[Podcast] RL 91: Kori Carew — Mindful Interactions: Achieving a Higher Level of Listening

 

 

 

In this episode, I am excited to have Kori Carew on to talk about awareness of how we interact with each other and the side effects of inactive interactions.

Kori Carew is a community builder who generates awareness and understanding of critical human issues by creating the space for open dialogue that enables people to expand their perspective and drive positive change. She is a disruptor and social justice advocate that brings a keen sensitivity to belonging and inclusion across differences and creating space for the under-represented. Kori’s drive toward redefining the circle of belonging fuels her work in her community.

 

Topics Covered

  • Practicing a higher level of listening where you are trying to connect with the other person in terms of values and understanding to see past bias and help to see each other for who we really are.
  • Authenticity and covering in conversation in a world where we all have implicit bias from living in a world where we have the same stereotypes and myths about different groups of people.
  • Self-care for women of color.
  • Toll of bias and micro-aggressions on people of color and how we can better integrate mindfulness into our lives.

Find out more and connect with Kori at:
Twitter
LinkedIn
Instagram
www.KoriCarew.com
Kori Carew | TEDx | Just belonging: finding the courage to interrupt bias

 

 

Questions? Comments? Email Jeena! hello@jeenacho.com. You can also connect with Jeena on Twitter: @Jeena_Cho

For more information, visit: jeenacho.com

Order The Anxious Lawyer book — Available in hardcover, Kindle and Audible

Find Your Ease: Retreat for Lawyers

I’m creating a retreat that will provide a perfect gift of relaxation and rejuvenation with an intimate group of lawyers. Interested? Please complete this form: https://jeena3.typeform.com/to/VXfIXq

MINDFUL PAUSE: Bite-Sized Practices for Cultivating More Joy and Focus

31-day program. Spend just 6 minutes every day to practice mindfulness and meditation. Decrease stress/anxiety, increase focus and concentration. Interested? https://jeenacho.com/mindful-pause/

Check out this episode!

Transcript

Kori Carew: [00:00:04] Practicing a higher level of listening, where you are trying to connect with the other person in terms of values and in terms of understanding what they are saying.

Intro: [00:00:18] Welcome to The Resilient Lawyer podcast. In this podcast, we have meaningful, in-depth conversations with lawyers, entrepreneurs, and change agents. We offer tools and strategies for creating a more joyful and satisfying life. And now your host, Jeena Cho.

Jeena Cho: [00:00:42] Hello my friends, thanks for being with me today. In this episode, I’m so happy to have Kori Carew. She is a community builder who generates awareness and understanding of critical human issues by creating a space and climate for open dialogue that is meaningful, enables people to expand their perspective, and drives positive change. Her drive towards redefining the circle of belonging fuels her work in the workplace, as well as in her community. Before we get into the interview, if you haven’t listened to the last couple of bonus episode go back and check it out. I shared very short, six-minute guided meditation practices to help you let go of stress and anxiety.

[00:01:31] Also, I think it’s really interesting there’s a body of research which suggests that when we’re more mindful, we are better able to listen to others. And so a lot of my conversation with Kori was around listening to another human being with empathy and compassion. And listening not only just to hear the words, but listening with your whole heart. And I certainly found that as my meditation practice deepens, my ability to listen without judgment and listen and have less knee-jerk reaction has certainly improved. And these are skills that we can practice, and of course what we practice becomes stronger.

[00:02:18] So I invite you to check out Mindful Pause, which is a daily, six-minute mindfulness practice for lawyers. And it includes guided meditations as well as very practical ways of incorporating mindfulness and meditation into your daily life. You can head on over to JeenaCho.com. That’s “J-E-E-N-A-C-H-O” dot com, again that’s JeenaCho.com to learn more about the program. And with that, here’s Kori. Welcome Kori Carew to The Resilient Lawyer podcast, I’m so happy to have you.

Kori Carew: [00:02:53] I’m so happy to be here Jeena, so honored and thrilled to be having this conversation with you.

Jeena Cho: [00:02:58] Let’s start by having you give us a 30-second introduction to who you are and what you do.

