In This Episode:
- How Angie Browne‘s career has evolved into embracing her whole identity as a coach & consultant
- Why she’s exploring big questions about our identities and how we work
- What she did to establish how she wanted to work with clients and companies in this chapter
- The story she’s rewriting a personal story she’s been telling for years
We all have an abundance of identities.
I’m a woman. A wife. A mother. I’m a business owner, a writer, a podcaster. I’m a runner, a yoga practitioner, a paddle boarder. I’m an introvert, a book lover, and a new cat parent.
I am many other things, too.
The professional world—as built by white men—has been a place where we leave our other identities at the door. We transform into whatever the job requires of us and try to ignore the rest.
There’s a passage that really encapsulates this in a book I read earlier this year—Having and Being Had by Eula Biss. She writes about a conversation she had with her mom:
“The hardest part of working isn’t the work, my mother tells me, it’s the passing. She means passing as an office worker—dressing the part, performing the rituals of office life, and acting appropriately grateful for a ten-hour shift at a computer.”
When we opt to forge our own path as business owners, it’s easy to imagine that we’ll escape these rituals, avoid assimilating to the expectations of the office. And sure, some of them we do escape from. But there are plenty we end up sticking with—like trying to be grateful for spending 10 hours in front of a computer. And there are others we adopt as part of our new work: the rituals of social media, networking, email responsiveness.
It’s not so much that dressing the part, performing the rituals, or adapting to your work environment is a bad thing.
It’s there also needs to be space for the identities, responsibilities, and personal needs we have outside our job descriptions or client agreements.
Making that space is one way we practice abundance. It might mean rearranging your schedule. Or, it could be a clause you add to your contracts that acknowledges that missing an appointment or rescheduling because of a family need is not the end of the world. It could be a having a colleague you do a mutual mental health check with each week. Or, it could be as simple as acknowledging the transitional space at the beginning of meetings before you get down to business.
This week, my guest is Angela Browne, a coach for luminaries and a diversity, equity, and inclusion consultant for organizations. Part of our conversation is about the way she’s learned to bring her whole self into her work—whether in her former work as a head teacher or in her roles.
But another key part of our conversation revolves around abundant curiosity—the kind that is willing to ask bold questions without needing to have definitive answers.
My hope is that this conversation will inspire you to consider how you can both make space for your many identities in the way you work and make space for abundant curiosity.
Now, let’s find out what works for Angie Browne!