Episode #17: Diana Chapman InterviewCLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A PDF VERSION OF THIS TRANSCRIPT
Welcome to Allowed. I’m your host, Caneel Joyce. (00:02)
Even the leadership and personal growth junkies like us, the ones who actually love to read the books that are in the airport bookstore, still might notice that even if we read all the books, we understand all the things, we enact all the models, we do all the practices at work, at the end of the day, it’s just really not moving the needle. And I think this is why a lot of us feel skeptical about this work. It can seem like a self-indulgent, fluffy waste of time that doesn’t make a big difference. One of the reasons that this happens is because we fail to allow ourselves to bring that leader home with us, into our personal lives, into our friendships, into our relationships. If you’re not creating it at home, you cannot create it at work. Bring that leader home and today we’re going to learn how. You are allowed to be your very best when you are at home. You are allowed to make your personal life, your personal playground and experiment lab for you as a leader. You know, we often joke about gurus, but we spend most of our lives lost and searching for someone or something to show us the way to the light. In today’s episode, we will get to take a peek into the personal life of one of my gurus. Best selling author of The 15 commitments of Conscious Leadership, founder of conscious leadership group, mom of two, backyard farmer and revolutionary leader, Diana Chapman. Let’s start the show.
CANEEL: Welcome. Thank you for joining me today and for continuing on your journey towards growth, awareness, and becoming the leader of your life that you were meant to be. Conscious leadership has made such a big difference in my life that I’ve really oriented a lot of my coaching work and my personal life around being a conscious leader and inviting others into this amazing experience of leading consciously. It’s actually the motivation for me designing the Forward Fearless program. I literally used to get on a plane and fly to San Francisco to study conscious leadership and be in community with others doing the same. And I realized I want people everywhere to have access to this and for it to be super affordable. So I created a program called Forward Fearless, and you can sign up for that program starting right now. The window’s going to close, so I really recommend that you get to Caneel.com and sign up for Forward Fearless where we are going to together in an online video environment and in a community of peers that want the same thing you do. We’re going to explore who you are in your essence, what is your Zone of Genius? Who is your team of champions out there, getting really creative about your life, making big changes and providing you with a lot of opportunities to be challenged and supported as you grow. You’ll even have a chance to be coached one-on-one by me in many of these sessions and to be connected with an incredible network worldwide. So please go to Caneel.com to get more info on that and to sign up today.
So my fearless friends, if you have listened to our three part series on Victim, Villain and Hero, then congratulations on becoming more aware of the mindsets you might take on when you are below the line. I hope you enjoy taking all the quizzes and figuring out which characters do you just love to play when you are in Hero Victim or Villain mode. This is a powerful piece of self awareness that will help you to shift out of these mindsets and move above the line if you are willing coming up soon in future episodes, we will dig more into how you can shift above the line and into the roles in the empowerment triangle and out of drama.
Now, most of what I’m talking about, I learned about from one special person and that is our special guest today. She is not only an expert in all things related to the drama triangle, but she’s also an expert on conscious leadership and leadership and management and culture, trusted advisor to 1,000 organizational leaders and many of their teams from Genentech to Kiva to Yahoo. Also a facilitator of YPO, the Young President’s Organization. She’s an amazing mentor, coach, author, speaker and leader. And a really bad ass human being. I’ve been blessed to have been trained by her and coached by her. She’s truly the best example of a challenger that I know. She’s taught me so much and really transformed who I am. I highly recommend her book, The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership as I have done many times on this show. Welcome Diana Chapman.
DIANA CHAPMAN: Thanks for having me. This is really fun.
CANEEL: Diana has worked changing lives and turning people’s brains inside out to their ecstatic bliss. It’s so good to see you. I love, I love what I see in the background as we are on our, our zoom video call here, watching each other in our respective parts of California and looking out at that beautiful porch where I have had many and insight. I’m so happy to be with you here in my beautiful Redwood forest and you are in Scotts Valley, California today. I am. So I think this was an initial, this was the initial thing that kind of drew me in to working with you. Diana is your life. You know, first you are obviously a, a beam of consciousness and an incredible leader, but there’s also your particular life design and you’ve often shared with, with us in our forum how you’ve made specific changes over the course of your life in terms of how you choose to run your family, how you, how you manage your own time, um, what your relationship is like with Matt, your husband.
