What “We’s” Are You Part Of?

Dr. Alex Golden explores how language use in society often defaults to “we” and raises questions about identity and presupposition. She also discusses the importance of self-awareness in leadership, particularly in relation to the “we’s” or groups we associate with.

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Podcast Transcript:

Dr. Alex Golden

Hello, everybody. Alex here with you. Welcome. Welcome to becoming zesty podcast. We have finalized our rebrand and it feels so good. I love it. Well, welcome to the show. Today we are going to talk about we and the concept of how we all talk. So a wordy podcast, but a good one to consider a good topic to consider nonetheless. And thank you for being here. We are so excited to have you. So I heard someone mention this topic at a an event that I was at. And it was more of an offhand remark. But to me, it ended up triggering a whole bunch of thoughts that I had around it. And it was the concept of in society. We talk as a we. And that comment really stood out to me because it’s so true. I mean, I thought about when I talk about society, or I talk about groups of people or I talk about XSD, or you talk about my family unit, I speak and we and depending on the context, who that is either identified or to kind of presuppose that I’m talking in the week, and it got me thinking that, you know, it is true, we do talk like that, right. And in this one, I just use that as like in a society in our languaging at least in English. We say we talk like this, right? Not just me. And so then it got me thinking. And I was like, you know, when we talk like that, it really actually begs the question of who we are identifying with when we talk and wheeze, right? Because if we have a lot of choices in the ways that we associate with, then which wheeze are we actually associated with? Right? So there’s lots of ways in our identity as an individual in our businesses, and in our group dynamics, whether it’s family or friends, however you categorize it. We consider who were around, but oftentimes, that’s kind of the rub is that a lot of times the wheeze also involve historic weaves. This is the I’ve known them for a long time. So where are we kind of situation, right? They might not be aligned with me anymore, but we use a Wii. And so that can happen or it could be event based ways, right? We went through this together and therefore we share our history and that is collective. And there is obligatory wheeze as in they helped me in this way in the past and therefore we’re a week so while overwhelmingly a good thing, right? It’s good that we it seems like we’re pack animals. We are As humans, we love connection and love and all of that. And so the inclination towards a weakness is, I think, an organic thing for us. But as leaders, we have to ask ourselves, then which wheeze are we associating with? And why are we associating with them, right? Because so often now we teach coaches how to coach and get transformation faster for themselves and for their clients. And so we work with a lot of coaches, and we come across a lot of different kinds of people. And for the most part, there is a lot of desires that people doing this kind of work have. And they see opportunities, they see opportunities for change in the world, they see different ways of doing things. And oftentimes, they also have we statuses with people that are not necessarily supportive of that, right, there has potentially historical ways. And that is, it’s a common one of we have the shared history, therefore, we will consider this transformation. And that’s where, depending on how that goes, it can be supported or it can be unsupported. Now, just because we have a historic we that’s not mean, we and somehow it’s not of service to us, does not necessarily mean that we’re going to get rid of it, right? There’s seasons and anyone who has been in relationship for a long time, you know, that is right there, it’s not going to be perfect or 100% supportive or reject my mind on what my desires are 100% of the time, right. And so that it is alright, that those kinds of things happen, however, then, if that kind of thing is true, and especially if that we have some things in the that’s true for then it also behooves us to consider what other weeds were associated with. Who are we rubbing elbows with? Who are we coming into contact with? And who are they who are their identities? Are they the ones that we want? Or are they the ones where we are moving in that direction to? Are they role models for us? Are they helpful for the patent or they can tussling with the same issues, and we can all talk about it right? This isn’t a conversation about judgment, this is not like, oh, that person’s too negative, or is there’s not positive enough. Or maybe their goal is Joe’s aren’t as big as mine, right? None of those conversation is from a place of one person being better than another person in any way at all. It is simply the acknowledgement that and most people do, who we hang around matters. And the weenus that we associate with will determine the results that we then experience in our lives, right. So it means the type of money we’ll make the kind of clients that we work with the kind of impact we have in the world, the consistency with which we do that, the choices to be loving and giving out in the world, even if someone’s a stranger. All of these things are ways of interacting in the world. And the people, you can tell the weenus of somebody, by the way that they speak, and the ways that they are talking about right the ways that they are describing and the weaves that they are interacting with are then implied in their speech. And it’s implied and what they say and we are no different, right? The each individually, it’s me talking, are you listening? We do that too. And so as we talk and as somebody else speaks, it does help us to expand and to grow and to become who are most proud to be at the end of the line at the you know, at the end of her life. If we consider intentionally the ways that come up the most, and depending on your thoughts on that, how are they working? Right evaluation to me is a different thing than judgment judgment is a more of like a critique of some something or some situation or some person whereas in an evaluation Is this is like truthfully, authentically and courageously this is what it is right now. And maybe this is the problem, I can see with that, what else do I have, that does have that component to make sure that I have all the things that I need to continue to step forward into the person that I am and that I want to become moving forward. Right? The the one that I want more and more evidence for out in the world, that me and everybody else can actually see. And