Interrupt Imposter Syndrome with Teresa Sande

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Table Of Contents

In this episode, Justin Dux chats with Teresa Sande. Teresa is passionate about equity in the workplace, healthy corporate cultures, and ensuring people are valued and rewarded for all of their contributions—those seen and unseen. Teresa holds her M.A. in Organizational Effectiveness and Communication and has over 20 years of corporate experience as an executive at companies such as Intel, Capital One, Cargill, and UnitedHealth Group.

In addition to being an accomplished HR executive, Teresa is a consultant, coach, author, and speaker who works with leaders from all walks of life to build the future they want and to realize their vision. From entrepreneurs to start ups, to mid and large sized organizations and everything in between, Teresa builds effective leaders, teams, and cultures. She does this by getting the root of what all leaders have in common - being human. She has had the privilege of coaching exceptional leaders around the world and through that coaching she has also become an imposter syndrome expert. The feeling you are alone, unsettled, or unsure if you belong is one of the key de-railers for leaders struggling to stand in their greatness. Having battled imposter syndrome herself, Teresa knows firsthand how these feelings—particularly for women and people of color—are rooted in and fed by flaws that exist in organizational systems. If they go unchecked, there is a hefty price to pay for all involved.

Her debut book, Find Your Fierce: Interrupt Imposter Syndrome and Own Your Success, is available for order now!


  • Imposter syndrome: what is it + real-life examples
  • The difference between mentorship and sponsorship
  • How to find your fierce
  • The importance of having a culture where people feel like they can belong
  • The number one thing that feeds imposter syndrome


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Disclaimer: The transcript that follows has been generated using artificial intelligence. We strive to be as accurate as possible, but minor errors and slightly off timestamps may be present due to platform differences.

Justin Dux (00:00):

So I don't often advise people to read what reviews of themselves or solicit reviews of their work from the internet. So horrible place sometimes. But today I think it's a perfect way to kick off this episode because I received some excellent feedback about this show. One of the listeners wrote in April 29th, 2021, Justin needs to let his guests speak more. It's really uncomfortable to listen to him, dominate the conversation, put words into their mouth and rephrase their points. I think he means well, but after it doesn't have these, I'm often the next show and I am, you know, I'm horribly embarrassed and I, you know, feel pangs of fear and trepidation, even sharing that with you to kick off this episode, but it's relevant to our guest today. And one of her expertise, because four minutes after reading that I felt like a horrible imposter.

Justin Dux (01:04):

I thought about it for 20, 30 minutes. I had to remind myself over and over again of the countless guests that have told me, I do a wonderful job. And it was an extremely professional experience of being a guest on the show, but it doesn't help me feel better because this person, I have no idea who they are. It's okay. And I appreciate their feedback because that's an exact fear word for word that I've had for three years of being the host of this show. When I was editing my own episodes, I would hear that in the edit, you know, as I listened to the show for every single breath, I would notice that I was talking for two, three minutes, just like I'm talking for two, three minutes right now. I get it. But this is how insidious imposter syndrome is as it's been coming to called, is that it sounds louder than any other feedback you're ever getting. It doesn't matter how many people, if it hits one of those fears, you've got, it will scream in your minds. Welcome to CareerCloud Radio. I'm your host, Justin Dux. is your resource for tips, tricks, and tools to shorten your job search. Become a modern job seeker by listening to these episodes or reading articles on our website. Job hunting sucks. We're here to make it better.

Justin Dux (02:37):

With us today is Teresa Sande. I start every interview with the same dreaded job interview question. So Teresa, who are you to write a book?

Teresa Sande (02:51):

I just didn't great to be here. And it's a question that you'll find about 20 pages into my book, where I asked myself that same, who am I to write a book? And my book almost didn't get written because I had imposter syndrome about writing a book about imposter syndrome. It was very inception desk, but it's all the questions that come up, but do I have a unique perspective? Am I good enough to write a book? Is anybody going to care? All of those sorts of things? Well, who am I to write a book? I'm somebody with 23 plus years of corporate experience, always in large organizations. So I worked for companies like Intel and capital one and Cargill and United health group. I've always been in the talent space. So I had the privilege to coach and mentor and guide a lot of leaders as they were growing their careers.

