In the Limelight with Clarissa Burt interviews Leeza Steindorf: CORE Success DIrector
You are in the limelight! We have another extraordinary entrepreneur. She's a lady I've known for quite some time and what a powerhouse she is. She's going to tell us exactly who she is and what she does. I thought it was interesting to get her on board in these conflicting, difficult times we seem to be going through on a global level, not just us here in the United States. She's a consultant, teacher, speaker, coach, and a transformational specialist. Welcome, Leeza Steindorf.
Leeza Steindorf: Hi, thanks for having me.
Clarissa: I'm glad you are with us because of what times we are going through Leeza. I was watching something on the news this morning and you just can't say anything anymore without offending someone. You can't say anything anymore without being politically incorrect. Have we all become sensitive to everything?
Leeza Steindorf: I think that we've not become sensitive. I think we've become scared of everything. We're scared of being ourselves, of ostracizing other people, of hurting others. I think people feel disoriented because things are moving, changing so fast. Whatever the world order had been for the last hundred years, we can have a lot of conversations about how people felt about that depending on what demographic you were in. But there was a sort of stability where everybody knows how it is and it's not that way anymore. We are in a process of chaos that nothing people were used to is valid. The interesting thing, the millennials, that's all they know. They don't know the old-world order and the people that are “still in charge” are looking for a new orientation.
Clarissa: Wouldn't you say that would be true generationally through the ages? Or is it more now because we are bombarded with so much more information than we ever have been?
Leeza Steindorf: I think it's both. You need to consider a lot of the people now that are coming into solid jobs that are starting to guide us in our political systems, in our corporations and so forth, they do not know life without the Internet. You need to think about the idea of going to a telephone book and looking for a telephone number or having the opportunity to use a telephone to call somebody where you couldn't text, that's not even in their paradigm. What that means is there's a whole new way of thinking and perceiving our existence and what we know. That's never happened before.
Clarissa: That's creating the conflict?
Leeza Steindorf: That's part of what's creating the conflict. It's adding-to, it's creating an instability. You can never go from one stable system to another stable system directly. Think about moving. You have this beautiful home or office and now you're going to go to a new location. You have to pack things up, take things off the wall, things are a mess all over the floor. It's not possible to go to the next place and have everything on the wall, your desk in place, your phone system operating. You have to rebuild. We are in the process of that chaos. It's ‘how do we navigate while we're in this place of chaos'?
Clarissa: How do we navigate in this place of chaos? Maybe you've got a case study you can share with us or how do you encourage people when you're coaching, training and teaching them to want to move out? I think people get stuck in this paradigm, don't know how to get out of it and some lavish being in it, moaning and complaining all the time, making it their status quo.
Leeza Steindorf: We do love to moan and groan. There are also people that profit from exaggerating and emphasizing the chaos and somehow find their gain in that. I spent most of my life in Europe, I was born here, but I came back a couple of years ago. My experience bringing my business over here, I was trying to find out a new business name and how I could tie together all the different threads of what I did. In talking to my son, I explained in every facet, whether it's my coaching, consulting, training, conflict resolution, crisis transmission, whatever it is, there are these CORE concepts. There's Clarity, getting clear on who I am, what's going on in front of me, what the pieces are, having laser-sharp vision. Ownership, where I am 100% responsible for me and my actions, you can't do anything about anybody else, but I have total responsibility for how I show up here. Resolution, how I deal with the problems that arise like if fires are burning, people are upset or a conversation goes south, what skills do I have or how committed am I to doing something about that to resolve it positively? The final one is Excellence, how do I show up the best of me all the time and keep coming back to it even when I stumble and I fall?
As I'm sharing this with my son he says “Well momma, that's CORE”. I said, I know it's core, but I'm trying to figure out–” he said, “No, it's CORE. The acronym to clarity, ownership, resolution, excellence.” I was like, “oh my gosh, that's brilliant.”
Clarissa: Is it a value? A system? How would you call it?
Leeza Steindorf: It's a model and a system, the foundation of everything I do. You had asked what we can do in this chaos and I have a training called Core Personal Transformation on my teachable school. I take people through those four aspects of our lives or any situation. So you can use clarity and look at all the areas of your life and see where you need to become more clear and you can take each element like that.
I have a client in England, in Cambridge. They're dealing with Brexit over there, it's impacting absolutely everything. The uncertainty everybody has is what's going to happen now. To be able to look at a chaotic situation and say, “What's going on? What is happening?” Get factual about that, get clear. Then look at ownership. What can I do? I can't go out there and change the government, but I can vote. I can inform myself. I can take useful action in my immediate surroundings. When arguments come up or when there are things that I feel like I can resolve, looking at the environmental issue as far as recycling or getting active? Coming to excellence, how can I take a stand? What positive thoughts can I hold? Am I going to degrade myself into gossiping about a lot of media or do I raise myself and say, how can I contribute positively?
Clarissa: I liked what you said about conflict. About it being a lack of understanding or misunderstanding. When you come to the mediation table and you are between the two parties, where do you start and what would be the optimal outcome?
Leeza Steindorf: Oh, that's my juicy place. People think I'm crazy for loving to be able to go into conflict.
Clarissa: I think it's great. How much better could you feel about yourself than walking out of room seeing they walked in there hating each other and now they're doing the huggy lovey thing?
