CompanySeptember 22, 2022

Hacking your Emotions & Communicating in the Time of High Stakes with Jennifer Edwards

Chet Kapoor
Chet KapoorChairman & CEO
Hacking your Emotions & Communicating in the Time of High Stakes with Jennifer Edwards

Jennifer Edwards has always loved leading people and talking about uncomfortable topics. From teaching high school students to starting her own consulting business, she has successfully turned her passion into her profession. Jennifer now coaches leaders at Fortune 500 companies, entrepreneurs, and world-class athletes on healthy communication, creating connections, and transforming their businesses. Her recently published book Bridge the Gap is named in Forbes as a must-read business book in 2022. 

Jennifer joined me on the Inspired Execution podcast this week to discuss the common challenges leaders are facing, top tips for healthy and productive communication, and lots more.

Showing up for the season you’re in

When I asked Jennifer about the most common challenge leaders are facing today, she explained that most people are just trying to answer the question: “How do I show up for this season or this quarter of the game?” 

We have been going through a lot over the last couple of years – we’re navigating a post-COVID world, supply chain disruptions, a war in Europe, high inflation and other economic issues. If these times have taught us anything, it is that we need to show up authentically. It’s okay to be vulnerable and admit that we don’t know everything—as long as we keep showing up, making progress each day, and being open to change when the opportunity presents itself.

Productive communication requires radical compassion

Part of Jennifer’s job is helping facilitate healthy and productive conversations in a business setting. She leads workshops on this topic and covers it in depth in her book, Bridge the Gap. I loved hearing the way she talks about communication. 

“We all are wearing this ‘human suit,’ and most of us are putting on brave faces. But we never know what the person in front of us really has going on. I don't really know what's going on for you. You don't really know what's going on for me,” she said. “So if there's one thing that I believe we have to bring to any conversation, it’s radical compassion. Try to think, how can I care enough to find out what's really going on?” 

This advice is especially important during times where emotions and stakes are high. It’s not just about having radical compassion for others, but also for ourselves. When we understand what’s going on internally, we can have more patience and care for others during hard conversations. Still, no one is perfect. Sometimes our emotions hijack us, and in this case, the best course of action is to take a time-out. 

“Once you are absolutely hijacked, there are two ways to unstick yourself. Number one is to give yourself some space to breathe and get perspective as quickly as you can. The second is to acknowledge it publicly to the group you're with and ask for a time-out to regain your thinking,” Jennifer shared. 

Tune in for more learnings 

Tune in to Jennifer’s episode of Inspired Execution for more tips on how forge deeper connections and have productive conversations (at work and in life). You can listen on our website or wherever you get your podcasts. 

Next time, we will be joined by one of the brightest minds in marketing – Raja Rajamannar (Mastercard’s CMO)!


Discover more
thought leadership

One-stop Data API for Production GenAI

Astra DB gives JavaScript developers a complete data API and out-of-the-box integrations that make it easier to build production RAG apps with high relevancy and low latency.