Pause On The Play Ep 15

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Hello, hello there and welcome back to Pause on the Play. It is amazing to see you here, where you are challenged to examine your beliefs, question your predisposed notions and consider realities you may be unfamiliar with in order to understand that they too are real. I am your host and conversation MC for the day, Erica Courdae, here to get the dialogue going.

Erica Courdae:                   So, I am sitting in my office and I think it's about to summer thunderstorm outside. So, if you hear noise that's what that is. I am here, I am bringing back India Jackson of India Jackson artistry because we're going to try something new, hey Indie.

India Jackson:                    Hey.

Erica Courdae:                   So, we have conversations, we obviously have quite a few of them with each other, but we have a lot of conversations with other people in a way that we think that it's valuable to share this information with you because sometimes other people may have the same question as you and I think that it can really serve a great purpose, to begin to normalize it so that you don't feel as though, I'm the only person thinking or feeling this. It can make you isolate, so we want to really bring awareness to the fact that you are not the only one that is thinking or feeling these things and we want to answer those. We are going to try some rapid fire Q&A today. We're going to share the questions with you, we're going to give some answers for you and we're going to try to be as unfiltered as possible so you can get the real and we can see what happens. What do you think India?

India Jackson:                    Sounds good to me. I'm excited.

Erica Courdae:                   Yes, I know. I'm like yes, something different. Let's do it. So, I'm going to have you start with the first question and I'm going to have you answer then I'll chime in.

India Jackson:                    Me answering first on this one. Okay, so I will protect the innocent and not use their names, but somebody asked could you explain the importance of EQ development? Which full transparency I was like, what in the world is EQ development? Are we talking about equalizers? So I looked it up and apparent it means emotional quotient or emotional intelligence development. My thoughts on that, or the importance of it, I feel like it goes into personal life and in business life. If I'm not emotionally intelligent enough to be able to observe when someone feels uncomfortable, or to maybe sense what's not being said, number one it makes it hard to develop a stronger friendship if I'm looking at personal life, but if I'm looking at professional life, it make it harder to sense what their needs are. I think that developing that area is super important. I think it's something that we're not taught in school and gets neglected.

India Jackson:                    I think that for many business owners it's something that can get forgotten, especially if we're not taking courses in that area, but I've also seen on the flip side that surprisingly enough, I have a family member that is pretty high up in the federal government and they take classes on it all the time. I think it is really important. What are your thoughts?

Erica Courdae:                   It is 185000% necessary. I think that it is something that should be taught, because I think without emotional intelligence then it can hinder your ability to really connect with and have that empathy and understanding for the other side of a conversation. It's not even just in the sense of something that is really deep or really big or really emotional. Just being able to show up and be present and be on the other side of a conversation to be able to say oh, okay I understand I hear you, I understand, to where you know what's next. Because part of it is understanding, but the other part is, what do you do with it? I see a lot of people where it's like, you might have heard what I said and you may have even acknowledged me, but then you just kept it moving and did something else completely unrelated and I don't understand how that just stopped.

Erica Courdae:                   If you're in the middle of a really heartfelt moment and someone just says okay, and just bops off, it's like whoa, wait a minute, wasn't done, hello. That's a big part of emotional intelligence as well. It's having that intelligence for what you do in those situations or those conversations, but what do you do next?

India Jackson:                    I definitely think it comes into play with both of us do. Obviously with you being a coach, it's all emotional intelligence there. Of being able to hear what's not being said, process that and then navigate through it. I've also found for me it comes into play with sales calls. Many times people are asking for a service we provide. The number one thing I get asked for, believe it or not, is head shots or branding photos, but half the time that's not exactly, like you didn't need the head shot. Or you didn't need the product on white, or the studio shot. What you actually needed is images of your product that form an emotional connection with the audience so they could see themselves using the product.

