Flip stereotypes and obstacles in your favor. Find and create your unique edge.
Laura Huang is an associate professor of business administration at Harvard Business School. Prior to joining HBS, she was an assistant professor of management at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Her research has been featured in The Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Forbes and Nature. She has won a number of awards for her research, including a 2016 Kauffman Foundation Fellowship and was named one of the 40 Best Business School Professors Under the Age of 40 by Poets & Quants. Her speaking and consulting clients include Google, Uber, Blackrock, Eldridge Industries, Keystone, Bionic and the Level Playing Field Institute.
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Episode 20 on Turning Adversity Into Advantage Welcome to Brave by design. I'm your host. LL ORACLE, Ill. I'm an entrepreneur, coach and speaker. I love thinking big, exploring the power of personal development and sharing the best strategies from about leaders and pioneers and business to empower ambitious women and allies to bravely rise and thrive. Let's get started. Everyone. Welcome to this episode of Brave by design. I am so excited for today's guest one because she's called Laura and she's the first Laura we've had on the show onto. Her name is she's wildly accomplished. I can't wait to talk about her book first, let me tell you who this is. Laura Huang is an associate professor off business administration at Harvard Business School. OMG all right, She didn't write that in her bio. I just inserted that. Prior to joining HBs. She was an assistant professor of management at the Wharton School University of Pennsylvania. Her research has been featured in the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Forbes and Nature. She has won a number of awards for her research, including a 2016 Kauffman Foundation fellowship, and was named one of the 40 best business school professors under the age of four day by poets and quants. Holy Toledo. Her speaking and consulting clients include Google Uber, BlackRock, Eldridge Industries, Keystone, Bionic and the level playing Field Institute. Her newest book. Or maybe your first book, Laura, I need to ask you this is called EJ turning adversity into advantage.
Laura gonna break by design. Thank you so much. What an introduction. And I love you. You're the first person I've been interviewed by whose name is Laura as well. So this is quite a joy for me.
I, you know, just based on what we were talking about in the pre interview or the pre show chat. I am so excited to have you here now. Laura, is this your first book? I think it ISS
is This is my first book. Hopefully, it's not my last, but it is my first book.
Okay. Excellent. Um, I read the book. I love it. I want I want, um, read sort of one of the little blurbs I got. So people understand what this is about. In edge, you are argue that success is rarely just about the quality of our ideas. Credentials and skills or effort. Instead, achieving success hinges on how well we shape others perceptions of our strengths, but certainly also are flaws. And that is fascinating because we ed having an edge. It seems like such an elusive trait that we have a hard time kneeling down. And what I'd love to do is start this episode off by you telling us what inspired you to write edge.
Yeah. I mean, there were really two big things that inspire me. I mean, one was something that I was just seeing in, you know, friends and family and those around me. And then the second was sort of at the same time. What I was doing in my career and in terms of my research, I mean, so the first was really this. I was just realizing and noticing. And we all sort of understand that some people naturally have an advantage, right when we admit this to ourselves, way realize. Yes, some people naturally have an advantage, and a lot of times sometimes that maybe us, but in many situations, we're not the ones who have an advantage end. We're taught from this really young age that success is about hard work, right hard work, that the success in outcomes will result. But, you know, hard work is critical. Wait, We realize that hard work alone is not enough. Oftentimes we put in that hard work and we're still left frustrated. And that's because a lot of the outcomes are determined by things like signals and perceptions in stereotypes of others. And so this book is really I wrote it because I wanted to empower people to understand and realize that we conflict stereotypes and obstacles in our favor that we can find and create our own edge. So it was sort of this aspect of, you know, people who have been seeing including myself, that we're running into the same wall over and over and over again, that we're putting in the hard work, but that those outcomes weren't resulting Europe. Yeah, because
you must be living this work if you're doing it. And so how did you create that edge for yourself based on? I'm sure there's certain perceptions and biases about you. Certainly. I mean, we can both both agree on being a woman. There are certain things that we're faced with, and certainly many others for someone in academia.
