How's Work? with Esther Pere - Couples Therapy with My Boss

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How’s work is an unscripted one.

Time counseling session focused on work for the purposes of maintaining confidentiality names, employers and other identifiable characteristics have been removed, but their voices and their stories are real.


We generally remember the first day.

We met our manager, the impression they left on us, or the first impression.

We left on them.

I was really nervous about having a new manager, feeling really good about my position.


I think I had just been promoted and then this woman comes who’s like a bull in a china shop, the day that she came in.

She looks so pretty.

She had her hair done and she was kind of like flipping it around, and she started making jokes immediately with people, and it just seemed like she got, like, very comfortable very quickly.


I remember taking a breath like, oh my God.

She’s a lot.

But first impressions, sometimes a hard to undo.

Like in this case, the manager she arrived in full speed and now she has to slow it down and that’s not coming.


So easy.

I’d like to think of myself as a servant leader.

On the other hand.

I have like very passionate intense and like it probably can be tough.

If you just haven’t completely invested in me and jumped on board when I can probably seem like look at range, but just going really fast and doesn’t I’m stopping anytime soon, or I’m making space for anybody to jump off.


It’s been an up-and-down.

I’ve likened it to like an abusive relationship in those cyclical way of it, where it’s like, we are really good for a stretch of time and then something happens and everybody is upset, like, in some ways.


Our relationship is very personal because, like, from the beginning, we have discussed.

What’s not working between us, which is like intimate.

The relationship is organized around one, word tumultuous, and tumultuous doesn’t just mean negative, but it means intense intense.


In every aspect, they appreciate the intensity.

And at the same time, they would like to make it slightly less.

So I mean, I think what was half is that I had felt like building strong relationships that work with a strength of mine and was feeling like it was a not I couldn’t crack.


I’ve grown to really love her and just as like a person but it’s just hard.

It’s very hard to work with her and it hasn’t gotten easier.

So, I feel like definitely conflicted about all of this because she probably won’t feel like, blindsided by me asking her like, hey, would you put it?

Go on this podcast with me, but it’s definitely like, I don’t wish her any ill will or anything like that, you know.


It’s not that common that a manager will accept the invitation of their direct report to come and talk on a therapy but cast.

So I keep that in mind and I see this as a very positive sign, but then I realized that they have become so organized around their problem, narrative about what the problems between them.


And I just think it’s important to meet people before I meet their problems.

So give me a little bit of a sense of who you are, where you work, where you come from.


So I am 28 years old and I am the oldest child of my family and my mom is white and my dad is black, and my dad is a black person who thinks he’s white.

I have been working in non-profit for about Five years now, and I’ve been working in the role that I’m in for about two and a half years.


Tell me what is important in the way that you described you that there was a reason for that statement.

It’s he’s been top of mind for me over the last couple days.

He voted for Trump.

Probably I think he did.

So both times and I look more like him than I do.


Like my mom and I am more like him in some ways in terms of wanting to be right?

Or can be like argumentative and I guess I just like, find places where I can just kind of Make Jabs at my dad because I don’t really talk to him that much.


So what I say like, you know, I’m my dad is black man who thinks he’s why this kind of my way of just being like, yeah.

Fuck you Dad without like actually saying that to him.

How about you?

So I my family’s from Puerto Rico.


I’m 47.

My father was a Philadelphia native.

So he’s white.

My mother was someone who she’s only 19 years older than me.

So she kind of got herself together when she had me, we got our college degrees at the same time and and my father is a self-made.


He was a self-made businessman, who was raised in an orphanage.

So very Scrappy parents.

To made a really great life for themselves.

That’s where I come from.

And you say that we did narration, of course.

Yes, so much admiration and pride.

Definitely one of those people that understand I stand on the shoulders of other folks, but in general, I’ve always worked for nonprofits Community Based organizations.


So, I came in and as what they call manager, you came in as her manager.

Oh good.

She had someone before me describe the relationship to me.

Either one, and remember, a relationship is a story.


So you’re going to tell a story of this relationship and that sometimes involves how it started or the aspirations, the mistakes, the misunderstandings to laughter’s.

It has a, it says, a whole life in it.

The first word that came to mind was tumultuous.


I think that probably the only manager I’ve had, who’s made me laugh, as much as she does.

