Hello and welcome to the Imposter Syndrome Network Podcast, where everyone belongs, especially if you think you don't.
Our guest today is Stefani Goerlich, Social worker by degree and Sex therapist by profession.
In this unconventional episode, Stefani shares with us what she talks at tech conferences and what is the number one thing that we techies can learn for better social interactions.
She will explain how unspoken expectations harm our professional relationships and the need to be aware of our surroundings in order to better interpret social boundaries.
We will explore the importance and difficulties of communication, and how to exercise empathy to understand how the people around us experience the world and create a fuller and better relationship with our peers.
Humans are not programmable, but we are teachable and the only way we learn is if somebody is willing to take the time to say: “This is what I need.”
Thanks for being an imposter - a part of the Imposter Syndrome Network (ISN)!
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Make it a great day.
Transcript is machine generated and may contain errors.
[00:00:00] Chris: Hello and welcome to the Imposter Syndrome Network Podcast where everyone belongs, even those of you who will keep writing 2022 for the next six months. Welcome to 2023 Imposters. My name is Chris Grundman, and I'm here with my co-host and colored hair aficionado Zoe Rose.
[00:00:28] Zoe: Hey.
[00:00:28] Chris: Hey. This is the Stephanie Goerlich episode, and we're doing something completely different.
[00:00:34] Chris: Stephanie is not completely a technologist, at least not primarily, she's an award-winning author and a certified sex therapist.
[00:00:46] Chris: Hey, Stephanie. Would you like to introduce yourself further to the imposter syndrome network?
[00:00:51] Stefani: Sure. Thank you so much for having me. I am, I always say tech adjacent. I speak and present at lots of technology conferences, although I do not work in tech in any way, shape or form. I am actually a, a social worker by degree and a sex therapist by profession, and I write about intimacy and relationships.
[00:01:14] Stefani: Um, but not just romantic relationships. I have worked with business leaders around the country with healthcare providers, with individuals who just want to be better communicators and better partners or employees and, and so I basically spend my days thinking about how people interact and writing and talking about.
[00:01:35] Chris: Awesome, thanks. So Stephanie, as you said, you're an expert in relationships from the bedroom to the boardroom, I think I've seen written somewhere, so I'm gonna dive right in. What is the number one thing that we techies get wrong about relationships at work?
[00:01:53] Stefani: Uh, unspoken expectations. I think that, especially in technology, because so much of it is very clear and very rational.
[00:02:02] Stefani: The code is what the code is and it works or it doesn't, that people assume that humans work the same way. And so there is an assumption that, well, that's just how things are supposed to be, and I don't understand why they don't know that, whatever that might be, whether that's refilling the coffee pot or anything else.
[00:02:22] Stefani: And, and so we don't actually talk about what we expect from one another, and then we get really frustrated when they don't magically know what we want from them. So, biggest issue, cross the board, unspoken expectations.
[00:02:36] Chris: Wow, I, yeah, that's interesting and definitely resonates with. Something I talk a lot about with some of my colleagues and and clients and things is this idea of the curse of knowledge, which is definitely more technology focused, but I think is a along similar lines, which is this idea that, because I know it, I just kind of assume that everyone else knows it.
[00:02:54] Chris: You know, I know how I feel about you, so why should I have to tell you? Or I know what I want from you, so why should I have to tell you? I, I definitely see this resonating cause this is definitely something that I, that I talk about a lot. How do we get better at that?
[00:03:05] Stefani: I mean, the simple answer is say the things that you feel like shouldn't need to be said, right.
[00:03:11] Stefani: Anything that you assume to be a social norm or a relationship interaction that you might explain to me or to Zoe as it should go without saying that they would just fill in the blank here. Say it. Anything that you feel like should go without saying is probably the number one thing you should be explicitly laying out because so much of what we want and need from one another is cultural.
[00:03:41] Stefani: Whether that's the culture of technology, the culture of whatever city or country you're working in, that we tend to assume that the way we move through the world is how the world works. And we assume that other people know how the world works, but they have their own worlds that they're moving through.