Erica Courdae:                   But that is a part of that emotional intelligence where you're paying attention to more than just the words. It's no different than when someone chooses to have a coaching session and they're coming in the room with XYZ as their challenge. In many, many cases, that is not your challenge and it is the space for me to coach you through arriving at the awareness of what the actual thing is. Then what do we then do subsequently with that? How do I then support you for figuring out how do you then tackle what is really the thing that you need to address. What do you do with that? Part of that emotional intelligence is being open to saying that maybe this isn't what's wrong. It's like if you're cooking, it might not be the spice. It might not be the ingredient. It might be the pot. Your elevation. You see stuff all the time, that's like certain elevations, you've got to shift stuff. If you are so busy trying to have tunnel vision looking at this, while the thing that you really need is slightly to your left, but you wouldn't turn your head to look.

India Jackson:                    I definitely think that it's an area that can easily be overlooked, but when you begin to develop your emotional intelligence, whether it be through working with a coach, psychologist, whatever, taking courses, it can impact every area of your life, both professionally and personally. I've seen it be a huge asset to have, especially if you're in a sales position, if you're in a customer service position, if you're in a leadership role. But I've also seen it go wrong. I will say, do not neglect this area because when I've seen situations where you're trying to network with someone and you realize on the first coffee date, this is not going to work, it's the lack of emotional intelligence. Or when you're trying to build a more personal friendship with someone, usually where I see it go wrong is lack of emotional intelligence. Literally I've had someone in my family just died and they're like, oh, that sucks. Do you remember when my birthday is?

Erica Courdae:                   No. Wrong.

India Jackson:                    No emotional intelligence can go real wrong, real fast.

Erica Courdae:                   Oh sweet baby Jesus, no. No. But you just made another good point. Emotional intelligence is forward facing as well as an internal skill. It's what you do with others outside of you, but it's also how you process stuff on the inside, because part of what you say is based on how you processed it, or lack thereof. It's important for all aspects of processing and communicating.

India Jackson:                    Agreed. Anything else that you want to expand on, on emotional intelligence?

Erica Courdae:                   I could talk about emotional intelligence all day, but I'm going to leave it there. I think there is definitely space there to revisit it, but I would actually like the listeners to tell us if it something that you would like us to expand on. Remember, this episode is your episode. This is your space to say hey, I want to talk more about that. Or that one thing you said about that one thing, yeah, let's go there.

India Jackson:                    Let me remind you guys, Erica and I are both on Instagram and we get a lot of DMs, so we're checking them pretty frequently. If you ever have a question that you want us to dive into on a podcast, pop into either one of our DMs.

Erica Courdae:                   Absolutely. Yes, yes, communicate with us guys.

India Jackson:                    Okay, so going on to the next question, am I answering this one first?

Erica Courdae:                   I can answer first if you want me to, I've got it.

India Jackson:                    You got first on this one.

Erica Courdae:                   All right.

India Jackson:                    How does public image help a person who isn't in the public eye?

Erica Courdae:                   Yes.

India Jackson:                    I like this one.

Erica Courdae:                   Okay. First of all let's define public image. Public image can be, but is not limited to owning a business, being the head of an organization or a group, being a celebrity, being an influencer, being very visible on social media whether that's through words or through images of yourself. Public, it's not just those things. It is how you show up in your house of worship, whatever that looks like. It is how you are a parent, how you are a neighbor, how you are a friend, how you are a spouse. How you show up in any capacity with any interaction with others, but it starts with yourself. Because if you don't show up for yourself, then it's going to absolutely impact how you show up for somebody else. I don't want people to get caught up on the fact that oh, I'm not a Kardashian, I hate that example, but you understand where I'm going if I use that one.