Speaker 1: (07:09)
And these things just really inspire me because now it gives me a vision for what this can look like and what the payoff is. So it helps boost in the change formula that really helps boost my visionary capacity. Okay. I have been thinking about this episode and thinking like, I have a sense that there are many people who very much would like to really understand what does it look like to actually do conscious leadership in the real world. And we can learn about it. Theoretically, we can read about it, we can apply it to ourselves in our own lives, but it, the more committed you are to it, I think the more revolutionary it is. I would love to start with a check-in and for our audience if we haven’t talked about check-ins together yet, I wouldn’t want to just give a little bit of context and share what this is.
Speaker 1: (08:00)
So one of the practices in conscious leadership and actually a practice that I really encourage with all of my clients and we do it in our meetings here at kickass enterprises as well. The checking is really just to check in as human beings when we first arrive into a new conversation or meeting together and literally it saves time. You use a couple minutes at the front end to get an understanding of how that person is arriving into the meeting and what their internal state is like in that moment. It’s something that’s done without any need to explain the reason why you’re feeling the way you’re feeling and it’s definitely not a place where anyone needs to solve any problems for anyone. In fact, one of the keys to having an effective check-in is allowing each person to have their own unique personal. That doesn’t need to mean anything, but it’s information that’s useful.
Speaker 1: (09:01)
The other cool thing about it is it instantly brings everyone in the meeting to presence because you’re checking in about what’s your current state in this moment. Now the check in you are about to hear is one that we commonly practice in specifically in the practice of conscious leadership. And this is one that I actually initially started doing with Diana. So it’s really cool to have her back here on the show and, and kick us off this way. So this check-in has three parts. The first part is what is your body feeling like? So what’s your body sensation right here in this moment? And you do it simply by naming a body part and the sensation you are feeling in that moment, like squeezing, tingling, heat, swirling. Uh, the second part is the emotion. So what’s the basic emotion you’re feeling? Usually we try to stick to joy, anger, sadness, fear and desire or might call it sexual feelings.
Speaker 1: (09:54)
That’s just all the creative feelings, inspiration, ambition, drive, all of that goes under that kind of desire, sexual feelings category. And that just helps keep it simple and clean. And it also prevents us from using story words like I’m feeling frustrated, which someone might immediately begin. I’m wondering what’s your story about why you are frustrated? Is it me? Another story where it might be guilty. So then we immediately start wondering, Ooh, are you guilty? What’s going on there? So it helps keep it clean. The last piece of this three part unarguable check-in is what’s the next thought that pops into your mind in that very moment. So often it’s something extremely simple and mundane such as, next slide I’m noticing the light bouncing off the ceiling or I really wonder what’s going to happen in this meeting. So it’s just giving a little bit of information and it lets everyone just let go of whatever they’re coming from and the land here in this present moment. There are other ways to do check-ins and I will definitely link to a video that I’ve created with one of my favorite longterm clients, Terry lead. Incredible. Terry league will be joining us on the show in a future episode where we’re talking about a different kind of checkin and we’ll do these every now and then on an episode so that you can begin to bring this practice into your life. All right, so Diana, you’re ready to go. Let’s, let’s begin with a check-in. Yeah.
Speaker 3: (11:13)
So check-in in this moment right now, I notice a little bit of a pressure here in the front of my head and I feel really excited if I’m curious about where are we going to go, what gets to happen and particularly who it might be valuable to out there. And I’m really happy to be home in my home working from home these last couple of days. So I’m just noticing my pace has been less sustainable lately out in the world. So I’m course correcting and slowing down and I’m enjoying that.
Speaker 1: (11:48)
Awesome. Uh, I notice I’m feeling a lot of energy running through my body, from my belly to my extremities, my hands and my feet. A little bit of kind of tension around my nose and a little bit of nervous energy. Super excited, appropriately scared. Is my judgment a good job? Feelings and I guess, yeah, a lot of, a lot of sexual energy.
Speaker 3: (12:17)
Fun. Yeah. I’ve been reading your book atomic habits and they were talking about reframing. I’m reading it that way. You’ve got that cause I was like, you sound like that of a appropriately adrenalized for the moment. Yes.