Teresa Sande (03:43):

And I started seeing a trend with a lot of them, especially the women that I was coaching, that they were questioning. If they were good enough, they were worried that there was a shoe that was going to drop. They were fearful that it was just a moment of time before somebody found out that they weren't that great. They felt like imposters. And as I was coaching them, I was perplexed by it. I was being honest with myself. I felt that way sometimes too. And so I started doing research. What is this phenomenon? What is, why is this showing up this way? And I found that there was a term for it. It actually came from somewhere. There's a fair amount of research on the topic. And the more that I shared with, you know, the hundreds of people that I was coaching, the more I got feedback that that was helpful. And so I set out to learn more and interview more people. I interviewed almost a hundred people for the book, correlated that with research that I was doing. And as I learned more and shared with people and they said, this works, this doesn't work. I felt compelled to do that on a much bigger scale. So taking all of those learnings, my own experiences, I wanted to help as many people as I could. And that manifested into the book.

Justin Dux (04:58):

I definitely did. I get sent a lot of books to be for by authors to be on the show and I don't have time to read them all, but this book caught my wife's attention, you know, sitting on the counter one day and I told her, oh, it's some author I'm going to have on the show. I think the topics imposter syndrome. Oh, she, oh, it is, you know, she grabs the book, takes it to her nightstand. And about four or five days later, I my wife comes into the room and she's like, Justin you're going to have to read this book. It's really good. I'm really what about it? You know, and I'm busy between podcast episodes and other commitments, you know, could you tell me a little bit more? And she's like, no, you're going to have to read it. It's really good.

Justin Dux (05:37):

But I think now that I've started reading it and is that we really appreciate when somebody puts the extra research in and correctly, there effectively would be a better way to put it effectively connects scientific journal, article references, to anecdotal stories about some of those a hundred people you've interviewed and how they felt. And one of the things that's standing out to me the most is that there's no level safe from these feelings. As you were saying, you worked in talent, like you saw signs of this at VP level director level, middle manager, manager, and below and above. Like that just shocked me. Like I just like, no, I thought we would grow out of this someday. Teresa,

Teresa Sande (06:27):

No, actually we don't outgrow it. I wish we could. The reality of it is that as we grow in our careers, we take on more and more responsibilities. We have bold accountabilities. And as that comes up for people, they start to wonder if they're the right person. Did somebody make a mistake? You know, I was good at my last job, but boy, this time they're going to figure me out. They're onto me. And so this is the other side of the coin of imposter syndrome is that when it shows up, you can actually take that as a sign of success because you're pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone. And, you know, there's a saying, there's no growth in the comfort zone and there's no comfort in the growth zone. And so as we're growing and taking on bigger and more bold opportunities, it's very likely that imposter syndrome is going to pop up at that point of high achievement.

Justin Dux (07:22):

Yeah. And so what kind of people do you look to, to help discuss these concepts with, I've heard some phrases like mentorship and sponsorship and you know, I really couldn't define the difference for, for anyone.

Teresa Sande (07:40):

I have a very strong point of view on the difference between mentorship and sponsorship and both are very important and we need both, but mentorship. I think of it sort of like the difference between speed dating and marriage. So mentorship is a little more like speed dating. So you might find people who have a great skill that you want to learn from and some knowledge that they want to pass on to you. And you might spend some time on that specific topic. Having a mentor, share something with you, a sponsor is somebody who's got skin in the game. So they are going the extra mile when you're not in the room. And they're saying things like, you know who you need to go to on this one, it's Justin, he's an expert in this. I've got his back. I'm going to vouch for him.