Yeah. I mean, I definitely don't sit. What? People? When people When I say picture, you know, picture a Harvard Business School professor, right? I'm definitely not what people would picture. I don't fit that mold. So there's absolutely that. But all through my life, I had I've been that right in terms of, like, things that I like writing a book and and presenting and all of these everything that I you know it all through my life. But it even started before before I I recognize, You know, I saw my parents, both my parents, when I was young, getting, you know, denied, um, from denied for promotion after promotion after promotion. Really remember? Yeah. I remember my dad at one point on the child of immigrants, both my parents immigrated to this country, and I remember asking my dad at one point when he had gotten you got denied for this one promotion and the person who had gotten promoted over him, who ended up becoming his boss. My dad was actually doing that person's job for him because that person wasn't actually qualified to be doing that job. And I said, you know why. I didn't think it was that you didn't get that promotion and he said, I don't know. You know, it's probably because of my accent or the way I communicate or something like that, you know, And, you know, way later, and in my research I studied disadvantage people who are underestimated inequality. And one of the first things I studied was accent and found that the perceptions we have about people with things like accent or how they communicate or the words they use or how they look with their gender, their race or their ethnicity or religion or class or whatever it may be that those really impacts the the outcomes on DSO. It sort of got depressing that I kept seeing all these negative disparities based on on people's perceptions in stereotypes, and people would ask me like, What can we do about this? Other strategies are their tactics. How can we level the playing field? And so this book was really about that you know, strategies, how to use tactics about how we can slip those things in our favor.
You well, you know, first I want to say that's so interesting. Both of my parents are immigrants, a cz well in. My dad always said he also kind of hit the ceiling in corporate America. And when you asked him why, he said, Well, you know, they just hire white men for those jobs and it was just kind of like he was very resigned. Well, you know, that's just kind of how it is here, and I don't know if your family felt that way, but I think for certain generations they felt like, Well, I'm just happy to be
here. That's right. That's right, that this is like the tax that I pay for being allowed to be in this country, that you know that I've gone as far as I can go. And I'm going to be happy with that because this is way farther than I would have gone. And in some ways, you know, that's in some ways. I really respect that opinion, but in other ways it really makes me sad as well, because there's so much opportunity and it's not a you know, it's it's not sort of, ah, one of those things where where you have to necessarily just be okay with that. There are ways that you can continue to stay true to yourself and stay true to others while still creating your edge.
And this is one thing I love. You have a whole section in the book called Make Your Own Privilege. Men. Boy, when I read that, I got, like, shivers, I was like, Oh, my gosh, I don't know if people reading that are gonna find that to be a controversial um, point, but I find it incredibly empowering. Tell us about what do you mean by making
Yeah, totally. It's controversial because the word privilege is so mode. It's loaded. Yeah, we see the word privilege and we think unfair advantage. Right? And it's that unfair peace. It's that people who have privilege have gone an advantage because of something because of something that feels unfair. But you know, when other people have an advantage, are given their position of privilege. We can react, we can. We can in turn make our own privilege. We can create our own advantages, and it doesn't have to be something that is inauthentic or manipulative or overly strategic. It's really about the fact that we don't always have the opportunity. The biases others have against us sometimes don't afford us that opportunity. And so when we're able to operate and show who we authentically are even within an in perfect system, that's what we're essentially late, leveling the playing field and making that privilege for ourselves.
You have a quote. You say you are dealt the hand that you're dealt, but you get to be the one to play it. There is nothing in authentic in being dealt a hand and then deciding that you're not going to let others tell you it's a weak hand.
That's right, way often. You know, when we think about advantage and disadvantage and privilege and meritocracy, even that when we this myth of meritocracy is that we're allowing the social structures or we're allowing, you know, our social embedded nous to say, you know you have a weak hand, so this is all you're allowed to achieve, right? And you just think about your parents and my parents and how they've kind of talked out and where that potential is. But why why are we letting other people tell us that the hand we've been dealt is not a good hand? What do you know we should be able to play that hand and make it the best for ourselves.
And so what you're saying, just to be clear, is we're not denying the challenges that certain groups or classes may face. We're saying no. Yeah, you do faces challenges. But also you have some roller responsibility to create your own advantages. Um, in the system.
