in sales my whole life. And in order to be good in sales, you have to be real comfortable showboating. When I was young, I was over the top. And I I was very well paid, because I could be over the top but a lot of people didn't feel right. For me, it wasn't like me and my authentic self, I felt like I was pushing myself out of it. So now, if I see other people in a in, they may be younger or less experienced or have less exposure to certain things that I've seen or whatever, and I see that Showboat, I think, Oh, I recognize that. Uh huh, that does not look good. Mm hmm.

JJ Parker  12:22
So, when you would come across someone who's who's acting like that, you know, kind of in as a as a coach, right? How would you go about trying to help them see that? or become aware that, you know, they are maybe acting a bit over the top or not really in alignment with themselves like how do you grow that topic with somebody?

Melissa Albers  12:51
Yeah. Yeah, that's really interesting. And like, the first thing I would say, like what comes up for me when you ask that is, boy oh boy, I would never ever want to just tell somebody? Like, oh man, you are over the top right? Like I would not want to. And you just like think of it yourself too. Like how many people have like, gotten up in your girl and they're gonna teach you something that they see in you? You're not up for that. Right? Yeah. You know, it's like don't know, I don't know, I don't care if you're an expert Go. Go away. I think that the first of all,

JJ Parker  13:28
definitely sat around and daydreamed plenty about telling, telling all about one person out there, acting like a jerk at the office off. On the right, I Guzman's spent on the fantasy of it,

Melissa Albers  13:44
and around the water cooler conversations and stuff like that. But you know what the very first thing is like the two things that I just immediately thought of when you ask the question and the first thing is, is like, ask them permission if they if you can give them some feedback. If you feel that it's appropriate, and you feel like it's over the top, you feel like there's something that they would be able to benefit from. But you are generally interested in their development not your being able to dump your feelings with them. It's not about that it's about like, boy just recognize this person gets themselves stuck in this corner over and over and over again. And there's actually a pretty easy way for them to not if they just shifted 5% of something, you know, like, so the first thing is, is kind of asking it would it be okay if I gave you some feedback? And if they begrudgingly agreed, agree, or if they say no, say no problem and let it go? And that's absolutely fine. Like they don't want to hear that and they're maybe not ready or they already know it and they just don't want you to say something to them because it makes them really deeply embarrassed. I mean,

JJ Parker  14:51
yeah, I'm bear like it might, they might be aware of it and it's just hard for the McCain control that action right now.

Melissa Albers  15:02
Yeah. And if you feel like you're close enough to this, like if you feel like you're close enough to the individual, and that you're very objective about how you would frame any conversation with that person, and you're doing it for their best interest, not yours, then I think that the next thing would be to explain it more like, from your own perspective, if you have experience with that, I guess we were talking about like the younger salesperson, actually, you know what I actually did this I got called last week, a telemarketer called me. My very first job was a telemarketer job. Oh my god, don't get me started on the stories. But there's a very scripted way in which you do it. That is the correct way. Right. This person, LinkedIn with me on LinkedIn, looked at my profile made a bunch of decisions about what my financial state was based on my profile.

JJ Parker  15:57
Mm hmm.

Melissa Albers  15:58
I answered the call. And they said, Hello, Melissa, this did it. Did we just LinkedIn together yesterday and I sent you a message it said this about a little bit. And he literally talked non stop without me saying a single peep. And it must have gone on for almost a full minute. He read his entire script. And, and I just thought this, this is not a good thing for this guy. So I said, may I interrupt you please? And he was like, sure. And I said, Are you open to some feedback? And he said, Okay. And he sounded like, yeah, I mean, he was so excited that I didn't hang up on him. All right. But in that example, I just said, I've done that job, and it's a really hard job and I really appreciate that you're cold calling today when everybody is having the anxiety they are about finances and stuff like that. However, the way that you went about that, I couldn't even get a word in edgewise. You You literally verified that it was my name. And then you just talked and I had no opportunity to have any impact in the conversation at all. And, and so I, I just validated the situation. First of all, you know, I said, I understand this is a really hard job and I really appreciate that you're trying to do it. I used to do this too. And it was very hard. And here's what I learned by doing it that way. People don't want to be in partnership with you. They just want to hang up. Right so I To me, that's what it is. It's like asking if asking permission first of all with the person's best interest in mind and then offering guidance through your own x your own lens. Yeah, experience.

