Glodean Champion – A Dance With Questions | Conversations with Coaches | Boxer Media

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Conversations with Coaches | Boxer Media

Glodean is a Keynote Speaker, Author, and Transformational Leader who specializes in leadership development, team building and diversity, equity & inclusion (DEI). She’s a Six Sigma Black Belt and draws on her extensive background to transform the lives of her clients. Her life’s purpose is to leave people better than she found them.

To put it as succinctly as possible, Glodean helps organizations empower their people by teaching them how to raise their awareness, own their belonging, and collaborate in a way that creates innovative, influential teams and a culture people love.

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Kevin Stafford 0:02
Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of the conversations with coaches podcast. I was looking at my coffee real briefly cuz I was about to take a sip we used to call this podcast coffee with coaches because I usually recorded in the mornings no real original right. But the conversations with coaches podcast I almost just made my guest almost spit out her water I am speaking with today I’ve already had the delight of speaking with glow Dean champion. Claudine is a keynote speaker, author and transformational leader who specializes in leadership development, team building and diversity, equity and inclusion. She is a Six Sigma blackbelt and draws on her extensive background to transform the lives of her clients. Her life’s purpose is to leave people better than she found them. I mean, yes, 100% 1,000%. Yes. Claudine. As you as I said, I’m already grateful for you today. So thank you for being here. Thank you for talking with me.

Glodean Champion 0:53
Thank you for having me. Really nice to meet you. Oh, I feel like we’ve already known each other. It’s just it’s

Kevin Stafford 0:59
like we’re picking up where we left off even though Exactly.

Glodean Champion 1:03
Exactly. Well, let’s, uh,

Kevin Stafford 1:05
let’s start this conversation at the beginning of your coaching journey. And this kind of happens for different coaches in different ways. But how did you realize? Or who told you? Or how did you come to decide that you were a coach, you wanted to be a coach? And then how did you go from there to the business you have today?

Glodean Champion 1:24
So this is kind of crazy. I have always been an unintentional coach. I from my first job at 17, in corporate America, I don’t remember the specific thing that happened. But we were in a meeting, somebody did something that wasn’t correct. And they covered it up like most people do. And then I did something that was incorrect. And I apologized and asked questions about how I could what I did wrong. So how do I do it better. And somehow, this has happened in other spaces. But this began a series of relationships with the leadership team, because they realized that I was the person that was willing to be vulnerable. I was, in other situations, you know, if they asked a question, and they really wanted an answer, people would tell them what they thought they wanted to hear. And I would tell them the truth, or how I felt based on the information. So at 17, the CEO of the company that hired me, was asking me advice on things. Not necessarily business related things, but people related things and relationship related things. And so I didn’t know what I was doing. I was just giving them my opinion, and that seem to continue through my career. So it’s always an unofficial coach. And then, once I started teaching, teaching is also coaching, right? Because you’re working with students who need to understand, and I really want to study this phenomenon of people going to school, especially college, right? And not asking questions. Right now, you are paying money to learn this thing that you don’t know. And then when the teacher says, Does anyone have any questions, nobody raises their hand. Right? So I, so in my, in my classes, I would wind up having to coach students to understand that you’re here to learn, and part of the learning process is asking questions. And the only stupid question is the one you don’t ask. That’s what my mother always told me. So fast forward. In 2013, or 14, I worked for a debt collection agency, I was helping them build their corporate compliance department. And they brought him a Six Sigma Black Belt, or a master black belt, and I got partnered up with him. And the work that we were doing was process improvement, and a lot of kaizen events, which are rapid improvement events, which meant bringing people together, who were employees who didn’t believe that their voices mattered, because leaders felt like they knew the process better. So then there was coaching in that space, right? coaching the leaders, and coaching the people on the team. Again, not recognizing what I’m doing. George Floyd was murdered. I didn’t know what was going on. I asked the universe, that’s how I refer to God or whoever, you know, the higher power what I could do to affect change, like, what can I by myself do to help in this space? And the answer came back love. And I thought that meant Oh, just tell people you love them do kind things. And then it was like, clear to me that it was about being teaching and spreading love. And then all of a sudden, I started getting official requests for coaching from leaders that I’d worked with. And I was like, I don’t want to do This because it felt to me like everybody after when COVID hit, everybody became a coach of some sort. And I’m not knocking it. I’m just saying I didn’t want to be in that bucket of coaches. And so I resisted it for a long time, but I kept getting these requests and I kept. I was doing it, but kind of reluctantly doing it. And then I got someone reached out to get to take a certification class. This is a really long answer. I’m sorry. I love it. I love it. A friend of mine reached out to me and said I should take the certification class. And I was in my year of Yes. Did you read that book by Shonda Rhimes?