Teresa Sande (08:28):

And I want you to know him. So sponsorship offers, access. Mentorship provides knowledge. A mentor can be a sponsor and a sponsor can be a mentor, but it does not guarantee that they go hand in glove. And so when we're talking about sponsorship in corporate America, sponsorship is really, really important because it open doors and create a level playing field for people, especially people who maybe you don't naturally gravitate towards, or aren't your usual suspects of who you think about promoting or giving the next big project to it often takes someone sponsoring you and saying, I'm endorsing him. Trust me, he's good. And without that, oftentimes access doesn't happen. And it certainly doesn't happen for people that are outside of your circle. Does that make sense?

Justin Dux (09:31):

As I find myself just thinking through situations in my own career and my work it's distracting because you know, we all have these moments where like, oh, was that a sponsorship moment? Or was that a mentorship moment? Oh, I'm not sure. Now being a Monday morning or Monday evening. Now when we're recording this, I will just say, I didn't have the best Monday. There's a couple emails that I'm thinking of that might not have opened up more access for me, so to speak, but that's just the day I was having. So I have to get that out of my mind, my mind here. So to be sponsored, which sounds like the more powerful one, because you're gaining that access as you defined it. Is that something that you can ask for or must it be given?

Teresa Sande (10:17):

I think it's both. I think it's both. So sponsorship most naturally happens when it's gifted and it comes from, we tend to sponsor people that we're comfortable with. We tend to sponsor people that we're surrounded by and that maybe think like us and act like us because it's really easy to put your name behind someone that reminds you of yourself, right? I mean, as humans, we tend to like ourselves and we tend to like people who are like us that can create a blind spot in organizations. Because if people are always sponsoring people who look like them, right? If senior leaders are primarily white men, again, doesn't make white men bad. But if senior leaders are primarily white men and they're most comfortable with white men, they're gonna tend to sponsor others who are like them. So it's on the part of the leader to be aware of where their blind spots and their biases might be.

Teresa Sande (11:10):

And when they're sponsoring people that look and sound and act just like them, but there's a lot that we can do too. Right? We can say boss manager, I'd love it. If you would bring me up for an opportunity the next time that that comes up, would you be willing to do that? So you're not asking for a favor because you're basing it on your performance and your track record and what, you know, you're you have the potential to do, but it's just going the extra mile to say, I'm looking for someone to sponsor me the next time. I'm not in the room if you'd be willing to do that. So you could be that overt. But usually what I coach people to do is if they're looking for a sponsor, be very sponsorable and make it so clear those opportunities that you want. So that the next time, that person who has the access is put in a position to put your name forward you're top of mind for them, because you have said what you want and you're sponsorable, and that leader hopefully will do that for you.

Justin Dux (12:11):

Is there a tendency to think that people around you, coworkers managers and stuff, people in your ring of influence, oh, they know what I want

Teresa Sande (12:22):

Again, I think as humans, we tend to be somewhat self-absorbed and we sort of think, of course I'm being very clear. Of course, people must know what I'm thinking, but it is absolutely up to us to make it known. Nobody owns your career, but you, but one thing that's always frustrated me in corporate America is they'll is they'll say things to employees like own your career. Well, you can own your career, but if you're not in the room to, you know, to sponsor yourself or put yourself forward, well, then you can only really own your career so far. So, and that matters because you know, when you're starting to talk about what is the makeup of our leadership ranks and how diverse does it look and how inclusive is it and all of those sorts of things. And when you pull the thread on that and you can sort of see how organizations and cultures can get pretty homogeneous. So it is absolutely. Yeah. You know, sponsorship, just going back to your question, I think it could be something that is granted to you, but you can play a very active role in positioning yourself to be sponsored.

Justin Dux (13:27):

I like your concept of being sponsorable who, but I'm, I'm actually struggling to think on my own and process the advice because I'm like, what does it look like to be? Sponsorable what qualities of that person make them sponsorable I haven't come up with a long list just in the past few minutes, I'm thinking coachability, you know, being willing to change, not being stubborn or having a desire to be right. You know, all the time, that's not going to be very sponsorable. But is it as simple as being a kind person or is there more to it than that you think?