Kori Carew: [00:03:03] Ah. I am a child of the world, one of those kids who grew up in a family that used to be referred to as a “United Nations family”. I am an oldest daughter of four to a very West African family. I grew up in an area that was very, very diverse. I grew up in Niger, where there are over 300 different ethnic groups with different languages, traditions, cultures. I grew up on a university campus with people from all over the world. My family is multireligious, multiethnic, multiracial, multi a whole bunch of things. Half of my family is Muslim, half of my family is Christian. And I grew up as a Christian in a very conservative, some would say somewhat fundamentalist part of northern Nigeria. But, I am a mom, social activist, social advocate. I am first and foremost, I think of myself as an advocate called to speak for people who don’t have a voice, for people who are marginalized and under-represented.

[00:04:05] I am called to help people build bridges across differences, and to equip and empower women and marginalized people to succeed despite the challenges. So that’s essentially what I do, whether it’s at work or elsewhere. In my work, official paid work, what I really do is develop organizational solutions to help create a more inclusive and diverse workplace. I work with leadership to empower them to be more inclusive leaders and to interrupt bias. And essentially, I see my job as disrupting the status quo to create more equity and belonging.

Jeena Cho: [00:04:46] I love that, I love all of that. And I just saw this wonderful TEDx talk that you did, which I will link to in the show notes. I think it’s a wonderful talk about how do we start bridging the gap. And it just feels like at this particular moment in time that we’re talking past each other often. And you give this wonderful example of saying, “This is my lived experience,” and the other person says, well I too had a hard life. And feels like that’s what we often do; as a woman of color you say, I was mistaken for the secretary, I was mistaken for the defendant, I was mistaken for the court reporter. And then the white male lawyer says, well I may not have had any of those experiences, but I too had it hard; I grew up in a really poor family, and just on and on and on.

[00:05:45] So as we start to frame this conversation about we start listening to one another, what are some tools or suggestions that you recommend for being able to build empathy?

Kori Carew: [00:06:01] Yeah. Wow, that’s a hard one. One of the things that strikes me that we suffer with as a culture is a mindset of scarcity. We act in so many ways as if there isn’t enough, and you see it in the political discussion around who’s getting opportunities and who isn’t, right? The other day somebody said to me on a Starbucks Facebook wall page that when we talk about diversity, what we mean is everybody but white men. And that is not true, that’s not accurate, but it’s a mindset of scarcity. There isn’t enough. If you progress or opportunities come your way, then it’s coming away from me. And that shows up in our conversations, because instead of listening to one another we start to compare; as if we can rank suffering.

[00:07:01] You know, that’s what it feels like to me. And we do it not with just race. I think you’ve given some excellent examples where you talk about your experience as a marginalized person, because you’re a woman or because you’re a woman of color, or that intersection of the two that we know is a double whammy. And somebody wants to, rather than sitting in the space and listening to you and absorbing and trying to understand what must that feel like for her, and how can I use my experience to connect with her and be part of the solution, wants to one-up you by telling you their experience. Which may be different or inapplicable.

[00:07:38] And what I see is that we not only do this with race, but we do it with everything. I say I’m in grief because I had a miscarriage, and someone says well at least you didn’t have a stillbirth. Or I’m having trouble getting pregnant, we’ve been trying for two years. “Well, I’ve had seven years of infertility treatment.” And we do that with the small things and the big things, and when we do it with race we’re taking something that is a national wound, something that has generational impact, something that so deeply affects people’s day-to-day lives, and we minimize it even more. And what it does is it shuts down our ability to actually have a conversation. When you hear a lot of people of color say, I’ve seen articles and books written where people are saying, “Why I won’t talk about race with white people anymore.” And it may seem very harsh for them to say that, but what they’re saying is that it’s exhausting if it becomes a competition.

[00:08:49] So in terms of tools and practical things that we can do, practicing a higher level of listening. Where you are trying to connect with the other person, in terms of values and in terms of understanding what they’re saying. To be able to still ourselves and our temptation to make it about us, to center the conversation around us, to be able to say, “How can I try to put myself in this person’s shoes? I’ve never walked in their shoes so chances are I’m not going to be able to get myself all the way there, but how can I get close?”