Kevin Stafford 5:40
I didn’t read the book. But I definitely talked a lot a lot of conversations with people who did. Yeah,

Glodean Champion 5:44
it’s amazing when you say yes to things, right. So I said yes, I got certified in tilt 365 Laser coaching, and it changed the game for me. So I so So I went from being a reluctant coach to now intentionally coaching leaders and prospective leaders on how to best lead their teams. And like everything else kind of unfolded from there. So I’d like to say that I have 35 plus years, I’m intentional, unintentional coaching experience and about six or seven years of intentional coaching experience. I I can

Kevin Stafford 6:32
let you go you were you were fine. I loved are so many different parts where I had like wanting to jump in and like start talking about stuff. But I was like, This is great. What happened next and then. And I love there’s something that was like it really emerged as you were talking, it’s almost seems like you’ve been you’ve been dancing almost all your life with questions. Engaging in like then questions being at the heart of everything, a willingness to be open to them, a willingness to, to ask them, and then to, after a while after of responding to them. Find your answers to certain questions in action. And intention, not just nodding. Yeah, that sounds like a great idea. Like nothing, no action, saying yes. And moving into that. And that’s like, almost like continuing this dance you have with increasingly better and better and better questions that get deeper and deeper, deeper into the heart of how you want to live and love and serve. And then how the people who come to you to learn how to do that can do that for themselves, and then teach other people and then pass it on and pass it on. It’s, it does really It sounds and it feels as you describe it, just like this lovely lifelong dance.

Glodean Champion 7:34
That is so beautiful that you said it’s so true. The funny thing is I did a I went whale watching with some friends on Saturday. And this is my second whale watching trip. My birthday was a couple of weeks ago when I went on my birthday. But we only saw the way we saw one wheel a couple of times. And I asked a bunch of questions then. But then this time, we saw one whale or two whales but a bunch of times. And the more more I saw the whale, the more I noticed about it as I took pictures. And so I was asking a million questions. And my friend leaned over and said, You do not have a scarcity of questions. And I said, but I want to know like, I’m curious about you know, and then it made me think like, Yeah, I’m like that. And then my 12 year old self, I have an inner 12 year old that I nurture I believe in her I love her dearly. So when I do things like that, like she comes to the forefront, right? So my questions are not quite intellectual or, or whatever. But they’re, you know what I mean? They are but you know what I mean? Yeah, so anyway,

Kevin Stafford 8:37
questions are shaping serve the purpose, sometimes questions about exploring, sometimes questions are about acquiring data. Sometimes questions are just designed to provoke more questions. You know, the each question kind of has its own purpose, you know, dances to its own rhythm to keep that keep that analogy going.

Glodean Champion 8:53
Yes, I Yeah. Well, because my mother, the first time like, came home with a bad grade, like I got to see in something. And my mother asked me why I got to see. And I said, because I didn’t understand all of it. And she said, Well, did you ask any questions? And I said, No. And she said, so I’m sending you to school, not bad questions. And I said, Well, I don’t want to ask a stupid question. And that’s when she said, there are no stupid questions. Only a stupid one is the one you don’t ask. So it. It’s kind of true, though, when you think about it, right? I mean, I remember sitting in meetings where, where people clearly didn’t understand what was being asked to them. You could see it on their faces. But nobody wanted to be the one to say, I don’t understand. So guess what I would be like that I don’t understand for the sake of the team. Because to me, I felt like if they walk out of this room, unclear and I’m the only one who has asked the question or or didn’t ask the question, because I understood it. Then I’m going to be fighting with them about what I heard versus what they heard, even though they didn’t ask the questions. So I would ask anyway, Hello. felt that a dance though,

Kevin Stafford 10:02
is what it feels like. And also, I just love that like, you kind of you kind of walk right up to it like, what do you have to lose by asking?