Teresa Sande (14:00):

I mean, I, I think when I said be sponsorable, I didn't necessarily mean it from the standpoint of fit a mold or a certain stereotype. In fact, there's probably a lot to unpack there.

Justin Dux (14:12):

Yeah. I mean, I think we're getting at the title of the book, which I should repeat that. I mean, that's the name of the book? Find your fierce, fierce is going to be very unique. There's no one way to be fierce,

Teresa Sande (14:23):

Right? And in fact, when people find their true fierce, they might not fit in. They might not fit the mold. And so for leaders, you know, it's a bit of a wake-up call to say, there's more than one person to sponsor here. There's, they're going to look more than one way. They're going to sound more than one way. And there needs to be room for people at the table in the book. I don't know if you've gotten to this part yet, but I talk a lot about diversity, inclusion and belonging and how important it is to have a culture where people feel like they can belong. Because one of the number one things that feeds imposter syndrome is when you don't feel like you belong, like you don't deserve to be there. And so there's a saying, you know, if diversity is being asked to the party, then inclusion is being asked to dance once you're there.

Teresa Sande (15:12):

And I think in corporate America, diversity and inclusion, isn't going far enough because diversity being the invitation to the party and inclusion, being invited to dance is still implying that it's someone else's house. It's someone else's party and I'm a guest and I have to wait for the invitation and I have to be told if I can dance. So belonging is it's my house too. It's my party too. I dance when I want to, I might ask you to dance, right? There's room, there's room to belong. And so I think that being sponsorable is about making it known what your skills and talents are and own your skills and talents and what you want to do with your career and how you see that unfolding. I mean, when we tell people to own their career, to me, that's one of the best things you can do is make it known what you want to do and what your skin skills and talents are, what you're passionate about. It doesn't mean the job title. Like, Hey, I'm going to let everybody know. I want to be the vice president of acts. That's not what I mean. What I mean is where can you add value? What gets you fired up? Where are you most fierce make that known and invite leaders to sponsor you for that?

Justin Dux (16:24):

Yeah. And that's one of the kind of inspirations you could say of talking to you and other coaches is that now that I'm in a comfortable spot in my career, I am trying to putting out there more to future employers like, Hey, I'm good where I'm at. But if you've got a Salesforce administrator role where you'd also value having a podcast host, maybe you've got a company podcast or an internal podcast or something, I happen to have that skill. You know, like I, I know it doesn't often show appear together in a Salesforce administrator and a, you know, public facing podcast hosts. But I'm interested if you, if you've got a role that wants to combine both of those, you know, and so talking with you today has made me realize, I've never told my boss that though, because it's unusual, you know, and it, it it's unique, but you know, maybe I should.

Justin Dux (17:13):

So I'm so glad you brought up the house party example and I'm going to do exactly what that reviewer said. Don't do, but I'm going to rephrase it because I happened to connect with that story so much because I was a swing dancer for 15 years, we would have our own house parties for blues dancing. Lindy hop is the name of the other dance I did, but it's basically your traditional swing dancing coming out of the forties. I really loved it. I was really into this. And one of that analogy is spot on. It's not my house or being invited to the house for the party to dance spot on. I love it. Every part of what you said. And one thing I saw in the dance community that I was part of was there was these generations, a group of people that learn for about three to five years together, then dance together for three to five years, there would be a new generation that would come behind them and they would learn together and then dance together.

Justin Dux (18:08):

And now we would cross generationally dance. You know, they're only like four years younger than us, but they're just, I just feel like another generation, you know, you get a chance to dance with a veteran who's been dancing for 10 years like me, or you'd get a chance to dance with each other. And there was that comfort that affinity that you were describing. And another thing that was emerging is this dance was popular in the two thousands, not the forties anymore was the different pressures from culture. And so gender norms were being broken. The you know, the tradition that still pervades today of like only the, the leads or traditionally men would ask the follow traditionally women for the pants. And it was a culture change. Or we had to work really hard to foster an environment where there's like no, the, the follows can ask leads to dance.

