If you really want to innovate, you need people’s hearts and minds, not just their hands.

My guest is Emily griffin. She led global programming for Xbox Music & Video at Microsoft before she started her consultancy to create creates vibrant experiences that enliven people and help businesses flourish. Her artistic, empathic approach is at the heart of her consultancy for leadership teams who want to re-energize their work culture with more joy and purpose.

We talked about…

  • 6:59 Why COVID accelerated empathy to become central at work
  • 7:30 Why empathy for others starts with empathy for ourselves
  • 10:43 Innovation is often the competitive edge for knowledge-based businesses. If this is important for you, ask yourself this question: what does it take to fundamentally innovate?
  • 48:55 Emily’s purpose in life is to spark joy and aliveness so that people bring it back home and work. She tells her childhood story of how it ignited her fire for art and community.
  • 50:37 Why attempting to copy someone else’s company culture is futile
  • 25:57 How her former DJ experiences brought unique superpowers to create group coherence to impact driven companies.
  • 54:30We talked about specific methods to cultivate trust and culture while working remotely?
  • 44:34 Finally, we wrapped up the conversation with a great case study: Cleo Barnett at Amplified exemplifies someone using the power of art to change hearts and minds.

Please enjoy my conversation with Emily Griffin


Full Episode


Wisdom Quotes

If you really want to innovate, you need people's hearts and minds, not just their hands. Click To Tweet with COVID and the collapse of a lot of the kind of boundaries that we all had. Empathy became central to how we were going to get through our days. Click To Tweet Everybody talks about listening and the power of listening and, the need for centering ourselves, centering our experience, centering ourselves in listening at the margins, listen for underrepresented folks, and listen to the people that… Click To Tweet The extractive exploitive capitalistic kind of colonial model works because it keeps us too busy to slow down and ask questions. Click To Tweet We were operating in a capitalistic system. We do have to show productivity. We do have to show growth. Hiring people just for their hands to check the box and to move the units that that does, that does serve a purpose. But if you really… Click To Tweet We are whole people coming into work. We are living and co-creating our lives together. Moments of celebration and moments of grief are all a part of it. Click To Tweet Moments of connection and play are so crucial for creating that psychological safety for these other deeper, more vulnerable and real conversations to happen in the workplace because not everybody feels safe to bring their whole self to… Click To Tweet Environment of psychological safety is everybody's responsibility Click To Tweet Group coherence allows you to open up the intelligence of the heart and your gut and your presence will shift. Click To Tweet Having a good vibe is possible when you have a sense of inclusion and safety Click To Tweet Microaggressions are, the unconscious behaviors that happen, that really undermines psychological safety, things people say or do that, that cut people that cut people down and don't acknowledge their humanness. Click To Tweet Micro inclusions are the small behaviors that can add up over time to make people feel seen, included, and belong and belong to your crew Click To Tweet


Transcript by AI

Emily Griffin Transcript by AI

The Present and Future of Heart Based Leadership

Welcome to Nobel warrior. My name is  noble warriors, where I interview multi-dimensional entrepreneurs about their spiritual disciplines. So you can go out and engineer your life more in depth impact. Meaning if you have any friends who could use more inspiration and permission to help them take a leap of faith.

[00:00:18] Go ahead and share this episode with them. They'll thank you for it. 

[00:00:22]My next guest is Emily Griffin. She's a dear friend. She's like global programming for Xbox music and video I'm Microsoft. Before she started her consultancy to create vibrant experiences that enlivens people and to help businesses flourish.

[00:00:39] Her artistic empathetic approach is at the heart of our consultancy for any leadership teams that want to re-energize the culture, we're more joy and purpose. 

[00:00:51] We talked about white COVID accelerated empathy to become the central theme at work. And why empathy for others starts with empathy for ourselves.

[00:01:01]Innovation is the competitive edge for knowledge-based businesses. We asked this question, what does it take to fundamentally innovate? 

[00:01:11] Emily's purpose in life is to spark joy and a lightness. So then people bring it back home into work, and she shared a story of how her childhood ignited her fire for more art than community in sparking joy in other people's lives. 

[00:01:27] We also talked about why attempting to copy someone else's company culture is futile and how her former DJ experiences brought unique superpowers to create group coherence for impact driven companies. 

[00:01:42]We talked about specific metrics that she use to cultivate trust and culture while working remotely. Finally, we wrapped up the conversation with a great case study. We talked about clear Barnett of amplified and how should we exemplify someone using the power of art to change hearts and minds.

[00:02:03]Please enjoy my conversation with Emily Griffin. 

[00:02:06] CK Lin: [00:02:06] My next guest is Emily Griffin. She has led global teams X-Box and Microsoft she's been a radio DJ club, DJ fostering community at the Epic center of San Francisco's underground dance music movement.

[00:02:21] She has 20 years of experience leading global teams in entertainment and technology. And also as a facilitator, creating vibrant experiences that enlivens. People in help business flourish, please. Welcome Emily Griffin. 

[00:02:37] Emily Griffin: [00:02:37] Thank you CK. It's such an honor and a privilege to be here and on my birthday. That's all right, 

[00:02:44] CK Lin: [00:02:44] happy birthday.

[00:02:45] Do a little dance party. 

[00:02:47] Emily Griffin: [00:02:47] We got dance party going on, boys in my house. 

[00:02:51] CK Lin: [00:02:51] So I want to ask you right away at the end of 2020, you launch with your co-founder this empathy tour, where you interview impact leaders about their stories and empower a new way of leadership. Can you share with us, what does the motivation to inspiration that have you launched this at the end of 2020?

[00:03:14] Emily Griffin: [00:03:14] Yes. My co collaborator to Patel. Who's also an amazing experience designer and facilitator and strategist. Um, we both had met and we're evolving, um, out of having worked more incorporate into our own independent consultancies. And so we, you know, with everything that was. Coming up in 2020 and the amazing just unveiling that 2020 was for so many, so many issues close to our hearts.

[00:03:45] We wanted to engage in a research project and listened to leaders and the kinds of the kinds of companies that we wanted to serve as consultants. And so it was. It was one part, um, you know, an empathy tour for us and a listening tour to hear how they're evolving, how they're pivoting, like how they're, you know, how they're being agile and resourceful in, in such a, in such a shift of a time.

