in Higher Ed

Mary Oliver’s poem “The Summer Day” does not appear in this episode but my thinking is inspired by her question: what is it you plan to do with your one wild & precious life?

I explore that question today, and share the planner I’ve developed to help you organize your days, weeks, terms, and life around your answer to that question.

#53: Your One Wild & Precious Life

Whenever I explore research in equity work, either by reading or by talking to experts, I hear all kinds of updates in language. Let’s talk about them!

DEI Vocabulary

A close-up of the word "vocabulary" on a page in the dictionary

In today’s episode I thread together what we’ve heard and learned from Jayne and Renee, along with some things I’ve learned from books on my bookshelf, and distill that into a few key ways to think and behave with a focus on inclusion, building trust, leaving space for other’s agency, and reducing harm.

51: On Humility: Retreating From The Center

a stack of four books, from bottom to top: inclusion uncomplicated by nika white; dei deconstructed by lily zheng; white feminism by koa beck; and radical humility, edited by rebekah modrak and jamie vander broek. a guitar and skateboard hang on the wall behind the books.

Today I talk with Renee Wells about what it means to educate for equity through the lens of restorative justice. Renee is an educator and consultant with a grounding in the work of bell hooks and Paolo Freire, and I love how open and frank she is about all the things that we sometimes find hard to deal with…or to talk about…or to change…in our work on campuses. 

#50: White Women’s Nonsense

Renee Wells, with short dark hair wearing dark glasses and an olive green top, with Carole Chabries, with short hair, glasses, and an orange sweater. Both white women are looking straight into the camera.

I thought I’d share what reading this book is like for me because I think my experience as an educated white woman with leadership experience in higher ed will resonate with you.

#48 A White Woman Reads “White Women”

the poster of white supremacy culture characteristics next to the cover of the book, "white women: everything you already know about your own racism and how to do better."

Jayne Sommers is back! This time she shares her personal journey from understanding herself as a first-born Capricorn (achievement-oriented! controlling! always right!) to anti-racist educator, and how she came to see the ways she’s been socialized into our white supremacy culture. oin us for a month-long challenge Jayne will lead: White Women’s Work.

#47: White Women’s Work: An Invitation

a photo of the cover of the book "white women: everything you already know about your own racism and how to do better" next to photos of carole chabries wearing an orange v-neck sweater and jayne sommers wearing a chunky yellow turtleneck sweater.

If you work on a college campus, I’m gonna guess that most of what you do, all day long, is talk. You teach, mentor, and advise students. You run committee meetings. You report on your findings, whether you’re conducting research, designing systems, or enforcing policy. You send emails. You chat in Zoom. You message in Slack. You trouble-shoot and problem-solve. You talk to prospects – students, employees, donors. You hire and supervise people. All of that involves a helluva lot of…talking.

Which means that whether you feel joy at work – whether you feel valued, whether you feel like you’ve really reached other people, whether you enjoy time with your colleagues, whether you get dopamine hits from the work you do – depends on the quality of your conversations.

In this episode we explore how to use small, daily conversations — feedback — to improve inner work life and joy for you and your team.

#46 How to Use Feedback to Build Trust

Understanding what parts of your brain are activated in conversations, why they’re activated, and the stories you’re telling yourself about your physiological reactions (your racing heart and churning stomach) all give insight into the neuroscience of conversations — and how you can harness that to turn difficult conversations grounded in fear into conversations that build trust.

#45 Using Neuroscience to Turn Fear to Trust in Conversations

It might seem like conversations are no big deal. it’s nice when they go well, and just business-as-usual-when they don’t. But crucial conversations are *essential* for creating joy and reducing burnout. Talking about the hard, things, and doing it well, eliminates obstacles, smooths the path to success, enables people to collaborate, and increases trust and […]

#44 How Crucial Conversations Increase Joy and Reduce Burnout

Today’s Episode at a Glance [0:00] Listening is probably the most powerful tool in your leadership toolkit. If you open your mouth to speak, pause and ask yourself “Why am I Talking”? [ 2:25] The 3-part “Why Am I Talking?” framework. [5:46] Do you dread giving bad news at work? Or struggle knowing how to […]

#43 Why Am I Talking? (and other powerful questions)

a light-skinned woman with shoulder-length dark hair faces the camera with her hands framing her open mouth. she looks like she is yellowing. she wears a yellow blouse with a white color.