Episode 71: Biology of Power & Sexual Harassment With Janet Crawford [The Amiel Show]

This week on the podcast, I welcome back Janet Crawford to discuss sexual harassment as an expression of high and low power tactics rooted in human biology. Drawing on the latest research in neuroscience, evolutionary biology, and experimental psychology and her own professional and personal experience, Janet brings to light many subtle dynamics overlooked in the public debate about this charged topic.

Janet is a highly regarded executive coach and public speaker based in the Bay Area.

Janet and I previously spoke about leaders’ brains, emotional literacy and power and, more recently, about being a good guy and breaking with the Bro Code.

Highlights

  • 3:00 Biology of power. High and low power tactics.
  • 9:00 Why do many high power men not harass?
  • 16:00 Why women wait to come forward—a big list
  • 22:00 Why are women coming forward now?
  • 30:00 Professional harm versus sexual harm
  • 37:00 Women walk a tightrope based on how high power people will evaluate them
  • 40:00 Women’s backlash against women. Men’s backlash against men
  • 52:00 Men get an “aha” when they see how power works
  • 1:00:00 A young Janet’s harrowing episode—and how she grew from it
  • 1:18:00 How to stop harassment at low level insinuations
  • 1:26:00 Janet uses humor to respond to a power challenge

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Harvey Weinstein And Healthy Masculine Power [New Post]

The Harvey Weinstein scandal has prompted many important conversations about power, privilege, complicity, and shame. I’d like to weigh in with several observations that complement what I’ve been hearing and stretch it an extra inch.
  • The scope. The #metoo campaign on Facebook revealed what all women and some men already knew: sexual harassment and abuse are ever-present in our culture. Every woman I know has experienced it. The stories I’ve heard this week leave me feeling sick in the stomach.
  • The impact. Harassment and abuse are intrinsically damaging. They hurt human beings. But this is not just about individual pain and individual careers. Here I differ from the tone of media stories that are rooted in our individualistic culture. When bright and talented people get ensnared in webs of abuse, we all suffer. Consider women leaders. Great leadership is about serving others. A career cut short or constrained by harassment harms both these leaders and the people they would otherwise be serving. We forget this sometimes.
  • Beyond implicit bias. When men ignore women’s contributions, interrupt them in meetings, or overlook them for promotions, implicit bias is often at work. The actions are unconscious and outside of the person’s control. Sexual harassment and abuse by Weinstein and other men don’t fit into this category. We’re talking about conscious behaviors  arising from darker pathologies. The answer isn’t more self-awareness, but removal, treatment, and perhaps imprisonment.
  • Political and psychological complexity. Women who experience harassment and abuse—as well as interruptions in meetings—face extraordinarily complex situations. Speaking up can lead to social ostracism and professional punishment. Lost friendships and social networks. On a psychological level, many women report feeling shame and self-blame that causes them either to stay and remain loyal or to leave silently.
  • Innocent guys. Just because all women have experienced sexual harassment or abuse doesn’t mean all men have committed it. There are innocent guys. Many of them. Some would like to wish all of this away. Others realize it’s time to step up their game as men on behalf of women and all of us.
  • Good guys. Innocence and goodness are different. As Janet Crawford and Lisa Marshall have taught me, being a good guy requires more than clean hands. In our interview last October, Janet described numerous positive steps men can take that go beyond avoiding harm. Some actions won’t pose risks to our public identities or careers. Others require breaking with the Bro Code.
  • Healthy masculine power. If you stop going along with the Bro Code, what’s left to do? I have an idea. Let’s stop being bros and start being men. Channel that vital male energy into courage, blend it with empathy and savvy, and use the resulting mixture to rise to the challenge. This is really important. Virility and virtue need not be in opposition. As Robert Augustus Masters discussed on the podcast, when we bring these qualities together, we discover a deeper and healthier version of masculine power. What would it be like to speak up not only for the sake of women, but because that’s who we are as men?
I’ll soon be doing another interview with Janet Crawford about this topic, so send me your questions and comments.
And please share with others.

Episode 66: Men’s Sexual Shadow At Work With Keith Witt [The Amiel Show]

Dr Keith Witt

Men who are conscious of their sexual shadows at work are better leaders. They are less likely to do stupid things like sexually harass women or have illicit affairs. By spending less energy fighting their shadows, they can use their human superpowers to do good things like build great teams and guide them toward a better future.

People don’t talk a lot about this. Not in day to day work. And not even in classes about diversity and inclusion—or women in leadership.

That’s why I was so excited to talk with this week’s guest, Keith Witt, about his new book Shadow Light: Illuminations At the Edge Of Darkness.

His book and our conversation are about everyone (not just men) and all types of shadow (not just the sexual one). Still, the part I found most valuable was about straight guys who still haven’t gotten over their teenage crush on Suzie next door. Yes, we actually riff on this for 15 minutes!

Keith and I previously spoke about creating a marital love affair. You might say that this time we talk about loving your shadow.

For integral folks, we also talk about your personal moral system. How does this system change as we grow? What happens to our bodies when we violate it?

As if that weren’t enough, we also look at how healthy and unhealthy nationalism differ. Hint: it has to do with the collective shadow!

Highlights

  • The shame of violating your moral system
  • Constructive versus destructive shadow
  • Human superpowers
  • The roots of sexual harassment
  • Evaluating potential employees for their willingness to be influenced
  • Healthy and unhealthy nationalism

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Episode 60: Being A Good Guy, Breaking With The Bro Code With Janet Crawford [The Amiel Show]

Janet-Crawford

Are you a man who wants to support women and under-represented minorities in your organization?