[00:04:11] And it was also equal parts, uh, campaign to highlight the kind of leadership that we're so passionate about and want to see more of in the world. I 

[00:04:22] CK Lin: [00:04:22] think that's super brilliant. So what criteria did you use to seek out the different leaders? The different entrepreneurs, the different visionaries to say, Hey, we want to interview more of these types of people versus a not so inspiring aspect.

[00:04:39] Emily Griffin: [00:04:39] Yeah. Yeah. Well, we, we, as we started to pull together our, our networks and see how, you know, how they came together, we definitely saw an intersection of tech and social impact companies and organizations. And so we have, um, we have leaders there, like Lauren Sato who runs an organization that I called ADA developers Academy, which is all about infusing the tech industry with diversity.

[00:05:05] Um, and in terms of. Trained mentored amazing talent to help balance out the, you know, the balance of gender and, um, and that, you know, that's in tech. And then we have, we have imperative, which is a company that's all about, uh, pure bringing pure coaching at scale to, um, to corporations. So. There's there was this whole range of people, but we definitely focus more on Seattle because we're here and there's definitely some folks, you know, more on the West coast, we have Emily Best from seed and spark, who was, who was an amazing platform for, um, for different, for different, uh, independent filmmakers.

[00:05:46] And. And so he was really text social impact. It's where we see, um, the most difference being made in terms of economic growth, economic potential, and also the leaders we were seeing that weren't there. Like we wanted to really showcase. That the power of leaders who aren't just thinking about profits first and really just holding up that hierarchical exploitive model that we're trying to break down and, you know, create something new from.

[00:06:16] We wanted to see, we wanted to see leaders who are centering people. And century, uh, impacting, uh, planet impact and centering pleasure, centering joy, and a different way of doing business that doesn't hold up the supremacy of profit and, um, you know, people that were really values aligned really. Okay.

[00:06:37] CK Lin: [00:06:37] Awesome. So let me quick recap. What I heard you said is it's not just about profit, hierarchical, uh, exploitive type of model. It's about people send our joy center and making some kind of a social impact that's been under value under appreciated to develop. Is that what I'm hearing? 

[00:06:58] Emily Griffin: [00:06:58] Absolutely. And with COVID, it really, it was an accelerant, I think, for a lot of leaders to realize that they had to center some of these things.

[00:07:08] I think that there was a lot of, uh, there's has been a lot of talk about this for years, but with COVID and the collapse of a lot of the kind of boundaries that we all had. You know, I think empathy became, you know, empathy really became central to how we were going to get through our days. Um, not just, you know, empathy for others, but obviously our capacity to have empathy for others really starts with our capacity to have empathy for ourselves.

[00:07:35] So. 

[00:07:37] CK Lin: [00:07:37] I love that. Um, well, what are some of the tactical things that, or share with you as a way to empower themselves as leaders to, um, have more empathy for themselves to discover more of it, to have more capacity for the people that they serve, their family, their employees, their stakeholders, and so forth 

[00:08:00] Emily Griffin: [00:08:00] every day.

[00:08:00] Every leader that we spoke to and the leaders that I look up to who are out there, just living, living out loud and being vulnerable and sharing what's working for them. Everybody talks about listening and the power of listening and, um, and the need for, you know, you'd like, let the need for us to like really.

[00:08:21] Like jump over this kind of set, you know, centering ourselves, centering our experience, centering ourselves in our, you know, white as long times, white able-bodied, um, just very, very privileged bubble and actually like, listen at the margins, listen for underrepresented folks, like listen to the people that are actually.

[00:08:45] Doing the work because so many, so many people are saying the work is getting done. But it's the, it's the, how it's like that. How, you know, how, how are we doing? Like how, you know, like that does the pausing to check in and not treat people like machines and that extractive model of just like, yep. Get the work done, keep the production line going.

[00:09:11] But actually the power of being able to pause and check in. And the pause to like ask questions because that's what we're realizing. And a lot of the leaders spoke about is that it's, it's really this, this extractive exploitive capitalistic kind of colonial model that it works because it keeps us too busy to slow down and ask questions.

[00:09:37] CK Lin: [00:09:37] So, so I I'm, you know, me, I'm in total alignment with you, right? Treat people like human beings and, and ultimately. And here's the argument for ultimately you get more out of the people anyway, because especially if you're in a, in a, in an organization is really about ideas and innovation and then emergence of something new.

[00:09:58] It takes creative energy, not the factory. Let's just crank out things that we already know how to do and just crank it out. So, so, but, but, but for some people listening, they may be still skeptical of like, why. Why is it shift? You know, why do you want to, it's weird to say that. Well, why do you want to treat the holistic human being rather than just the, you know, the talent that I hire, the skill that I hired, the borrow hands now, why that, why, why, why now?

[00:10:30] The, you know, treating them with holistic, you know, a way of looking at them as human beings. I know it's so weird to ask this question. No, 

[00:10:38] Emily Griffin: [00:10:38] it's really, it's really great. And I think that, you know, anyone, any, you know, I really, I really do have a lot of empathy for CEOs and leaders and people that go to bed at night.

[00:10:48] Thinking about the P the livelihoods that are, that they are caring for. Um, I really, I have, I have a lot of compassion and empathy for the decisions that leaders have to make every day and for the stakeholders and the shareholders and all of the people and all of the. All of the, the needs that they're trying to balance.

[00:11:09] Right. And we know that as leaders. That you have to have, you have to be centered enough in yourself to really hold space for the either or, and the profit and the people and, and this kind of paradox that we're in. Like we were operating in a capitalistic system. Um, and we do have to show productivity.

[00:11:29] We do have to show growth. And, and my, my, my question to anybody that would, you know, that still has like, The skeptic in their mind that is saying like, look, I just need to show growth. I need us to move forward. I need to show the numbers. I would ask that person more about what they think about innovation and what innovation really is and what innovation really means, because I believe if you are hiring people just for their hands to check the box and to move the units.