Yeah, because the thing is, we have to assume that the system is not going to change. I mean, we know that the system is in perfect. We know that it's broken in lots of different ways. We know that there's not a meritocracy, and we've been talking about these things for a really long time. And so even if the system does change, why should we wait around for to change? And, you know, we need to confront it as it is, because sometimes it's gonna change. But it's more slowly than we needed to, or sometimes it's gonna change. But not in the ways that we intended it. And so even within a system that's that mayor may not be changing. We need to be able to confront it, empower ourselves from with
I absolutely love it and then the rest of the book guys is how to do that. And we're about to dig into it because Laura identifies four areas of focus to enrich, delight, guide an effort we're going to get into them. But first I want to say something that you mentioned. I think it's in the first couple of chapters. You say that there are two things that people under estimate. Uh, can you tell us what those are?
Yeah. So I mean, the two things that people underestimate is that in order to achieve success, the first is that you need to provide value. You need to enrich others and provide value. The second piece is that other people have to recognize that as well. Other people need to believe that you're going to enrich and provide value. And the issue is, Is there an and in between those two statements that we provide value and other people see that, or is there a or provide value or other people see us is providing value. And the thing is, there some people who Onley fulfill that 2nd 1 they're really good at convincing people that they provide value when they don't actually have the goods to back it up. That would be like a phony. Yeah, and other people have the goods, but they don't ever get the opportunity to show that they dio
right and Oh, sorry. Go ahead.
Lawrence was so critical to be able to understand how those two go hand in hand together.
Um, you know, that reminds me of my days when I was in advertising. And you would, um, you'd have a really big client walk into an ad meeting an ad agency meeting. And what would happen is for the that meeting. If they're trying to woo the clients, they would, you know, they'd pull out the janitor, they'd pull out the person making the coffee, the receptionist, everyone they throw them in a room to show them. Hey, this is your team. And then once thes people got hired or once the company came on as a client, you know, you really just had one person working the account primarily, or a couple of people working the account generally, very junior. There's kind of like this major like perception, um, of like, the value they wanted to show you versus the reality of what you actually got. I hate I hate to break that news to people who are in advertising or looking for an agency, but, um, that's how it goes. So sorry. Sorry to just say, you know, explain agency life, but we see that a lot with stirred in industries but talking about individuals. Now tell us you start the book off with this absolutely wild story about Elon Musk.
What is that about? Yeah, so, you know, I, um I serendipitously had this meeting with Ellen. So a friend of mine, actually, no big deal, Laura. Yeah. No, no. I actually have a friend of mine. Yeah. I mean, that's a whole nother story in of itself. But a friend of mine had gotten this meeting with you on because, um, you know, so is this friend of mine had gone this meeting with Ellen and invited me along because they were going to be talking about the private space industry on at the time. I was doing some research on the emergence of private space. So, you know, sending people up in space shuttles and you want, of course, founded stay sex, which is a company that does that. And so way had scheduled this meeting. We're ready to go. And we this friend of mine and I had prepared tremendously for this meeting. We had done our research. We had we knew everything about Space six. We knew everything about Tesla. We know everything about all of Ellen mosques, cos we knew everything about him. Um, way had, you know, suggestions for his company's. We had ways that we were gonna provide value and give him suggestions and advice and anything that he was want willing to take. We just wanted to have this really interesting discussion about about his company. Um, we had even prepared a gift for him. Like that's how you know, cause I'm Asia and we go in. We always bring a gift for people. So this was, you know, we we were ready to go and we show up in his office. Um, and within 30 seconds, the first thing he said to me, actually, before I even said a word, he said no. He looked at me and he's like, want Yeah, you look to me and was like, No, get out of my office. I was like, I e I had not said anything at this point. You just walked in. I had just walked in and he was like, No, get out of my office. I visit, I'm standing there and I'm like, What? You know, in that that stunned moment where I was like, I don't know what I'm supposed to do here, like, am I supposed to like thank him for his time? Because he really didn't give me any time. My son just turned around and like me. I didn't know what to do. Some stunned. And I just start laughing. Um, because I was nervous. And when I'm nervous, I sort of started yeo wool and laugh. And, um so I sort of like laughing and giggling and, you know, just for a second, because I was so stunned. And then he looks at me and he was, like, stunned and start laughing, laughing at each other. I have no idea why he started laughing, but I think it's because, you know, he is not often that he has, like, this young female, you know, young Asian female, standing in front of him, laughing in his face. And so he's like laughing back at me. because he was probably not sure what to do, either. And then, as he's laughing, I realized he wasn't actually looking at me, but he was looking at the gift that I was holding. And this gift, it was an unwrapped gift. Um, and I realized that he thought it was a product prototype and that we were entrepreneurs trying to pitch him on. And I realized in that moment, not only does he think we're entrepreneurs and we're trying to pitch him that, like, this is a man whose default answer has to be no. Like he's getting asked for things all the time for money, for introductions, for tons of things. And so I sore spot her out of my last year like, Oh, you think are entrepreneurs. And he's like, you know, in his last he's like, aren't you? Don't like No, no. You think we want your money and he's like, don't you? I don't like what, like you have money or something. Who are you? You on who? Yeah, so he starts. You know, he laughed even harder at that point, and then he's like, Oh, please come into my office. Wow, you know and he invites us into his office. And the the amazing thing is, we had we had just this amazing conversation, and by the end of the conversation, he was offering us the very things that he thought we were asking for in the beginning. Like he was offering, like introductions to people he knew and giving us, like, leads to things. And, you know, we have this really amazing conversation and, you know, and I this story, I tell it because, you know, we we faced, like, this man saying no to us. One of the richest men in the United States and the nation like looking at me and say no, get out of my office. But somehow we were still able to gain an edge over him and still show him the value that we could provide.
