Jessica Pettitt is a diversity and social justice educator. She talks about her new book Good Enough Now and how teams can learn to collaborate at a deeper level, embrace diversity, and get real with each other.

What You’ll Learn

  • How to be Good Enough Now
  • The three common response patterns and how to identify yours
  • How your response patterns can help you collaborate at a deeper level

About Jessica Pettitt

Jessica Pettitt, M.Ed., CSP, pulls together her stand up comedy years with 15+ years of diversity trainings in a wide range of organizations to serve groups to move from abstract fears to actionable habits that lead teams to want to work together. With a sense of belonging and understanding, colleagues take more risks with their ideation, conserve precious resources through collaboration, and maintain real connections with clients over time.


Weekly Challenge

Take some time and create a list of your crucible moments in your life. Identify how your third rail showed up in each of them. What do you notice?


Feel like reading instead of listening? Download the free transcript or read it below. Enjoy!

Transcript for Episode #081: Be Good Enough Now with Jessica Pettitt

Amy Climer: Welcome to The Deliberate Creative Podcast Episode 81. This podcast is about teaching you how to lead innovation in teams. A part of leading innovation is developing a team of people with different perspectives and different backgrounds who can engage in conflict when needed.

Today, I have invited Jessica Pettitt to share her perspectives on building diverse teams. Jess has been a professional speaker and a diversity trainer for over 15 years. In that time, she has learned that a truly diverse team isn’t necessarily one where everyone looks different, but one where there are different personalities and styles and different backgrounds on the team. The thing is, it is hard to create a truly collaborative team that is diverse because, often, those different personalities and different styles can create conflict, which might be uncomfortable and many of us want to avoid.

After Jessica was leading diversity training for about a decade, she started noticing certain trends. From there, she created a model that she calls Good Enough Now. It is about understanding how to take action that is good enough now and not waiting for the perfect moment or waiting for permission or waiting for when you are sure you will not offend someone. It is about making connections with others, even though you might mess up. Those connections are critical for collaboration and that collaboration is critical for innovation.

Jess and I have known each other for about ten years and she is an absolute rock star. She is a certified speaking professional, which is a designation that professional speakers can get once they are really amazing. It is very hard to get. She has won awards for speaking. One of the things I love about Jess is that she is so real and authentic herself. Whenever I am hanging out with her, I know that she is not putting on an act or a show. This is her. This is the real Jess. Jess, thank you so much for always being awesome and authentic.

Today, Jess is going to share a ton of knowledge, experience and stories with us. If you happen to be a note-taker, grab a pen. Jess mentions several freebies and resources throughout the episode and you can download all of them at Head on over there, you can download all the resources and the freebies that Jess mentions. Here is Jessica Pettitt.

Jess, welcome to The Deliberate Creative Podcast. Thanks for being on the show.

Jessica Pettitt: Thanks for having me. I am really excited!

Amy Climer: Awesome! Can you start off and tell us a little about yourself, about who you are and what you do?

Jessica Pettitt: I am a triple Virgo and I do not like long walks on the beach, which is weird because I live on the beach. I am a diversity and social justice educator and have run my own training and consulting, speaking company for about 13 years now. Started originally as a college administrator, and to make it through that job, was also a stand-up comic.

Amy Climer: That is pretty cool. Recently, you just published a new book, right?

Jessica Pettitt: Truth!

Amy Climer: Good Enough Now.

Jessica Pettitt: That is it. It came out in July of 2017. It is funny as I am not a first generation college student. Even my grandmothers had PhDs, so I was raised kind of like what are you going to go to PhD school for, what is your contribution going to be, how are you contributing to the bucket of all knowledge. That is how I grew up. I do not have a PhD, but I feel like this book is my dissertation.

Amy Climer: Absolutely. I totally get that, especially having just written a dissertation.

Jessica Pettitt: I married one of those people. I edited it. Does that count?

Amy Climer: That is a lot! Yes, that counts. Actually, the book counts, in my opinion.

Jessica Pettitt: What is weird is that I did not edit my book. The publisher did. But I did edit my partner’s dissertation.