Justin Dux (19:01):

And that is acceptable. That's not being weird or aggressive, you know? And then another thing that some friends of mine were trying to promote or get out there more was this acceptance of if you're enjoying the song and you start dancing alone, that's perfectly acceptable as well. In fact, forms of dance, like the Charleston were born out of that dancing alone and stuff like that. So like we would look at Panda back at the history, but also look back and try to respect the history, but also to try to push the dance forward and be progressive into the next era of swing dancing. We realized that some of those norms had to fall apart. And so there it is, you know, another three minute rant by Justin. Isn't it fascinating that like, I don't know if you knew how accurate your analogy was

Teresa Sande (19:48):

Just to layer, not to go too far down a rabbit hole is a fun fact that you don't know about me. My husband and I met swing dancing. That's what we did. And we did it for many years. We still go every now and again now, but you're spot on what you said about the culture. And I want to pull it forward to, you know, sort of why some of these norms are so hard to break in corporate America. So you're right. I mean, we met swing dancing. He was a traditional lead. I was a traditional follow, but the community that we were a part of, it was actually in New Mexico, the community that we were a part of, where we would dance was really starting to break down those norms. And it was fine for a woman to dance with another woman. Somebody had to be the lead.

Teresa Sande (20:32):

Somebody had to be the follow, but you guys figure it out. Right? Figure it out amongst yourselves. It was okay for us all to make up the rules as we went and corporate America is, is such an interesting, fascinating, and somewhat archaic culture that has been carried forward over many, many years. There's this term, it's a reference, man. Are you familiar with the term row? Okay. So when you get to that part, I talk about it in the book, but reference man is essentially a, it was used to help figure out dosages of medicine. Okay. So they would identify a reference man. So they would take an average height, weight. It was basically a persona, right? And then in the medical community, they could figure out, okay, so if the reference man is this, then this is the dosage for the medicine. And then we can dial it up or dial it down.

Teresa Sande (21:27):

If you're two degrees away from whatever the reference man was. And I share this story because I actually think a lot of our society and a lot of our cultures are built by and for a reference man and corporate America is no different. I think it's a blind spot. So there's no intention for anyone to outwardly say, everyone needs to operate like a white male who might be the leader of the organization. And yet all of our measures of what success looks like, what the norm is, what good looks like are just degrees off of that reference, man. And that's a blind spot that organizations have because like the example of the dance community, I mean, it took the dance community to take something that in the forties would have never been acceptable, never have, you know, a woman asked command to dance and they kind of said, yeah, but that's not really working for us anymore. Right. So I can honor that and I can understand where it came from, but I'm going to set about changing it. And corporate America is no different. And yet we have these blind spots of things that are norms that are sort of applied to everyone. Who's part of that system and different people who are in that system have a different experience with that system.

Justin Dux (22:42):

Yeah. And you told a great story in your book, that shed light to me that I have a different experience. Like it was a job interview for you, but you were retelling in the book, but the man who was interviewing you revealed his bias. If you could tell the story rather than have me retell it for you. I love that story because I learned so much from it seeing how different that experience was from your perspective.

Teresa Sande (23:08):

Yeah. So it was a job interview. I was actually interviewing at capital one at the time and I was going through the interview. And I think the question was something along the lines of, you know, tell me about a time when you've had to deal with a disgruntled employee or disgruntled customer. And I started to launch into what I thought was a really great interview answer. And I was using the word we a lot. I was saying, well, you know, first we did this. And then we did that. And, and he kept pushing and pausing and saying, wait, but, but tell me about a time when you did this. And I kept answering the question in the way that I knew how, which my speech pattern in my orientation to the way I get work done is very communal. It is, we are a team.