Speaker 1: (12:31)
So, uh, as you know, I’ve learned a ton from you and one of the things that initially really drew me deeper into the work and helped me to find the vision, the inspiration, the creative energy to actually make bigger changes in my life. And in myself. It was, it was you, it wasn’t, your model only wasn’t your book only. It wasn’t the structure of the group work we were doing. It was really seeing you as an example of what is possible. And along the way, you’ve shared some of the ways that you’ve intentionally designed yourself, the way you, you, you say you, you organize yourself on the inside and the way that you have designed your life and your relationships and all of that has just been so inspiring to me. I’ll take that. So, uh, you are a master April fool’s day prankster? Yes, I am. And I, I know that you sometimes even plan these schemes in advance and it’s been fun to watch you do that on your phone sometimes. So I’d love you to share what April fool’s day prank are you most proud of?
Speaker 3: (13:42)
Well, I think it was the most recent one in which I, I set it up that I had been meeting people in airplanes and I was posting on social media about people. Interesting people. I was meeting on airplanes. And so then I had the thought, what if I said I met Obama on an airplane and since people who have been seen this kind of thread going, they might actually believe it. And so I took a picture and first-class of me sitting next to a guy and my son, who always helps me out, Carson with a picture, he put Obama’s face on this guy, it’s body and we put it out there. And it was shocking to me how many people, how many people love to be fooled. And we definitely pulled more people this year than we’ve fooled ever before. So that was probably my new favorite one.
Speaker 1: (14:26)
Who is the, we is the we, you and your son?
Speaker 3: (14:28)
Yeah. Yes. And you know, I would, yeah, mostly Carson and I. So I usually come up with the idea and then I toss over whatever the image is and then he plays with it and he’s not particularly talented at Photoshop, which makes it even a little more funny because you know, usually they’re not the greatest Photoshop jobs, but people just, I do think people love to be fooled so people buy into it anyway.
Speaker 1: (14:50)
I love how you that, yes. People
Speaker 3: (14:52)
love to be fooled. This reminds me of a word that you brought into my coaching vernacular, which is peekaboo. Yes. Peekaboo. My experiences that peek-a-boo. I love to play peekaboo with children. If you saw me, if you saw me on most airplanes, I find some little kid that I get to play peekaboo with and I love to play because I see how much they love to play and my experiences were all here playing peekaboo and we’re playing peekaboo. In the way of, I remember who I am. Oh, I forget who I am. I remember who you are. I forget who you are. And we’re all playing peekaboo. And there’s something fun about that experience of seeing and then forgetting and then seeing again and then forgetting. And so wanting to bite people too. Recognize that is what’s happening for most of us and can we game a fi it can we not see it as a problem that I forget. Can we see it as, it’s kind of fun to forget because it’s so fun to see again
Speaker 1: (15:49)
and you’re not talking about, I forget that I’m in my house and I forgot that my children were in the other room. This is a bigger type of a game that you were describing. Where is the here that we forget?
Speaker 3: (16:02)
I forget that I am oneness itself. I forget that I am part of something greater than myself, that I am, that I am also included in and that it’s all one thing. So whatever I, I’m not othering from somebody else. It’s all me. And so, but I forget. It’s all me and I go back to a experience of separation which causes some form of suffering, um, some form of reactivity for most of us. And so I like being able to come back to those moments of really having a direct experience of, Oh, I had one the other day again, it was like, Oh, I am the pilot and the plane flying over my head right now and I’m the one who’s listening and I got that moment of a direct experience. It was so delicious. And then you know, the window closes a little bit and it’s not quite the same. I can intellectually understand it, but it’s not the same as having that direct experience. And so I just celebrate. I remember after it happened, I did this little out loud, like fun, you know, and then it’s going to go away for a little while and then I looked forward to it coming back.
Speaker 1: (17:08)
Yes. What you’re describing it, I think of this as a, there’s an inner world that is the entirety of all things. And actually that’s the real one. The inner one. And this outer one here is just a projection I chose to make up. This is a really mind bending and radical idea to talk to leaders and managers of tech companies about is it not certainly
Speaker 3: (17:37)
- And uh, you have to find thoughtful ways to describe it so that people start to understand whatever I see out there, it does live in here too. And so if I’m making a problem out there, it’s an reflection that something hasn’t been owned or loved inside of myself.