Erica Courdae:                   I'm not a politician. I'm not a Bill Gates, I'm not a Beyonce, I'm not a this, I'm not a that. You don't have to be those things in order to be in a place of influence. You don't have to be those things in order to be a leader. The most impactful leaders are the ones you don't see. Because, mic drop on that. Because you don't have to be validated in order to lead. You don't have to get the pat on the back in order for what you did to now be real because somebody saw it. That's not what that means. When you are raising a child, the things that they usually, they become an adult and they say "hey I remember this", you're like shit, I don't, but okay I hope it was good. You don't realize that. When you are in a workplace, some of the most impactful things were not things that I mentioned to people, unfortunately for me I've had a lot of what not to dos. I didn't always go back and tell them, you suck because you did XYZ, but your lack of leadership did point out what I would do differently.

Erica Courdae:                   It's not always what you think it is, but at the same time it's everything that you didn't consider that it is. Because it is simply a way of being and it starts with how you are with yourself. Then it trickles over into how you are with others.

India Jackson:                    Can I just co-sign?

Erica Courdae:                   Yes.

India Jackson:                    My thoughts on it, and I think it goes back into the phrase brand. Your brand is your public image. Your public image is not some abstract idea of you. It's not your pictures, it's not your captions. It's what other people think of you and as long as you are a human and you know other humans, whether you choose to talk to them or not, you have a public image. I think that being mindful of your public image and developing your public image is important whether you're in the "public eye" or not, because you're still in the public eye every time you walk out of your house.

Erica Courdae:                   Yep.

India Jackson:                    Bottom line, every time you interact with another human, that is the public, is it not?

Erica Courdae:                   It's not even walking out of your house. Nowadays we do so much on the phone, on the computer, people work from home. So you may not leave your home, but you're still in a position of having an image.

India Jackson:                    Exactly. So, I don't know, the question is interesting. How does it help a person who isn't in the public eye? I don't know if I can answer that directly, but I can say that being mindful of it and really considering what your public image currently is and what you may want it to shift into does help people whether they're famous, whether they're on social media very much or not. A little side note, something that comes to mind for me on this is people who are on social media, but they never really post anything and they're just lurking, that's a public image too.

Erica Courdae:                   Yes. It is.

India Jackson:                    You've created the public image that you're a lurker and you don't contribute to the conversation.

Erica Courdae:                   You're letting fear lead your actions. It can come off as if you're afraid to contribute. Whether you're not sure what to say, you're not sure if you have space to even speak, if you're not sure how to frame it, you don't know how to interact with the people in the room. You're afraid of being chastised, which sometimes can happen with some of the people on my site when it comes to talking about diversity, equity and inclusion. They're like, I can't talk in this room. So I'm going to lurk. Maybe in this space, you're a lurker. Somewhere else you are the leader, but you have to look at maybe how that balances out when you really weigh it. I think for someone that's not in the public eye, where you don't consider yourself in the public eye, that's your perception of it. Real or perceived. When you work on your public image that can be a space for you to audit how you're showing up. For you to have the ability to then make adjustments if you choose to.

India Jackson:                    Agreed. I think the other thing that comes to mind for me is that no public opinion of you is still an opinion of you.

Erica Courdae:                   You can have multiple opinions and those can be true and valid for all of those individuals. At the end of the day, you have to decide what rings true for you and if you feel as though it's not, then it's just space to shift it. If it does, then you can say okay, I feel like I'm moving in ways that do work for me. But, I think there is always spaces to figure out whether or not it works because just somebody says it, that doesn't mean that it's not true. But that also may not mean that there's not some truth to it.

India Jackson:                    Yes. I definitely think that brings me back to if I had to make it spiffy, it helps you decide.

Erica Courdae:                   Spiffy, do that.

India Jackson:                    It helps you take that control over what the public's opinion of you is. Even if the public is just your neighborhood or the people you share an office with because no public image leaves a big fat question mark.

Erica Courdae:                   If I were to make it spiffy, I'm going to go with the fact of take ownership of your public image in any capacity or someone else will.

India Jackson:                    Yes. Full motion on that side.

Erica Courdae:                   Just saying.

India Jackson:                    For those of you that don't know that quote, we listen to Infinite Waters, maybe a little bit too much.