Amy Climer: That is good. I think it is good not to edit your own stuff. You need to have someone who is not in it. Let’s talk about the concept of being good enough now. What does this mean?

Jessica Pettitt: What I typically say, and I will try to make this quick so you can get to more questions, but after doing what I would call bad diversity trainings for a number of years, what I noticed was nothing was changing in my audience’s lives, nothing was changing in my content. And more importantly, if I was doing it every day, nothing was changing in my life. I decided, about five years ago, to start noticing what kind of excuses were coming up, what were the patterns as to why maybe nothing was changing. What I realized was at the base, people did not feel learned enough, they did not have the right vocabulary, they did not have the right collection of friends, they had not been to enough places, they had not experienced anything to try to engage or connect with people who were different than them or topics that they did not even know anything about.

Yesterday, I did a training at a local community school and the alcohol and drugs counselor was talking about how hard it was to engage with someone who is grappling with gender identity. And so I said, “Isn’t that ironic? Because there are people who probably think talking about drugs and alcohol is really, really hard, but maybe they are good with gender identity.” As I was uncovering this, what I realized was most of us, whether we are conscious of it or not, are not engaging with something that is frustrating or challenging or difficult or gives us an urge that makes us anxious or something because we do not feel like we are good enough. My whole premise is good enough is better than nothing. It is certainly not American exceptionalism, I have been told that a number of times, but if you focus on trying to try as a momentum builder, then you have to be good enough. You have to be good enough in order to try to try.

Amy Climer: Let’s talk about that. I love this. I think it is so true and this can apply not just to diversity issues, but anything, right?

Jessica Pettitt: Yeah.

How to be Good Enough Now [06:57]

Amy Climer: When you are teaching people to try to try and to be good enough now, what do you teach them? How do they do that? How do they start?

Jessica Pettitt: I call it a subliminal diversity training. I think people like myself have done so much harm with diversity trainings. I’m coming at it straight on now like I am plowing through the baggage I helped to create. I start with a model of why you might be frustrating. It is really hard for people to be like, “Oh, let me tell you why I’m frustrating,” so we start even one step further back and I have them picture the people in their lives that are the most frustrating for them. That they have no interest in working with, they have no interest in talking to. Make it a good one. Really pick someone who is super frustrating, and then I walk them through the model, which I am happy to do here.

Amy Climer: Yeah, let’s do it.

Jessica Pettitt: Listeners, if you want, go ahead, start narrowing down who are your most frustrating people. I do think it is helpful if they are alive. Some people pick somebody on Facebook, someone that you interact with I think is also a good option. You might be sitting next to them. You could be married to them. Who knows? What ends up happening is the most frustrating people in your life are just in a different place of the model. Spoiler alert is that if you can figure out where they are in the model and you can figure out where you are in the model, then to create better teams, which I know is what we are all here for, to create better teams is to intentionally pull people together who are different so that you can actually balance each other’s weaknesses off.

Bad diversity trainings have taught us how to make that team look different. But if it looks different but you all respond and behave the same way, then that is not actually different. If we take a hiring team, then you are much more likely to hire someone that is like you — when we talk about fit — than someone who intentionally does not fit because they are going to balance off the weaknesses that you are bringing. It takes a lot of vulnerability to lead with one’s weaknesses, but I think it takes a lot of generosity to provide a space for someone else’s strength to compensate for your weakness.

You have to find out about that by being curious and by being willing to actually show up to work — we say this as a buzzword, but if you can show up as an authentic person, where all of you does not pretend it gets left in the parking lot, but actually comes into work, then what is going to end up happening is you are going to create an environment where everybody and all of everybody is actually welcome. Then you can actually start building an inclusive environment, but only then.

Amy Climer: I love the words you used: vulnerability, generosity, curiosity.

Jessica Pettitt: And authenticity.

Amy Climer: Yeah. And those kind of lead to this authenticity, or can.

Jessica Pettitt: It is really hard to genuinely do any of those things without the other three.

Amy Climer: Right. I love that. Even as you are unpacking it, I am visualizing this team and just their interactions and that it might be difficult at times but also really good.