Glodean Champion 10:08
Nothing? Very rarely is there

Kevin Stafford 10:10
ever a circumstance in which not asking a question might even be considered the correct call. And I can’t even think of one off the top my head, I’m gonna try because it’s so rare so as to be relevant for our conversation. What are you risking? By asking the question? And versus what are you possibly gaining? What are the people around you possibly getting? That’s another thing too, that it took me a little while to start start thinking about it in that way. It’s like, it’s sometimes not just about the questions. I’m asking you to get the answers I need or to go in the direction that I want. What are the people around me need to hear? Right? Maybe they need to hear somebody asking these questions. Maybe they need to hear somebody trying to answer him. On the question. It’s, there’s so many good possible outcomes, asking a question. And I’m hard pressed to think of one bad outcome just from asking.

Glodean Champion 10:55
I can’t even think of one. And that’s what laser coaching is about. Are you familiar with laser coaching?

Kevin Stafford 11:02
Not very much, though. I’ve heard the name but I don’t know very much about the process.

Glodean Champion 11:06
So in a nutshell, laser coaching is getting to the heart of the of the matter, by focusing on the person rather than the problem, but having the right questions at your disposal, so you can help your clients see themselves in the problem and not as a as part of the problem. Hmm, okay. Right. Most times, in coaching, we focus on the problem. And when you focus on the problem, then the person that you’re coaching, sees themselves disconnected from the problem. If you focus on the person, and you help them see how they’re contributing to the problem, right, and I am, I don’t believe in right and wrong. I work in the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion space, as well. And I feel like one of the problems that we have in life in general, is that we’re so focused on who’s right, and who’s wrong. But if you if you if we could just stop doing that, and look at each moment, as a teachable moment, there is always an opportunity to learn and grow. And it starts with us, right? How am I affecting this situation? And if I sometimes it just means Shut up, stop talking. Maybe if you just stop talking, you’ll hear that someone else is saying,

Kevin Stafford 12:27
Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. I feel I feel both as both encouraging and exciting. And I’m also it’s kind of like, Yeah, I haven’t learned that lesson for most of my life. And I think I’m going to keep learning it.

Glodean Champion 12:38
I mean, and then it comes to the questions, right? If you if you can stop talking, and let the other person speak, it will, it will, undoubtedly, create some type of curiosity in you. Right? Sometimes people react as they’re reacting to the trigger. And you don’t know that they’re reacting to a trigger, you just see them reacting. Or sometimes it’s stress, like we all behave a certain way when we’re stressed when people get short. But if you just instead of, you know, lashing out, you just asked like, are you? Are you? Whatever that question needs to be, you know, but sometimes it just requires, it comes to you when you can be quiet.

Kevin Stafford 13:17
And sometimes that quiet and the question that comes out of it, it just creates a space in which whatever it is that you can’t see, and maybe they can’t see either can just pour into it. And then you can work on it together. That’s man, I want to I want to just keep talking like this all day with you. But we haven’t even gotten to like your coaching business today. We’ve already. So let’s talk a little, at least for a few minutes about everything that you’re doing today, who you coach, how you coach them, do you have any specific types of people or specific stages or roles that you coach people through or into? And do you have a particular way in which you go about your coaching?