We have had really, really good times.

And we’ve had really, really bad times.

And, and I Define, good and bad.


All encompassing words and for you there is a there’s a whole life in each of them.


What I say good.

I mean like we we work really well together.

We don’t have too many power struggles going on.


At the time.

We produce really great content and work for our teachers.

And when it’s bad, we are.

Either not communicating or not communicating well, and I’m feeling really impatient and stubborn and also probably not really understood or heard.


I wondered why she brought in that particular information about her father, but I wasn’t thinking about him.

When I asked that question.

I was really thinking about what she was telling me about her.

And her, father, that would give me information about her and the manager and he, or she gave it to me.


I’m stubborn and I’m impatient.

Yeah, I think the word that came to mind for me was like, a relationship of circumstance.

So, you know, when you come in, it’s like, you build your team, or you grow together into like new roles to come in to fill a role that someone else had that that person brought you on.


So that’s why I think of circumstance, you know, besides the history you need to bring with me as like being a woman of color.

Who’s always had to prove herself for every leadership role or any.

All in general and always just takes assumes.

I’m going to have to work harder.


So I try to definitely felt a feeling of like, why do you have this job?

Why are you my manager or boss?

Why did you get this?

Felt a little bit to you in your head.

I felt that, I mean, we there were things said that made me interpret them that way.


And so do I was doing a lot of work of understanding that, like Sometimes people’s words in the moment or how they feel in the moment, our during adjustment periods.

And like, trying not to internalize that a lot or to like behave differently because of that, and try to work to build like trust in a relationship.


I think when it’s tough, Is when we are almost trying to prove the other person wrong more than trying to get back to where we work together.

So I think there’s definitely many more that it’s more like that now, but I think a lot in the beginning was, there was a lot of proving a lot of proving different ways.


I think when it’s good.

It just feels like there’s trust and I think the strength is that like we have been through a lot of uncomfortable moments, and we have also like achieved incredible Feats in a short amount of time during covid at the same time.


So so yeah, I guess tumultuous is a good word as well.

I guess for me for much of that time.

I was like, okay, this is par for the course if you come into a new organization in a role that’s taking over.

Different team lead, you know, kind of ready for the push back.


I think I didn’t think it would take as long or or I thought we would settle into a trusting relationship sooner when you see as a woman of color.

I have to prove myself more, is it different?

If you oversee a black woman, do you feel that?


Did you have any an assumption that things would be faster and more complicitous between the two of you?

Well, in general, like Like folks of color are quickly.

Bonded was just my experience.

I think part of me expected the same thing.


So when I didn’t feel that necessarily on our staff in general, and I do think that there was like, a little assumptions.

I made, of course of how like, we could connect more quickly.

So that’s where I took a few steps back of like, okay, those are not assumptions that I can just make.


And I think That we were just going to be able, they’re going to be certain, they’re going to be certain understandings or connections or Comfort level or Rapport or whatever.

That is that I might not have otherwise with someone else.

That wasn’t a person of color right off the bat.


And what did you do with her assumptions that will meaning?

They’re meant to bring you closer sooner.

They’re meant to assume a certain level of understanding of shared reality of shared struggles, Etc.

So I’m curious how you took them.


Yeah, I mean honestly the whole like people of color terminology in general kind of assumes that like we are all you know familial and I haven’t even really felt like that familial within the black community.


So looking for it just in the general people of color Community who has never really been like like a thing and I very recently just started to get in touch with my Identity as a black woman and the people in might like my life that are also black women.


I’m like really starting to build relationships with them and it’s been, you know, kind of ongoing since towards the end of college, but I had first of all, never been managed by a person of color.

My managers from previous jobs, were all white men or white women, and I didn’t know how to How to accept just a relationship based on our race when we weren’t of the same identities especially from someone who is like in power in regards to my position.


So at the time like I had not known that that’s what was happening until she named it and I was like, I think probably like at that time I first introduced like why would you do that?

And now I’m like obviously would do that.

Like weird, where am I?

Minority in general at our organization.


We’re starting to.

It’s starting to flip but it was definitely a definitely makes sense to me now, but at the time it definitely did, not you saying yes, we do head.

You’re nodding listening and affirming.



It’s a small team.