Jessica Pettitt: I think about like I am a doer, I am a completer, I am a super extrovert. Most of our working teams, that is what is required. That is how our office cultures are typically set up, is extroverted privilege, completer, details, like done, handled. I do not work well with others. I need others to feed my energy, but I am not going to like collaborate with them. But that is actually one of the places in the model.

Let’s take you and I. If we were to work together, I think our supervisor would probably say, “They’re going to drive each other nuts.” Because I am so like [screams] all over the place and I am a — I want to say a laser beam except, it is more like a laser light show. And my experience of you, Amy, is actually like a functioning human being who actually is a linear person who might start something and then move to step two next.

Amy Climer: Some times.

Jessica Pettitt: Maybe even step three is close by. I am not that person. We are less likely to be paired together to work on a team because it might create conflict. You see like this is the same skill set of like let’s talk about statues in our parks. If we can sit in the bonus of complication, then we can have those conversations. But you and I would make a much better team than another sparkly chicken like me, all we are going to do is go to lunch.

Amy Climer: Right. Whereas if you and I, if we can get past those differences, we can rock it.

Jessica Pettitt: Absolutely! And I would have so much respect  — I mean, I already do, but if we are this hypothetical team, I would have so much more respect for what you are able to do because I can’t and I am forced to cover that I actually cannot do that. And vice versa, I would imagine.

Amy Climer: Yeah, absolutely.

Good Enough Now Model [12:22]

Jessica Pettitt: The premise of the model — do you want me to do this now?

Amy Climer: Yeah. I was just going to say let’s go into the model. Break it down for us.

Jessica Pettitt: The premise of the model is three variables. This is not rocket science. Actually, my book just got reviewed and she worded this so nicely. She was going through the top ten productivity books that no one has heard of that got released last year.

Amy Climer: Nice!

Jessica Pettitt: I do not know how I made it in that list, but thank you.

Amy Climer: That is awesome. Congratulations!

Jessica Pettitt: Thank you. One of the things she said is, “Jessica is clearly not a scientist.” It is not new information. It is from my experience and a whole bunch of books I read. But when I put all of that information together into a why are we having a hard time talking across difference kind of lens, there are three variables, not rocket science, and we have all of them. They are not weighted in a way that makes somebody better than somebody else, but we individually weigh them based on how our life has taught us to be safe and prepared.

Head, heart and action. Head does not mean intelligent — thank goodness — it just means really detail-oriented. I think of it like a downward-facing lamp. It only illuminates this teeny-tiny circle of information.

Amy Climer: Like a flashlight.

Jessica Pettitt: Exactly. Heart is the opposite of that. Heart does not mean emotional. You can have emotional responses and still be heady. What heart means is big picture. This teeny-tiny thing might happen and they go into this really big space, like an upward-facing lamp.

Then the third one is action-oriented, which does not mean exercise, it just means like the doing or the not doing. We all know people who are stuck in the spinning rainbow bowl of death, the blue screen. They will even use the word like paralysis or something and that they do not know what to do, but they are having an action-oriented response. Then throw in frustration, throw in conflict, now how do you show up?

The whole premise of the book – spoiler alert – is that you are responsible for how you show up. That is it. We would rather do a million things than be actually responsible for being self-aware of how we show up. That sounds like yucky work. It is not yucky, it is just work we need to do and we cannot outsource it.

Of the three variables, what I am discovering is that we typically show up with two of them, leaving one kind of dangling like a dangling participle. When I read difficult, courageous, crucial and fierce conversations, when I read them, they really focus a lot on how one communicates. In my language, the two variables you show up with all the time. So then the third part of my book is very, very much about this dangling participle. Because the dangling participle is actually the reason why I call it a third rail is when I lived in New York, the third rail is the thing on the subway you cannot touch because it will electrocute you, but it also the thing that powers the entire system.

The more you can get in touch with your third rail, the more you will know your excuse patterns and you will also know this magic — like when something happens in your life and people are like, “How did you do all that?” And you are like, “I have no idea,” it is because you tapped into your third place. You showed up in your trifecta, is the language that I use. Typically speaking, we show up with the twos, so that makes three archetypes.