Glodean Champion 13:54
Okay, I’ll start with a big question. Yeah, that’s good, though. I coach, here’s what I’m going to say about coaching in because I coach a number of different titled people, from executives to from, you know, CEOs and VPs, to managers and directors or employees that are either interested in making some type of change. Usually, those come to me because somebody says, Oh, you should talk to my friend gloating. And that’s not really a coaching. But it is, you know what I mean? So in the space of coaching executives and our leaders, let me just put it like that people who want to be leaders are better leaders. My first and primary question is to understand how they see leadership. There’s a million books on leadership, right? But we have all our we all have our own internal definition of what leadership looks like. So if a leader says to me that they lead by fear, I mean, I’m paraphrasing but if the if the assessment of what they think leadership is, is more dictatorial, or fear based. Now I understand that you think that’s okay. And there’s nothing wrong with that. There it is, right? There’s nothing wrong with that I just need to help you course correct to see how fear is affecting your team, right? Leaders who who are willing to accept change, and accept growth, then that focus is a little bit different, because now we’re focusing on again back to the person and not the problem. But pushing them a little further to do some introspection, the hardest thing for us to do to raise our self awareness is to actually be aware of how we show up, how we respond, how we how we react, and in the, in the space of doing that, it creates a level of discomfort. And for so many people, nobody wants to be uncomfortable in the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion space, especially. So in that space, I coach, anyone who was having issues with race based or difference, right? Leaders who have diverse teams, and feel uncomfortable, because they don’t know how to perhaps give their people of color. They’re the people that people of color, they don’t know how to give them feedback without crossing a line. And to me, it’s like, Okay, first thing, how about you stop looking at them through the lens of race or the lens of difference? How about you look at what they’ve done. And that’s the thing you focus on, you don’t change the inflection of your voice, because that’s where we get into trouble, right? The person, the person speaking, feels like they need to say it a certain way. But the person listening hears it, like you’re talking to me like I’m done. So now, how are we even? How am I even hearing what you’re telling me I need to correct. So I can be a better employee or so I don’t lose my job. Because now I’m in defense mode. And then I say something back, and then you become in defense mode. So I teach. I coach and teach leaders how not to get into that into that trick bag.

Kevin Stafford 17:17
As it’s such an easy thing to just stumble all over, just all trip all over yourself. Think about this a lot. Because it’s just like something that it’s taken me it took me a long time to realize, where in my life I was doing things like that. And it really, for me, at least it boiled down to me. I was like I was trying to control how someone was hearing what I was saying. Instead of trying to say it in the way that I think I could say best to them. Exactly. And like it was like it loses control thing. I was like trying to shape things just right. Good intentions or not most of the time, good intentions, but irrelevant to what the message was that was landing was coming across. I was trying to do too much. control things my way. And I just needed to kind of like how you got started you vulnerable. Just ask and ask and then don’t fill that space of that. Ask questions with your own answers. Don’t fill it up, just let it be empty. And what shows up. You might not like it, it’s probably going to be at least a little bit uncomfortable. Maybe a lot uncomfortable.

Glodean Champion 18:16
Uncomfortable. Good. Good. So I love to say people need to get comfortable being uncomfortable. Because the minute the minute because here’s the other thing. The opposite has not served us at all right? What people don’t seem to recognize is that your discomfort you feel it before you even react respond to it. Your stomach gets into a knot or you feel like some some tightness in your chest or you maybe get butterflies but your body is letting you know you’re uncomfortable. So rather than just taking a moment and going oh, wait, I don’t really feel comfortable here. So what am I not comfortable with? Oh, it’s that thing right there. Okay, so then I won’t even I will just be quiet again. Here we go back to quiet right? I’m uncomfortable. So maybe rather than flee or go into freeze mode? Or or what is the other one fight? How about you just yourself?

Kevin Stafford 19:15
There’s a way that I came across it recently a question that I’ve really started to kind of play with myself last few years and just try it and trying to like figure out why I am the way I am whether it’s like good bad, whatever, not judging it just kind of trying to understand myself better. And asking myself the question, What am I unwilling to feel? And sitting with that answer and then I’m like, Oh, okay. That’s embarrassment is a problem for me. Why? What embarrassed me? What if I ask a stupid question? So I get a little embarrassed and I’m afraid to feel that way. So I won’t ask it. And it’s just like to keep coming back. What am I unwilling to feel what will I turn over heaven and earth to avoid feeling and let’s talk sit with that for a little while. Let’s talk with someone about that. Yeah, let’s get vulnerable about that. Now that’s, I’m getting tingly just saying it out loud in my body when I said out loud.