[00:12:04] That that does, that does serve a purpose. And if you really want to innovate, you need, you need people's hearts and minds and the equation. And that's, that's that wholeness you're talking about. Um, and that's where, you know, when you, when you think in this last year, when you look at the number of women that have dropped out of the workforce, And you look at any, any parent at home that's also managing, you know, like I'm managing third grade here, like at the same time that I'm trying to get work done.

[00:12:38] I mean, like that's. There, you know, talk about innovation. Like there's, there's problems to solve. Like if you, if someone's heart is in the equation, you can connect with them. And what really like, and what makes them kind of like what makes their heartbreak and there's op you know, and like what the problems that they're seeing in the world.

[00:13:00] And I really feel like there's, if there's space for people to I, and if there's space and safety for people to. Share that and to speak up and to stand up and be part of the creation of the success of a company, then innovation really can emerge. 

[00:13:20] CK Lin: [00:13:20] Yeah. I love that. You know, from an engineering point of view, if I boil it down to this simplistic, uh, throughput, this type of analogy, um, You just think if you can tap into more resource or resourcefulness of an individual, then there'll be able to actually have more spaciousness to create a come up with new things, to innovate, to cross pollinate, versus let's say COVID a great example, right?

[00:13:51] As a parent. And now all of a sudden you have this additional thing that you need. You know, Oh, you're at your, child's staying at home, you know, barking or, or, or crying in the background. You have less internal space to go out and create the things that you need. So having more empathy as a leader for your employees, having little kids at home crying and, you know, babysitting and teaching and, you know, schooling in different room thinking noises that's um, I think it's allowed.

[00:14:24] Them to have more inner spaces to create new things. That's what I heard. 

[00:14:29] Emily Griffin: [00:14:29] Yeah. And when you, when you're reflecting that back, I just, I keep thinking about relationships and I keep thinking about work and the fact that most people, you know, they're, they're working a lot of. Ours and the people that they work with, they're spending usually more time with than their family.

[00:14:46] Obviously in the last year, it's been a bit different. We've, you know, people with kids and families around we've, we've seen a whole lot of them and lots of people at work in person, but I just keep thinking about relationships and I keep thinking about, um, You know, even with, with our colleagues and our teams, how, you know, being we're living our lives together and, you know, in this co-created, um, and this co-created like entity where it's.

[00:15:16] You know, the, we are, we are whole people coming into work and that have, you know, moments of celebration and moments of grief. And I just keep thinking about empathy and everything we're talking about. Leading with heart is about really connecting with someone as like a relationship like a friend, like a colleague, and how much really with culture and as a culture executive and, you know, culture creator as you are, you know, that.

[00:15:43] People, you know, in work environments, that's, what's really hurting right now. And we keep hearing about the erosion of culture because we're, we're missing out on a lot of that spontaneity and a lot of the celebration and the, the being together that we were, we were used to in which, which was a source of a lot of innovation and, and care and creativity.

[00:16:06] CK Lin: [00:16:06] You speaking about the remote work setting right now, the resume, everything zoom versus the water cooler moments where you get to interact, you know, white boarding, pop your head in kind of a thing. Is that what you're looking? 

[00:16:19] Emily Griffin: [00:16:19] Yeah, that's that's spontaneity.  

[00:16:22] CK Lin: [00:16:22] got it. Uh, well, since you were talking about it, are, do you have any suggestions, have you have those leaders I've interview share some of the ways that they have now?

[00:16:33] Um, Pivoted given this new challenge. From the remote work environment. And we don't, 

[00:16:41] Emily Griffin: [00:16:41] I would say the, the, some of the great points we heard about, um, we spoke to a woman Alonda Williams, who Lee, who heads up the YMCA here in Seattle. And, um, their, their team works a lot on Microsoft teams. But one of the, one of the plus side that she was saying with everybody being remote, was it actually.

[00:16:59] Created more access and more, um, more inclusion of people that wouldn't normally be invited to certain brainstorming meetings. They really, their team really started to embrace just more, more collaboration in a way that before there was a. There was a bit more physical gatekeeping, um, so to speak. So we were really happy to hear about that.

[00:17:22] Like, like moments like that, where, where people just were, you know, we're given, we're given an option to express, you know, what, you know, what they wanted to use their wellness budget for and what that, what wellness meant to them or, um, or Alonda. And the YMCA, um, folks really being more inclusive with people that wouldn't normally be allowed in strata, you know, strategy, brainstorming meetings.

[00:17:47] I mean, that, that was, um, you know, that stuff like that has been really important. I think as, as that we know we know culture or those. Are those rituals and those ways that people, it kind of holds it all together. I 

[00:18:02] The Present and Future of Heart Based Leadership: [00:18:02] see. 

[00:18:02] CK Lin: [00:18:02] So what I'm hearing is before because of the actual physical barriers, certain people wouldn't be invited in, but now it's virtual.

[00:18:10] They actually have now proactively go out and invite people who normally wouldn't have been invited to these type of collaboration and brainstorming sessions. Correct. 

[00:18:20] Emily Griffin: [00:18:20] Yeah, we're having to be a lot more intentional about including people because there is that, you know, out of sight, out of mind things, so how we're brainstorming and gathering and celebrating and all of those moments that, um, that really make.

[00:18:35] A company, a company, you know, those, those culture pieces, the rituals, and the ways that we work together, that's that we've had to become a lot more intentional about that. Everybody has, 

[00:18:47] CK Lin: [00:18:47] you know, one of the things that, one of the ideas that I, that I dream about is a virtual coworking space. Do you don't have to say anything.

[00:18:54] You just come in, mute yourself and you know, another person is working. So I have yet to see a product or feature like this. Occur, other than some of the mastermind group, people that I, that I'm in communication with. Have you come across anything else that is like new, innovative ways to, uh, create, to facilitate that?

[00:19:17] Digital intimacy. 

[00:19:19] Emily Griffin: [00:19:19] Um, well, I, I'm actually curious if you've experimented with that at all. Just on your own organically, just gathering. 

[00:19:28] CK Lin: [00:19:28] Yeah. So, so as you know, uh, Flo fam, one of my weekly rituals is my way of cultivating that digital intimacy and community sense, right. Where we basically just philosophize over lo-fi music.