[00:09:29] So perhaps that tendency to say, well I may not be a woman of color but I’ve also had it hard, maybe leveraging that experience to say, okay I know what it feels like to have things hard. So now let me imagine what that feels like to not only have things hard, but to constantly be marginalized or to be made to feel like I don’t belong. And this is where listening with empathy and suspending judgment, being able to not attribute good or bad to it. To listen to your story when you’re sharing about all those times you have felt diminished and not try to attach judgment to it. To not say, “Oh Jeena you’re being too sensitive,” or well I wouldn’t have cared about that, or, well this is the problem with women; you make everything into a big deal and it’s a problem because you’ve chosen to make it a problem. And these are skills that we can learn, but we have to practice them. If you have children, I think children are great people to practice this with, because lord knows we definitely always want to steer them and correct them. And it’s so incredibly hard to just listen and ask them questions to better understand, as opposed to jumping in and telling them what to do because we feel responsible for them.

Jeena Cho: [00:10:56] Yeah. I think part of what makes this conversation hard is that there is this sense, whether it’s implicit or explicit, that “you” the white person is responsible for this. So I think there is this natural tendency to become defensive. When I talk about the judge that looked at me and said, “Are you the Asian language interpreter?” And when I share that story with another white male lawyer, I think there is this feeling like oh, I am part of that category of people and therefore I am bad. And I think that’s perhaps what leads to that inclination or temptation to say, well you know I was once mistaken for whatever, the defendant. You know, that kind of one-upmanship, rather than say wow, that must have been really hard. Or I can’t even imagine that happening, tell me more. So how do we move from this place of blaming others, and also moving away from feeling like you’re being blamed? How do we encourage people to move towards solutions?

Kori Carew: [00:12:16] The first part of the question was how do we move away from blame; I think it’s twofold. I think there are times that people are being blamed, and then I think there are other times where people are hearing blame where none is ascribed. Robin D’Angelo comes up with the term “white fragility” and “white tears” which a lot of people have been using lately. I generally don’t use it in my work, but I understand the concept. And some of what has to happen is we all have to agree that it’s going to be uncomfortable and painful at times, but that if we ultimately want things to be better we have to commit to sitting in that discomfort.

[00:13:02] And so there are going to be times that topics are going to come up where people are going to feel like they’re being blamed or attacked. But part of emotional intelligence and part of developing better people skills is being able to step back and say, wait a minute am I being attacked? Or is this person just sharing their experience? And one of the things that I don’t think we do very well in the United States when it comes to race or other systemic isms, is we don’t differentiate between what is systemic or cultural and what is individual. We have so collapsed the conversation on racism, for example, we’ve reduced it down to an overly simplistic idea that it is somebody being malicious or discriminating based on race. Right?

We’ve dulled it down so much, so a lot of times when people are reactive and say, well I’m not racist or I’m not this or I’m not that, or when they minimize bad behavior. When they say, well I know that person, I know Jeena, Jeena is a good person; she has a good heart, she couldn’t have done that. We completely misunderstand how racism works. So once we begin to understand that there are systemic and structural elements to this, historical elements that are woven into the foundation of this country and the culture, you then begin to be better able to separate the conversation of what is happening to people and the experiences from individuals who are in the system who may benefit from privilege or who may be harmed through oppression. And that begins to create an area, some space where we all can say okay, we’re all in this system.

[00:14:54] Just like implicit bias; we all have implicit bias, and the reason we have it is because we’re all subjected and bombarded by the same messages, the same stereotypes, the same myths, about different groups of people. And so I can look at that and say, here’s the system. I as a Christian am showing up to work. And I get to celebrate Christmas, I get to celebrate Easter. I don’t have to take special days off for Christmas, the office is going to be closed. But the person who is observing Ramadan right now, or who may need time off for Eid, they may not have that privilege. So when someone is talking about Christian privilege, I don’t necessarily have to be defensive and feel attacked. I can say, in this system that has been created through nothing that I did, I certainly benefit from that Christian privilege. But somebody else is at a disadvantage. How can I use my position to be part of the solution? So that’s part of it.

[00:15:54] A second part of it is that there are times that people are blamed and shamed and attacked, and we have to have a philosophy that that is not okay. A big part of my work, a foundational part of my work and how I approach things at my workplace, at church and the community, is that we have to develop a culture of grace. And that is a culture of acknowledging that while we’re on the journey, people are going to come into this conversation at different places of awareness. You’re going to meet people who are going to join the conversation who think of themselves as advocates and allies, who probably perpetuate some problematic racist views. And we’re seeing a lot of that.