[00:03:59] Stefani: And so it, the best way to reduce friction and to improve relationships is simply to be really clear and explicit. About those small everyday things that in your mind should go without saying.
[00:04:13] Zoe: That reminds me so much of when I had my first job in London and I remember my boss saying, I didn't know if I was gonna keep you in the first two weeks because I would tell you to do something and you wouldn't do it.
[00:04:27] Zoe: But it was because the way he said it, it was like, if you have time, could you get to this? And in my mind it was like, well, I prioritize the stuff that I'm already doing and if I have time or get to the other stuff. In his mind it was drop everything you're doing and get to this. But I will say when I moved to Netherlands, the one thing that stood out is I thought everybody was angry at me.
[00:04:47] Zoe: And when I was started, because they were so bloody blunt. And I was talking to one of my colleagues and he's like, actually, I prefer that because they're so much more clear. Whereas sometimes in the UK we can be a little bit fluffy and not, uh, we're not, not direct. So actually I've seen benefits even though it took me a while to acclimatize, to working in the Netherlands.
[00:05:10] Stefani: Absolutely. And that's a perfect example. And we often don't think about those cultural ties. I talk a lot when I'm training about a panel interview that I was in where it was myself and two other, um, gentlemen that were interviewing this candidate. And the candidate came in and he shook one person's hand and he shook the other man's hand, and then he very politely nodded at me and sat down.
[00:05:36] Stefani: And the face that Zoe just made, which I realized does not show up on a podcast, is exactly kind of the internal reaction we all had. Because it came across as very sort of misogynistic and demeaning, but it very quickly became clear, you know, as we look at, you know, where he grew up in terms of the resume.
[00:05:54] Stefani: Like what schools are on the resume, what companies has he worked for, where has he worked, that that was a cultural norm and that not touching a woman that wasn't in his immediate family was actually his way of being respectful. But in the cultural context of the job interview setting, you know, the expectation was you shake hands with all of your interviewers.
[00:06:16] Stefani: And that is a, a really just low key example of how we need to be aware of our expectations and where they come from, and also be willing to address them when it's appropriate to do so, because we can't expect anybody to read our minds. Humans are not programmable. But we are teachable and, and the only way we learn is if somebody is willing to take the time to say, this is what I need.
[00:06:41] Chris: Yeah. Yeah. So that is interesting. And it ties back, I think, with what you said earlier about, you know, we kind of assume that everyone has the same perspective as we do, but they're actually living in a totally different world, and there's a few different, I mean, there's a cognitive bias about that. I forget the name of the cognitive bias, where you kind of think that everyone shares the same experience as a reality that you do.
[00:07:00] Chris: But I also bring it back to. Like the biological idea of the umwelt, right? Which is the idea that, so like wasps see different frequencies of light than we do. And so they literally live in a different world. Like they, like their experience of the planet that they fly around in is different. Like we can't experience what they experience cause they literally see different things and hear different things.
[00:07:21] Chris: And you know, like same thing, dogs have different hearing than we do. Bats use sonar. And so among animal kingdom, and then I think maybe plants as well, there's this idea of the umwelt, which. The WASP has its umwelt, and it may overlap with the human umwelt who happens to be sitting next to the wasp, but we're actually experiencing this very different world.
[00:07:39] Chris: And so I think you're pointing out that, recognizing that maybe you know the first step, right? Because my genetics are gonna be different than yours. My upbringing, the, the parents I had, the teachers I had, the friends I had, um, are all different. Which again, leads to this completely different filter where I'm seeing the world in a different way.
[00:07:55] Chris: So recognizing that seems to be step one. What's step two? How do I. Is there a way for me to understand the way that other people around me see the world, I guess?
[00:08:05] Stefani: Yeah. And, and, and really the simplest way is to ask, we don't often think about what kind of fascinating conversations are possible when we get beyond sort of, how was your weekend?
[00:08:17] Stefani: And isn't the weather terrible today, sort of level, especially at work. But it's really fascinating to talk about, you know, this project really reminds me of doing homework back in the day, and I hated homework so much. And I remember my teachers used to drive me crazy. And what was that like for you? Like when, when you get stuck on a group project with me, what, where does that take you back?
