Diana Chapman | [Conscious Leader Series] Eliminating Drama in the Workplace
Smart Business Revolution

Diana Chapman is a Founding Partner of the Conscious Leadership Group and the co-author of the best-selling book The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership. She has worked with over 1,000 different organization leaders and many of their teams to grow in self-awareness and eliminate drama in the workplace. She facilitates leadership forums around the bay area for founders, VCs, and CEOs, including YPO forums and YPO chapters worldwide. 

Diana also co-leads a training school for coaches who want to learn how to facilitate her coaching models. She has been a speaker in a number of different places including Mindful Leadership Summit, Wisdom 2.0, Stanford Graduate School, Haas School of Business, and YPO.

Diana Chapman, a Founding Partner of the Conscious Leadership Group, joins John Corcoran in this episode of the Smart Business Revolution Podcast to talk about helping organizations and their teams eliminate drama in the workplace. Diana also explains why she formed the Conscious Leadership Group and how she has been working with clients during the pandemic. Stay tuned.

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Here’s a Glimpse of What You’ll Hear:

  • Why Diana Chapman moved to California and how that changed her life
  • How Diana started working with organizations to help them eliminate drama
  • Diana’s advice to leaders reluctant to eliminate threat and drama
  • The types of transformations Diana sees in leaders she works with
  • Why people should stop suppressing feelings — and what leaders should do to encourage candor in their organizations
  • Diana shares a case study where she helped an organization facilitate change
  • How top-down decision making affects organizations
  • Diana’s work with clients during the pandemic and the move away from iron fist leadership
  • Why Diana formed the Conscious Leadership Group and the services she provides through her company
  • The peers Diana respects or admires and her contact details

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

Sponsor: Rise25

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Rise25 Cofounders, Dr. Jeremy Weisz and John Corcoran, have been podcasting and advising about podcasting since 2008.

Episode Transcript

Intro 0:01

Welcome to the revolution, the Smart Business Revolution Podcast where we ask today’s most successful entrepreneurs to share the tools and strategies they use to build relationships and connections to grow their revenue. Now, your host for the revolution, John Corcoran.

John Corcoran 0:42

All right. Welcome, everyone. John Corcoran here. I am the host of this show. You know, every week I get to talk to interesting CEOs, founders and entrepreneurs all kinds of different companies ranging from Netflix, YPO, EO, Activision Blizzard, and LendingTree. I’m also the Co-founder of Rise25, where we get to connect b2b business owners to their ideal prospects. And I want to give a quick shout out to Shirin Oreizy, one of our past guests on this show. She’s the founder and CEO of Next Step, and they help businesses use behavioral science in their company and their marketing. Check out hellonextstep.com. She introduced me to today’s guest, who is Diana Chapman. She’s a Founding Partner at Conscious Leadership Group and the co-author of the best selling book, The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership. She’s worked with over 1,000 different organization leaders and many of their teams to grow in self awareness and eliminate drama in the workplace. Who doesn’t want that, especially if the past year and a half that we’ve had with the pandemic? She facilitates leadership forums around the bay area for founders, VCs, and CEOs, including YPO forums and YPO chapters worldwide. She also co-leads a training school for coaches who want to learn how to facilitate in her coaching models. And she has been the speaker of a bunch of different places, including Mindful Leadership Summit, Wisdom 2.0, Stanford Graduate School, Haas School of Business, YPO, and a bunch of other places. And she, like I, lives here in the Bay Area. So we were just playing a Bay Area geography. And before we get to Diana, this, of course, is brought to you by Rise25 Media, where we help b2b businesses to get clients, referrals, and strategic partnerships with done for you podcasts and content marketing. So if you have any questions about how to do that, give us a call or shoot us an email at [email protected]. Alright, Diana, so you’ve got this great story. 20 years ago, you were as you in your own words, a happy housewife, happy at home with the kids in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Now you’re here in Santa Cruz, California, something there was a big shift, you had a conversation with your brother in law, which ended up being life changing and moving to California, completely changing the direction of your life. So tell us a story.

Diana Chapman 2:47

Yes, so my brother in law is a guy named Bob Shapiro. And he at the time was the CEO of Monsanto. And believe it or not, he was a very progressive leader. He was a personal meditator, he was very interested in equity back then, and play in the workplace and consciousness. He was studying with a lot of different mentors, both personally and professionally. And he said to me, hey, Diana, I’ve had access to a lot of leaders, or mean mentors, and I think Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks of the Hendricks Institute are the best out there in both personal and professional coaching. And I’m going to give you and your husband $5,000. And you guys can do whatever you want. With the money. However, I highly recommend you fly out to California, Santa Barbara, take a course with this couple and see what happens. So we did, we took all the money, took the courses, went out to California for the first time and never even been out here. And it was a game changer. We spent five days learning all about these cool models and tools that would help us eliminate drama in our marriage, which I think was one of the hopes that Bob and his wife Camry had at the time, that we would improve our marriage. And not only did it improve our marriage, it improved our parenting. And I decided then there I’m going to spend the rest of my life figuring out how to get this material out to the masses because I felt it was criminal that I didn’t know about this stuff. So I started teaching there in Ann Arbor, and then was coaching one on one with folks and then decided to move out to the Bay Area and found myself as an executive coach over the years and I don’t exactly know how that all happened, but

John Corcoran 4:43

no job or anything like that. And California just packed up the van or the car and took off.