Wow, that is, you know, that's so powerful. Especially in light of everything you talk about in the book. Because it seems like you had used those sort of four pillars that you talk about in gaining an edge, at least in that initial, um, way of sort of, uh, helping his defenses.
Yeah, a little bit. Yeah, There's this four pillars Write The book is about How do you How do you own your own edge, Right? How do you own your edge? But EJ actually stands for those four pillars like the E d g E stands for the E s for in Rich right? And that's what we talked a little bit about already. You know, you know, how do you How do you enrich? How do you provide value in different situations? How do you know that? How do you know how you enrich in different situations? Because you're gonna provide value differently based on the context where the industry or the people that you're with on the problem is that all stood. We don't have the opportunity to show others how we enrich and provide value. Just like I wasn't able to do with Ellen because he immediately said, No, you get out of my office. We didn't have that opportunity. The D is for delight when you're able to delight your counterpart like we were able to do with Ilan. That's the equivalent of cracking open that door where they're like OK, come into my office and then we then have the platform of the canvas from which we can then show how we enrich and provide value. The G is for guide, which is that even asked her. If you're starting to show how you enrich and that you've delighted, you need to continue to guide guiding people's perceptions of who you are, guidance, people's perceptions of your trajectory and where you're going are guiding Ilan to the fact that we weren't entrepreneurs, and instead we were. We were people who could really and, you know, who could really tell him something about his business that could provide value. And so we need to be able to redirect those stereotypes, redirect those things, those those the things that people are seeing as our weaknesses but are really are underestimated. Stress, for example, on. And then the final E is for effort, effort and hard work, which is that we often think that hard work comes first, that if it wasn't that hard work that it will speak for itself. But if that's hard, work comes last, because when you know how you enrich and delight and guide, that's where you're creating circumstances where your hardwood works harder for you. That's where you're creating those tail winds. Um, that that help you make that hard work for Carter?
I hope everyone just heard that. What? Laura said hard work comes last. There are so many women. And I know that you know this A lot of the research shows that women are really focused on thing. If I do enough, if I work hard enough, I will get recognized for it. But remember those steps that Laura talked about delighting, enriching and guiding so that when you do that hard work, it can be appreciated. Otherwise, we do hard work, we over specialize, and then women are actually I'm not getting a leg up because they kind of get like, put in a lane.
Yeah, and we get burnt towel and totally we get burned out, we start believing things like, you know, put in twice the heart twice the amount of work for half the benefit, twice the amount of hard work for half the profits, half the you know, the outcomes, which, yes, that is true. But why not put in all of that hard work so that you create tail wins for yourself? That it works even harder for you? So love it. So there's, you know, there's two aspects of because, you know, hard work. It is critical. I would never say that hard work is not critical, but hard work alone is not enough. It's going to leave us burned out and frustrated and and feeling like there could have been more
Laura. You talk about delight and you say, um, the crux of delight. And the component that most people miss is the element of surprise. Yep. Tell me what that means. Do I need to go and jump out of a cake? I will go get a cake right now. I will jump out at you. Tell me, Laura, what do we need to do?
