S5E1: Keeping It Human with Kathy Klotz-Guest

“When we have compassion and empathy for ourselves, we will radiate that to other people.” Kathy Klotz

Kathy Klotz-Guest is a speaker, author, comedian, and founder of Keeping It Human. Kathy started Keeping It Human after 15 years leading tech marketing and communications. Her mission is to help leaders, teams and companies use Improv and humor principles to be happier, healthier, and more creative all the while having more fun.

Cathy has worked for global brands such as Amazon, Dow Jones, and Deloitte and has spoken internationally on company and conference stages, including South by Southwest, Inbound, and coming soon, TEDx salon. In addition, Kathy studied and performed Improv at Comedy Sports and Sketch at the second city La. Kathy still performs and teaches improv and stand-up. Kathy is a graduate of Stanford University and UC Berkeley with an MBA and a Masters of Arts. She is currently working on her third book and still barely makes her teen kids laugh.

The challenges that organizations have today stem from fear and uncertainty and this keeps people from moving forward because they get stuck in old patterns that have to be unlearned. Leaders thought that they had to have all the answers but with a shift of mindset towards improvisational thinking, we reframe leadership and suddenly realize that leaders don’t have to have all the answers and that it is okay to let go.

Leaders constantly send these conflicting, contradictory messages, which are shut-up signals. Suppose we don’t do something about honoring the way people learn and how they check for credibility and honesty in an organization. In that case, we are just shooting ourselves in the foot repeatedly because we’re doing the same things and expecting that it’s going to be different.

Leaders must let people experiment and know that it’s safe to fail. Part of growing that muscle is to be okay with failure and see it as learning. The difference between people who succeed and those who don’t is that the people who succeed keep trying and keep showing up every day.

People have a template mentality about how things are supposed to work, but that’s not how humans or life works. The reality is so much of the bravery, boldness, and the art of learning to show up human, making mistakes, learning, and improving. This requires us to use this muscle of trusting the process.

Lead with compassion. Give yourself permission to play, be human, and make mistakes. When you do that for yourself, you are more likely to show up that way for other people, which will automatically make it safer for other people to connect with you.

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