[00:19:45] You know, improvisationally off the cuff. So that's one way to do it. But in terms of virtual co-working, I'm looking for, I couldn't find it as why I was hoping that maybe like, Hey, you may have come across something else. 

[00:19:58] Emily Griffin: [00:19:58] Well, I think there's, you know, there's probably parallel scenarios, but I get what you're saying.

[00:20:03] I get what you're saying. And I think it'll be really interesting. The more that we're moving into this hybrid time where. Basically, you know, I've, I've worked with remote, remote and distributed teams, my whole career, but I think it's newer to a lot of people and I it's, it's here to stay and this hybrid world that we're going to be in and just the digital nomads that have been around forever are, you know, we can, we can help guide.

[00:20:28] People that are less used to how to make it work in these ways. But, but coworking is a thing, right? It was, it was on the rise in the last few years anyways. And I've heard how companies that are. That are rethinking their physical spaces. It's going to be a lot more like that, where there's hot desks and kind of like, it's more of a spontaneous place that, that serves the needs of the individuals and those Mo those moments of kind of like intentional connection.

[00:20:57] Um, but I, you know, your, your digital coworking idea, perhaps that's a, perhaps that's something that you can, uh, can innovate in because it's. Cause flow fam you know, our, um, our, our friend Gavin and the flow fam Fridays is a great example of what is actually needed. No matter, no matter what an office.

[00:21:18] Looks like, or will look like those moments of connection and play are so crucial for creating that psychological safety for these other deeper, more vulnerable and real conversations to happen in the workplace because not everybody feels safe to bring their whole self to work. Um, it's, it's something, uh, you know, it's an environment of psychological safety is, is everybody's responsibility and that's part of where.

[00:21:44] Embodiment heart creativity. Like all of that comes into play because we can all then settle our bodies, create more like actual, energetic. Coherence together, which is not some woo term. Like it's real, like when we're in a space together, like what you're talking about with coworking, there's a level of presence and flow that's possible when you're seen and heard and able to, um, speak your truth, make mistakes.

[00:22:16] Like all of this, this is not woo stuff. This is real. This is what makes culture work and innovation as well. 

[00:22:24] CK Lin: [00:22:24] Have you. So again, we're definitely aligned there as a recovering cerebral A-list, you know, I have a PhD. I basically, the way I thought about the body was its only job is to carry my head. For a good two and a half decades.

[00:22:42] That's the way I thought really care about, you know, the heart or the body. Really. It was just, um, the mind, it's all about the mind. Right. And as I got older, as I actually have gone through my own journey, I started to really pay attention to like, Oh, there's actually wisdom. Wisdom to me now, if I have to create a visualization of it is the main diagram of the heart, the mind and the body, and that's where wisdom is, right.

[00:23:12] They embody wisdom of it. So, um, the question I have for you, Emily, is as someone who facilitates and experiences and you have talked to tons of heart center leaders, what kind of practices or tactics have they set a recommended as a way to bring that somatic wisdom, that somatic experience that embodiment to their employees, have you come across any new, interesting ideas that you have?

[00:23:41] Emily Griffin: [00:23:41] Yes. And I want to just also just relate with also being very focused on head the head and just that cerebral train all of the landmark stuff that we went through CK and I met through landmark education and the team management leadership program. All of that was very S very cerebral.

[00:24:02] And I, I got such a clear message that I had to drop into my body because I was like, I was almost like my feet weren't even on the ground. I was very productive. I had like an incredible hustle and grind going on all through my twenties, but really what happened was, you know, by the end of my thirties, you know, I burnt out.

[00:24:22] I burnt out and I just , even, even my accomplishments. Like they even being acknowledged for my accomplishments. It wasn't even, I couldn't even feel it, it wasn't even landing. I was exhausted. And so it was that breakdown. It was that really that breakdown that had me realize that I had been called to do this training and yoga and tantra and all of this and that's, and that was like for my.

[00:24:48] Almost like my personal life. I had it compartmentalized and I realized this all needs to come into integration. And one of an, as a facilitator and experienced designer and someone who's committed to working in business, my, all of my Wu stuff doesn't always necessarily translate. So I've been on the journey of finding a way to translate what I've now am.

[00:25:13]You know, can feel and know works for me intuitively and I'm grounded in my personal practice and my my morning my morning exercise and my morning breath and my morning prayers and all of that. But translating, that into the workplace. The best thing I've found.

[00:25:30] And I'm a real fan of this organization called heart math. They really it's really teaching about coherence on your own coherence that you can build with really basic heartbreak, heart breathing, which is connecting to your heart and your left hand goes onto your belly and that slowing down breath, because even just for a few minutes, it's amazing.

[00:25:55] And I challenge anybody. This. When you're jumping into a meeting, it's you're jumping into a meeting, you're jumping right into that agenda, just like CK. And I did right before this podcast. So we just slowed down for a minute to focus on breathing. We settled our bodies. And it makes all the difference and it allows you to actually build once you're connected and, are built building that coherence inside yourself, again, just like you need empathy for yourself to have empathy for others, you build that coherence for yourself.

[00:26:31] And then you create that group coherence, which is allows you to open up the intelligence of the heart and your gut because it isn't just about the, brain and it's not just about. It's not about one or the other, like we want to build that almost like that circuit. And at that, is a super power.

[00:26:49] And that allows us to to trust our gut and feel what feel what what, what, a decision is going to feel like you can actually just. Tap into an intelligence in your body that if you're just thinking up here it's not going to work. And to add onto that as well, I've been doing, 

[00:27:12] CK Lin: [00:27:12] there was a lot, let me keep dropping wisdom bombs here.

[00:27:18] Okay. So real quick. So think about. What I heard is if you think about your I guess when you're in your inner space as a circuit you have a lot of energy, a lot of mental energy sometimes when it's not grounded in something. So actually having put your hand on your heart as a way to train yourself to that feedback loop Hey, Breathe for a moment, stay calm for a moment.