So I think that like to of the new hires one was me one was a black man.

Um, I think it’s a team that’s not always in the same office together at the same time.


But in general, like, Right.

At that time.

I was the only Latin next person on the team and then just aren’t it was just outnumbered.


We were not that diverse of a team and ask you something.

Do you have a different relationship in the reverse?

When your manager is white?

There’s white woman and you’ve had white woman in white men.

I would say that I have noticed, I act differently with white women with white men.


I mean, my partner is a white man, and he’s probably like the only one that I actually like respect with white men.

I generally just I don’t, unless they have proven themselves to be aware of like, you know, their privilege and things like that.


I generally don’t.

Like, they’re just not like a really part of like, my, my fear, but my mom is like a white woman and I have noticed my own ways of being around white, women is definitely different than it is with other people in in the workplace.


How does that manifest?

It can depend but for the most part I don’t I’m very sensitive to their fragility and, and almost, I can be, I don’t think protective is right word.


I’m just kind of fumbling around that, but that’s the word that’s popping up in my head.

So I feel like protective of white women and I hate that.

I hate that.

I don’t want that.

I don’t want that feeling.

And so when I’m when I’m outside of work, it’s like no fuck that.


But when it’s like somebody that I’m working with all the white women that I’ve worked with.

Has really endeared themselves to me in one way or another.

And it’s made it very hard to just to feel like I can be very blunt or straightforward or even like angry or like aggressive.


And anyway, I’m sure that there’s something to it because of my mom, and I’m also sure that there’s like, I don’t want to be a black woman stereotype of any And so there’s definitely like some of that.

There too.


How do we continue to conversation?

I would have wanted to explore further with her.

The legacy of the white mother with, whom she can’t identify because of color and have the black father with whom she can’t identify because of values and identity.


And maybe it would have shed more light to understand our relationship to the white managers men and women.

And to the current manager, another woman of color.

But it’s not only the legacy of her parents.


It’s also the cultural and racial Legacy and the bind that she finds herself in as a black woman who does not want to be seen as The Stereotype of the black woman.

So what happens, you arrived?


And then what happens it was a kind of a tough entry for us and them because it’s kind of like, oh, so the Pete, these people are coming in as new leadership and making it seem like nothing we did.

Was that great before and then we were kind of coming in like what’s all the resistance that we’re just here trying to like be part of the team and get work done.


So that was like the overall from my perspective like the overall Vibe for a while.

It was very much.

Like, like it wasn’t, there wasn’t a lot of, like, of a learning period.

I think most of them came in and just had to hit the ground running and that was tough because I did like, I had a nice, like, two months period, where I was learning.


I went to a conference with him like my first two weeks to learn more about my role.

So, I would say that there was not as much.

It didn’t feel like from our perspective, me and other people who have been on the team that there was a lot of curiosity.

Anyone they were coming in.

It was more like, okay.


Well, we just were told that this is what we need to do.

So we’re going to get started with our ways of thinking and being and it was, it was tough.

The one thing that stood out in what you just described was way of seeing not just what was happening to you and to the rest of the team, but also what basically was the Mandate of these new people who were coming in and when I hear For anybody who is able to look above them, and feel for the people above them and understand the predicament that they are in.


And the fact that everyone is involved in certain power structures.

Basically, that everybody is accountable to somebody and the person above you is a person below.

Somebody else that in itself, stands out immediately that you that you saw it.


It’s easy to see what’s being done to me.

It’s not so clear.

Sometimes that what’s being done to me is the consequence of other things that are being done to you.

Or toll to you or demanded from you or expected from you.

Same, you you arrive and and you basically we indeed have to start to prove yourself immediately.


So, you look for shortcuts.

And one of the shortcuts is to assume familiarity.

Another shortcut is to basically not spend enough time learning what, how things are being done, and why they’re done the way they are done because we need to instantly change something.


And another shortcut is to not take enough time to build the relationship necessarily because we’ve got shit to get done.

Maybe kind of mandate.

We need to fulfill fulfill the, you know, the requirements here and you seem to have done that.

Actually, you’ve actually done a terrific job.


And so now you kind of go back and you say, okay, we’ve done the work.

Now, let’s go.

See what happened to the people because if the people don’t get along, they can’t fully celebrate the work.