[00:08:41] Stefani: What's, are you enjoying it? Is this a birthday party for you or is this a homework in middle school for. And it's not, uh, an intrusive question, right? We're not asking them to talk about their childhood trauma, but it gives us a lot of insights into how the people that we work with and for approach the tasks that we're given.
[00:09:01] Stefani: And it can be really interesting and fascinating. And those moments of sort of low key, easy vulnerability, right? Like talking about how we hate group projects at work because they take us right back to middle school. It's not giving anybody information that's harmful to your career or like liable like and you in the HR office, but it does give a little bit of insight into you and your head space and the world that you are sitting in as you guys sit at the conference room table.
[00:09:28] Zoe: See, I find that very interesting because I know that through experience, I overshare . When somebody asks me, how are you? I am very honest and I tell them how I am too quite detailed about, and it took me a while to realize that that question isn't, how are you? It's tell me you're good and be okay, , you know?
[00:09:49] Zoe: So I find it interesting that it's almost. Relearning what I used to do, but changing it slightly. So maybe addressing it. My unconscious bias, I guess I could say, of how I perceive the world con, bringing it to my conscious thought and then making it a little bit more fancy when I'm talking to people. So don't go into the two big depth, but have realistic connections to talk about.
[00:10:14] Zoe: From somebody that is not great at socializing. How do you understand that? Uh...
[00:10:21] Chris: Like the boundaries?
[00:10:22] Zoe: Yeah. Yeah. How do you, how do you figure out boundaries, ?
[00:10:26] Stefani: That is big question. .
[00:10:29] Zoe: There's a massive question.
[00:10:31] Stefani: Obviously. You know, the easy answer is to say we avoid sex, politics, and religion. I have built my entire career out of talking about those three things, so that doesn't work for me.
[00:10:41] Stefani: But you know, we have sort of the global things that we know are off the table, right? We're, we're not supposed to talk about money and income, uh, in certain situations. But the easiest way is to think about how you would feel if somebody were to ask you the same question or if somebody were to introduce the same topic.
[00:11:02] Stefani: And it's hard to do in the moment because again, we have those different worldviews and those different experiences. But thinking about, is this something that I've been comfortable hearing about from others before? And that is a different question then, is this something I've been comfortable sharing before?
[00:11:18] Stefani: Right. ? Because we don't often take the beat to put ourself in the other person's point of view. And if we think about it from the position of, you know, has there been a time when somebody's walked up to me like 8:00 AM on Monday morning and immediately started talking about football? And if so, did I enjoy that conversation?
[00:11:37] Stefani: Or was I like, I hate sports. Why are you talking to me? It's, it's 8:00 AM. Thinking about your experiences as a listener make you a better conversationalist in terms of figuring out where to go in, in introducing a topic to other people. And then as far as boundaries go, the other big thing is just being aware of sort of the physical space, right?
[00:11:58] Stefani: Like right before Covid happened, I was at a conference with, um, Wolf, with my husband. And it was the social evening and they were doing stuff and it was a big dark conference room and there were four guys all wanting to talk to me about a talk I'd given earlier in the day. But I literally was far away from my husband with my back against the wall with four people I didn't know surrounding me, all of whom just wanted to nerd out.
[00:12:27] Stefani: And individually, any one of those would have been probably okay, but when you combine the whole situation and none of them stop to think about what the listener meaning me might be feeling in that moment, it becomes a boundary issue. Even if all you're talking about is whether or not you can wear hoodies versus blazers at work.
[00:12:49] Stefani: So thinking about conversations that you've had and topics that you've discussed and how you've thought about those and felt about 'em in the moment, and them being aware of the physical space when you're talking to somebody. Those are probably the easiest sort of entry level boundary guidelines to be aware of.
[00:13:06] Chris: That makes a lot of sense. Yeah. And obviously if you have longer term relationships, you'll, you'll build up this knowledge over time if you're, if you're asking and paying attention, which is something I'd like to talk a little bit about. Obviously, there's tons of different relationships that you have in any job you might have.