[00:27:46] Close your eyes for a moment. And once that's complete, then you have, again, a lot more inner resourcefulness as you go about doing your day. And for those people who may be a little skeptical, right?  . Um, Is try that on for a moment and actually just feel in your body, ultimately, at the end of the day, it's about how you actually feel in the end. So, so. Try this on, put your hand on your heart, breathe for a moment to see how you think about it. And then you can start to deepen your awareness of this somatic wisdom that you actually have to see. Hey, this actually allows me to, to have more creative ideas, to, to be pleasant person, to actually have a more enjoyable experience at work.

[00:28:31] Right. These type of, yeah. The feedback loops. Is that through reflection noise? You said Emily? 

[00:28:37] Emily Griffin: [00:28:37] Yes, absolutely. And a key part of as well. So I like to put my right hand on my heart and the left hand I put on my belly. So, um, for, for women, it's. Below the navel for man it's a little bit higher. It's wherever you feel your, like your solar center.

[00:28:55] Um, but you know, the belly is usually pretty garden as a very, you know, it's a very vulnerable place as well. So yeah, I agree with you like this. Isn't just a concept people can, that are listening right now can do it as well. And just to be able to connect in to your heart and your gut is like, You're all this, all of a sudden your, your presence will, your presence will shift.

[00:29:20] Absolutely. 

[00:29:22] CK Lin: [00:29:22] And then I'm speaking to the younger CK. When I first heard about. Someone else telling me, Hey, just be present, just go inwards deeper. And in my mind was like, what did you, you mean, how do you do that? Well, younger CK. Here's how you do it, right? Here's how you actually deepen your presence.

[00:29:43] Here's how you get grounded. Here's how you actually just slow down. So they have to be more creative if that's what you want. Go try this out. 

[00:29:53] Emily Griffin: [00:29:53] Yeah. I love that. And I think about us on our, in our team management leadership program that we were in and thinking about those 40 to 60 of us that were in it together and like up for, up for transformation up for like really like reaching a new, new potential for ourselves and for our communities.

[00:30:11] I think about all of us just. You know, having the, you know, the potential of what, what, what could have been even more if we were just to pause and do this basic embodiment exercise, because there's a, there's such this like settling that happens because so many of us, especially in the workplaces, there's, you know, we're, we're coming to a lot of relationships.

[00:30:35] And do a lot of, you know, we're walking around with our own history and our own trauma. And a lot of times, especially in relationship and especially in the workplace where there is, it is a place where trauma happens. Like we're kind of bracing ourselves a lot and. I think that it's really important. I want to leave this in because I've been in a, an apprenticeship program with Resmah mannequin and my grandmother's hands based on, based on his book, my grandmother's hands.

[00:31:03] And it's all about the somatic approach to anti-racism and. It's again, it's a, it's a chance to look at trauma and racial trauma and realize that we're not going to solve these problems cognitively. And like, for us to be able to settle our bodies and to know where we're at in our space. Right. So we're seeing, you're seeing around your room.

[00:31:26] You can see behind you. There's a, there's like an animalistic. Settling down that happens that we need to tap. We need to tap into like our animal body in a way to really allow ourselves to metabolize and, and discharge and let go in a peaceful way. Like this kind of like, like pent up. Kind of tension and contraction that this kind of production line don't pay attention to the heart.

[00:31:57] Just keep going, keep producing. Like it just keeps making us not want to connect in. So like these moments of slowing down can help us many fold and many of what we see and much of what we see possible for innovation and culture and healing, you know, personally and collectively. I love 

[00:32:17] CK Lin: [00:32:17] that. So, so that was self coherence.

[00:32:21] Let's talk about group coherence. So what are some of the practices that you have come across that help induce to help facilitate, to help provide, to help empower and support group coherence? 

[00:32:33] Emily Griffin: [00:32:33] Yeah. Well, a lot of my learning around group coherence came from my, um, Jedi training, if you will, as a DJ. Um, because as a DJ, I am.

[00:32:44] You know, at the, you know, I'm at the source of the room and creating a rhythm that everybody is tuned into and like locked in on. Right? So a lot of my own embodied understanding of what group coherence is absolutely comes from dance, music, culture. And with that, um, you know, it has a lot of, and this is really where a lot of my workshops and training with people really comes in because I'm taking a lot of that wisdom and translating it into.

[00:33:14] Work and team environments, because you want to have, you know, you have a collective definition of what good is like in a good, a good vibe, right? And like what it feels for a team to be like, you know, really jamming together. And you have that, that is possible because you have, you have a sense of inclusion and safety.

[00:33:33] Right. So if, if there are, you know, people being harassed on the dance floor, the vibe is not going to go so well. Right. Um, if the, if the DJ or the leader is, is paying attention to the room and like reading the room and understanding kind of like where people want to go and what they like, it there's this whole feedback loop.

[00:33:52] Like that's, that's really crucial too. So. For me now I've tried, I'm translating all of this wisdom that I've gotten as a DJ and bringing that into teams because what's possible with, with teams. And, and as I, you know, design these experiences with teams, it's about tapping into this creative flow. So a lot of times it's, it's.

[00:34:16] Deejaying it it's like it's dancing and like being in our bodies together, it's also drawing and being creative and telling stories together, which is so much of what deejaying has been for me as well. And, um, and it's about, you know, creating that, creating that, that, those moments of spontaneity, um, when everything feels, especially now, it feels very, you know, very planned and very bound, you know, very, um, you know, just.

[00:34:42] Like, we're just trying to get work done and then go and have time on our own. So having these moments feel enlivening, um, really does is like a ripple effect. 

[00:34:53] CK Lin: [00:34:53] So pause for a moment possible. I'm going to ask you to make it even more concrete if you don't mind, but let me ask you to reflect back what I heard.

[00:35:00] Okay. So if you think about individual, there's the. You know, um, consciousness, right. That's who I am as, as, as awareness. And then there's persona personality. So you feel a certain vibe when you interact with certain people. Like I have a signature vibe, right? When you interact with me. And when I interact with you, Emily does this certain signature vibe.

[00:35:23] And when you walk into a organization, when I articulate as culture, that's really the persona of the organization. You can feel the morale. You can feel the vibration level. You can feel how some particle, the different employees are engaging with each other. Right. You can feel it right away. It's, it's a very different feeling.