They’ve done either.

And what you’re also saying, is that it goes from high to low.


That sometimes you really feel like, you know, we connected, we got it.

We’re in this together, we laugh together, all of it.

And and that’s that it actually is a very personal relationship and and that it then goes equally to the other side, but with intensity.


And when people experience that kind of intensity in the workplace in a very short amount of time is because each one actually evokes something for the other.

So then you start to ask, you know, what is it about this behavior?

That triggers you that make that engenders a reaction in you, you know, and and and when else have you felt this because it’s so immediate, you know, so soon that you don’t like it that they’re not liking, it was learned somewhere else.


It doesn’t just come from these two people.

So that’s a question I have is like, what was it that each of them, kind of kind of feel that that the other one was pressing somewhere and didn’t necessarily know that they were pressing know what they were pressing, but they knew they were pressing.


That makes sense.


When I try to understand the tension between these two people who work together, I continuously straddle three levels.


What is organizational?

What is interpersonal or relational?

And what is personal or individual?

What does each woman bring with her from her own history of relationships?

What is being triggered between the Of them.


And what is actually the consequence of something that is organizational and systemic present in the room, although invisible?

I’ll tell him how that it’s just a resonates a lot with the with the first day that I remember, just like thinking.


Oh my God, she’s a lot.

And then she would like refer to herself as like a bull in a china shop.

And and that is something that like, I’ve come to appreciate, but I’m now very curious about why that affected me.

So, because it really did influence the Just the ways that I showed up in spaces and conversations with her afterwards and you know, other Bulls in China shops.


My sister my sister.

Yeah, describe the bull or designers shop for um.

My view, my sister who I’m referring to is two years younger than me, but she is very like, look at me and she’s beautiful.


And we are like when we’re all together, we are all very loud and very boisterous and fun, but she can definitely get like she has like a temper and she can be very stubborn and she has to have her way.

She’s not very great at listening.


Sometimes she when she’s insecure about something.

It’s very few displays it in a way that is like, it’s almost like angry angry about it.

Like she hasn’t, she didn’t go to college.

I was the only one of my siblings who went to college and I was the like, quiet one where I was I had my head in a book at all times.


My dad used to like compare all of my siblings to me and be like, why aren’t you reading?

Why don’t you just sit down and be quiet for like up until I probably when I got to college and I started to come out of my shell a little bit more.

I was definitely.

More withdrawn.


What are you learning as you listen to this?

Summer Summit, she shared some of it with me a little bit.

I did not know about her kind of being the most bookish and, and a little bit of like, what I’m picking up on possibly, as kind of getting lost in the shuffle a little bit to with all of these other bigger voices that she had around her and how they expressed, what they needed and how they needed.



I’m trying to.

But that sit with me for a second and see if it resonates, you know, definitely I definitely could see I think as I moved away from home and learn about just different things like I’ve definitely found more of a voice in a willingness to speak up about things at home.


But most of the time I’d be happy to just kind of be in the midst of my family being like loud and buzzing around and that’s usually fine.

How does that training?

Come to work with you?

I don’t have a lot of, it’s not in my nature.


I guess to climb the ladder towards like promotions and things like that.

I’m happy to be in a room learning and not as much leading or facilitating.

I love being on a team and there’s this Duality where I have I’m starting to have opinions and give voice to them more than I have ever really done in my life.


But also I I’m really happy to just sit back and, and listen, do you experience her as more shy withdrawn and had pleased to be on the team happy to learn but not necessarily to claim.


And how do you manage that?

Do you have a view of her as capable of so much more and if she only, you know, takes that seat at the table.

That’s pretty much right on the money.


How I feel, I see a lot and expect a lot and want her to expect a lot for herself to because I I’ve seen what she can do.

I feel like I want to leave as much space for her to see that in herself and want to grow.


But also feel like I don’t want to back off just because I get pushed away.

Sometimes I also feel like I’m really aware that like I’ve never felt like I could just sit back and not and just take in what’s going on and not have to one either perform or participate, you know, so I also see like just add if you know a difference in that and also appreciate I got said to her before, I appreciate what a good listener, she is and how she did Is that like listening taking it all in and then having an assessment or an opinion?


Where did you get the training of?

I can’t sit still, I have to act, I have to make things happen.