Well, that would definitely surprise people notice. But I'm not sure that that's exactly, you know, encompassing what you would need to do to really delight and surprise others. Although it certainly could be something we try. But I know I think you know that delight. You know, delight again. It's really about like, you know, it doesn't matter if it's someone you've just met or somebody you've known for 10 years for 20 years. For some reason you're getting written off for some reason they are not paying attention or the odds are stacked against you or you're not getting the opportunity. And so delight is about showing them some element of yourself off the situation of the context of anything that allows them to kind of pause just for a second and be like, Huh? I didn't think of it that way because that when they do that, they're going to then ask questions. They're gonna ask follow up questions or they're gonna engage in more conversation with you. Then they would have or they're going to allow you to then have the opportunity to show It's just cracking that door open. And the ways that you do that is by showing is by surprising them in some way or doing something that's slightly counterintuitive. That's unexpected. Um, you know, and this is a hard sort of thing to understand because it's so contextual and it's still individual as well. It really depends on who you are and how others have seen you. So a big component of of gaining an edge is about really understanding how you're being perceived by others, really having that, that that that sense that e cute and know how do others perceive me and where they perceiving me correctly and where they perceiving me incorrectly. And so a lot of what I talk about in the book as well as the companion guide that I have, which I'm happy to kind of share. Well, coolest, there's lots of sort of strategies And how to use about how do you have a home, that ability? How do you hold the ability so that people can see, um can understand more clearly and were accurately how others are perceiving are perceiving us. So, you know, that's that's all that all goes into, um, delight. But one of the things I always tell people when they're like Okay, but what does it feel like, Lee? What am I trying to get people to see? Oh, and one of the ways that explain this is, you know, think about the very first time that you wrote in an uber. Yeah, Okay, so put aside all the other stuff that happened with uber, right? Like put aside like the management issues and sexual harassment and all that way was Think about that right now. Yeah, I don't think about it. just think about the very first time you were riding in poop. It was this feeling of like, as soon as you got into that Gruber very quickly. You're like, Whoa, what is happening? Like I'm not in a taxi. I'm in some stranger's car. Yes, it is, like really sort of like I feel like this is just different. Like they just Then they're gonna know where to take me. I don't hand over any money. This is simultaneously really frightening because I don't know who this person is, and I'm in their private car. It's all of these sort of emotions that are getting you to sit up and take notice. You're sort of like, Whoa, and when you're able to get that sort of reaction out of somebody for good or for bad, right, either that this is terrifying. I'm in somebody's car or this is really, really interesting, Like what's happening here is that feeling of like, something's different here. Something's different, and I want to know more.
I love that now. That's a great example of uber on a really large scale. Okay, that that they completely created a new sort of class of taxi cabs, so to speak. Yeah, um, on a very micro level, you tell a story that I loved because we can all implement this today. Well, it's not in the exact same way, but you tell this story about a man named Osama Amara, and he is trying to raise money for a company and tell us about the very surprising way he found an investor.
Eso Osama is just such an amazing, amazing person. And he started this company that, um where there was a couple of investors who were the perfect investors for this company. Like he knew that he was going thio make them a lot of money. He knew that they were able to that there was gonna be this very reciprocal relationship that, um there was people in their networks that he needed, that he had this ability to enrich what they were doing. Um and so he reached out to to these investors, one investor in particular, he was like, This is this is the person that I have to meet. I have toe have conversations with I have to partner with, um and this person was just totally blowing him off, like was not answering his e mails any time he reached out to him or tried to meet with him in person. Like he just got thwarted in all of his sort of effort. And yeah, And one day, um, his his fiancee came home, um, and was actually, I think he was. She was his girlfriend into time, but his girlfriend came home and she was, like, at a networking event. And she was like, Yeah, I met this guy and he was just like, really, you know, he was just sort of starting to get on my nerves and, like, you know, but whatever. And so she's like and even, like, made me take his business card. And so So he was She was like, he was hitting on me and, like, whatever. So of so she Huh? So he looks at the business card, and he realized that it was that investor Oh, my God. And so he looks at and he goes, invite him to dinner. And she was like, What's this? Is that guy that was like trying to hit on me. You want me to invite him to didn't invite him to dinner, so she invites them to dinner and he shows up at their house. Oh my, um, with a bottle of wine and flowers and opens the door. Oh, hey was like and the investor of recognized his face like this was the entrepreneur that he was trying to dodge, and he was like, Wait. And he was like, I believe you have dinner plans with my my girlfriend's mom. And so the guy was like, Stunned. You know, that's the sort of like it's delight, but it's it's a different, like delight can come in lots of different forms. But that's that element of surprise. And, um, you know, it could be anything from like me making Ellen laugh, too. You know, Osama, like stunning this investor, and he invites the investor in, and the investor has this amazing time realizes how bright and smart and charismatic Osama is invest in Osama's company. And to this day, it's one of the investors that has stayed with Osama's. They're all of his different companies, is one of his biggest mentors on, and they just have this, like, amazing relationship
