EP 47: Creating Space for Others with Jen Zahari

Creating Space for Others

Oftentimes, organizations forget to ensure their employees feel listened to and heard. This leads to disengaged staff who feel as if their voices don’t matter and that the work they do for the company is not appreciated. So how do we express our gratitude for our employees and make sure that we understand their wants and needs? Jen Zahari will be joining the show to answer this question and more as we continue our conversation on the topic of gratitude.

What You’ll Learn In Today’s Episode

  • How to create space for others. (2:34)
  • How to handle relationships with people who spark us emotionally. (5:30)
  • The best way to approach conversations with people you do not agree with. (14:00)

Actionable Takeaway for HR Professionals and Executives

  • See and understand the other person you are speaking with. (12:56)

Ideas Worth Sharing

“The best way to understand people is to get curious about them.” - Jen Zahari Click To Tweet

Resources In Today’s Episode

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Click Here for Audio Transcript

Traci Scherck: Welcome to talent optimization and happy thanksgiving we are so thrilled.

Traci Scherck: that you are here with us on this day of gratitude.

Traci Scherck: And all of the amazing things that we have to be thankful for, so I hope that whether you’re listening to this.

Traci Scherck: You know before your thanksgiving dinner I know we’re going to go do that Turkey trot this morning it’s one of those things that fills us up.

Traci Scherck: Before we had to our family breakfast, so I hope, whatever, that is, I just want to thank you for what you do and how you show up at home and at work and everything that you’re doing.

Traci Scherck: And we are thrilled to introduce this morning Jen Zahari and Jen is joining us to chat a little bit about.

Traci Scherck: You know how we show gratitude to others.

Traci Scherck: And how that impacts, how we show up so Jen welcome.

Jen Zahari: hi Tracy Thank you so much for having me and everyone, thank you for being here and happy thanksgiving, I hope, wherever you’re at today you take some time with WHO you’re with, whether that be family or friends or whoever else is in your sphere to really.

Jen Zahari: appreciate one another and take some time to get to know where each other’s at it’s been it’s been a quite the interesting last couple of years and now it’s the perfect moment and the perfect day.

Jen Zahari: to appreciate each other.

Traci Scherck: yeah absolutely and it’s so interesting, so I was having a conversation with.

Traci Scherck: My kiddos and I will name that we record this a couple weeks ahead of time right so having a conversation with my kiddos on the way to school this morning and I have teenagers right now and they’re in their teenager ness.

Traci Scherck: yeah.

Traci Scherck: Right, and so I think that there’s times, where we need to you know, one of those best gifts of gratitude is creating the space for another and i’m so curious Jen, how do you do that.

Jen Zahari: How do I create space for another.

Jen Zahari: yeah So how do I create space I.

Jen Zahari: i’m going to acknowledge myself to say, I have a natural gift for listening and a natural knowing this for wanting to I have a curious about people I just i’m so curious about what people enjoy and what makes them tick and what that thing is that lights them up.

Jen Zahari: And for me, the best way to understand people is to get curious about them genuine curiosity about who they are, what they love, what makes them tick what makes them happy and, for me, and doing so.

Jen Zahari: oftentimes people don’t feel heard they don’t feel understood they don’t feel fully listened to.

Jen Zahari: And when you get curious, and when you turn your own.

Jen Zahari: needs off and you put your needs in the in the eyes of someone else it’s so enlightening and for me it’s certainly growing in in human behavior and understanding how people work and think.

Traci Scherck: awesome so i’m going to repeat back what I heard you say so that our listeners have Okay, if I want to hold space for someone here’s kind of those three steps that I can do it in.

Traci Scherck: And that that first thing that I heard you say is when we want to get really curious about that other person, we need to start thinking about what is it that they need.

Traci Scherck: And that stopped doing as all right, I need to stop thinking about what I need for a second and really focus on what do they need, and I can get there through being really curious.

Jen Zahari: At yes on all accounts.

Traci Scherck: All right, did I miss anything.

Jen Zahari: No, I, as I.

Jen Zahari: Think, and as I put space to how I show up for other people, it is, and again What a beautiful day to be airing the show Tracy is it is appreciation for that person that’s in space with you it’s appreciation for.

Jen Zahari: who they are, as a person

Traci Scherck: yeah absolutely that that appreciation, you know it’s one of those things that I think is really important, and i’ve been having a lot of conversations with folks.

Traci Scherck: About this, and that is, you know whether it’s workplace or at home is you know there’s just certain people I don’t really want to be around so.

Traci Scherck: You know, not only have we had a lot of stress that has come over the last two years, as you talked about, but the state of gratitude for so many folks is so incredibly stressful.

Traci Scherck: And you know as we celebrate the amazing things that come from thanksgiving and all the things that we’re grateful for, and as we start to close out another year, and hopefully we’re closing out this pandemic great um.

Traci Scherck: You know what are some of those kind of key.

Traci Scherck: Things that you see in the work with your clients specifically on anxiety and mental health that can really support some of our listeners as they’re walking into maybe a Turkey dinner that they’re not really thrilled about sitting next to aunt Sally.

Jen Zahari: yeah there were so many.

Jen Zahari: I heard a couple things in there Tracy and definitely several that I want to come back to and dial into.

Jen Zahari: One of the things you mentioned is those people that what I define as those people that spark us emotionally, for some reason right.

Jen Zahari: Those people that we have in our lives, maybe at work, maybe at home, maybe family, maybe.

Jen Zahari: relationships that you’re you have part of your group that you more mesh with and part of your group that will you don’t mesh with as well right but everyone’s together so so we get those get togethers and the first thing that I look at that, for that is knowing you.