Teresa Sande (23:53):

So we did X and we did Y now it's up to me to make sure that I can relay what I am good at and what my skills were. But in the interview he stopped me and he said, okay, I need you to tell me what you've done, because you keep saying, we, we, we, so on the surface, I was a little frustrated because I thought, what is he talking about? I mean, I've been telling you what I've been doing, but because I use the word, we, he was not able to hear it as my contribution and where I fit into that whole equation. So I was frustrated at first, but like anything like feedback, you know, you described you kind of pause and go, okay, well, I'm, I'm maybe not being clear. I'm not getting to the root of where I contributed something. And so I needed to examine when I use I language versus we language, but he ultimately gave me the job.

Teresa Sande (24:50):

I got the job and I give him a lot of credit for going that extra. Let me ask this question, let me see clarification. Cause it would've been very easy for him to say, you know what? I don't think she has it. I don't think, you know, she wasn't able to give me an example where she said, I, so that's a story of where someone maybe gave me the feedback and said, Hey, this isn't clear to me and said, let me take a look at my own bias and make sure that I'm not making decisions and only hiring people that show up a certain way and you know, say I all the time.

Justin Dux (25:24):

And it's a story of one man in the world that was willing to challenge his own bias there too. Right? I think we're making another mistake here, Theresa together. The two of us, let's not give this man any more credit. Like you give such a great job interview that you challenged the cultural norm and he broke it to give you the job offer. That's amazing. I'm throwing the credit right back at you.

Teresa Sande (25:49):

Thank you. I'll take it.

Justin Dux (25:52):

Well, thank you for retelling that story. We're going to take a quick break. And when we return, we're going to do the recurring segment out of context. In 2020, we had Frank Blake on the podcast from my job and he has a wonderful course available for job interview skills, which I highly recommend. But after the show, we actually agreed to collaborate. And I made a course for his site as well now called mindsets of a modern job seeker. And in this course for one hour, I outline concepts that look at the long-term game. We play with our careers and then contrast that to some of the short-term tactics we can sometimes need when we have an urgent need for a role. And so I think if you combine these two courses together or just choose one or the other, you can get some high value audit and see new perspectives to take, to becoming a modern job seeker.

Justin Dux (26:51):

In that course, I'll cover some topics about networking and what you can do in the short-term and the long-term for your network. And I also cover some concepts for job interviews cause that's one, one of my skills set sly. So that's, again, some short-term long-term concepts to improve your job or stop playing the corporate game, stop playing the game. Everyone else's playing play at a completely different level by applying some of these techniques that puts you in a long-term strategy, which will set you up for many, many more years of success. So you can pick up that course at my job, That's M Y J O B O L O G Well, welcome back. We're still sitting with Teresa Sandi author of the book, find your fierce. And for this segment, I call it out of context and this is where we take something she's written and I throw it back in her face to see if she wants to apply some new context to it. Today I've chosen an excerpt from page 60 quote research shows that we tend to overestimate men's performance and underestimate women's. As a result, men are often hired and promoted based on their potential while women are often hired and promoted based on their track record.

Teresa Sande (28:18):

Yeah. So there's actually a story that I'd like to share with you, which is something I observed with one of the organizations that I was working with. So my client had this shark tank style leadership competition that they would do, and it was for up and coming talent in the organization. And they would break these groups into groups of five. It would give them a business challenge and then they would go off. They would do research and then they would come back and as a group, they would do a group presentation and present their findings and recommendations. And there was a panel of experts or leaders kind of known as the sharks that would sit down in the front of the auditorium. And we would, they would pack the auditorium with people to come and watch these presentations. They'd really amp up the, I dunno, the stakes, right?