[00:13:23] Chris: Right? I think you've got a relationship with your boss, your manager. If you're a manager yourself, you've got relationships with the people who report to you. You've obviously got relationships. Pretty much everybody has relationships with peers that are maybe on the same team or, or across the organization.
[00:13:36] Chris: How different are these relationships and how, how differently do we need to approach them? I mean, I know that, for example, right? I, I definitely talk to my mom about different things in different ways than I talk to my wife or then I talk to my sister or a friend. And so I assume the same thing holds true at, at, at work.
[00:13:53] Chris: And these are actually different types of relationships, but how big of a difference is. And how careful do we need to be about crossing those lines? I don't know. I mean, maybe, maybe riff from there, I guess.
[00:14:03] Stefani: I think that's a really good question. When I'm working with clients, I'll often have them think about it sort of as like rings around a satellite, right?
[00:14:12] Stefani: So the closest ring to you, the inner circle is like your immediate family, the people that live in the house with you, your spouse, your kids, and your parents, whoever that might be. Next ring out is your super close friends. The people that you know you would call if you got arrested or or needed to be taken to the emergency.
[00:14:30] Stefani: And you just kind of work outward from there. And, and the general idea is to further out the person's ring is the more judicious you need to be in what you share with them. So you can talk to your spouse or your partner or your parents about much more intimate things. Then you would want to, with the person that you always say hi to and talk about the weather at the grocery store.
[00:14:57] Stefani: Right? And so being aware and kind of thinking about it in terms of tho those planetary rings and how close are, are they to my planet versus how far out are they? Can kind of help you decide what is reasonable to share or not. And then the other variable, of course, is always, you know, you talked about workplace relationships and my guidance is that if you are in a management position over somebody, you should not be sharing personal information with them.
[00:15:27] Stefani: That you are there to guide and mentor and lead them not to ask them to help you work through personal issues. Even if the personal issue is as simple as the dry cleaner ruined my shirt and I need to go and buy a new one before my meeting at two 30. If you are in a position of leadership over somebody else, your problems and your issues should never, ever, ever be theirs, even in casual convers.
[00:15:55] Zoe: That's interesting. I feel like listening to your description of relationship has just clarified how many issues I've had through my whole career and like just building friendships. Okay. Maybe that's why that didn't work or , but No, that's really actually, that's really helpful for me visualizing it that way.
[00:16:13] Zoe: I like the point you make about if you are the person of authority, because I do, I have seen throughout my career, some positions I've had where the manager has been more of the kind of a friend, you know, the, we're on the same page, there's no hierarchy here and it doesn't work as well. This does have such a, not always, but it has had situations where it's been quite strain.
[00:16:37] Zoe: It also changes their authority. So I've seen other situations where it's like, I'm not in the team, but it's like, I dunno, I know the person who's the the manager and they find it's very hard to tell their team to do something because they feel guilty cuz they don't have that authority. I suppose you could say.
[00:16:55] Zoe: It's like they're the friend, so if they ask the other person to do something they don't wanna do, it's hard to ask it. How would you approach a situation where maybe you've had some things in the past that hasn't, hasn't gone as well, and you wanna start building that maybe more, more authority from your management position, or in many cases, uh, managing upwards more effectively.
[00:17:22] Stefani: I love that question. And you'll, you'll probably notice that a theme in what I say is, you know, just be really transparent about it, right? Like the first step is acknowledging that perhaps you haven't been leading effectively and being able to have those conversations and say, you know, I really enjoy working with you and I think we work really well together.
[00:17:42] Stefani: And that is a great thing, but I think at times I've let how well we work together get in the way of how well I'm leading the team or what I'm doing for you as a manager, and really positioning it as a benefit to everybody to be really clear about what the roles are. because at the end of the day, if you are a manager, you have to make hard decisions sometimes.
[00:18:07] Stefani: You know, we're, we are going through a period right now where a whole bunch of people in technology are, are losing jobs and reshuffling and finding new things. And if your best friends with your team members, that's not going to protect them. If you're told that you need to, to do a riff right, what it will do is make it harder for everybody involved to deal with that process.