[00:16:35] There’s a lot of conversation now about liberal progressives, and how even those of us who consider ourselves progressive, sometimes we hold some views that are really problematic. You’re going to have people who are going to come into the conversation because they’ve never had to deal with it, but they want to be part of the solution. So they are at the early stages, they may not even know the foundational things. You’re going to share some of your stories with them and they’re going to say, Oh my gosh. Here’s a common one. “Oh my God, this is not America.” And then some person of color is going to say, excuse me? This is the America I’ve known. Just because you were not aware of it doesn’t mean that this hasn’t always been real. So if we don’t have grace in that process to say people are going to come in at different levels, and if we want to encourage people to speak and to be part of the conversation then we can’t shut them down when they say something we don’t like. And we have to have better ways of showing when they say things that are offensive.

[00:17:37] One of the things that I’ve learned from Renee Myers, she has this terminology where she says, “Give people the permission to say ouch.” So when you say something that you may be well-meaning or we’re having a discussion on how to fix a problem and you start saying something like (because I’ve heard this), “I don’t really see what the obstacles are, I don’t understand why minority attorneys aren’t succeeding they’ve been given everything.” Or at one firm that I worked at, a partner saying, “I’ve heard feedback that the women feel that there aren’t the same opportunities for them and that we have some sexism, and I’m going to call a meeting and tell them all that that’s not true.” And I thought to myself, that’s a great plan; please come tell us about our experiences and come tell us, because you apparently know better than we do.

[00:18:30] But what she talks about is in those situations, develop terminology to be able to say things like ouch. So what I’ve done in my work is, we may have different ways but encouraging people to be able to say, wow that’s very interesting that you feel that way. But can I give you some feedback? When you say “X,” what I hear is “this.” I had one partner that I worked with that I would joke with him because he used to coach soccer, I would tell him I’m going to have yellow cards ready for you and red cards. And when you start seeing that yellow card, you need to slow down. And when I show you a red card, you need to stop. But we had that personal relationship because he had asked me to coach him. And that was our system for when he would get emotional; when he needed someone to help him see, “Hey, some of what you’re saying is not landing okay.”

[00:19:32] So as part of our communities, as part of our groups, we have to learn to do that. If we’re going to have conversations with people, we have to learn to be able to communicate back to them about why something they’re saying or doing is problematic, without attacking them as a person. And shame is such a part of our culture. You know Brene Brown differentiates shame from guilt as shame is when someone feels like they are a bad person, as opposed to they did a bad thing or they made a mistake. And what we’ve done in our culture is we use shame to control people. We communicate to them in ways to make them feel like they are a bad person, or you are the thing that you’ve done; you are that mistake that you’ve made. And it creeps up in our conversations around racism and other isms.

[00:20:25] And I think for the most part, it is possible to have conversations with folks without getting into that. Now, when people are outright problematic, we sometimes have to be firmer in shutting that down. There has to be a line where we say, we’re all for free conversation but this here crosses the line, and we’re not going to belittle other people; not in this space, because those are not our values.

Jeena Cho: [00:20:54] Can you talk about this concept of covering, what that means and how that shows up for people?

Kori Carew: [00:21:02] Ah, covering. So I first learned about covering when I listened to Kenji Yoshino several years ago. And when I heard him speak I just decided, oh my god I’m in love with this guy; I’m in love with his brain, he is brilliant. But the way he presented it, I walked up to him and I said, “Kenji I never had a word for what I was feeling and you just gave me a word.” That’s how I felt. What he described and what he talked about, it resonated with me. I’m like, oh my god I know exactly what that is. What I didn’t know was that there’s a word for it. And so, the concept of covering actually dates back to 1963. A man named Goffman wrote a book called “Stigma,” and what he talked about was how people from groups, various demographic groups, sometimes have traits that are disfavored or stigmatized in the mainstream. And so what they do, people from these groups, is they go through great effort to minimize those so-called disfavorable traits. It’s different than passing, with passing for example passing would be a very light-skinned black woman who people think is white. So you can get away with people thinking you’re white.

[00:22:27] With covering, people know that you’re black, they know you’re Hispanic, they know you’re a woman. But there’s something about that group, traits, stigmas, myths, stereotypes, whatever, that we go out of our way to downplay. Some of the common examples, in Kenji’s research he found that one of the most common ways that black woman will cover is straighten their hair. So there’s a lot of myths and pressure that in order for us to look professional and to be professional and to be accepted in white America, our hair has to be straightened. And so people will straighten their hair not because they authentically wanted, but these are the roles that we’ve been given in order to succeed.