Teresa Sande (29:10):

And I was actually on one of the shark panels. So I was sitting in the front row to give feedback to this group that was going to present five different people. And one of the people came out and his name was Paul and he was a tall white man came out on stage blue suit, walked out, looked in the front row, knew some of the leaders gave a couple of finger guns, you know, Hey, how's it going? Smiled very confident. The lights in the went down the stage lights came up on him and he froze. He was like a deer in the headlights. He stammered through part of his presentation and he was not very articulate and he forgot a lot of his facts and figures. And he sort of stammered off stage. A couple of people later, a woman, one of his teammates came out.

Teresa Sande (30:07):

Her name was Monique. She came out on stage. She was a shorter African-American woman. Now I had seen Monique around the office other times, normally dressed in very vibrant, bright colors. You know, her hair, maybe up on top of her head in a cool scarf or something like that. And that day she walked out on stage. She had her hair down kind of covering one eye. She was wearing the requisite Navy blue suit that you could tell she did not feel comfortable in. And she stood there with her arms to her side and she delivered her facts, her figures, her slides and her presentation. And she walked off stage. Now it's time for the sharks to give feedback. So before we call the group out on stage, we get together and we start aligning on what our feedback is for each of the participants in the group.

Teresa Sande (31:00):

And when we got to Paul, every single one of the sharks said, gosh, that was horrible. But I feel so bad for him. I mean, I know Paul I've seen him do his job. He knows his stuff. We've all been there. It's terrible. When you forget and you know, you're a deer in the headlights. And they said, you know, he clearly knows what he's doing. And they were going to give him a four out of five when they got to Monique, they said she clearly knows her stuff. She did the facts, the figures, the presentation, gosh, she looks so uncomfortable. She seems so nervous. I was really distracted by the hair, covering her face and they were going to give her a three. And I had to pause the group and say, hold on a second here. We're going to give Paul a four because we believe he can do it. Even though he did didn't, we're going to give Monique a three because she did it, but she didn't do it to our liking, to our standards, to our definition of success. And it challenged the group. And I'd love to say that, you know, the outcome was Monique got a five and Paul, you know, got kicked out or something. And not that I want anything bad for, for Paul, what ended up happening was we gave them both the three,

Justin Dux (32:20):

There was other teams. So I imagine that's just the stories about these two, because it was the lesson, but you had other teams to rate higher. That just aren't part of the

Teresa Sande (32:29):

Absolutely. Absolutely. And this is individual feedback. So as a team, you know, the team did fine. So the group gets scored on a team score, but then individually try to give feedback for each individual participant to help them. But can you imagine the signal that would have sent to

Justin Dux (32:48):

The tension is so high as, as you were telling a story I wanted, I wanted to just jump in there and make the decision for the way I wanted it to go. But

Teresa Sande (32:58):

I would love to say that this was a unique situation. Now, this situation, when I tell the story, it's so overt. And so like what, and yet these kinds of subtle unconscious biases happen all the time in the workplace. And we do this, I do it. I have blind spots. I absolutely have some things that I have to keep in check. And I have to question, where does it come from for me? There's just a favorite rental. Can I give you? Okay. So one day a father and a son are involved in a terrible car accident. Sadly, the father's killed at the scene. The little boy is rushed to the hospital for emergency life-saving surgery. The surgeon comes in, looks down at the boy on the operating table and gasps, I can't operate on this child. He's my son. So how can this be true? And when I heard the riddle and I thought about it and I came up with a few scenarios and then I kind of cheated and I went out on Google and I was like, what's the answer to this rental, but there's some different theories that were posted online.

Justin Dux (34:08):

Okay. Give me a second. Give me a second trace. I just heard this re re rural and now I'm just the mystery of it has me. Give me another beat to think this one out.

Teresa Sande (34:18):

I'm going to read it to you again.

Justin Dux (34:19):

No, I got it. I'm just, I I'm just trying, not I'm thinking like a comedian, like the mistress or the, you know, it's the wrong father, you know, it could be you know, the death upon basically on the definition of father, but I still haven't figured it out. Okay. Enough seconds. I'm just going to have to give up, go ahead.