[00:35:43] Let's say, when you interact with, let's say. You know, like a Navy seal team when they're like super trained, you know, they don't really need to say much. And then everything is just, you know, seamless. There's a certain culture. And when you go to, let's say a dysfunctional organization, there's some culture, right.

[00:36:00] There are certain like friction points and drama and intention and that's invisible, but we can totally feel it. So what I'm hearing you say so far, Emily is. When you, you're facilitating, you're bringing your DJ wisdom of basically how to read a room and how to, you know, sense the certain drama or a certain lower vibes and using the different mechanisms that you have as a way to tune and fine tune the collective energy of the room using music.

[00:36:32] Is that correct? 

[00:36:33] Emily Griffin: [00:36:33] Yeah. I mean that as a DJ, that's 100%, my job. Yeah. And then translate translating that into a workplace. It's a different scenario. You know, it's not, you know, late night, Saturday night, you know, letting loose kind of vibe it's, it's a busy, it's a business setting, but the principles really can be carried over, especially around.

[00:36:57] Creating a safe space, having a place for people to feel included fully self-expressed. And also that power of improvisation is really huge because when people are, you know, people are dancing and the artists are playing there is that there's that. That flow going on. And that's why flow is so important to talk about, I believe, and even in business settings, because I believe that where people, what people engage in for the pure joy of it is actually a really great key for them to, to really see that.

[00:37:32] And feel it and experience that and know that that can be an anchor for their own like embodied, you know, their embodied wisdom of that's, what flow feels like and what are the conditions of success for that state? Because it's not something flow, isn't something you do. It's like a, it's like a state that you can achieve if all the right elements are there.

[00:37:54] And I think that's different for every person. And I think it's different for every team. 

[00:38:00] CK Lin: [00:38:00] So, what are some of the mechanisms, some kind of tactical things that someone who's saying, I love what Emily saying, love to create group coherence for my team. Where do I start? How do I, how do I, you know, what levers do I have to even go about?

[00:38:18] You know, this aspirational phenomenon called group coherence. 

[00:38:23] Emily Griffin: [00:38:23] Yeah, I love, I love that question. And you know, I'm really inspired by a company called work human, which is also bringing a lot of these concepts to business at scale, um, here in America and around the world. And they're, you know, they have their own, they have their own formula for recognition and celebration of.

[00:38:43] People and their humanists and organizations, and I would break it down to really, no matter what your team size and matter, white girl organization size, um, there's like, we all know the concept of micro aggressions. Right. But things that happen kind of unconsciously that really 

[00:39:02] CK Lin: [00:39:02] unpack that assumption that we don't know that 

[00:39:06] Emily Griffin: [00:39:06] well, Mike, if you don't know where my microaggressions are, the unconscious behaviors that happen, that really undermines psychological safety, I will say it happens all over the place in our culture, things people say or do that, that cut people that cut people down and don't acknowledge their humanness.

[00:39:26] CK Lin: [00:39:26] An example real quick. 

[00:39:28] Emily Griffin: [00:39:28] A microaggression could be, um, Saying something rude about, you know, you know, how parents, you know, parents, you know, parents are a certain way or, um, black folks or a certain way, or Asian folks are a certain way. Like you can see a lot of, and a lot of conversations about race.

[00:39:45] You'll hear about micro aggressions. 

[00:39:49] CK Lin: [00:39:49] There's like certain edge to like, Ooh, that sounds right. You know, on the surface, but there's certain undertone that scent there's a little sharpness to it. 

[00:40:01] Emily Griffin: [00:40:01] Yeah. Well, yeah, it's uncommon, you know, it's those, those unconscious biases really kind of coming out because they're just unseen to the person really doing them.

[00:40:11] So yeah. I I say, flip that. And so we, again, we want to bring intentionality to our culture and our relationships always. So if you flip micro aggressions, you want to think about micro inclusions. Like what are the small ways that you as a person taking accountability for building, uh, an environment of psychological safety and belonging, what are the micro inclusions you can make to.

[00:40:40] Acknowledged people include people in a conversation. Did you notice someone was left off of an email, bring them in. If, if you heard someone say something in a meeting and they were talked over, make sure that the spotlight goes back to them or. How have you're always someone that starts first and a meeting, have someone else start first.

[00:41:03] It's these small behaviors that can add up over time to make people feel seen, included, and belong and belong to your crew.

[00:41:16] CK Lin: [00:41:16] I appreciate that. Thank you. 

[00:41:18] Emily Griffin: [00:41:18] Yeah. Micro inclusions, 

[00:41:20] CK Lin: [00:41:20] micro inclusions make people feel seen and included. Yeah, that's such a beautiful way to articulate it. Um, well, let's, let's actually bring it back to what we're, um, what we're discussing. Cause we went way, way far off to track. When you were talking about some of the summary of what you've learned from the empathy tour, anything else that you want, that you learned that you wanted to share with me and my audience?

[00:41:48] Emily Griffin: [00:41:48] Well, I want to, um, yeah, just to invite people, to check out the empathy tour@theempathytour.co there's a beautiful archive of the interviews that we had with these leaders. And each of them shared, we asked the same questions of every leader because we really wanted to, uh, highlight three different aspects of.

[00:42:09] Of what we were seeing empathy, um, expressed as which is bold leadership, creative action and evolutionary business. And so we really, we approached, we approached the whole tour, looking at things in a like systems thinking kind of way, like what people feel passionate about personally. And then how is that resonating with their teams and organizations and how is that connected to what's happening?

[00:42:36] On a global level. So you'll, you'll see leaders talking about racial justice, um, climate change, political activism. I mean, these are leaders that aren't shying away from the, you know, what's really going on and they're finding ways to be creative with and outspoken with, with about, with all of that. Um, and so because Joe T and I are facilitators, we really distilled a lot of that wisdom.

[00:43:04] I'm wanting to make it actionable for everybody. So we have, there's a free guidebook there with X self-reflection exercises for yourself and creative exercises you can do with your team. So that ranges from, you know, from a, you know, from really looking at values alignment with your shareholders and stakeholders, too.

[00:43:25] Having, uh, a dance party together. I mean, it's, it's a whole range of stuff. 