The Three Common Response Patterns and How to Identify Yours [16:22]

Head Action

Quickly going through the three archetypes, I described earlier about my not being able to collaborate with people so I am a classic head action person. What makes me frustrating when I work with teams is I do not collaborate, I do not share, I do not trust people. If I delegate, it might be much harder for me to let go. How I experience delegation, actually, is I let go and then instantly forget about it so that I do not micromanage someone. But then when that person comes back to me, I have no idea what they are talking about.

Amy Climer: And they are probably like, “Wait, you told me to do this.”

Jessica Pettitt: Right, and I am like what? But that is because I do not play well with others. That is head action.

Heart Action

Heart action folks really tend to be very charismatic, they tend to be kind of the leaders of the movement, they do not really know why. And they are constantly feeling like they are not qualified to be in the position, but that might not be in their outside voice. They are grateful for other people scouring behind them to get stuff done because they do not even know how they got in the position they got in. But what makes them also frustrating is that they have ideas. They have an idea and then they will have a new idea before the first idea has even gotten implemented.

Amy Climer: I sometimes do that.

Jessica Pettitt: Really? You are self-identifying yourself. Good job! Ideas before the next idea is even implemented. They are appreciative of other people, but those other people have to really pay attention to find out what they just got promised to do that was not planned. That is a heart action person. Not so much limited by reality, budgets, staffing, gravity, whatever. Just the idea is what we are going to do. Let’s see how it happens. That is heart action.

Head-Heart Action

The last group, and anyone listening to this, if you have yet to decide, this is you. What is funny about it is that you tend to be slow to decide. A head heart person is not the person you ask at the top of lunch where do you want to go to lunch. Because they are like, “That is a huge decision.” They may like pull open a drawer of all the local menus or they may immediately go to all the online reviews. This is a big choice. Head-heart people are all about possibilities. What is frustrating about them is it appears as though they never make a decision. Because that action piece is not their strong suit.

But then what is interesting is when you get frustrated and you are like, “Screw it! Let’s just go to Taco Bell,” they will be like, “No.” They are capable of deciding, they just really need to think in it for a little bit and that might be six years, who knows? When they do make a decision, they do not regret it or question their own decision, which as a highly action-oriented person, I do not know this life. I question everything. But those tend to be the kind of archetypes.

Connection Between Archetypes and Social Justice Icons [19:39]

Then going back to your original question seven days ago, is how do you approach this topic with other people? The archetypes are also based on social justice icons. What is important is the story about the icons is that they did amazing work. If you start looking at your really annoying boss or that really annoying co-worker like a social justice icon, then for 30 seconds, at least, you can begin a connection with them as if they might have something good to offer.

Amy Climer: What are the icons? Let’s walk through those, if you do not mind.

Head Action: Mahatma Gandhi

Jessica Pettitt: Head action is Gandhi. Super annoying. So egotistical. He thought his own hunger strike would overthrow a government. We all work with a Gandhi. But at the same time, Gandhi did accomplish some good things. That is why he has a stamp. Some of you do not know what a stamp is. Just Google that.

Heart Action: Martin Luther King, Jr.

Heart action is Martin Luther King. Literally had a dream, not a plan.

Head-Heart: Mother Teresa

Head-heart is Mother Teresa. The biggest lesson I learned from my research on Mother Teresa is to question what you believe. If you can determine whatever it is that you believe and then question it and it survives your own questioning process, you are just going to believe in it that much more. But most of us do not question anything. For Mother Teresa, her big question was is it the will of God to have this much suffering on the planet, or was it the will of God for her to intervene? If she does intervene, is she going against the will of God? And if she does not, is she going against the will of God? No wonder she cannot tell where she wants to go to lunch.

Amy Climer: Right. She is dealing with something on a much higher level.

Jessica Pettitt: She has got much bigger things going on. But we all work with people like this. Generally, what happens is we put them into a teeny-tiny little kennel of frustrating and annoying to work with. How is a team supposed to work with each other if we have already kenneled-up based on what our most frustrating qualities are? We are all frustrating. That is the truth. None of us are perfect. But we are all good enough. Do you see what I did there?

