Six Questions with Janet Schmidt

1. What motivates you?

Authentic relationships, ones that are honest and caring and are committed to bringing out the best in others.

2. What do you do for a living, and what do you love about it?

I coach individuals, facilitate conversations, and train others to do the same. I train people to talk to each other in a way that recognizes and embraces difference. I teach courses like Effective Feedback, Generations at Work, Conflict and Culture, Addressing Conflict, and Dealing with Bullies. I coach people to be honest with themselves and others, to have honest conversations. I facilitate these conversations in a range of contexts – from two people in conflict to large group decision making.

I love the combination of both teaching and doing because they feed each other. In one context I teach people what I am learning and in the other context I deepen my learning about people in conflict and how people move forward.

3. Why are you excited to speak at TEDx?

It is an opportunity to share my experience with a wider audience. People long to have good relationships at work and at home and yet are so often in situations that they are not equipped to deal with.

4. Which TED (or TEDx) talk do you think everyone should watch?

Brene Brown’s talk “Listening to Shame”, but there’s a catch – it will make the most sense if you watch her first talk on “The Power of Vulnerability”

5. What is your idea worth spreading?

How would our lives be different if we saw ourselves as others see us – the good, the bad, and the ugly? I believe this ‘knowing’ would not only transform us but also has the power to change our communities to be dynamic and impactful.

6. What would you most want to tell your 20-year- old self?

You are good enough, be bold, speak your truth, take risks, make mistakes and acknowledge them, and strive to be open hearted.

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