Another common example is women who are mothers who will not have pictures of their children in the office, or not talk about their children because they’re trying to stay away from that double-bind stereotype where we are perceived as not being very competent if we’re mothers, or not dedicated to our career if we’re mothers. And conversely, judged and criticized for not being good mothers if we’re really good at our job or dedicated to our job. People who are LGBTQ who may not have pictures of their spouses in the office, or when they’re asked what they do on the weekend deliberately go out of their way to use neutral language so you can’t figure out that their spouse is same-sex, says them. So it’s those things that constitute covering, and part of what Kenji points out in his work is that there’s an area where the civil rights laws actually don’t protect people. And ironically, yesterday I delivered a workshop on intersectionality and advancing women, advancing all women. And the same concept applies; there is this idea that there are ways in which we can still discriminate against people, but skirt the law. So if I am marginalized and mistreated in my job because I’ve chosen to wear my hair naturally, the way the case law falls out they can say, well this is not about race. That was a choice that you made in how you style your hair.

[00:24:55] When in fact, it is a core part of who I am and how I was created. And I am being asked to alter it to fit into some normative lens that is based on white culture, you know. So it’s a very important concept I believe, and I believe another reason it’s very important is it really conflicts with authenticity. And we know more and more how critical and important being authentic is, and what the toll is. We know from the studies that there is an emotional tax for example, that black employees face that women of color face. There’s that extra burden that people have when they’re being asked to conform. We know that when you have organizations that have different cultures, the ability for the organization to succeed in being inclusive depends on how well people are able to adapt across differences. And when you’re asking people to cover, you’re essentially asking them to minimize their diversity; you’re asking them to minimize the areas that make them different.

And it’s a form of denial, it’s a form of saying, “Hey Jeena, we really value diversity so we want you to work here, but when you get here please be the whitest Asian woman that you can be.” And I’ve used that example with people when I’ve talked to them about it, to say you know don’t ask me to be the whitest black girl that you can find; give me space to be who I am. So that concept of covering I think is critical. It’s a critical part of the conversation and creating inclusion and belonging, and being able to appreciate that there are different ways that people can show up and be and live. Some of the more powerful examples of covering that Kenji talks about, he talks about President Roosevelt and how even though people knew he was disabled, he deliberately would take pictures and meet with people behind his desk so that you couldn’t see the wheelchair.

[00:27:02] So essentially, all you’re doing is trying to remove from the consciousness of other people this disfavored trait. And think about how much energy goes into doing that. You know, changing how you speak and changing how you present yourself, and constantly thinking about the things that you have to downplay, just in order to be included. And that certainly is not inclusion.

Jeena Cho: [00:27:27] Well and also it is for the benefit of the other person, so that they would feel comfortable. You’re sacrificing your own well-being so that the other person doesn’t have to look at your afro or learn to say.. like I was born in Korea, my birth name is Shihan. And of course no one could say my name correctly, so eventually I was like okay I’ll just go by Jeena because people can say that. But I think that too is a form of conforming who I am, so that I don’t make other people feel uncomfortable. And that’s such a lived experience for people of color, for all marginalized groups where you can’t truly be yourself. What do you think is the impact on the company where people have to engage in covering?

Kori Carew: [00:28:25] Oh, the impact is detrimental; we know that from studies. It affects productivity, it affects engagement, it affects your energy. When an organization is pushing covering.. so I want to go back to something that you just said. The difference between covering is whether it’s imposed externally by pressure, by perceptions, versus an individual choice. So if in your case you just decided, you know what I’m sick of them messing up my name so I’m going to go by Jeena because it irritates me when they mess up my name. That feels slightly different than when someone says, “How do you say your name? Say it again? Well I’m just going to call you Jeena because that’s too hard to say.”.

Jeena Cho: [00:29:09] That’s exactly what happened when I was in third grade, yeah.

Kori Carew: [00:29:12] That is covering. That is covering. And I’m going to add something else to that. I think it is also so disrespectful, it’s so disrespectful. You know my husband and I had this conversation when we were having kids. He’s from Iowa, he was worried about the African names. And I really wanted my kids to have African names, I tried to negotiate for hyphenated names and he said no. And I thought, well doggone it there needs to be some.. I’m the one growing these babies. I’m the one doing the hard work, they need to have some stamp of Africanness on them. I wanted their first names to be African, and he was concerned about bullying, he was concerned about people making fun of their names. And then I heard from friends and other people saying, well what if people can’t say their name, and what if this, and what if that. And I thought to myself, I have a difficult name; My name is Koriambanya.