Amy Climer: I see that.

Jessica Pettitt: If we are all good enough, then like scars, bruises, annoying habits, ticks and things like these all come to the table. But if we really are talking about building an innovative or creative team or heaven forbid, an inclusive space where we can all really be ourselves, you are going to have to bring all that stuff to the table. What most diversity trainings do and those books that I read, which were great, is how to adjust how you talk and you show up so that you are doing it their way. Kind of platinum rule. That is the stretch.

The golden rule is you treat everybody the way you want to be treated, but not everybody wants to be treated your way. Where like the kind of going the extra mile has been with Tony Alessandra’s platinum rule is that I treat you the way you want to be treated. But in order to do that, I have to engage in a conversation with you and find out what that is. What I would like to think is that I am actually going maybe back half a step and that most people are not interested in doing the platinum rule. If I am ordering a Starbucks, I do not have time to figure out how you want to be treated. I have things to tweet. I am not saying that is good, but I think it is realistic.

So backing up a half step is not worrying about how somebody else is, but taking responsibility for who and how I show up in this model. If I show up in a meeting like Gandhi, I need to simmer down and I need to listen. Then that third rail piece pops back up. Gandhi stumbled into compassion. Eventually, he realized the work he was doing would impact people who were not even born yet. He automatically came with head action and then he found his heart. Like connecting to something significantly larger than the work at hand, he showed up in his trifecta and he was unstoppable.

Martin Luther King got a PhD before he turned 40. In his own works when you read through his journals and his letters, his work got way more effective when it went from white straight Christian men, black straight Christian men being equal to actually talking about a living wage. Because he tapped into an economic system, the head part. He was already bringing his heart in action so then he showed up in his trifecta and that is when his work got more effective.

Amy Climer: That is cool.

Jessica Pettitt: Last, Mother Teresa, she showed up with her head and heart, but was stuck in spin cycle with these big questions until eventually she realized she could build a school. When she built a school, she did not just build a school anywhere, she built it in the worst place possible, but that was action piece for her. She was able to show up in her trifecta.

Building teams starts with an individual, in my opinion, understanding themselves and what they are bringing to the team, and then recruiting people to balance off their weaknesses. I am good enough to be on the team, but I am certainly not perfect. I need other hot messes to join my team so that all of our mess together is actually going to be really creative, really innovative and potentially, more effective. And that, in itself, will lead to more of a feeling of being included because you are valued for all your weird snaps and bonuses.

Amy Climer: That point about this diverse team, diverse in our archetypes, our head, heart action, there is always research that says those teams are the most creative, but they also are teams that have the most conflict.

Jessica Pettitt: Yeah. But we are terrified of conflict. I just think that that is so funny. I do not do the sportsball. Sportsball in general is conflict, because you have my rules and scores and hit people or hit things or whatever. There was a boxing match recently — I only know this because people asked me who I wanted to win.

Amy Climer: And you were like, “What?”

Jessica Pettitt: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. That is who I want to win. If you think about how much money and how much free time people who are not professional athletes spend watching professional athletes, we are not conflict averse. We actually invent conflicts called rivalries or loyal fans. But I think it is because we are terrified to do it in the workplace because we think our paycheck is dependent on not having conflict. Most of leadership and management is based on like just shut up and get it done. But shut up and get it done is not innovative.

Amy Climer: I think there is also, and if you look at like the sports, there are all these rules. We know if we are going to this boxing match, this football game, whatever, there is this whole thing setup, there are these rules, we know how behave, we know how to have that conflict and I think we do not know how to do that in a conference room or in a team meeting.

Jessica Pettitt: That is really smart. You are right. Because I cannot be like, “Technical foul.”

Amy Climer: Right.

Jessica Pettitt: “You, step back three steps in this conference room.”

Amy Climer: You know what, but that would be funny. That would be awesome if there were those kinds of rules. You could totally — like everybody — have little flags and you throw them out on the table. It would actually make the conflict funny and fun and be like, “Oh yeah, my bad, my foul. Okay, let’s back up.”