because of that reason, we really the Wina, the words, the words will alert you. And your own words will tell a story of what that is, when you’re talking to friends, when you’re talking to clients when you’re trying to family or kids. See what comes up. And this can be a beautiful conversation to have if you have kids, or if you are around kids that maybe they’re not yours, but you are an influential figure in their life, to have the conversations of who you’re around matters, right, and to use our languaging to begin to express that. And this is where role modeling can be done in a way that it’s not lecturing, whether it’s it’s to kids or clients or other adults, right. It’s not lecturing, it’s not, here’s what I think you should do blah, blah, blah, right? It is like a more of a directive thing, it’s really just a way to say I care about the way that I am in the weeds that I am in, because we all have many, right. And when we do that, and we give credence to it and honor it and make decisions that say I choose to give myself the things that I need and make me feel good and support and all of those aspects of it. And then in a in an indirect way the messages. And you can do that, too. Alright. So I like the the style of leadership myself, No, I’m not, I’m not making case that everyone should be like that. But I personally like using languaging and my own thoughts around the decisions that I’m making, narrating that stuff out loud, because then it alerts people to the possibility of where they can make decisions for themselves, right? It’s like, oh, that kind of thinking about my life, I decided how I was gonna think on that. That’s a you know, you said it and you know, you can change your mind, and you can make it work for you moving forward. So with that it’s a much more intentional way of taking on responsibility for what’s happening in our life. Because quite frankly, it is so easy to get swept up in the weeds, right? Because the ways often, especially historically, they see us in a way that we used to be, but and maybe they liked it. Maybe they didn’t. But if we are trying to change, what is that dynamic here now, what is happening within it could be good, could be bad, that I’m not saying you know, I’m not future casting anything, because honestly, each scenario is a little different. But we know that that will impact what we do what we think what we say what we act on, right, it will actually change the results that we get in life. So every time that we get to set that and role model and begin to create this supportive structure that then creates a ripple effect of supportive structures for everybody around us. And then the more we all do this, the more we begin to connect those structures together, right? If our community and your community and another person’s community all begin to have overlapping concentric circles, well then heck, there’s a lot of really supported really resource super empowered people walking around in the world, trying to make this place a better place. Isn’t that what we’re home talking about wanting? So I mean, I feel like I always end off here is that really for leaders? If we are talking about wanting it? There are there’s plenty of things we can do right now to decide that we will make it a reality out in the world and move as such. And that’s really to me what this whole game is about, right? How do I free myself of all the things that keep me stuck, including the LEAs and liberate me myself to a place where I can truly move forward in a way that says, How do I serve? You know, Megan, and I go with a win, win win, right? win for me win for you win for the world win all around. So I, I invite you to consider the ways. And sometimes what I like to do is, is just get out a journal or a sheet of paper. And when I’m doing activities like this, just begin to make little bubbles on the sheet of groups of people that I identify with and belong to. And that may be like I was born and grew up in Russia, right? So I can say a wee part of me is Russian people are people that were born there at least. And then there’s a we have the people who were born there and moved to the US, we and then the people that, you know, study at University of Chicago, we and for me to write down all these things and look and say, wow, there’s actually a lot of ways. And out of all the things on the page, my predominant state day to day, am I in? Am I in a growth expansion, things are transforming and moving forward space is not your happy everyday, but like are things flowing forward? Are things going in the way to general direction you like? Well, then, okay, and you spend most of your day doing that kind of thing. Cool that then there’s a lot of great things happening there. If you look at all that whole page, and it’s super filled out a wheeze, and you spend most days questioning yourself feeling achy and, and onshore and feeling stuck, and whatever, whatever. This is where we say, Oh, I get it. This is how I just answered my own question for a lot of stuff. And even if I don’t like what I see the leadership part of me guess to say, I can make it different and change it to what I want, I don’t have to like that I have to put in the work either is the beautiful thing about authenticity is I can gripe along the way and still improve it for myself. Right? It’s like, no one’s making you be super cheery about doing stuff you don’t want to do. But if you need something in life, and you got to do it, it’s like you can be just as authentic as you truly want to be. And in leadership. They’re like, No one’s gonna stop you that and that’s literally the whole thing about freedom here, right at the end of the line on this whole thing that we do, and the work we put in, and the self development and the leadership development and the thought leadership that we undergo, and experience and all that stuff. It’s to at the end of the line, live a free life where like, no one can really make me do anything, what I and we, you know, whichever we are part of what we decide is what we’re doing. And if you let’s say you’re part of a Wii partnership, right, if you get to the most where most people want to be is get to the place where you don’t come pitch me an idea of a we that’s an, you know, a thing for us we that involves acting out of limitation or obligation or guilt or blame or think, you know, things like that reactive things. And rather, coming from a place of what do we want to do, coming from the identity of who we are most proud to be out in the world, right. And that’s that kind of freedom that we are all generally working towards. And to me, this is an important part of the equation. All right, that’s what I got for you. Happy we even I love sending you lots of love, and I will catch you on the next episode.