Teresa Sande (34:41):

And there's a lot of theories posted online. You know, one of the theories is if you're a true riddle person, you're always looking for the loophole, right? And you're like, well, it says a father and a son, but it doesn't say their father and son to each other. That's one another is it says a father and son. Well, the father is a member of the clergy. Interesting.

Justin Dux (35:02):

I was talking about, yeah,

Teresa Sande (35:03):

Exactly. Another theory is they're not related. So it says a father and a son, but they're not father and son to each other. Yeah. That's a possibility. Right. But one other theory is that the boy has two fathers. And that could also be, that was one that kind of made me stop in my tracks for a minute. They're all possible answers. They're not the right answer. The answer is that the surgeon is the boy's mother.

Justin Dux (35:32):

They never said the surgeon was a man.

Teresa Sande (35:36):

Yes. Now, Justin, we're recording this as a podcast, but obviously I

Justin Dux (35:42):

Can see you, you know, over zoom and I can just hear it in your voice, right? Like how did I not see that? Well, and you heard my disappointment and realizing that I had also fallen into the trap,

Teresa Sande (35:54):

But I did too. And I'm a woman and I know that women can be surgeons. How could

Justin Dux (35:59):

You, you're a woman.

Teresa Sande (36:00):

Exactly. Like, like I'm somehow this is an example of how strong bias can be. And to have bias, doesn't make you inherently a bad person. It makes you human, where it starts to go off. The rails is when we make decisions based on that bias, that is unconscious to us. And we start judging men on their potential and women on their performance. And we give feedback to women about fitting into a mold when we're like, where did that mold even come from? Does that even serve us anymore? Is that even really the definition of success we want any longer or do we want to actually evolve and level the playing field and create cultures where people belong, lots of different types of people belong. But until we do that, imposter syndrome is going to continue to be fed for anyone who doesn't feel like they belong, or for anyone who doesn't fit the mold. And it might be a mold that was never built for them in the first place.

Justin Dux (36:56):

Just excellent. And it's a great point. It, you bringing me back to our dance analogy and conversation, and so much has born out of necessity or efficiency or just etiquette is what led to who asked who to dance. Right? And you and I both were in the dance hall. We know there was really also a ratio problem. There was two to three women to one leader, you know, in the traditional sense of man in the dance hall, like typically out of 200 people attending a dance in Minnesota, you, you could just know that about 50 of them were men and 150 of them were women. That would be a three to one ratio. But I was trying to do math in my head quick, forgive me honestly, though, some nights it felt that way. And it wasn't an exaggeration too much at least. And so just of course the culture would slowly shift towards if you want to dance and you're a woman you, you had to put, I know countless women that still tell me, or confide in me to this day, 15 years later, that they never felt comfortable enough to do so.

Justin Dux (38:06):

And they were great follows. Yeah. And I would have welcomed every dance had. They had, they just reached out their hand and asked, but I want to be careful, you know, this isn't about, you know, the leader, you know, this analogy falls apart because you know, the dance hall, the leader, it's still the white man rescuing and it's not what I'm going for at all. Now, my point is, is targeted at it's time for change. And don't wait your turn.

Teresa Sande (38:32):

Right. Find your fears

Justin Dux (38:34):

Right on the name of the book. Like she just said is find your fierce. Where can people

Teresa Sande (38:38):

Pick this up or connect with you some more? Absolutely. So my website, just Teresa, two common things. I don't spell my name Theresa with an H and my last name does not have a Y it's an E. So it's T E R E S a S a N D That's my website. People can follow me on Instagram at fierce, not fears. I'm also reachable on LinkedIn. The book is available off my website, but you can also get it at Amazon. You can get it in a Kindle version if ebook is more your jam Barnes and noble, those sorts of things.

Justin Dux (39:14):

Well, thank you so much for being on the show. It's been a pleasure to finally get a chance to meet you.

Teresa Sande (39:19):

Thank you for having me, Justin and awesome.

Justin Dux (39:21):

You're welcome.

Outro (39:22):

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