I can’t just be a passive witness.

Yeah, I think, you know, to have a mom who didn’t have a high school degree and had me as a teenager and then a dad who?


Dropped out of an orphanage at 18 to like, work and then build their own business.

It’s I almost feel like there’s something in that.

Like, if, if you’re not proactive in working in that way, like, you are left to a less fortunate situation, you know, I think it’s called.


I think it’s survival.

And progress, I think for a long time, I understood survival and progress to mean that you can’t ever sit back.

And that if you don’t take control of something, like you’re going to be at the mercy of someone else’s.



And how does that enter into the dynamic between the two of you?

That I’m urgent about many things.


I got it.

I mean, I didn’t get it.

I just had a thought but I’m going to wait.

Go ahead.



No, I just suddenly so it’s like you, you know, in your world, you don’t wait, you don’t sit because it’s the difference between you know, moving ahead.


Could creating a life having protection versus being at the back.

And in your world part of what gave you your strength?

Is that you may have been quiet, but you listen and you think things through you don’t jump.


You are deliberate like both of you in front of a certain precariousness have a different response.

One of you says things are not sure.

Let me watch and sit and study this and the other one says things are not sure.


I can’t just Sit here.

I gotta act and fast.

That’s what suddenly came to me.

Does any of this resonate?



Hundred percent Allison.

I just felt this to the me.

I just thought you know, I I saw you and your younger versions.


And then I see it how it enters into the workplace direct.

And then you feel that she’s pushy.

When you don’t like it in the in the in the lows and she thinks you’re too slow and passive and not and not.

Not what?


What’s the word for you?

Sometimes I think interested.

I know that like I’m just yeah, sometimes I think not interested my because but that’s enough.

That’s like if she was really interested.

She would already have done this.

She hasn’t done this means that she may not be interested enough or see it in a certain way often.


What we might think, what we differ on, what we would focus, we think we should be taking so I think that’s what impacts it as well.

It’s like I feel like I’m like we got to make it happen.

And I think then she’s like, let’s see what happens, and then we’re going to do this.



So I feel like that’s how I would translate that into my own words.

How would you put it?

I mean, that it’s J Dog.

Sounds Ray time.

I definitely am, like resisting the the the mold like, I don’t want to be like this.


Like, I don’t want that to be the idea of me, but I think it’s, I can’t deny it.

Like it’s definitely a thing that I am.

I just I named about myself.

Like I am I do want to see how things play out.

I try to be thoughtful before making decisions and moving forward with things and I and I cling to like just feeling safe about about things, I think.


So mean this this is an interesting lens.

It’s not a definition of you.

It’s describes.

An aspect of you.

There’s so many others.

It’s not reduce ourselves to one thing.

But it probably is one of the things that stands in the way of your tensions.


That’s why I picked on this one because it, you can feel it.

It’s energetic.

I hear you talk about how you get it to take things in hand.

You get to make things, move your end.

And then I suddenly felt when, when you have that energy, I can imagine that the tension comes because on the other side is someone that says, wait a minute.


Those two stances, create an interesting dance.

It’s stands stands dance.

This is my colleague.

Very real in this is it you have a stance.

You have a stance and together.

This becomes a dance.

So now let’s describe the dance and I’m going to listen to you talk to each other.



I listen to the core beliefs that both of the women are highlighting each specifying, her own Survival strategy.


I must act.

I must not react.

One says, I must act, I can’t sit idle, and the other says, I have to be careful.

Not to react one finds.

Ra T in thinking, with some categories and structure and the other finds resistance in being labeled in feeling, confined by words that are more General and don’t capture the uniqueness of her.



Both of them do have real nuanced understandings of each other and of themselves, but they’re caught in this dance at this moment.

That I hear very, very Very often we expectations from the manager to not just be a manager that looks at the work being done in the deliverables, but looks at my growth, my sensibility, my emotional health, Etc.


And the manager who is asking, how do we set up expectations and parameters, without having to be a therapist at all time.

If I see you discuss, something does have to be the most difficult thing.


I will see the moves of the dance, basically, and not just, I will see, we will see.

I mean, one that came to mind was like, tiring like Where there would be like hiring fairs.