[00:18:29] Stefani: And I think that there's a lot of safety that comes from having really clear understandings about what a relationship is and what it isn't. And we see that a, across the board, we see that in parenting, right? Like you see parents that are the mean girls. Like, I'm not a mom, I'm a cool mom. And the, the kids with the cool moms are always the ones that aren't really clear when mom is mom and who to go to when they need help.
[00:18:55] Stefani: Or what is or is not. Okay. And that same dynamic place over at work, like I'm not a manager, I'm a cool manager, and that doesn't make an effective team. That makes a group of people who aren't really clear on whether you have their back, who aren't really clear on what is or is not okay. Who isn't going to be receptive to feedback and correction because it's going to feel like a personal betrayal.
[00:19:22] Stefani: I think it makes a lot more sense to say I'm a good manager and I'm a kind manager and I have your back. But at the end of the day, I've recognized I've been more of a friend than I have been a manager. And that's not fair to you.
[00:19:35] Chris: I like that a lot.
[00:19:36] Zoe: No, that's a good point. That's a good point. I feel like I learn, I love these discussions cuz I personally learned so much from.
[00:19:43] Zoe: The other one is the kind of managing upwards bit. I, I do a lot of mentoring and I also have direct reports, so I try to give advice where I can, but I do think that, I think you probably have a lot more insights there on how to manage upwards effectively. Like maybe it's, you're struggling with your manager, uh, cuz maybe you don't find.
[00:20:06] Zoe: as their style works as well for you. Or maybe there's a situation where you're struggling at work and how would you kind of build that relationship a bit more effectively with the manager that works for you, if that makes sense.
[00:20:20] Stefani: I think that is one of the more difficult situations that somebody can find themselves in because you have to be, you know, tactful and a little bit diplomatic.
[00:20:30] Stefani: But you also want your manager to succeed because the team rises and falls based on leadership. And, and, and that's one thing that I think a lot of people don't understand, especially when they have a bad manager or when they have somebody that they personally don't work with. And I have been in that situation and it is miserable.
[00:20:48] Stefani: And you know, we reach a point where it's like, I don't wanna help this, this dude. I don't want to see them succeed. I want them to crash and burn so that I'll get a new manager. But that's not usually how things work out. And usually what happens is if the manager is struggling, the entire team is struggling, and the entire team deals with whatever that fallout might be.
[00:21:09] Stefani: So recognizing that you have a vested stake in the success of the people above you, even if you don't personally like them, is one of the more humbling and difficult aspects of adulthood. But it really is so, . And so part of that can be, you know, just like making yourself a useful member of the team and going to them and saying, what can I do?
[00:21:33] Stefani: You know how... one of my favorite sentences I actually learned from a former coworker years and years ago, like maybe 10 years ago now, and I've stolen it and I use it a lot, and it's, how can I support you right now? Right? And that might be running down the hall and getting them a muffin because they're heading into their third conference call of the day.
[00:21:52] Stefani: And that's not your job. But you can take five minutes and just make sure that their blood sugar isn't tanking in the middle of a quarterly. It might be taking something off their plate that you were worried about anyway, but, but approaching it not from, you're terrible at this and I hope you get fired soon.
[00:22:10] Stefani: So somebody good can come in and rather have a mindset of how can I support you right now? Because if I'm supporting you than a rising tide raises all boats can be really beneficial. But I also think you're allowed to ask for what you need, right? And the, the key is to focus on behavior, not on personalities.
[00:22:31] Stefani: So it's always okay to say, you know, when, when I'm explaining, um, a, a process change to the new guy and you come by and completely undermine me, or you correct me, or you roll your eyes like that's not okay and I need to feel like you support. So next time, if you think I'm saying something wrong, can you just pull me aside and talk to me privately and then I'll go and correct myself to the new guy?
[00:22:55] Stefani: Right? Like there are always polite ways to advocate for yourself, but I think so often when we have a bad manager, we get caught up in hoping that they get taken out and we feel like if they're eliminated, that will solve our work issues. And very rarely is that the.
[00:23:12] Zoe: Now that's a really good point. I, I do know that not all the time, but sometimes people in technology careers, they jump jobs quite often.