Erica Courdae:                   The cat down the road.

India Jackson:                    The cat down the road says, move onto question number three. Okay, question number three, how can a public image be marketed, especially if a person is simply ordinary? I want to know what ordinary means to this person. They haven't answered back yet. Most individuals are never in front of cameras and don't know people who are. So they may not know the values of a public perception.

Erica Courdae:                   You want me to tackle that one or you want to hit that one first?

India Jackson:                    I can hit that one first.

Erica Courdae:                   Okay.

India Jackson:                    I think that people believe that marketing is like fancy graphics and logos and color schemes. While those things are important, you're marketing yourself every time you show up. Even if showing up is lurking and not saying anything, even if it's you and your messy bed hair doing Instagram live. When you show up, that's marketing yourself. I think that we are able to market ourselves by just showing up. It's really that simple. Show up. Have something to say that means something to you. Share what's going on in your life if you feel comfortable with that or what you're working on. That is marketing yourself and I think that we can sometimes attach the idea of marketing to being like a business thing or an influencer thing or a podcaster thing, but it's an every day human thing. If you're looking for, say for example you're looking for a new job and you work in an office room in business or in government contracting, you still have to apply for jobs. Do you think that they're not going to go search your social media presence before or after the interview?

India Jackson:                    In marketing yourself, you have the opportunity to build connections with people who may be able to be a great referral or reference for something. But you also have the ability to attract the type of crowd to you that you want to show up in your life, whether it be personal or professional. You don't need a business to do that. This person uses the word ordinary, that word stands out to me because I think that many times we can look at ourselves as being incredibly ordinary. They also say that they're never in front of the camera or many people are not, so they don't know the value of public perception, but it just concerns me that, I think that many times we play small, and I'm guilty of this too, so where we don't realize just how much other people look to us as setting an example. Other people look to us as a way that they could take on the traits that we have in how we lead and the things that we talk about.

India Jackson:                    I think we all are less ordinary that we believe that we are. There's something unique about each person. That really, to me, is the thing that if you want to say how could you market yourself, market yourself with what makes you unique and makes you, you. Because there's only one you.

Erica Courdae:                   I'm trying to think of where to start because this is a very layered question.

India Jackson:                    It is really layered.

Erica Courdae:                   I'm going to first go back to the marketing piece for a minute. Marketing, like you said, it's not just business and marketing is just simply how you present yourself in order to gain or repel, sometimes you're repelling things. Something that you do or don't want. Like you said, getting a job. When you're trying to find a significant other. If you're trying to gain friends. If you were at a networking event and you're trying to gain connections. This is marketing. You're just marketing yourself. You are a commodity. You are not a commodity in the sense that there is no emotion or feeling or things that are connected there, but you are the most precious commodity out of anything else that you're going to have. If you're going to market a website and a business, why does marketing yourself then become something of less importance? That's the starting place for all of it.

Erica Courdae:                   If we go into that ordinary thing. Okay, so I think the word ordinary has somehow gotten this bad brown paper wrapping, boo, bland rap and I don't buy it. I am going to go back to a conversation that we had in the Brave Society, which is one of the groups that we're in that I absolutely love, and this conversation was started from a pretty simple place of me just asking a question and as we all jumped in and answered and I think at this point it's got over 100 responses in this thread, it's huge. One of the things that we all noticed at some point was that some of us were saying the things that made me different and yet what kept happening is that we all were showing up in similar ways, but yet somehow for a lot of us we'd be like, I'm just ordinary because I do this. It's like, but we're not ordinary. We're all doing things different and yet we don't realize how these things are more common than what we even realize. But we weren't talking about it, so we didn't know.

Erica Courdae:                   Ordinary is a word that I think can be steeped in unawareness and a lack of dialogue and connection because if you talk, you're going to probably realize that you have more in common with someone than what you realize. Whether or not that's ordinary or it's something that's completely left field, it's all extraordinary because it's coming through your filter and that can only happen by you. Nobody else can do that. Let's not make ordinary this stamp to put on something to make it less important, less valid, less necessary to pay attention to. Nobody is so vanilla that they don't matter. That's what I feel like ordinary can maybe trick people into believing.