And like at the last minute, there would be one of interviews or we would like schedule hiring fairs that weren’t originally a part of the plan and that just would feel really chaotic for me.

So that’s just like, that’s a situation that came to mind that I wonder if it would apply here.


Well, I think I would say that if I’m thinking about how we’re going to do it again this year.

Want to know what is going to make you more comfortable with those types of moves because we have to make them.


So I’m open to being like what would make?

What would you like to try to still meet that need but it not make like you’re high you feel like the hiring fairs CAD.

It’s not going to not feel chaotic.


So my my thought of this was almost like I don’t want to lead it.

I don’t want to like Be the one in charge of it, if it’s going to be something that’s like the, I feel like I can’t control or just like have some feeling of like this is, this has an order to it and I don’t think that that means it shouldn’t happen that way.


Because ultimately, what you did worked.

It’s just that I I’m happy to just like not be the lead on it, not be the person scheduling things and holding people accountable to our zipping and things like that.

If I just know that that’s not something we’re going to do and and I’ll just help with tech support.


I mean, I think I’d want to push and be like two things.

I would say is one like the hiring Fair should run.

There’s a lot of wings.

That should run exactly how you run it.

What I’m interested in are some tweets that also meet the needs of the people that were serving.


So it’s like I don’t know how I can frame it for you.

So that like it doesn’t feel like a tweak its ruining your entire system and maybe the other option or another option two is like telling you what it is that we’re thinking about we need and being like, okay, so given these things.


How would you tweet the way the system?

The way the hiring process goes down to still sir?

Of this other need versus telling you how I wanted you to serve it.

Like I would want us to play at least like two of those out.

Before we just decide like you’re not going to be on it or you’re only going to do tech support.


That’s what I don’t see that.

I don’t think that’s sustainable for our team till I get everything we need to get done and then to I just think like you are more than just tech support.


Do you?


No, that what she would like to hear from.

You is not what you cannot do, but what you would like to learn to do better.

No, but I mean that’s, The place here goes to then she starts to think you’re not interested.


Which I don’t think is what you mean, but you’re talking about what note to this note to that can’t hear can’t there.

And what she wants is to sense an energy.

It’s the energy of getting it done.


That we were just talking about before she wants a little bit more of that energy.


I mean, I think give me something I can work with is how I’m thinking about it.


I feel like I feel like you don’t want it to be different or you don’t want it to change because I’m doing it if I’m going to be really like, like that’s so that’s where it starts to get like a tug because I’m like, I want opportunities to think of it in a different way, but it kind of feels like a little bit of what I walked into also on a bigger sense of like if we can’t keep doing it this way, then I don’t want to do it at all.


And then you have to do it and then I have to do it.

That’s honestly what’s happening in my head is that then I’m going to have to find other ways to do it or, you know, because ultimately, it’s still has to get it still has to happen.

It has to get done and and then I honestly never want you cut out of anything that we would do as a team.


Like one year, an asset to that’s not a good look for you.

I don’t want anything.

That’s not a good look for you.

Tell me.

Have you had experience with in helping her and infusing some confidence?


I mean, I don’t know what that exactly what you mean by that but I feel like yeah, I feel I feel like I don’t know if I can Infuse confidence in her.

I feel like I try to express the observations and times where I feel confident in her Sam.


Yes with yeah without because like I’ve never want to patronize you.

I always want to have high expectations because I’m always clear of like how awful it feels when you there’s not Expectations, feels terrible to.

So I’m always trying to have that dance.


How are you receiving the?


I am struggling and struggling.

I am thinking about the times where I think I feel like I was energetic or like about it and it, and it was It was misinterpreted, as not believing or not buying in when I was like, I’m asking questions or I’m trying to offer like my like feedback or just thinking like this just to me, doesn’t make sense.


So I don’t like, I would rather we try something else.

So I’m just struggling with the feelings that I’ve that I’ve had in the past, having brought me to this point of just tell me what to do and I’m going to do it.

Because whenever I pushed back or whenever I tried to become energetic or offer something, it was met with what felt like?




Like this is that’s not what we want.

We and it was always just like a like a fight.

So I’m just like well, fuck it then.

I’m just not going to like do that anymore.

I’m not going to push back.

I’m not gonna like pressure test things.


If it’s just going to feel like I’m Like starting a fight or causing an argument or something like that.