that is so incredible. And there are so many things I just want to briefly pull out of there one. Osama was not afraid to do something that most of us would be scared to dio that it's scary for people similar to you going into Elon Musk office, him saying no. And you didn't just run out. Oh,
yeah? What exercises? You know, when I talk about, like, how do you actually hold this? How do you actually hold your ability to know how others perceive you and delights, um and and be able to sort of improvised in the way that you delight? I do this exercise with my students, of which is called the 10 knows Exercise, and this is something that anyone can try. This is one of the things that I talk about in that companion guide, which is what my students have to do is over the course of a week, they need to get 10 people to say no to them, and it has to be a full No, it can't be a hedge. It can't be like, Yeah, I can see that, But I'll do it if you get that. You got to start all over, um, with somebody new with a different ask and what they need to do is at the end of that week. They need to document the 10 knows that they got what happened, and then they need to present it. Okay, Find is so fascinating because what happens is that we're so programmed as humans, as individuals, to want people to say yes to us. We're always trying to get people to like us, to agree with us, to say yes to us. Every time we have an interpersonal interaction with somebody, it's overwhelmingly about getting to a position of agreement. And yes, yep, when we when the assignment, when the students have permission to. In fact, they have to, in order to finish the Simon, get people to say no to them. They realize that it's sort of reprogramming them to think about other ways that they interact with others, how other people see them, how they're being perceived in different ways to different people because they're getting a different reaction than what they expected, or what they've always tried to dio. It also points out to them that people are much more willing to say yes. Then you think like even when you ask for things that you're almost positive people are going to say no to you and evidently will get a hedge or sometimes even a yes. And so it it also then it also sort of teaches, like, who is it as you're asking for yeses from Who is it that you're asking for nose from In which, when? What ways are you communicating? How are you trying to influence? How are you trying to commit? What words are you using with certain people or rather than other people? And it really hones that ability to see how you're being perceived, Um, and and how you how you delight in surprise people?
Well, that goes into the next section of the book around guiding. You write that self awareness is a sense of who we are, what we value and are inherent strengths. But gaining an edge requires knowledge of your inner self and how it interacts with the outer world. How people perceive us. And we get that, as I'm hearing you say through experiencing it through trying it. And what are some of the other techniques? Weaken. I understand the better. Understand how people are seeing this?
Yeah, there's a couple things there. I mean the first thing that I talk about humbug. Well, I have one chapter where I basically insult everybody. Right? Say you're the stereotypes right here that you're the normal common stereotypes that we think about women of older employees, of people who are Russian or Japanese, or people who are Japanese and women and older, like I basically insult everybody. Yes, yes, yes. You remember the chapter fires? Yeah, I remember Yes. On DSO You know, what I talk about is that those stereotypes that provides, like, 80% of how others perceive us. But then there's 20%. That's that 20% extra is very, very critical because that's the individual piece based on what situation were in based on the context based on the industry based on lots of different things. So, for example, I you know Ronan Farrow is someone that I've talked to you about about this and Ronan Farrow. He's like the epitome of when you look at him and you know, his sort of you know who he is. He's the epitome of white CIS male privilege, Right? Like you, He's, he's, he's he's attractive and he's tall and he's Caucasian and his mail and he comes from, You know, he's the son of Mia Farrow. Um, but he says, you know, But this is where I talk about how everyone has something where Ronan Farrow he said to me, like when I walk into a room immediately, they they're gonna have perceptions of Mia's well and sometimes it's perceptions off. You don't deserve that Pulitzer Prize. He only got that Pulitzer because of who you are and who your mother is and who you know, your network of people, other times that you can't even write. I can't even believe that you're a writer. You only you know. And there's all of these sort of perceptions that that people have. So that's that 20% is understanding what the stereotypes that people have based on those visible and invisible characteristics. But then there's the 20% that's the new wants to sort of things. That's the part that we really need to hope, because a lot of times we sort of going with assumptions just on those stereotypes, and those can be wrong or misguided, um, or erroneous based on on what those situations are.