Jessica Pettitt: That reminds me of — I think this is finally gone, and I say that as like I think you will call me liberal diversity facilitator, but do you remember when we used to ouch people? It was a safe space rule and I am using that voice because I do not like to say safe space rules. And we can get into that too, if you want. But we would be in diversity trainings and we would be sitting in a circle and we would put the guitar and the candles down. And then as we share our stories, it is possible that it could land on someone in a way that is ouch. So somebody else gets to say ouch in the middle of my story. Do you remember that?

Amy Climer: I do not know if I have seen that word in particular, but definitely, that concept. Absolutely.

Jessica Pettitt: I have totally been to many, many a gig where ouch was part of it. What is fascinating about that, what made me think of this when you were talking about throwing flags is that the idea of saying ouch was to name impact that might have been unintended. If I throw a flag, it is kind of the same thing, unless we all 100 percent know the rules of the game. In a football game, there is no ambiguity about what they are supposed to do, what their purpose is and how they are going to do it. That is a set thing. No one brings a golf club to be creative in the middle of a football game.

When you take the sport away and you add in the team aspect, what I think is interesting is that we try to turn it into a football game. That is like putting a whole team into like ill-fitting space and then say we are cutting your budget, we are not going to fill that spot, but if you could be creative, that would be awesome. Thanks. Bye.

Amy Climer: Good luck.

Jessica Pettitt: That does not make any sense. Let’s be a capitalist for just a second. How is anyone in ill-fitting spanks going to be happy at work, want to work here for the long haul, find benefit personally and professionally from their own growth patterns? How can you grow if you are in ill-fitting spanks? Let alone, how can I inspire somebody else, collaborate with someone else like dream outside of the box? I do not mean like you have to get rid of all your chairs with wheels and add bean bags instead of chairs, but like if you are still trying to make a football game with bean bags in an open-spaced office, that is still not going to work. What you need to do is provide a space where you value people for their weaknesses. You value people for their strengths. The real innovative, creative moment is when you put those people together with the bowl of chips and some bean bags and maybe a dry erase board and then see what happens.

Amy Climer: I think this goes back to what you were talking about in the beginning of being comfortable with our own discomfort of the different person that is sitting next to me or sitting across the table and they are doing something and I am like, “Oh my gosh, I am getting so frustrated!” And then just recognizing that, kind of stepping back and be like, “Oh, hold on. I am action, they are not. Let me just embrace their heartiness or headiness or whatever my third rail is, and learn from them.” I feel like if we step back, then we can actually collaborate and then that is where some cool things happen.

Jessica Pettitt: Yeah. My partner is on a team right now. He is the only self-identified introvert on the team, but he is also linear. When I mean linear, I mean one of many nicknames from my adorable husband is robot. When he comes home from these meetings, he goes into a dark room and he has to decompress and he like whispers to me because he cannot talk because everyone else has been so loud that he is auditorily over stimulated. He whispers to me and when I ask what happened in the meeting, all I hear about is people interrupting each other, people stand up and like push their chair back and start talking and flailing their arms around. And I am like, “Okay, but what did you talk about in the meeting?” And he is like, “I don’t know. I am so overwhelmed by people’s poor communication I don’t even know what we talked about.” And I was like, “You’re the chair and you were there for three hours. What do you mean you don’t know what you talked about?”

This is what is really happening. Heaven forbid we actually talk about a subject that is actually challenging. This is just a group of people getting through an agenda. The bonus of being able to look at someone like a social justice icon is that you have like a 30-second window to try and make a connection with them. Before you have just been like they are completely wacky doodle.

In my husband’s Irish-American good catholic upbringing, you do not even slam a cabinet door. There is no outward expression of feelings. That is not allowed. Why did he marry me? I do not know – glutton for punishment. I grew up in a family where we had water fights around the house for fun because you get it out. That is the kids. Where we might look like a strange couple — and we are good with that, we are a pretty strange couple — the truth is that I have learned a lot from him, called like decorum. Sometimes it is not the place for my emotions, but he has also learned that like if it is not going to be the place there, you need to get them out. Like go do something.