Speaker 1: (17:55)
It’s a, it’s a seeing your shadow. Oh yeah, there I am. Oh, don’t want to see that again.
Speaker 3: (18:02)
I did it. I had it just the other day. I read that president Trump had decided to peel back how many fruits and vegetables kids need to eat and their cafeteria is at school and happened. Uh, I found myself infuriated with that. How dare he, what that is. So an insensitive and so we’re not nurturing and I could feel myself, like really triggered about it. So I caught myself and I thought, okay, Diana, you’re, you’re triggered enough here. You’re reactive enough that you’re othering yourself. You’re pretending that’s not Hugh. So I took a look at what habits am I changing that aren’t as good for me as they were before and all of a sudden proof there I am. Me and Trump were the same. I’m doing the same thing. And so it was this wonderful recognition of, Oh, I judge that out there because I don’t want to see it in here or own it or love it and can I love the one in me who, who changes and goat rolls back habits that probably are really good for me.
Speaker 1: (19:06)
[inaudible] just yesterday speaking of kind of owning the projection and, uh, I was facilitating a clearing between two clients, uh, two executives and the, this was the first time actually doing a really conscious clearing. And what played out was kind of a typical experience I would say when I’ve had many times with clients is at the beginning they think the clearing is going to be something to change the other person. Uh, some way to control what they think or believe because we, you know, we often come into a clearing conversation with the idea that we are right and they’re wrong and all they need to be is convinced that they’re wrong. Then the clearing model that you have designed in the conscious leadership group is one that only really it’s all about you. It’s all about your own stuff. As you do a clearing, it’s your clearing that there’s something over there that is true of me too and I haven’t yet owned it and that’s, I am choosing to disconnect from you because I am not willing to own how similar we are. The question that really throws people for a loop is when you need to complete this sentence. The part of me I see in you that I have an aversion to is, and I don’t know if this is your experience, Diana, uh, sometimes it needs to be kind of repeated and explained about five or six times. Like, no, it can’t be about me. The sentence is wrong. It can’t be about me.
Speaker 3: (20:38)
Yeah. So if I use Trump, like the part of me I see in you that I have an aversion to is laziness for the sake of whatever reason that is. And so I don’t want to own, I’m lazy. I don’t like looking at that part of me. I just, you know, my identity is all caught up and I’m powerful and strong and I get stuff done. So to be seen myself as lazy or irresponsible. So to own that, to own that, and to learn to accept that even more importantly, well, they’re both equally important. I got to own it. But then can I just accept, you know, I’m irresponsible sometimes. I don’t always take as good a care of myself and others as I could. And that’s lovable. It’s okay. It’s allowed. Yeah.
Speaker 1: (21:21)
I remember once you shared with me that I sometimes trigger you.
Speaker 3: (21:24)
Yeah, I remember I’m having the thought like Caneel is, she’s, what’s the word I would use? Like she goes and wonders, she wanders. I realized I get scared with the idea of wandering. I don’t let myself wandering. What if my wandering didn’t get stuff done. And so I realized I’ve been X-ing out or dis dismissing the wander and me that just wants to go roam around in my mind or in my dreaminess. And so that was really valuable to me to come back and start to own that and see actually how wandering around could be really absurd to me. That is lovely. Thank you. Yeah.
Speaker 1: (22:08)
You know, it’s interesting because this wandering tendency that I have and it’s one I’ve had for my whole life and, and I reckon this is a little bit of my brilliance, but despite you finding, uh, your appreciation of that in yourself and, and therefore in me, you’ve always applied pressure to me to get committed, to get focused, to not dilute my own energy and effort and to find that thing that I’m willing to be in devotion to. And I still have the notes from one of our coaching sessions. It was by phone and you talked about this devotion word and how all of these things are happening because I’m not committed, I’m not in devotion. That was the wake up call that sparked this podcast. I feel I finally figured something out. It’s hard to articulate exactly what it is, but I feel very, very on purpose and I just wanted to thank you for that.