[00:23:20] Zoe: I know I've done that for a few times. I mean, part of it was I worked for myself for some of it, but also we don't always tend to stay at the organizations for super long. Uh, there are situations where that's not right, but, uh, but I would say coming from having that sort of career myself, I sometimes don't look at the bigger picture, the long-term picture, I suppose.
[00:23:42] Zoe: And so I think that's a really good feedback for myself as well is, is even if the relationship is starts out not the greatest, there are ways to take away the personal and try and support them to improve as well. Uh, cause yeah, ultimately it is, it does affect your career if your team is struggl. I do know as a, when I was more junior, if the manager was struggling, it looked bad for me.
[00:24:10] Zoe: You know? Whereas if the manager was succeeding, It looked bad. It looked good for everybody, you know? So I think, I think that's one thing we have to remember. , um, one thing I was going to bring up is, um, a part of your, I guess, passion is advocating for the marginalized and, oh, what, what is it refer to as a builder of bridges between margins and mainstream?
[00:24:34] Zoe: That was, that was the term that, uh, Chris used. . And uh, at first, I suppose we should definitely define what is marginalized and then how do you build those bridges.
[00:24:44] Stefani: So in the context of my work, I work a lot with gender, sexuality, and relationship minorities. So that would include LGBTQI folks. That would include people that maybe have alternative relationships like polyamorous folks or ethically non-monogamous folks.
[00:25:02] Stefani: Um, I do a lot of work with the BDSM and kink communities. And what that advocacy looks like is working with doctors, with HR professionals, with mental health providers to get them to think about how the services that they offer either serve or don't serve the diversity of people that they might have on their team or in their practice.
[00:25:28] Stefani: So I have consulted with HR managers about how to make poly friendly, um, health insurance policies or retirement planning or emergency things. I've worked with medical providers about how to do, you know, kink affirming risk assessments so that when they're evaluating their clients, so their patient safety and risk, they're doing that from an evidence-based non-stigmatizing sort of lens.
[00:25:57] Stefani: Um, that's been sort of the focus of my work is I, I have my clinical practice where I am very intentionally part-time in seeing a small handful of clients that fall into those categories. But the majority of my work at this point is writing and speaking and training other providers and usually fairly mainstream providers to get them to think more clearly about how the systems that they build.
[00:26:27] Stefani: Can serve people that maybe don't fit into the the fifties nuclear family ideal because frankly, none of us do and most of us didn't. Even in the fifties. So thinking about what does technology look like when it's sex positive and safe? What does HR look like when it's aware of different family styles and relationship structures?
[00:26:49] Stefani: What does healthcare look like if we are aware of those issues and, and having those conversations and just encouraging people to be a little bit more expansive in their idea of what's normal is kind of the theme of my work and my career.
[00:27:03] Chris: I love it!
[00:27:04] Zoe: Even though the kind of the way you've presented it is doesn't seem like it directly relates, it does quite heavily relate to what I do because I try to create diverse teams.
[00:27:14] Zoe: And having a diverse team doesn't just mean hiring a diverse team. It means also supporting a diverse team. And that can be diversity in gender, which I know is talked about a lot. But it also is diversity and skillset, and even talking about, uh, neurodiverse people, especially in a technology career. So I think that topic is really important, is having that upfront conversation of, well, how do I approach this and what the comment I made earlier about the unconscious bias.
[00:27:44] Zoe: I think if you take that training, cuz I know that I've had two careers that, uh, two, sorry, two jobs that have provided me with unconscious bias training and the biggest outcome of those where I felt it made me a better person just in general, but it also made my ability to manage much more. Easy because I've recognized the places that I've not been so good at in the past.
[00:28:07] Zoe: And, uh, I think the point you make is building those bridges is you have to know where you are struggling and maybe not seeing, and then how can you make it inclusive for people that don't think the way you think or don't react the way you react or. do their workflows the way that you do your workflows, especially when it comes to security.
[00:28:28] Zoe: If I wanna implement controls, I need to understand how people are working because if I implement something that makes them not be able to work, they'll just go around it. So I really like that pointy rate actually. That's really good. I have a lot of homework to do from this, uh, . That's for.