We can do that in a relationship, we can do that on a sports field to some degree, but at work where we are being paid to be creative and innovative and be a team and we may not even get to choose who our teammates are, that is the one place in our life where we are not allowed to have a problem. We are just supposed to show up in the same spanks everybody else is wearing and then pretend to do something different. And we are rewarded, not by our failures, we are rewarded by our success.

Another great conversation I heard around innovation when I was working with a bunch of supervisors or leaders is what do you do inside your team to reward or validate someone who tried something that did not work? How are you valuing an attempt? I write in my book, one of the things is we are on a dog walk and we are talking about the electric VW van. My husband is waiting for this car to come out, just so you know. That is the way it has been for a long time, but he is counting down the days waiting and waiting and waiting. I am not in technology, I do not do anything about cars or anything, but when a new gismo is released, most of the bugs have been fixed. But there is going to be more, otherwise, we would not be at the iPhone X by now.

If we are tittering, at what point do you release something knowing it is not perfect? To me, that is exactly what we need to be doing in personal relationship. It’s like hey, this is only 6.0, but I am engaging with you and I am interested. And maybe not like I am going to download and upgrade from somebody else, because that is a lot of emotional labor, but in my interactions, maybe I would get to 7.0.

Amy Climer: Maybe the other person can help point out the bugs and help me figure out how to fix them without being too picky.

Jessica Pettitt: Yeah. The other thing that I get that I noticed in this kind of five-year review is the consistent, “I just do not want to offend anybody, like can you just tell me what to do so I do not offend anybody?” Even if you were to like held up in a cave, you are going to offend somebody because you skipped dinner.

Here is a twist; why don’t you just go ahead and assume you are offending someone? You may or may not get to find out about it, they may or may not decide to tell you, but I promise you are offending someone. I am offending someone. Okay great, let’s start there. Then if you get the luxury of finding out about it, you were already expecting it so you are not going to be as defensive and you can learn and that is how we upgrade the models.

Amy Climer: I love that, where you just said the luxury of finding out. It really is. When you get that feedback and you look at it as a luxury, wow, that is a whole different mindset than like, “Oh my gosh! I did something wrong,” versus, “oh, I get this chance to learn.”

Jessica Pettitt: Right. How fascinating!

Amy Climer: Yeah, how fascinating. Jess, this is awesome. I love this. As we are kind of narrowing in on the end here, can you share with us one tip — I like to give everybody a weekly challenge at the end of the episode — what is something they can do this week to help implement something that we talked about?

Weekly Challenge [37:33]

Jessica Pettitt: I am really lazy. I think that is probably really important to mention. In my book, I have all these different activities and things like this that you do, but they are super, super simple, but they are not easy to do. Self-reflection is hard.

Amy Climer: It is.

Jessica Pettitt: The activity that comes to mind instantaneously, other than look at the people who are frustrating to you and figuring out where they are in the archetypes, oh look they’re someplace else. That would be step one. Step two is grab a sheet of paper, and I want you to write down the crucible moments in your life. No chronological order, and they are just like little notes to yourself, you do not have to write like a ton. This is not a competition, but notice how you are trying to think of the worst things that have happened to you so you can win some kind of like mean contest.

But what is interesting about crucible moments is they can also be really good things. We instantly go to the negative typically. But like if somebody was going to shoot a movie and these are the scenes of your life that would need to, at least, get shot. They might get edited out, but like no, this was critical. This is something I really remember.

Amy Climer: Something that impacted who we are.

Jessica Pettitt: Yeah, because bonus — spoiler alert — your lived experience is the best tool you have got going. Make a list of all your crucible moment; good, bad, ugly, awesome, et cetera. Make that list, they do not even have to be in chronological order, but if you can decide where you are in the model — if some people still have not, I promise, you are a head-heart person. Everybody else is like, “I got it. I know what I am.” Your third piece, if you know where you are, then it is the third piece that is not the archetype name. What I want you to do is look at your list of crucible moments and see how that third element showed up and helped you or how that third element hindered you in that particular situation. So then if you can actually start embracing the patterns of how your third rail shows up in your own life, you can take better responsibility for how you show up.