[00:30:09] And almost my entire life, unless you’re from my mother’s ethnic group, you have not pronounced it correctly. But it is my name and I am proud of it. And I will go by Kori because Kori is truly part of my name, and it’s the name of my father’s chiefdom. You know, there’s a story behind my name. Lady from Koriambanya chiefdom. So my name means something, and my parents took the time to name me, and I have pride in my name. But it bothered me that we have these conversations as people of color, we have these conversations as immigrants, but I’m supposed to be able to say Tschaikowsky and other hard names. I mean, if you can figure out how to say that I’m sorry, you can learn how to say other ethnic names. And I think our brains, we choose to be lazy. So what we’re going to do when this podcast is done, is you’re going to teach me how to say your name. Because I want to learn how to say your name correctly.

Jeena Cho: [00:31:12] I got kind of teary-eyed hearing you say that.

Kori Carew: [00:31:18] Don’t be. But I do want to know how to say your name right. And I think there’s this part of it that what we indicate is, we don’t have the energy to put into learning your name, so I’m just going to call you something else. I had somebody else call me KoKo. I’m like, no, no, that’s not my name. Don’t give me a nickname, it’s not that hard. It’s not that hard. And there are people from Nigeria who say, there’s an ethnic group, everybody from the ethnic group will say my name as “Kor-Ee.” And then “Kor-ey”. You know, there are all kinds of accents that people have. I am forgiving of that.

[00:31:57] I am forgiving of the fact that depending on what your first language was, it’s going to impact how words come out. That’s why people have accents. And I grew up around a ton of accents, and I’m okay with that. What I’m less okay with is when people don’t even try to even come close. So at this point, I don’t remember what your question was. I think your question was what is the toll in the workplace or the consequences in the workplace of covering.

Jeena Cho: [00:32:31] Yeah, and as you mentioned there is so much research. And I think that’s the point that sometimes gets missed; it’s not necessarily even just about that person, it’s about the impact that it has on the group, on the team, on the organization, when people in that group don’t have that sense of belonging, where they can truly be themselves. And if you’ve always been part of the majority and everyone that you work with looks like you, talks like you, has a very similar background, probably went to college, maybe law school together. You know, it’s really hard to even describe the impact that it has when you have to engage in covering.

Kori Carew: [00:33:16] You’re so right. But you know, the good thing, the positive thing about a conversation on covering is that it is an area where we can capture the attention of more people in the majority than a lot of other traditional areas of conversation. Because even white men report experiencing covering. So people who grow up in a different socioeconomic class, and they show up in the white-shoe law firm and they feel like they have to cover. They didn’t grow up playing golf but now they have to act like they understand the country club culture, all kinds of different areas of covering. So what happens is, similar to the conversation that we started with before, where people say oh I had it hard too, but they use it negatively. The positive part with covering is that it can open up the door for people to go, oh yeah I know what that feels like.

One example that we’ve used almost every time at my firm we’ve talked about cultural competency, and we’ve talked about the different dimensions of culture and what that feels like when we create artificial standards that are based just on one cultural dimension and a normative lens that is not inclusive. What we have seen is, when we use the example of introverts extroverts. So there’s some research that indicates that up to 70% of lawyers are introverts. But yet, still when you look at our stereotypes of what we believe a good business developer, good rainmaker is, it’s always this person who is an extrovert and can walk into the room and just be the center and walks the world, you know or works the room rather. There’s so many things that when we’re interviewing people we’re making these decisions. Do we think this person would be good with clients, do we think that they will be on their feet, do we think they will be good in the courtroom? And they’re all based on extrovert attributes.

Jeena Cho: [00:35:23] Yeah.

Kori Carew: [00:35:24] Whereas, if you actually look at law firms and a lot of the people who are very good at what they do, I know extremely good trial lawyers that are introverts. Some of the best rainmakers that I know are introverts. They don’t bring in business by working the room, but by building relationships with people one-on-one. And the difference between introverts and extroverts when it comes to dealing with people, it’s not the stereotype of shyness or not liking people, it has more to do with where they get their energy. So an extrovert can walk into a room of 200 people and they can chit chat with a bunch of different people and work the room, whereas an introvert would rather just have a one-on-one conversation and go deeper with people. Which is an asset for business development; it’s an asset for helping the client feel like, “I am present, I am here with you and what’s going on with you is what I care about right now.”