In short, would you like to be a good guy?

If so, then you may wonder How exactly can I be a good guy?

The answer may surprise you.

It is not enough to track numbers or avoid discrimination and other offensive behaviors—much less sexual assault, which many of us are now discussing due to the U.S. presidential race. (Here is my take on the election.)

There are a series of positive steps you can take that go well beyond avoiding harm.

Some actions won’t pose risks for your public identity or career. Others require breaking from the Bro Code.

This week, Janet Crawford is back on the podcast to share her insights and practical tips for everyone who wants to be a good guy.

Janet is helping lead this conversation in Silicon Valley. Among all the executive coaches I know, she is the most knowledgeable about how the brain works and why this matters for leadership and unconscious bias. In episode 1 of this podcast, she talked about leaders’ brains, emotional literacy, and power.

Janet is unique because she not only works with organizations but also stays up to date on the latest brain and social science research. In fact, in just the past two years, she has updated her own views. For example, if a man sees a woman apologizing when it seems unwarranted, what can he do that will be helpful? Janet’s thoughts have changed—and, after listening to her, so have mine.

I can’t think of a more timely topic. If you find this conversation to be useful, please share it with colleagues and friends. That will help a lot.

Highlights:

  • 10:00 Biologically, the experiences of women and under-represented minorities is very different
  • 19:00 African American women are better prepared for bias than Caucasian women
  • 24:30 CEO of AT&T sets a model for candidly sharing vulnerable stories
  • 29:00 Proactive steps to make it safe to take risks and innovate
  • 35:00 Sponsorship is very different from mentorship
  • 39:00 New research on how the power hierarchy influences behavior
  • 46:00 The leader sets a norm for civil behavior
  • 51:00 What is the Bro Code?
  • 57:00 A woman’s brain changes when a man stands up for her
  • 1:04:00 Breaking from the Bro Code is courageous
  • 1:09:00 It’s not about infantilizing women

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There is an overt Bro Code and a subtle form.

–Janet Crawford  Tweet this quote

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Episode 44: Carolyn Coughlin on Growing, Getting “Grabbed”, And Women’s Leadership [The Amiel Show]

The era of the one-trick pony in leadership development has ended.

Excellence takes many forms and comes through a myriad of paths. That’s because leaders are human beings, and humans are complex.

Really complex.

That’s why conversations about leadership are more practical when they cover more territory.

Let me be clear. This is an argument not for eclecticism but for integration.

Not mismash, but mesh. For example:

  • What happens when we look at adult development through the particular experiences of women (or men)?
  • How do we think differently about women’s leadership when we consider the power and challenge of self-authorship?
  • How do we answer both of these questions differently when we look at the human body and how it can get “grabbed” or triggered?

To explore these questions, I had a great conversation recently with Carolyn Coughlin, cofounder of Cultivating Leadership, teacher of Growth Edge Coaching, and business partner with my guest in episodes 3 and 14, Jennifer Garvey-Berger.

Take a listen and enjoy!

Carolyn Coughlin

Highlights

  • 9:30 Making the body “object”
  • 13:00 Carolyn dodges requests with her body
  • 20:30 Getting confronted with a very different way to coach
  • 23:00 Reducing stress using a centering exercise
  • 25:30 Practicing getting “grabbed”
  • 28:30 A leader who gets grabbed, then anxious, then crazy with her team
  • 35:30 Women’s leadership through the lens of adult development
  • 37:00 Where everybody speaks male
  • 51:30 Carolyn’s biggest growth arena: her three teenagers

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Women growing into self-authorship is a way to grow out of the pain they feel

–Carolyn Coughlin  Tweet this quote

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Carolyn’s articles on developmental coaching and leading in complexity

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Episode 31: Hilary Bradbury On Women, Men, Power, And Eros [The Amiel Show]

Ready for a candid and edgy conversation about power relationships between women and men in the workplace?

Then you’ll want to download this episode and listen on your next car ride, walk, or flight.

Hilary Bradbury joins me to discuss her provocative and inspiring new book, Eros/Power: Love In The Spirit of Inquiry, which you can purchase here.  In this book, Hilary and her coauthor, Bill Torbert, a previous guest on the podcast, use their own autobiographical stories to reveal important yet often hidden dynamics that trip up leaders at work and in the rest of life.

Join me as I talk with this trailblazing leadership coach, organizational consultant, and professor.

Hilary-Bradbury

Highlights

  • First, second, and third person conversations (7:55)
  • The day Hilary got fired, then met Bill Torbert (18:00)
  • The “odd duality” women have about telling the truth (22:00)
  • Being an “eros bomb”, evoking confusion in Bill, and not realizing it (26:30)
  • Having crushes at work is different from acting them out (32:30)
  • Hilary and Bill’s most painful conflict with each other (38:50)
  • How Hilary’s Enneagram type–The Challenger–shows up in her work (48:30)
  • Bill’s great advice for Hilary on handling sexual harassment from a senior colleague of hers (55:10)
  • Hilary’s heartfelt apology and Bill’s graceful response (1:01.00)
  • Hilary’s angrily tells her life partner “I’m not your junior partner” (1:05.00)
  • Hilary and her partner’s weekly relationship-enhancing practice (1:11.00)

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“It’s a tricky thing when women & men try to do this power dance with integrity”

—Hilary Bradbury   Tweet this quote

Buy Hilary and Bill Torbert’s New Book

To purchase and/or review a copy of Eros/Power, click here.

To learn more about the book, read a sample, register for a related workshop, click here.

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