JJ Parker  17:43
Right share, share your story. My my first question is, did you buy the deluxe set of Tupperware from him or did you get that exclusive opportunity?

Melissa Albers  17:54
Oh, I got a great set of knives coming No, I did not. But I like to think that I gave him something much more valuable than an order.

JJ Parker  18:10
life lesson maybe?

Melissa Albers  18:13
All right, well, how about what was that? How does that resonate for you? What did what do you do do something different? Or what do you think about that?

JJ Parker  18:19
No, I mean, I, I agree that, you know, really like the best form of teaching this topic is by sharing stories. You know, like I was saying earlier, like I read a lot about it. But it really until you and I start, have started swapping stories about like, what do these different parts of self awareness mean, and what's my experience and what's the art experience? They really doesn't start to Shane, in your brain until you get those stories going. You know, like, I'm a big fan. That, like, really stories are the way humans connect and share and more intellectual thing that we really like to, you know, be proud of ourselves about, like, you know how intellectually and scientifically smart we can be about things. But really when you get down to it what what turns like something into true, like knowing in in your heart? Oh yeah, most of the time that is stories stories from other.

Melissa Albers  19:30
Yeah, you're right and because stories allow I am you've always been so good about stories and I, for me it's not only that connection piece but when you tell stories that allows people to go like you're saying it's like that heart connection, it's allowing them to go deeper into not just themselves but also a relationship with someone else in a level that is much more binding and a much more and much more authentic. And when people can get to that level of authenticity, then their true feelings, thoughts, concerns, actions can come up, where they're not feeling judged, when they don't feel like are where I like if it's me, like, if I feel like I'm connecting with someone more. I'm much, much more willing to talk about the things that I don't feel good about. You know, I'm much more willing to be more authentic about, well, yeah, this is how I've covered it in the past, like, I've been really scared of not doing a good job here. But what I've shown instead is mad like, I've gotten real mad with people, but you know, it just allows that real level of authenticity, I think

JJ Parker  20:47
I'd say vulnerability, right like is sharing so you're able to share vulnerability, your own button ability in a story a lot easier and more like stating in a fact kind away. Right?

Melissa Albers  21:01
Right, you know, Brittany Brown has done amazing work on vulnerability. And she did a TED talk that has just catapulted her career on vulnerability, and I still listen to it. I mean, it was several years ago. But it is so true that vulnerability piece, the stronger the the, the more vulnerable a person can be, is actually the stronger that the person is. And we always kind of think about it and the other way around, but if if our listeners are interested in learning more about vulnerability, she's a really, really good thought leader in that.

JJ Parker  21:40
Super good. Yeah, yeah. Well, so it sounds like I should share some of these, you know, self awareness stories with my 13 year old and see how that goes over. I should probably do great things right.

Melissa Albers  21:57
That was my 21 year old and we'll circle back And see what happens.

Melissa Albers  22:07
All right, sounds great. Talk to you soon.

JJ Parker  22:09
All right. All right.

Discussed in this episode

Let's get real

Meet your guides

JJ Parker

JJ Parker is a serial entrepreneur passionate about building creative strategy, efficient operations, and unique marketing perspectives. Parker got his start as a student at The Minneapolis Institute of Art, and soon after launched his first company Tightrope Media Systems (TRMS) with a high school buddy in 1997.

Melissa Albers

Melissa is passionate about developing people’s self-awareness and ability to positively interact with others. She focuses on the importance of building influence, and highlights the most important relationship we have is with self first. Ms. Albers speaks on leadership and self-awareness, and has shared the stage with John Maxwell (Leadership Author and Speaker), Lee Cockerell (Exec VP of Disney) and Les Brown (Motivational Speaker) to name a few.

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