[00:28:45] Zoe: Unfortunately we're outta time.
[00:28:47] Zoe: It was lovely chatting with you, Stephanie, and all of the advice you gave is actually really, really helpful and I'm going to take notes and properly re-listen to this . But um, before we go, is there any last projects that you have ongoing that you may think would be useful to the imposter syndrome network to look?
[00:29:07] Stefani: Yeah, absolutely. Um, my, my darling husband and I Wolf Georlich are organizing, well, we do a weekly podcast called the Securing Sexuality Podcast. It focuses on the intersection of intimacy issues and technology issues. And how those two interact and connect in ways that most people don't think about until they start listening and it's rather fun.
[00:29:31] Stefani: And then as an extension of that, we are actually going to be doing a live conference in October, 2023. So, um, tickets will go on sale for that shortly. It is going to be amazing two days. Of mental health technology and intimacy conversations in downtown Detroit, which is an amazing place that people haven't been.
[00:29:54] Stefani: Um, and those are sort of the ongoing things that, that I am up to these days other than, you know, therapy and writing. But neither of those are as immediate as the podcast or the conference.
[00:30:07] Zoe: I will say though, you do write very quickly. So when it comes to immediate, um, you obviously write an entire book in how many months? That's wonderful. I'm actually really excited about that conference and I've actually really enjoyed your podcast as well.
[00:30:22] Zoe: Last question before we go is, what do you do when you feel imposter kicking in? Because I do know that you've had quite a big career already, but then also the being an author, your podcast, your conference, is there a time that you feel overwhelmed and how do you deal with that?
[00:30:40] Stefani: Oh, for sure, for sure. I have a book coming out actually also probably next October and two more on, on deck after that, and it does feel overwhelming at times. I will say that what I do is the trick I actually learned years ago from actually a manager that I had and not a particularly good manager.
[00:31:02] Stefani: Speaking of conversa... you know, we can learn things from bad managers. This is a great example of that cause she was a terrible manager. But she kept what she called her fridge file. If you think about like when your kids come home from kindergarten and they have like the, the little like line drawing that they made that you can't really make out what it is, but they're super proud and you throw it up in the fridge and you show it to everybody.
[00:31:24] Stefani: She kept her own personal fridge file where anytime somebody said something kind, if somebody posted, you know, a review on the company website, if somebody. Wrote her a note. If she got recognized for anything, she would throw it in the file. And then on bad days or days when imposter syndrome was kicking in, or days when it just felt like nothing that we were doing was being effective, she would go into her office on lunch and pull that out and flip through it and be reminded of the impact that she had had.
[00:31:55] Stefani: And I thought that was brilliant. And so I started doing that when I started doing direct service work right before grad. Whenever I got a note from a client or whenever somebody said that I had made a difference for them, I would stick it in a manila folder. And so now, you know, I have book reviews that go there.
[00:32:13] Stefani: I have kind words from clients, uh, text messages that clients have sent me long after they've ended therapy to let me know that their lives are going well. And so when I feel. The imposter syndrome or when I wonder if I should be doing the work that I do, I have that sort of refrigerator I can go and look at and, and admire my little kindergarten sketches of work that I did at the time and see the impact that that had on people.
[00:32:38] Stefani: And that makes a world of difference.
[00:32:40] Zoe: Oh, that's fabulous. Thank you so much Stefani. And, um, looking forward to the upcoming conference and obviously ongoing podcasting and books. For anybody in the imposter syndrome network that wants to reach out to you, what's the best channel to connect with you on?
[00:32:57] Stefani: So I have been on Twitter, but Twitter is a burning hellfire right now. So let's avoid Twitter. The best way to reach me is through my website, bound Together counseling dot. If you go to the conference website, securing sexuality.com, that will go through a couple of people, but eventually it would get to me as well.
[00:33:20] Stefani: So those are the two best ways to reach me until social media decides to settle down and get itself in order again.
[00:33:28] Zoe: Wonderful. We'll have a link in the description. Thanks so much.
[00:33:31] Stefani: Thank you for having me.