Speaker 3: (23:05)
My pleasure. Yeah. What I noticed about most leaders, including you, is that we tend to hang out on one side of a polarity more than another. And we tend to often hang on a lot more to the, to push away the other side and we start to identify that that’s me 100% so for example, I’m, I’m exploring freely all possibilities without any commitment is that one side of a polarity. And it’s a really valuable side of a polarity. The other side would be, I’m very structured and committed and I have a goal and I’m getting someplace and I limit, I limit options, right? Those are two sides of a polarity. Limitlessness and limitedness. And so some identities will say, Oh, I’m more limitless and that’s more me. And that’s how I, I see myself and I judge limitedness in others and myself. And then some people are the other side. And what happens is when people make one side of the polarity less valuable than the other, they’ll start to create drama in their lives.
Speaker 1: (24:11)
What do you mean by make it, how can I make something less valuable than something else? Something, you know, maybe one side of the polarity really is more valuable to me.
Speaker 3: (24:19)
Yeah. And so what I mean by make it is my mind looks for evidence for how one side of the polarity is truly more valuable than another. The mind says this, I’m right, I’m right. This is side is better than that side. And so when I help leaders with is you might have a preference to be on one side or another and that’s fine. But if your, if your preference now includes righteously believing that side is more valuable, you’re gonna not be able to be fully present to the moment and respond to life with the most magnificent possibility you can. And so I really want to support leaders in learning how to see how the other side of the polarity is equally valuable. Now, it doesn’t mean they don’t actually want to spend more time over there, but now they can’t see a problem over there anymore. Now they go, wow, I can see how that could be a valuable way to be or do in the world. And I no longer have anything. I’m exing out about it.
Speaker 1: (25:21)
It’s brilliant. This is a, the root of the question. Are you willing to see how the opposite of your story is at least as true as your story itself? Another one that initially stumps a lot of clients. What do you mean the opposite of my story? This story is the one that’s true. So fun. Yeah. Uh, so you brought in polarity and one of the contexts of conversation where I remember learning about polarity from you in particular was you were talking about the masculine and the feminine sides and surrender. Yeah.
Speaker 3: (25:55)
Um, we tend to want to be more of the follower or we tend to like being more the leader.
Speaker 1: (25:59)
Absolutely. I remember one time you, you saying that, uh, when you’re a certain persona starts taking over of yours and Matt will recognize it in you, so I would love you to, if you don’t mind, to dip into that part of your life. What does polarity look like in your relationship?
Speaker 3: (26:20)
I love in my relationship. Sometimes I’ll start to get a little bossy and grumpy around the house. And my husband knows me well enough to know she’s desperately longing for the other side of the polarity. And I wasn’t aware I was longing for that side of the polarity, but he could see it and then helped me get to relax and that side, which is really wonderful, especially when I spend so much of my time out in the world leading people. And that’s, that’s I think what I was inviting you and others to play with is, are you conscious of whether you’re leading or surrendering
Speaker 1: (26:59)
as you’re, as you’re dancing with your partner. This was a real game changer for me and you can play in any place in that continuum. And I’ve really had fun with that. It’s been, it’s really been transformative. Truly it’s, it’s not a lot of work. Uh, and, and one thing, whenever any of us who’ve worked with you and your other clients in the forum have asked you about any issues that we’re facing in our own relationships and marriages. What I’ve heard you say time and again is that we need to have shared commitments and clear agreements. And you have the lovely built in example of some of the agreements that you have created with Matt and with your kids in how you run your household.
Speaker 3: (27:41)
So yeah, so what I say is all drama happens whether at work or at home, because we’re not co committed first and foremost. So in my family we started to decide what are the commitments that we’re going to all agree to. So for example, one commitment is we’re going to commit to not blaming. So no blame zone, we would call it. And so if you’re coming in here rather than blaming, you’re going to take responsibility for what’s happening around you and have the conversation from that place rather than pointing fingers. So that would be one example of a commitment. Another one would be that we’re going to let each other feel our feelings. And that’s easier said than done. So my son finds out that he did not get into Berkeley and he got into UCLA instead. And I see for a moment as he gives us the news and as he’s finding out himself that he’s feeling sad.
Speaker 3: (28:36)
And so I stopped him by saying, Oh my gosh, you know, so what about Berkeley? It’s going to be great that you’re UCLA. And my husband says, Diana, stop. Come back to the commitment. He’s got a feeling. Can you let him feel it? And I thought, you’re right. And then I stepped back and he let a tear fall from his face and let himself have a couple of more of them as he just let go of the vision of being at Berkeley. And I then had to feel my feelings, watching my child feel sad, which had my own sense of sadness and a little fear. And so it was my job then to come back over there. And then once he moved that emotion through, he was very happy to celebrate his opportunity. At UCLA. And so that’s a practice where co committed and we point to each other when we see each other, breaking the commitment to invite ourselves back over and over.