So that’s those are these are things that are kind of just like going in my head right now because I do want to feel like I’m I want to feel like I’m an asset to the team most days.


I just feel tired.

I hear.

I’m hearing it.

I’m processing it and I think that and we can look at like what you’re saying is put push back or coming being excited about something and like what I perceive it as like if there’s mrs.


In that as well.

Yeah, did you hear her say?

That the words that I heard were like that when she has other thoughts or has other ideas or expresses another way or why she wants.


Why she’s invested in the way that it is being done.

If I’m asking for something different that like she doesn’t feel like that’s embraced.

That, that is kind of pushed aside, or did it becomes the source of a battle?

Definitely becomes a source of your and you, you see that Yes, you see this when I see it.


I know it.


So you agree on on that on the on the on what happens.

Because it’s a very different answer that.

I’m not just not engaged.

I’ve chosen to not be engaged.


When my experience has been that if I do bring that energy my questioning, my discussing is experienced or is responded.

To as if it’s a as if we’re in an argument, I think there are times.


I think that if I’m not feeling like the questions have to do with like how to do this better.

And if I’m feeling like the questions have to do with like resisting change, you’re right.

I am taking that I’m responding to that differently than I might to like new ideas or problem solving.


So go a step further, sometimes you can experience her questions as curiosity and engagement and sometimes you experience her statements as resistance and rigidity like she closes off and you can’t you know, but the more she goes there that way for you.


That’s when you start to Chisel away.

I have no choice.

That’s how it feels.

I know that I need to develop in my own skills, but in that moment, it feels like I have no choice because like I can’t let this stop us.

And that’s kind of like the narrative that happens in my head.


That creates what Esther talked about that.

I feel like I need to Chisel away, which can’t possibly be a pleasant experience for not say that it was pleasant.

But you know, it’s that’s a fact.

And do you see how the Chisel machine gets activated?


Yes, because I think that part of what you’re doing, so beautifully here is to get a sense as to how each of you.

In some way.

Elicits some reaction in the other person by virtue of your own behavior.


And both of you agree, you know, there’s a shared sense of reality here.

It’s not like one of you have completely separate stories and you kind of wonder if this is happening to the same people.

So, there are times when you actually do succeed, very well in bringing her in where she engages from the place of, how can we do this rather than I can’t do it.


I won’t do it.

Let’s study.

Those what have you done?

Then each of you, by the way that made you be able to bypass the impasse.

The first thing that came to mind, was that when I’ve had a good night’s sleep things, generally go better.


I like, when I, when I am taking better care of myself.

I feel better overall.

And that’s one thing that I have not been doing a lot of for a long time.

And I do, I do feel like a sense of ownership for when things did not go.


So great.

And and I think that when things did go well, like it was coming from both of us more.

And why is it challenging for you to take care of yourself?


I have self-diagnosed depression.

I have been, I have consistently just, you know, Gateway over the last five years since I moved from my home to where I am now, and I am very comfortable with being comfortable.


I don’t Overextend myself in my personal life, too many regards.

If I don’t want to do something.

I don’t do it.

If I want something, I get it.

And that’s just kind of like I feel so disgusting, like saying that out loud.

And but that’s just like what my life has been like, especially during quarantine, but really leading up to that as I started to have like, my own Financial like Independence and stability and just Freedom really from like, My mom, my family same.


Or is this more there?

I am.

Not the same person that I was.

When I lived at home, when I go home.

I have to pretend like I am still that person that I can’t show too much of like, who I am, so covid has definitely Allow me to adjust.


Just be just be be at home and just not I wouldn’t say that relaxes even the word because I haven’t been relaxed.

I’ve been working.

I’ve been not taking care of myself.


I’ve when I’ve had opportunities to take care of myself.

I play video games instead or something like that.

And I think when I had discipline, when I had had any semblance of discipline for myself or self-control, I was probably probably in.


I would say the latest was college, but the last time I really remember was high school when Had to get to school on time or else.

I would have been kicked out again.

I had to get up and get my Mom awake.

So and give her and make her coffee.

And those are the times.

I remember like having to be disciplined and then once I started to get out of the house and not have to do those things, it just discipline flew out the window and with that any sense of like urgency to get back to it.