So Laura, what I hear you saying is diocese Go both ways, Media's We all have biases, and it's not just a quote unquote privileged people that have biases against un privileged people Or, you know, whatever it's everyone has biases, period. Like that's just the state of how we are Asuman beings.
Yeah, we I mean we because we don't have We're, like, cognitively not set up to be able to, you know, remember and keep each piece of information, so we need to rely on heuristics. There's a rational reason why we have heuristics and stereotypes the rational reasons around. You know that it helps us remember why we like starting breakfast cereals more than others and why we like to vacation and certain climates more than others within the use sort of these perceptions on these heuristics. But they can go wrong in lots of different instances in both directions. So understanding those perceptions and guiding those perceptions that others have about us and that we have about others is sewn for. The other piece of it is that it's not just about those like solitary, like this person seems hard working. This person seems trustworthy. This right, it's also the trajectory were very quickly making attributions about that person's background what they're doing now, what potential they have in the future. And that's something else that we need to be really careful about. Guiding that even if we had, you know, even if we might have come from a certain place that we can still guide people's perceptions around, you know? Look, look at the distance that I've traveled and that tells you something about how far I can still go. Yeah, Laura, that is fascinating. Yeah. Why? What? Oh, God, no.
What? One thing I want to ask you is how would you respond to? Um what we see today is a lot of this. People say, Well, you need to recognize your privilege. And when I hear that, sometimes I'm I get concerned that people are telling someone to sit down.
No, I think, Yeah. I mean, I think that's what that's what a lot of people are. That's the assumption. I think we're at us. You know what I what I often stay say, is that what I often say is that, um, there is, there's this There's this difference between what people are saying and what they intend to say way. We, um you know how many of us? I mean, we've all had this situation where we've said something. And then, like, a few minutes later, we're sort of like, Oh, I hope they didn't think I meant that. Yeah, that's totally not what I meant on. We didn't have that opportunity to sort of clarify and correct that perception. Um, you know, we do that with ourselves. We're like, Oh, we didn't mean that. But what we want to help other people when somebody else says something, we're not like, I wonder if they meant that for that. Let me clarify. So we have to be better about understanding what's the intent behind what someone said rather than just looking at the impact of what they said.
Laura, I love that boy. I mean, there is. We could just go on and on girlfriend I could talk to forever, but, um, I want to respect your time. So first, tell me, how can people learn more about you and find the book edge?
Yes. Oh, EJ is available. Um, you know, at on Amazon on audible. Although, if it's you, if you get the audible version, you unfortunately, have to listen to my voice for six hours, but it is available in awe unalterable on kindle on Amazon. Um or, you know, support your local booksellers. It's also available through Barnes and nobles in all of your local booksellers.
I love it. Laura, Thank you so much for telling us how we can begin to gain an edge. Guys, this book is absolutely phenomenal. We have barely scratched the surface in this discussion. And can you see how rich it is
here? I should also mention, you know, people can go Thio. They could take a quiz. I haven't acquitted. You can take a quiz to see how equipped are you to be owning your edge. So going through all these sort of components. So if you go to my website laura home dot net, you can take the edge. Quiz.
Laura. Where do they get the workbook?
Yeah, the work book is also available on my website. So woke at dot net um, on me on the home page, you can see that there's a downloadable, um, companion guide.
Oh, my God. I cannot wait. I'm going to go look at it right now for Laura Thank you so much for being with us on break by design.
Thank you. It's a pleasure. Thank you.
I want to thank you for joining me. And remember to subscribe to your favorite app so you can stay up to date. And I would love your review. If you've enjoyed this episode, please leave a review and comment on apple podcasts. You can also keep in touch with me online. You confine me on Lincoln and I'm also on instagram at force of bad ass. Sory. All that information will be available in the show notes until next time. Stay brave.