India Jackson:                    I agree 100% of that.

Erica Courdae:                   So I think that it is very important to remember that marketing is simply how you show up, I'll use that phrase again, I use it a lot. It's how you show up for yourself and others. Just because you're not in the public eye doesn't mean that you're not marketing yourself for something, somewhere with someone or something and that whether or not you choose to consider yourself ordinary is absolutely your choice, however, do not let that negate that there is only one of you.

India Jackson:                    I think what comes to mind for me is if I had to look at my life, people that have had the largest impact on my life were not necessarily in the public eye when they were having the impact, and some still aren't and don't ever choose to be. May even see themselves as being ordinary, but they marketed themselves or their public image that they had in the way that they lived their lives, set an example for me that I looked up to.

Erica Courdae:                   Because ordinary is not tied to impact.

India Jackson:                    I think that it came up in the Brave Society where I went down a full blown rabbit hole, we won't do that to you, but I honestly believe that ordinary is an illusion. It really is. I think that to a degree, we are made to believe that most people are very vanilla, but you dive deeper into the most vanilla, cookie cutter seeming people you find that there's something about them they're doing out of the norm. Even if it's something as simple as being a two parent household with kids, but you have one car. Or you chose to get rid of the televisions. Something small, but it's not what society would tell you is the norm. All of us have something that we're doing that's a little bit outside of the norm that we attached to society, which make me just wonder if societies norm, societies ordinary is an illusion to begin with.

Erica Courdae:                   Refer back to slow motion on that side.

India Jackson:                    All right, I'm off my soap boxes.

Erica Courdae:                   Soap boxes are wanted and necessary around here. So, let's do one more.

India Jackson:                    One more. Okay. How can an individual improve their public image? That is a very big question. So maybe we could just do one or two things each.

Erica Courdae:                   Okay.

India Jackson:                    Because we could go on about that for 20 podcasts.

Erica Courdae:                   Yeah, so how can you improve your public image? Number one, I think you need to identify what the standard is. If you're trying to improve it, then you first need to know what it is that you're aspiring too or trying to reach and from there you can identify what shifts need to be made. But you first need to know, what am I comparing myself to? What is the standard that I'm measuring this against? Number two in how to improve your public image of course my automatic thought is to stop looking to others to validate it, but I don't even know if that's necessarily the case. This is what happens when you have a question and I don't have the full context on the person.

India Jackson:                    No context. If it helps, this is from the same person as the last question.

Erica Courdae:                   Okay. I'll say that you can improve it by finding the space to, what is the space in which you can live as authentically as possible while still maintaining your boundaries in order to feel comfortable in how you show up. I think you want to live in integrity with who you are and how you are and what you're presenting, because what you're presenting is what people are going to perceive about you. I think that in doing that you want to make sure that you're coming from a place of integrity, but also honoring or respecting your boundaries of not having to make yourself completely 100% open to the world if you don't choose for that to be the thing. It's moving through that integrity and showing up in a way that does actually feel good to you. Hope that makes sense.

India Jackson:                    Those are great answers and they're in a little bit different of a direction than my mind is going.

Erica Courdae:                   That's even better, that's awesome.

India Jackson:                    My thought is, really to and I'm curious to know your thoughts because you're a coach and I'm not. But my thought is to start with an audit of your public image. Ask some trusted sources what do they think about you and maybe even ask one or two sources that don't know you personally that well. Because you can't improve on something if you don't know what it is. We all have blind spots. I can assume that my public image is one thing, but reality might be very different.

Erica Courdae:                   Yes. For me, I looked at it like, figure out what you're measuring it against. But, you're also, it's not about what you perceive about it. You're trying to figure out what is being perceived. So yes, you do have to ask those things and you have to be willing to be unattached to the responses.