Why do you learn from that?

And thank you for telling.


Thank you for sharing that.

I mean I learned that if you won, it’s that how hard it is to not feel like you can be who you are when you’re home with your family and and then also how It would just feel so uncomfortable to feel like somebody else in this other setting is imposing or in some way, wanting you to do anything outside of what you’re comfortable with.


It’s almost like you’re a little spent.

Yeah, then I was so much for thinking, you know, what is the responsibilities of a manager towards the health and mental health?

Of your direct report.

How much is it?


Important to know how much do you need to take that into consideration?

How much how much does that go to work?

What is the relationship here between the personal and the professional and probably you without knowing, you know, the days when she has slept well, and the days when she has spent her night on video games.


You don’t necessarily know why, but you know, the difference.

Yeah, and I do think like other times that it’s been more pleasant and less battle.

I think.

Our when like that part of me, kicks into where I’m like, take the time you need or do the thing you need to do, because I do value so much, like your well-being, and your health, and mental health.


And so like, if you talk about when, is it right Esther?

I feel like we definitely have that compassion for each other.

That is like, really.

They’re like, I’ve I’ve had to have two surgeries during covid.

I’ve had several deaths in my family and like, she’s just compassionate and understanding and picks up whatever she needs to pick up because of that and I try and hope that she’s felt.


I think she felt the same from me.

So I think if you just nothing.

But yes, if what works like that’s definitely we are both very In tune with our humanity and like the humanity of others.


The manager is a caring and empathic person and she wants to know about the mental health of her employee at the same time.

She wonders.

What is her responsibility to what extent does she need to adapt her expectations when her worker tells her that they spend the weekend playing video games.


This is one of the foundational questions in the moment About Management as an empathic guide versus management who make sure that their deliverables are up-to-date.

Let me ask you something.


As you work with teachers, who work in school with dire needs.

Do you ever discuss that aspect of your work to the real bigger reasons of what’s compelling about this here?

You graduate that the same time as your mother from college, you are the only one in your family who went to college.


This is an important subject in your lives.

For both of you.

Do you ever have those conversations that actually remind you why you’re there?

We don’t you know, I’m so glad that you were able to like a line where our experiences could be similar because I think a lot of times those conversations go into where like where it’s appears that we have completely different experiences or think about the work in such different ways.


But I think that we didn’t many ways.

We do have experiences that don’t differ in some ways, you know, so much and it would I would love to talk about like how we feel and think About the work that we do and, and how we’re still here.


I want to highlight.

As she says, the places where they align and especially education, their shared passion for the opportunities that education has provided them and could provide to the many students that they work with.


And so, I think that the best way to end this Precision is one of my favorite questions.

What’s one of the best teachers you had?


I would say. probably, when I was in high school I had I was in this AP Psychology class and He he noticed everything that happened in the classroom and he could tell immediately when I became disengaged, when I would just start.


Like, I would usually sit in the back of the classroom, and he could tell, when I would start to, like, drift off into my brain, and he would just call me back and Just clearly really cared about like the students actually being a part of what was going on in the learning.


So good teacher starts with the teacher.

You remember, you remember the best and the worst of the digital that we’ve had, right, but that to me, if you had more of those conversations social justice training of new teachers.


What makes a good teacher, how do you become a teacher?

That’s remembered?

What does it mean for these teachers to come out of college right now and 270 we go and teach.


I mean stank?

We are distinctive ever.

Nobody thought about that.

Your passion for Education, what education has meant for you to me, if you include those things in your work, and in your conversations?


It will change your relationship.


Esther perel is a therapist best-selling author speaker and host of the podcasts.

Where should we begin?

And how’s work to apply with a colleague or partner to do a session for the podcast, or to follow along with each episode show notes.


Go to how’s work, dot Esther

How’s work is produced by magnificent noise for gimlet and Esther perel Productions.

Our production staff includes Eric Newsome, evil watch over Hewitt, a Gitana and Kristen Mueller.


Original music and additional production by Paul Schneider and the executive producers of housework are Esther perel and Jesse Baker.

We would also like to thank Lydia Pole, Green Colin Campbell, Courteney.

Hamilton, Nick oxen horn, Sarah Kramer, Jack soul, and the entire Esther perel Global media team.