[00:36:25] And so what we do in the room is, there’s always a question I’ll ask or the facilitator will ask: how many of you in this room are introverts? And then people will raise their hands invariably. And then, how many of you feel exhausted by the time you get home, because you’ve been playing an extrovert all day? Or rather, how do you feel when you get home? Exhausted, worn out, those are the kind of terms that people use. And so then you say ah, okay.

[00:36:58] So when you come from a culture that is more direct and you’re working in an indirect environment, or if you come from a culture that’s hierarchical and people are saying you have to knock on the partner’s doors and demand work and advocate for yourself and push for yourself, that’s how you feel; exhausted. And they get it, they get it. Because most of us are covering something. It’s just that when it comes to race and gender, we’re really talking about some negative, really negative biases. Same with disability actually, and LGBTQ status; really negative biases that people may have. So it’s something that we can use to our advantage to really create more inclusive environments.

Jeena Cho: [00:37:53] Yeah, that makes so much sense. I hadn’t thought of it from that perspective. Kori, for the listeners out there that want to learn more about your work, what are some places where they can do that?

Kori Carew: [00:38:05] Well I have a website, www.KoriCarew.com. And it’s really a place where I go to talk about what does it look like to live an authentic, powerful life that’s full of grace, being fierce, inclusion, and faith. So, my website is www.KoriCarew.com. I’m also on Twitter, and my handle is simply my name @KoriCarew. I’m also on Instagram, but I don’t post very often on there. My nine-year-old niece over spring break said to me, Aunt Kori I think one area I could help you is helping you maximize your Instagram account. She also showed me how to get an account on YouTube. So yeah, the children in my life are educating me. So I’m on Twitter and Instagram with my name, @Kori Carew.

[00:39:00] I’m also on LinkedIn, and LinkedIn is probably where I post the most content that relates to diversity and inclusion and belonging. Sometimes I talk about authenticity there, but I weave all of that stuff in because I believe they’re interconnected. Authenticity, leadership, belonging, inclusion, equity. So you can find me on any one of those places, but check out my website. Check out the articles there, and the videos. And, I love talking about this stuff because I think it’s important and I think we have to create better ways of being, because everything our children are learning, they’re learning from watching us and how we navigate the world.

Jeena Cho: [00:39:44] Yeah, so true. Kori, the name of this podcast is called The Resilient Lawyer. What does it mean to be a resilient lawyer to you?

Kori Carew: [00:39:54] I think being a resilient lawyer means being able to connect with who you are, what you’re called to, and keep getting up. Keep moving forward, not moving forward in the sense of striving or a worldly definition of success, but more so putting out the light and the beauty and the work and the art that you were born to do. And continuing to grow as a person as you continue to do that, and just getting up. Some days we get up and we’re exhausted. Like today, I got up and my body said, “I keep telling you-you’re not 25 anymore.” And being able to listen to that and say okay, so today I’m going to go a little slower. But still you keep moving, and you keep doing the work. You do the work that you’re purposed for, that you’re called for. That is your gift to this world and this universe, and you stay at it and you keep growing and you do it. To me, that is what being a resilient lawyer is.

Jeena Cho: [00:41:14] Beautiful. Kori, thank you so much for being with me today. I just so appreciate you and the work that you’re doing in the world. And I just want to high-five ya!

Kori Carew: [00:41:26] Thank you, and I appreciate the work that you’re doing. And we have got to get your work out further to our profession. We are desperate for this, whether we know it or not. We are desperate for more mindfulness, resilience, and just being better people. We’re hungry for it. So thank you so much for what you do, and I love your podcast. Please, please keep it up. You’re giving us some great content out there to help us live better lives. So thank you.

Closing: [00:42:09] Thanks for joining us on The Resilient Lawyer podcast. If you’ve enjoyed the show, please tell a friend. It’s really the best way to grow the show. To leave us a review on iTunes, search for The Resilient Lawyer and give us your honest feedback. It goes a long way to help with our visibility when you do that, so we really appreciate it. As always, we’d love to hear from you. E-mail us at smile@theanxiouslawyer.com. Thanks, and look forward to seeing you next week.