[00:43:29] CK Lin: [00:43:29] Mm, I love that. Uh, on this podcast we talk a lot about fractal phenomenon. Confucius said he starts with self-mastery than his family, then his country in the world. Right. And so ultimately, if you want to, let's say, change the world, you tackle these really big issues.

[00:43:47] These morphous issues like. Racism as an example, who always starts with the micro inclusions, right. Start with the self while you could do within yourself and then your family unit, your company unit, and then, then the ripple effect continues. So I'm curious, um, you've you interview all these great impact leaders, um, whose story really helped you like, wow.

[00:44:14] What an amazing person. I never thought about it this way. I never knew about this person, that this person, which has had that high vibration high vibe level that you talked about, that you was so surprised you. You know, discover 

[00:44:30] Emily Griffin: [00:44:30] through the empathy tour. Uh, well, I, I do, I have to give out a shout out to my sister Cleo Barnett.

[00:44:39] She is the executive director of the amplifier organization and they are an amazing art organization, um, who is putting out, uh, global campaigns for, um, climate justice, racial justice. Um, world health, um, the reset of capitalism and. The it's a, it's an art, it's an art organization. Am I in my heart? You know, I'm an artist at heart.

[00:45:08] And to, to see, um, to see the vision of, of this come to fruition and to see, uh, you know, a white woman, who's very like, Really aware of her privilege and leading from that place of openness and vulnerability and deeply inclusive of, of many voices and, and truly by, by its own name, amplifying so many amazing voices and so many artists, it really, it really has inspired me.

[00:45:40] And to see that, you know, we were talking about, you know, we're we are, we operate in it. And we're operating in capitalism. And when we asked her about measuring success, um, and how has an organization out, how as an organization, are they measuring success? We had a really great conversation about the nature of changing hearts and minds and what that means, and when they get.

[00:46:03] Statistics back about the number of impressions, like their poster campaign or one of their campaigns in schools did like they're getting reports back about decreased bullying in schools, in places where their art is. And so I I'm just deeply inspired by the power of art and music and. You know, what, what it's kind of like that, there's that Venn diagram of like, what makes your, what makes your, what breaks your heart and also like what you're good at as part of like finding your purpose.

[00:46:34] And, and I really feel, I really feel that possibility of, you know, what makes me super frustrated and angry and upset as a driver for me to really hone my skills towards. You know, towards me, you know, making an impact where, where I can and, and I'm still on that journey. Mm. 

[00:46:53] CK Lin: [00:46:53] I love that. Yeah. On this podcast, we say a lot, um, the source, your, your biggest wound or reveal the source of your superpower.

[00:47:03] Absolutely. So how would you articulate your, your, your purpose, your.

[00:47:13] Emily Griffin: [00:47:13] Um, that's a really great question. Um, I might have to get back to you on that, but I would say, um, you know, I grew up. Um, I grew up moving around a lot and, uh, you know, lost, uh, you know, a lot of friends along the way for, you know, many, many different reasons. But I think that's part of what drives me around, um, that group coherence that we're talking about and that, um, that potential of.

[00:47:41] Anchoring and centering in and really finding, finding that home in your own heart and being able to have that, you know, be a part of a community or team or organization and how, how important that is for just happiness and joy and, and in my life that that is absolutely a driver of what I have energy to do always is, is connected to art and community.

[00:48:08] And, um, and that joy. And that is just something that I am, I'm still working on. Um, you know, really believing that that can be a source of value and abundance, um, for, you know, for me livelihood as well. 

[00:48:23] CK Lin: [00:48:23] Mm. I love that. Yeah. I mean, who you are to me is someone who's. Deeply, um, involved in culture, music, art, and use that as a, as a Trojan horse, so to speak, right?

[00:48:38] To allow people to get back to who they are as a human being, as well as tapping into group coherence group flow. So that's who you are to me, you know, it's not super articulate, but that's, that's who you are. 

[00:48:51] Emily Griffin: [00:48:51] Thank you. Thank you. Yeah. When I, you know, after a night of deejaying, for instance, and I just.

[00:48:55] Think about the experience of deejaying and what that is, and just the idea of celebration, not being some, it's not about this surface kind of rote celebration, like, but a deep, deep celebration of life. That's right. What I bring to my art. And I think about that spark of a liveliness that that can happen with other people when they, when they see someone else in their joy and there's that generosity and belonging, I just think of that spark of a liveliness that they bring into their life and their relationships and their projects and businesses.

[00:49:31] And I know that's what being a culture creator really is, is about, is about, um, You know, really like co-creating that, you know, that, that way of being, of being together. 

[00:49:43] CK Lin: [00:49:43] Yeah, for sure. I think as a, as a, as a former culture executive, to me, what it takes to, you know, a lot of people say like, how do I copy.

[00:49:55] Essentially, you know, Google's culture or Facebook has culture or, you know, space X is culture and so forth. I think at the end, the atomic unit, right? The building block of this is how do you engineer in an environment that fosters, you know, this peak experience of joy and fulfillment in the work situation.

[00:50:16] If you can do that, that's the tummy unit. If you can do that and do that a lot, guess what the, um, this, this culture. The overall, you know, uh, organization and persona when emerge, that's unique to your organization. That's the way I see it. 

[00:50:33] Emily Griffin: [00:50:33] Yeah. And it's unique, right? Like you're talking about the fractals, like you can't just copy someone else's culture because you don't have those people.

[00:50:41] Culture is people and behaviors and those rituals. And that's like those, those moments of, you know, of inclusion that happened intentionally and spawn, you know, in spontaneously like that, that is what your culture is, but you're right. You can engineer and kind of put up the scaffolding. Um, if you all can build that common language and some of those common behaviors to, you know, to be.

[00:51:07] You know, to be whole and to be, you know, welcoming and, um, and truly like deeply values aligned every day at work. I mean, that's, that's, that's the culture that. People should be aspiring to is to really identify and really like live and breathe your values. 

[00:51:28] CK Lin: [00:51:28] One of the things I love about burning man's is it allows me to immerse in creativity, culture, and generosity, and even spirituality for a good.