Glodean Champion 20:05
Yeah, yeah, it’s empowering. That’s the thing. I wish that that Webster had figured out a way to, to define vulnerability in a way that didn’t, doesn’t show up as a weakness, like, Renee Brown has mastered the definition of vulnerability. The problem is, it’s not in the dictionary. And it’s not our common definition of vulnerability. So when you say, you know, be be willing to be vulnerable, vulnerable to someone, you know, they immediately see it as a sign of weakness, rather than a sign of strength. So like, if so coaching someone into that space of vulnerability, I, it’s kind of harder to do it virtually. I enjoyed it when when it was in person, because I could feel their discomfort, like before their body did anything or their face did anything, I could feel their discomfort. And so I could get out in front of it, by asking the right questions to help them recognize that you’re uncomfortable right now. But the thing you’re uncomfortable with may not be the thing that is that you should be afraid of, maybe the thing that you’re uncomfortable with, is an opportunity for you to learn something, or learn. If not learn something about the situation, learn something about yourself. So, you know, turning it back to self and helping people recognize that because if I didn’t say this, It All Begins with Self. And I, we say a lot about self love and self care. But I feel like self care, anybody can do self care, you can take a bath, you can go to get a massage and get your nails done, whatever. But Self Love is a bigger challenge. Self love is this this conversation that we’re having self love is being vulnerable, taking the time to look at yourself, and be okay without judgment. Like you just said, recognizing this is who I am, I’m not going to put put a flag in the sand and say, This is who I am, deal with it. But just take a moment to recognize, you know, who you are, and how you’re showing up. So that you can be better for other people. Because I I know from experience, the minute you fall in love with you, not from an ego but from the heart. You build relationships and create love and in the relationships that you have with other people. It just happens naturally. I

Kevin Stafford 22:33
few years ago, when you were looking at the coaching coaching sphere, the coaching realm and saw that it was crowded, I am really grateful that you said you know what, I’m going to do it anyway. Because I’m just saying you’re talking to you right now. And I swear I’ve already said that a couple times. I want to do this, I wanna do this all day with you are so great to talk to. I am so glad and grateful that you have been a coach, by your nature of most of your life and that you are a coach now by profession as well. I can’t wait to talk to you again. I’m probably going to like bug you in a couple of weeks. Do you want to do another episode? Because it’s so much fun? Before we go before we go, cuz I do have to get you out of here. But please tell the audience where and it’s kind of a two part question. Where can people just find out more about you? You know, websites, social media, whatever? And where do you like to, like connect with people and engage people and meet new people? Do you have a particular social media that you really like to connect with people on? Do you like how do you how do you like to meet and like build relationships with new people? Okay,

Glodean Champion 23:29
so the website is gloating. That’s

Kevin Stafford 23:32
the easy part. Easy one.

Glodean Champion 23:35
And the about page is my favorite page. Because it’s my story. If you go down to the that’s my story, it tells my story. And then I’m on all the metal. I’m on LinkedIn. I haven’t forgot there’s a million of a male, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. And I’m, I’m open to meeting people however they want to meet. So if they started, you can also email me. I’d love egg loading

Kevin Stafford 24:05
Oh, I love it. I love it. It all just came. I was like, Oh, I love that. But having spoken with you for 30 minutes, makes all the sense in the world to me. gloating, man. Thank you. Again, I keep saying it, but I’m going to keep feeling it. So I’m going to keep saying and thank you for being here today. Thank you for talking with me. Thank you for sharing yourself a little bit with everybody. And this has been great.

Glodean Champion 24:24
Thank you. Thank you for having me.

Kevin Stafford 24:27
And to the audience out there just in case it’s not superduper clear. Please find out more about godine Read, read that story. The tastes you got here I can tell us the tip of the iceberg. Connect find out more. You will not regret it and we will talk to you again very soon.

Glodean Champion 24:42
So thank you so much.

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