If I can, I will do this quickly as an example, I am a head action people and typically, the head action people listening are the ones who are like, “I don’t understand. I’m going to need a handout.” If you want handouts, you can go to and actually download a handout. You are welcome. What is interesting is as a head action person, then my third rail is my heart. When I go through my crucible moments, there is a distinct pattern of when I have felt like a fraud or I have felt like my work does not matter. I have checked out, I have quit, I have not started, I have not engaged. That is where the excuse part of my third rail has shown up and it is like alarming how clear this pattern is.

But there are other crucible moments where like after my parents died, I have to raise my brother. I do not know how to be a parent. I was 19 years old. My brother is a disaster, what am I supposed to do? Do not know, but I am going to keep him alive. The concept of parenting, of like raising a 16-year-old boy, I did not get heady about that, I did not get like, “Oh, I need a plan. I need to read a book.” I just instantly was like, “Yup, going to do that.” And I would like to point out he is still alive.

Amy Climer: That is good.

Jessica Pettitt: But that is where my heart part overpowered the other ones and that is what family is for. It is not his fault his parents died. He has got me, poor thing, the least I can do is show up. When I go through those, I can find that third part really clearly and then that is the heart of being responsible for who and how you are. One of the therapy bills I will save you is you cannot be mad at people for behaving exactly the way you expected them to, but you can take responsibility for how you behave exactly the way people expect you to.

Amy Climer: That is a great point. Jess, if people after listening to this are still not quite sure what their three parts are, is there an assessment?

Jessica Pettitt: They are a head-heart person.

Amy Climer: Is there an assessment that you have created or anything like that?

Jessica Pettitt: Yes, there is. On the freebies page, you can download a bunch of stuff. It is There is also another video that I did for LeaderShape, which is actually an organization that Amy and I have in common. You can watch it all again. I go through the whole archetypes all over again. You can also download a free app. It is amazing that I have an app because I am a very slow adopter and just barely got a smartphone. But it is just Jessica Pettitt and it is on iTunes and Android and there is a survey that you can take that is not scientific really. It is a baker’s dozen questions. They are about tacos and Dolly Parton and very serious subjects. But if you do that, I did do enough research to create the survey that the answers that come up will consistently be at least one of the variables that is showing up the strongest and how you respond to these particular scenarios. You can do that. It is free.

Amy Climer: That is awesome. That is super cool. Jess, if people want to learn more about you and your work, where can they go?

Jessica Pettitt: Facebook is where I live because I am actually a 13-year-old boy. Except that joke does not work anymore because 13-year-old boys do not use Facebook, but back in the day they did, or is my website. There are tons of videos and stand-up comedy reels and handouts and very fun headshot pictures of me, if I do say so myself.  

Amy Climer: Lots of good stuff there. I have been there.

Jessica Pettitt: Lots of polka dots.

Amy Climer: Yes, very cool dresses, cool outfits. Awesome. Jess, thank you so much for being here.

Jessica Pettitt: If you cannot have good content, at least have pockets.

Amy Climer: That is right. Awesome! Thank you so much for being on the show. I really appreciate it. This is great.

Jessica Pettitt: Absolutely! Thank you so much.

Amy Climer: Thank you, Jess, for sharing your insights and knowledge with us. So helpful. So awesome. I love this idea that we react through our head, our heart or our actions. It can definitely help teams learn how to work at a deeper level together. If you do not have Jess’ book, Good Enough Now, I highly recommend it. There is a link to the book and to the other resources Jess mentioned at Head on over there.

If you are new to The Deliberate Creative Podcast, welcome. You can get all the episodes on or on iTunes, Google Play or Stitcher. If you like what you have heard, please leave a review on iTunes. It helps others learn about the show and it means so much to me to get your feedback.

Thank you everyone for listening and thank you, Jess, for being on the show. Have a wonderful, creative week. Bye.

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