India Jackson:                    That's a big one is definitely being unattached.

Erica Courdae:                   You don't want to put yourself in this place of now feeling judged or criticized or ostracized or anything that takes out the entire purpose of why you did what you did. You're trying to find this information and it's simply information. Don't attach the additional significance of this being more than information. Let it be just that. Don't internalize it too much.

India Jackson:                    My second thing, if I had to give a second one would be to just show up. Because I think that, maybe this is just me speaking from the bias of the type of people that I encounter and come to me with questions or are looking to redo their brand and the things that can come up with that, but I find that many people that want to improve how they show up aren't showing up at all. You can't improve something you're not doing.

Erica Courdae:                   This is where you have to show up imperfectly. You don't have to be perfect at it in order to start. I like that analogy of I want to lose 20 pounds, but I can't start until I lose 19. No. You start now, you start where you are and you allow that to be a place from which you can measure progress.

India Jackson:                    I'm a firm believe in its better to show up imperfectly and maybe even make some mistakes along the way you've got to apologize for, then to not show up at all. You can't learn, you can't grow, you can't build the audience or the opportunities that you want if you don't show up.

Erica Courdae:                   Let's me honest, you're going to make the mistakes no matter what. Some may be forward facing, some may not be out there for everyone to see, but you are going to fuck up somewhere and that's okay. That is where you learn. That's where AHAs come from. That's where growth and the expansion comes from. Because if you don't have the space to understand that there is something that I want to shift, then you don't have that opportunity to evolve. Evolution comes from a need to grow. Without that need to grow you stay stagnant. Nobody benefits from that. I don't advocate that for anyone. Just saying. Now you got me on a soap box.

India Jackson:                    Definitely showing up and evaluating where you currently are from somebody else's perspective. Not just your own.

Erica Courdae:                   Agreed. Take it with a grain of salt. Do what you will. Keep moving. So. I think this is pretty awesome. I like this. I want to do more of this.

India Jackson:                    Yeah. I like the question and answer session.

Erica Courdae:                   This is awesome. So, as always I want you to have take aways and I want you to share those take aways. Just like we had these awesome individuals that opened up and they shared their thoughts and they allowed us the space to give our take and two sense on them, we gave you our thoughts, so now I want you to chime back in and tell us if you have additional questions, but also I want you tell us of the questions that we answered, which I think were three. Of those questions, what is it that you want us to go further into? Tell us what we can do for you. Just saying. Just saying.

India Jackson:                    I have a feeling we may be launching something new coming soon.

Erica Courdae:                   I love.

India Jackson:                    To help keep this conversation going too.

Erica Courdae:                   I love the idea of that. I'm like yes, let's do it. So, you guys know that I love talking, you know the conversation is the exact catalyst that I love to use for change. I want you to come on over to Instagram, visit me @EricaCourdae or come on over to the website and book your tea time chat with me so we can talk about this. Drop me an email, however you need to connect with me. Also, come on over to India over @TheIndiaJackson so that you can share with us how these things are showing up, if they're showing up in life, if they're showing up in business and understanding that there's a lot of overlap between the two. So, tell us what you think. Tell us what we can bring back to you and we shall return. Thanks Indie, thanks guys.

India Jackson:                    Thanks.

Pause on a Play is one iteration of how we use conversation to create connection. Our one on one calls, is another. This is where you can get support on how your beliefs and values around diversity, equity and inclusion, are showing up for your business. How you vote with your dollars, how you are sharing your message to let people know that you curated a space with them in mind, that you want to talk with them and hold space with them to have a seat at the table.

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The conversations we have here are to normalize the challenging things and make them a part of your normal exchanges. This is how we remove stigma and create real change and connection, cross lines and recreate boundaries to support, not separate.

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I love being here and creating the bridge for you to walk over to become the change that you want to see. Join us next time, and until then, keep the dialogue going. Bye.

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