[00:51:40] 10 days, let's say so what are some of the ways so bringing back right to the younger CKS, Emily listening for this sounds awesome. Love it, you do this. What are some of the ways that they can start to engineer environment for these types of peak experiences to occur in their organization? 

[00:52:02] Emily Griffin: [00:52:02] That's a great question.

[00:52:03] I keep thinking about the power of experimenting and the power of play and the power of improvisation. So, um, in. And one of my, one of my favorite organizations I work for substantial who have an incredible culture. I loved that, you know, as, as much as, you know, we were focused on, um, utilization and those billable hours and like, you know, going fast and like, you know, building amazing digital products, um, you know, with, you know, fast and with, you know, Quality.

[00:52:34] There was really, really beautiful moments in between projects where, um, we play, we played like, as you know, we would like there were games created, you know, successful games or plugins to, you know, a tool that we were using, like Trello, like that came out, that came out of a culture that was really just up for experimenting and playing together.

[00:52:58] And that. That itself we were talking about, you know? Yeah. That all sounds really nice, but we just have to get work done kind of attitude. Like you really miss out on these, these moments that really could end up becoming, you know, their own successful products or, you know, these own successful.

[00:53:17] Experiences out of your company because that culture was, they were, we just wanted to play and build and make, make cool stuff and how fun doing it together. And there, that was, that was a really cool lesson for me to witness and to be a part of that sense of that sense of place that was there, just because we just loved being together and making cool stuff.

[00:53:42] CK Lin: [00:53:42] So, so Emily, ain't gonna push you just a little bit, right? Lovingly nudging you for more details a little bit. Okay. So, so I am an aspirational organization or aspiration entrepreneur. Let's say I'm all about the, head's all about results, results, results, results. And now I hear about this. It sounds really inspiring, but it's a huge step in my mind.

[00:54:05] Right? So what are some of the ways or tiny steps. Micro steps. Can I take towards bringing more play into my organization? I think that would be very helpful for someone who is super heady, you know, inspired, but still super heady moving towards the organization of playfulness and fun and inspire ideas and so forth.

[00:54:29] Yes. 

[00:54:30] Emily Griffin: [00:54:30] Especially in this environment now where we can't get together. And. You know, go on a, go on a retreat or, you know, go on to do one of those, like trust falls together to build that kind of like trust and play together. You know, we're having to figure this out and leaders are having to figure this out in an environment where we're all still remote and distributed.

[00:54:50] So I love this question and, and, and my mind and heart has been exploring, you know, how do you, how do you make someone virtually. Take a trust fall, right? And like have this experience together where you can be vulnerable and, and play together and get that bond that comes from that, that, you know, trust is that bond that's built.

[00:55:13] You know, slowly over time. So as a facilitator, I have to point to, you know, creative play and games that you could play even. And I would take five minutes at the beginning of your next meeting. There's an amazing resource from my, my teacher, Jenny Sauer Klein in the Bay area, she runs an amazing school called scaling intimacy.

[00:55:41] So this can work for groups of people. Um, you know, we, we do, we do work with groups of people. That you know, 80 hundreds of people and you can make it feel a lot, really intimate using some of these games, but I want to turn people onto her resource called play on purpose.com. He is, um, she's got a whole bank and a whole library of really amazing games that you can integrate into your virtual meetings.

[00:56:08] And. It's amazing how, like, like we were saying, even a couple of minutes at the beginning of a meeting, pausing to take a breath or taking, you know, investing five, 10 minutes at the beginning of a meeting to do an icebreaker, everyone rolls their eyes at the sound of an iceberg. I've worked with plenty of skeptical, kind of like, you know, heavy engineering types to like know, like, to know that that's in the room and the benefits of doing just.

[00:56:36] A really like easy ice breaker question or like drawing game at the beginning of your meetings is a great small step to just build a little bit of creativity and play and vulnerability into your culture. 

[00:56:52] CK Lin: [00:56:52] Yeah. You know, it's interesting that, um, so I've been that engineer who rolls my eyes for, you know, these have icebreakers and I always appreciate it having done it.

[00:57:05] So my subconscious love it. My conscious was judging it. Right. So even as a leader, I mean, now I facilitate these type of things. So, so for me, it's like, I see what you're doing. You're going to love it. Don't worry about it. Let's just do, let's just go right. 

[00:57:20] Emily Griffin: [00:57:20] As a, as a facilitator, you know, I've been taught to have people in the beginning of a meeting, just, okay, everybody roll your eyes, everybody just grown.

[00:57:29] Okay. Get that out of the way. And we're going to do this thing and you're right. People end up, you know, cause it's the, it's the kid in us. And we keep talking about the young CK and the young Emily, but it's the kid in us that needs to come out and play sometimes. 

[00:57:44] CK Lin: [00:57:44] Mm. Mm. I love it. Well, before we ramp it down the official, um, um, podcast portion of it.

[00:57:52] When we moved to a clubhouse for the after party, you can Emily, right? What's the number one takeaway. What's one action that you want. Those who are listening, who are watching and yeah. Well, action. Do you want them to take from all of this beautiful gems that you share with us? 

[00:58:14] Emily Griffin: [00:58:14] I feel like the most potent one.

[00:58:18] Is that the potential that can come from you, pausing and breathing into your heart and your gut and building your own, building your own, own sense of coherence and centeredness. Yes. Before you just throw it Oh, yourself into work and meetings and conversations that centering will. Change your whole experience of, of, you know, uh, your ability to listen to others and others ability to really be present and to hear you.

[00:58:52] Wow. 

[00:58:53] CK Lin: [00:58:53] Beautiful. He said so before you go into a meeting, rather than just go, go, go, go, go, go, go. In the in-between time, take a moment to breathe, expand, expand that, that, that capacity for inner resourcefulness, that's going to give so much benefit from whatever it is that you're creating beautifully said.

[00:59:16] So let's move on to the next portion, which is a clubhouse. So for any of you listening, thank you so much. Go ahead and check out Emily. Empathy tour the empathy tour, that CEO about, uh, what Emily and Jody is up to. So thanks for listening. Let's move over to the clubhouse. Thank you so 

[00:59:39] Emily Griffin: [00:59:39] much. Peace


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