Jen Zahari: When you’re the best way that you can get to be able to understand others is to get to know how you respond and why you respond to certain things.

Jen Zahari: That show up in those conversations that that thing that triggers you quote unquote listeners you can’t see me but i’m quoting myself right now.

Jen Zahari: Those things that trigger you to say wow that person is this right, and then we put a label on it, I feel this way because of this person.

Jen Zahari: And if we strip that down and it’s not that person’s fault you’re feeling this way you’re feeling this way for a certain reason.

Jen Zahari: And if you take a look at why am I, what is what is it about this conversation that’s getting me emotionally right now, and if you take a look at that oftentimes you can you can break that out and not be as sparked by another person.

Jen Zahari: On the other side, I can tell you that I am a firm believer that every human is amazing in their own right, every person is different in their own right.

Jen Zahari: And sometimes your personality just doesn’t fit with someone else’s personality and that doesn’t mean that either side is more right or more wrong, it just means that two people.

Jen Zahari: Maybe don’t belong together right and sometimes we can’t avoid those relationships again coming back to what I said earlier in the work environment, sometimes we have to work with certain people and in the family environment that’s family and sometimes we just.

Jen Zahari: it’s who is who were brought into families with and for both circumstances, what I recommend first for work is.

Jen Zahari: Look, for what you can give appreciation to that person for find their gifts get outside of your own self for a minute and say Okay, I have to work with this person.

Jen Zahari: How can I appreciate their skill set and how they’re different than me and what boundaries, can I put up for myself in this situation to.

Jen Zahari: work with them in a way that complements both of us, and at times that could be a shared conversation, it could be a conversation between the two of you.

Jen Zahari: To say Okay, we spark each other, we may be that don’t necessarily get along as well as we could, how can we work in a way that honors who both of us are.

Jen Zahari: And from a family setting, I have to tell you that sometimes we need to just set boundaries, with certain family members.

Jen Zahari: And when we’re when we’re in a position, like thanksgiving again I come back to what I said earlier, of giving thanks and appreciation to who that person is and honoring that we don’t know necessarily what they have going on in their health or mind.

Jen Zahari: But also, if we have to just limit the amount of time we get with them well we’re at family events that’s something that may need to occur as well.

Traci Scherck: yeah I love that and I think i’m and I know were on audio versus video, but I have this plate in my office, it says, I wonder what’s on their plate that I don’t yet know about right.

Traci Scherck: You know that sparking that curious question which we chatted a little bit about earlier and then that other side of that is really looking at and say you know what, which is what you just said regarding.

Traci Scherck: How can we honor them for who they are, you know, one of the things that comes up so frequently is our family is.

Traci Scherck: go from you know far far far left politically to far far far far right, politically and you know, knowing that.

Traci Scherck: is all right so regardless of where anyone’s had, how do we ensure that we keep on a conversation that is truly about.

Traci Scherck: You know that that grace and that appreciation for that person and one of those.

Traci Scherck: Things you know that there’s kind of three steps that i’ve learned and One of those is very specifically, you know honoring them for the passion that they have you know man, I am so grateful for the passion, you have on this topic.

Traci Scherck: Thank you for that, and then we can move on, I don’t have to agree with them, but I can appreciate for them them for who they are, and cut it off there and that’s also setting those boundaries.


Jen Zahari: Tracy you hit on another important point, and I call it the.

Jen Zahari: Everyone has choice you know the the last couple years I think has really proven to a lot of people.

Jen Zahari: And unfortunately, I think the last couple of years has separated people in a way that we’ve not been separated before because of that choice conversation.

Jen Zahari: And if we can come back and start bringing that back to say, everyone has their own choice for what they choose on so many different levels and I we won’t talk about any of those but.

Jen Zahari: If we honor that choice and we honor that person’s choice and appreciate them, for you have full ability to make your choice.

Jen Zahari: i’m asking for the same respect inability to be honored for mine, it would solve so many things, and the interesting thing about the last couple years I think again is proven is.

Jen Zahari: Emotions can get in the way and physiology can get in the way and the things that show up for us those ways can slow down the ability for people to be able to be mindful to say none at all that’s their choice I don’t I don’t have to engage in it, if I don’t want to.

Jen Zahari: And i’m gonna actually now take that another step further and saying.

Jen Zahari: In those moments if you’re with your family and, as you really just want to slow down and appreciate and be thankful, if you find yourself in that state of getting heightened emotionally.

Jen Zahari: Or if you find yourself in that point of feeling anxious or panicky moment in in today on this really important thankful day just breathe just take a minute and take 10 deep breaths reset your nervous system, remind yourself of.

Jen Zahari: The ability and the chance that you have to appreciate and be thankful and give gratitude to everyone in your presence, even if you’re not necessarily on the same line with them in certain respects of politics or covid or whatever it is.

Traci Scherck: awesome Thank you so much for that so as we kind of start to close here today and wish everyone an amazing thanksgiving day what’s kind of one key takeaway that you have for our listeners.

Jen Zahari: One key takeaway as it relates to gratitude and appreciation.

Jen Zahari: and

Jen Zahari: If I had a name one, it would be real and we’ve mentioned it it’s really seeing and understanding that other person.

Jen Zahari: it’s seeing and understanding, who they are, and what they like and what’s important to them.

Jen Zahari: And if that’s all we did, it would it would change so many things, not just today and for all of us, but as communities and in the bigger scheme of things.

Traci Scherck: awesome Jen Thank you so much for chatting with us today, as we head into a beautiful thanksgiving day.

Traci Scherck: And we wish you all a fantastic thanksgiving weekend and thank you for what you do every single day, both in the workplace in your families and in your communities, and with that happy thanksgiving.

Jen Zahari: Happy thanksgiving everyone, thank you.