Speaker 1: (29:26)
How do you need to be? How old is your child need to be to begin this type of work with them? I started teaching my kids when they were four and six years old. Oh really? That’s incredible.
Speaker 3: (29:37)
And they got it. They started to get it right away. I remember teaching my son about the drama triangle, the villain, the victim, and the hero, which you’ve been talking about in past podcasts. Thanks for that. And um, I remember teaching it to my son at four and he got some computer time. Just about half a day after I had taught him. And I said, time to get off the computer. And he said, Oh mom, I don’t want to get off the computer. And then he stops, his eyes get big and he goes, that’s a victim, right?
Speaker 1: (30:03)
Speaker 3: (30:05)
And so immediately he starts to recognize how he’s taken. He’s in his victimhood mindset and that he wanted to shift. And so at four years old he goes, okay, I did make an agreement and he got off the computer without complaint and I was shocked that it could happen that fast.
Speaker 1: (30:21)
Speaker 3: (30:23)
Yeah. So we practiced and practiced and practice together these kinds of things, models and we just don’t have much drama amongst us anymore. It’s really wonderful.
Speaker 1: (30:34)
[inaudible] we’re going to learn more about what it’s like, what it really feels like in the life and the organizations that are drama free. We’re going to learn about that in another episode when you come back. I’m so excited that you’re going to come back to the studio and uh, we’ll have to get to talk more about how conscious leadership looks inside of organizations and cultures. And today, uh, Diana, what, what our listeners have learned, I believe in, are really going to take home, literally take home is that conscious leadership is not something that happens only in one location and only when we have one hat on. It’s not just when we’re wearing our entrepreneur hat, our VP hat, we’re not just at work. It’s something that we can really bring into our entire lives. And in fact, when you are truly committed, that’s exactly what you’ll do.
Speaker 1: (31:26)
So learning about how you and your husband Matt have brought this into your personal lives, learning about that you can even teach this to children and some of the conversational tools such as the clearing model that you actually can bring into your own world and execute anywhere. These are, I think going to be really moving to our listeners and thank you very much. We will link to some of your resources in the show notes if you want to find out more about Diana’s work, the conscious leadership group, uh, she has some incredible forums that you could potentially join and apply for and they have lots of great free resources there. That is conscious dot. I S conscious.is and for our listeners, hungry to get started. Diana, is there some one thing that our listeners could do and action they could take to get started?
Speaker 3: (32:19)
Yeah, I would invite all of you to first start to pay attention to what polarities am I making less valuable than the other side. What am I X-ing out? And one hint is go take a look at what kinds of people bug you the most. And that’s the first place to start
Speaker 1: (32:39)
because they’re wrong because you’ve, you’re right that your side of the polarity is better than that side. Heck yes. Okay, awesome. We will create a resource and a worksheet for you to get started on that right away. It’s transformational work. Um, if today’s taste of what it looks like and feels like to be a conscious leader is turning you on, making you curious, opening up some possibilities for you. Then forward fearless is the coaching program for you. You do not need to get on a plane to be part of this program. It is an online video conference program. You’re going to be actually online live with me and a group of leaders like you who want to make big changes in themselves, in their lives and their careers and in their companies and in the world. These are truly inspiring group of very intelligent people with a lot to offer and the content itself is transformative in its nature. You’re going to have a chance to learn a lot
Speaker 2: (33:42)
about yourself, to wake up to some patterns that may be holding you back that you didn’t even know or they’re going to learn how to be a more effective communicator, how to, how to gain more influence, how to really connect with people in an authentic way that is drama free. Ultimately, it’s about being the creator of your own life. So please check it out. It’s very affordable and it’s at caneel.com the window for enrollment is not open forever. So I really encourage you go there right now. caneel.com uh, I would, I would leave with asking you the question of, Oh, are you going to show up next time Diana’s on the show? I think the answer is going to be yes. Make sure to hit subscribe. Thank you for being here and for honoring your own growth. You are the creator of your reality, and today you’ve stepped into the role of one who wants it to expand. So thank you. Thank yourself, and I’ll see you next week.