Diana Chapman 4:49

We took off, we didn’t even have jobs, we just said California is calling let’s go and we came out here I started a lot of trainings here in the Santa Cruz area where I live and started teaching around the country, I taught conscious relationship, I worked with a lot of couples in the beginning. And then I started to work with some executives who came into my individual practice. And they said, this would be great for my team. And I can remember the very first time I was in somebody’s team, somebody said, you know, in q2, and I thought to myself, what’s cute? Like, that’s how much I did not have business experience. But what I do have is I know how to teach teams to eliminate drama. I don’t know much about business, although I’ve actually learned quite a bit over the last 20 years. But I am good at coming in and showing individuals and teams, here’s how you shift out of reactivity, which is what creates drama, and shift into a state of trust.

John Corcoran 5:47

You, so you didn’t know what q2 was? I’m gonna be a devil’s advocate here a little bit, right? You hadn’t been like the CEO of a large company or something like that? How did you go in, especially in these early days to these organizations, and say, I’m going to teach you and your team of workers how to eliminate drama?

Diana Chapman 6:06

Well, I just know, you know, all of us are just always in relationships. That’s all that’s going on, whether it’s relationships at home, or relationships at work, they’re just relationships, and I was really good at knowing how to improve relationships. So I just decided, just take what I know, and how I support people at home and just apply the same thing at work, and it worked. So. So my job is primarily to help people first locate themselves. At any given moment, we’re either in a state of trust, or we’re in a state of threat. And we use this model called a line. And we say you’re either above the line in a state of trust, or below the line in a state of threat. And the majority of us spend a good amount of our time below the line in a state of threat, because we’re biologically wired to

John Corcoran 6:51

That’s not like it’s not the brain that we’re constantly our brain is constantly looking for threats.

Diana Chapman 6:57

You got it. And so we’re often in threat. And that’s not good or bad. But the challenge with being in threat and trying to solve issues from threat is that tends to have us recycling our issues. So my job is, first of all, to help people understand, what are your threat patterns? How do you get good at locating yourself as above or below the line? And then, can you just pause for a minute and recognize, oh, I’m just scared. I’m just scared. That’s why I’m in threat, I believe there’s a threat to my security, or my control or my approval, that’s all? And can I let it be okay to be scared? And then if I can, then I get, I just check and see, am I willing to come back into a state of trust. Now, oftentimes, we are not, we’re not yet willing, we’re still feeling scared, and that’s fine. But now we’re aware we’ve built self awareness. And we’ll understand the consequences more clearly, of trying to solve issues from a state of threat. And that’s what I do all day long with people, whether it’s a YPO forum, or company, team management group I’m working with or an individual leader,

John Corcoran 8:05

And what do you say to an individual leader who says, Look, it’s gotten me this far, my heightened awareness of something that might go wrong, has saved me in so many different instances? Why would I want to do away with that?

Diana Chapman 8:18

Great question, you might not. And so I say to folks, if it’s working for you, and you’re not having any challenges, great, I’d keep with your program. But if you’re finding your burnout, if you’re finding there’s a cost to your relationships at home, or to your physical health, if you’re finding that you’d like to be spending more time in your flow states, and less time doing things out of obligation, then let’s look at this model and see how we can help you shift so you can create exquisite. And that’s what I’m about is how do we create more exquisite lives by paying attention to when we’re in threat and eliminate that drama that creates something less than ideal because it when I look around, I see a lot of quote successful people who you know, have a great track record in their career and you know, dollars in the bank, whatever. But, you know, many of those people are not sleeping well at night. They’d like to have their burnout, they’re done with the emails, they’re, they’re exhausted. And so how can we help you still create the success you want with a lot less energy?

John Corcoran 9:28

and talk about what that looks like the types of transformations that you’ve seen for clients you’ve worked with when they’ve been able to move out of that state of threat?

Diana Chapman 9:37

Yeah, so first and foremost, this is why we wrote this book called The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership and basically, we are defining 15 ways people can be in a state of trust that allowed them to get very open and we say open minded so your mind gets more curious, open hearted you get more connected to yourself and others. And open in your instincts and you’re able to make more effective decisions when all three of these centers in yourself are open. So we come in and we say, Where are you in reactivity? And we start with, first of all, where are you blaming? Are you blaming anybody out there? Yeah, I’m blaming my team for not giving me good feedback, or I’m blaming my CEO for not being more effective in the strategies they’re creating, or, or I’m blaming myself, because I think I, we should be more successful than we are. So the very first thing is, would you stop blaming? And instead of blaming, would you start taking radical responsibility for your results? So whatever is going on out there, would you start to teach me a class on how you have created that, so that you recognize you’re the Creator, rather than the victim here. So that’s a big, big piece right there. Because most of us, if we look around, we’re blaming. So if you’ve got people on your team that you are criticizing and blaming for not being as effective as they could, I asked you to teach me a course, what’s your part to play in them not being as effective as they could be. And if you look, you’ll find you have a responsibility there that you could take to help shift whatever’s going on over there that you’re complaining about. Second thing, and I help people learn to let go of being right, and what, specifically righteous, most of us have a lot of should and shouldn’t about how we should be, how others should be, how the world would be in that shooting creates a lot of drama. So I help people let go and loosen the grip of their righteousness, they still may have preferences, but they are able to start to question their minds and see how the opposite of their perspectives could be at least as true. And then third, I help people really open up their emotional intelligence, most of us suppress a lot of our feelings. Sad, scared, and angry are three core feelings that a lot of us have, especially at work. So I help people learn how to open those back up and reveal those more authentically and create spaces at work, where we can feel our feelings, because so much drama would end if people could just have room to feel and then can and