Leeza Steindorf: Even if it's not huggy lovey, at least it's a place everybody feels better. The first thing, useful in a conflictual situation as a mediator or whether you're having a conversation with your partner that's not going well, is “seek to understand”. Be curious about what that other person means, what they're saying from their frame of reference. It's hard for us to do because we want to defend and stay stuck in ourselves. There are times we want to be oriented internally but if you're going to be in or see a conflict going on, go external in your orientation and seek to understand, reflect. “If I understand you correctly, you're saying this, is this what you meant?” Try to understand them. The curious thing about what happens when people feel understood from their frame of reference, they calm down, we're not in fight or flight anymore, our whole nervous system calms us. If somebody hears me, they're here with me, they get me. Then people are in a position to say, “That's how I felt, what did you mean?” That's where the turning point is.
Clarissa: Sometimes it's the tone which completely diffuses. It happens with me, I'll get all head up about something and somebody can say one word or two with a tone that you think to yourself “Yeah, why are we going there? Let's come back over here.” It's a great feeling. I try to do it now more than I ever did. I go and try to diffuse something by keeping it calm. That wasn't me 20, 30 years ago. I was off to the races. I'm an Irish Catholic from Jersey, I would be down your throat in a heartbeat. I had to learn a little bit. I think we all should learn conflict resolution in our lives.
Leeza Steindorf: Where do we learn it? We go to school to learn math, English, science, and nobody teaches us these basic life skills. When we're sent out in the world somehow supposed to be able to do it, as we can see, it's not working.
Clarissa: I think we should have Relationships 101, whether it's a relationship with others or with self. That should be in the schools.
You openly say you had a difficult childhood and I know you're connected to wanting to be a fabulous parent today. You wrote a book called Connected Parent, Empowered Child: The Five Keys to Raising Happy, Confident and Responsible Kids. I'm not a parent but I've been parented and I love what you said about how we parent from where we learned our parenting and that might not have worked out so well either.
Leeza Steindorf: Exactly. The challenging childhood I had with my parents, my father. He had been in Vietnam, raised by an authoritarian Italian man. His way of parenting, especially when he came back from Vietnam they didn't have a name for what they now call PTSD, was through aggression. He was shell-shocked, violent. When we were little girls who didn't want to eat our peas or share our doll, that didn't go down very well after what he'd experienced. It was a tough way to grow up where conflict became a natural part of our family, a familiar dynamic. I recognized early on there had to be a different way. The tools I learned were to get angry and get loud but that wasn't useful out in the world.
I did a lot of schooling, got my certification in mediation, facilitation to have done a lot of work, gathered best practices and I had the blessing of working with Natalie Rogers, Carl Rogers's daughter, who is the father of humanistic psychology and the grandfather of nonviolent communication. That whole foundation of humanistic psychology, I was able to work with Natalie for years as an assistant in Europe. It gave me the foundation of seeking to understand other people. When I had kids, it all worked out, I was a fantastic parent.. until I gave birth. Then it all went south because the only thing I had was what I had learned.
Clarissa: Getting angry and getting loud. It scares the heck out of everybody.
Leeza Steindorf: We end up with dysfunctional relationships and kids that are wounded who go out in the world and then wound others. I applied then all of the work I had done to my parenting. There was also a program that went national in Germany called Frieden Lernen which meant learning peace. I do that program internationally now, it's CORE success for schools. From that, I gleaned CORE's success for parents. That program is where the book comes from. It's five modules of what you were saying wouldn't it be great if we had a class on how to do relationships? The first living to thrive, raising self-esteem, resolving conflict, then discipline with unity.
Clarissa: Where is the fine line between wanting and teaching a child to live in healthy self-esteem while helicopter parenting or giving little Johnny a trophy even if he didn't deserve one?
Leeza Steindorf: That's Connected parent, Empowered Child; when you have that connection with the child when a child knows that you are there and they are OK the way they are. They don't have to do ballet lessons, basketball, all these other things, they're good as they are. Out of that knowledge of themselves, their esteeming of themselves, their confidence then they can say, “I'd like to do music. I'd like to do volleyball,” or whatever it is. They find their way and you support it. You don't come from without and on top of them put some shell of how they should be in the world or what they should be doing. They need a framework.
Clarissa: How do you counsel a parent that has a child being bullied? Bullying is much more prevalent today than I remember it being in school, especially with online bullying. Kids seem to be really under attack everywhere they go. I think we're starting to see some of the worst possible case scenarios coming out of this feeling of not being good enough and getting very angry about that.
Leeza Steindorf: That's why the book and the parenting success blueprint is multi-pronged. You have to build self-esteem. You have to have a child know their value, their worth, their skill sets and whatever weaknesses they have. That's part of who they are, not everybody can do everything. Promote their strengths or feeling of power in themselves in their family unit. Also, at school, if somebody is going to bully or harass you. How do you deal with that? When is it time to take a stand? How do you get other people to support you? When is it time that you need to report the difference between reporting and tattling? There's a whole mind work behind that.
Clarissa: Those are great points. I'd love to be this big on your shoulder one day when you're in the room meditating. I find this information so enthralling and something we need to hear. I'd love Leeza to tell everybody how we can find her and her book.
Leeza Steindorf: My website is LeezaSteindorf.com and Connected Parent, Empowered Child is on Amazon. I also have an online school at YourCORESuccess.teachable.com where all my online training is.
Clarissa: I'm thrilled you've been able to be on here with us and are there parting words you'd like to leave us with?
Leeza Steindorf: Yes. Get in touch with how amazing you already are. You don't need to get anywhere else.
Clarissa: What a fabulous message, thanks again.
Leeza Steindorf: My pleasure. ✧