Skimm'd from the Couch: Lori Gottlieb

Aug 12, 2020

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Lori Gottlieb knows what it’s like to make a risky career move. Or four. Before becoming a bestselling author and therapist, Lori was a TV exec, then a medical student... and then a journalist. This week, Lori told us how she successfully navigated those transitions in her life. And how she helps her patients navigate those types of changes now.

On Making Changes

Lori: The uncomfortable is a great place to be…. If it's too comfortable for you, you're not going to stretch yourself, you're not going to grow, and you're not going to discover something new. So you always want to do that next thing that makes you a little bit uncomfortable, that stretches you a little bit.

On Telling Your Story

Danielle: We've talked about reinvention, and you've done it in separate careers that you do a great job of telling the narrative around, right? How working in TV led to an interest in medicine, led to interest in story telling, to ultimately where you are today. I think something that really challenges people that realize they want to make a change is how to tell their story. 

Lori: …. When you're going through something, what's most important is that the story makes sense to you, and it doesn't need to be a cohesive story.

The story is just, "This feels right to me." And that's enough. And you have to realize too that nothing is certain. So you might try something and maybe it doesn't turn out the way you thought, but maybe you'll discover something else. Like, I went to medical school completely thinking that I was going to have this career as a physician, and it was gonna go a certain way. And when I was there, I discovered something else. And I'm so glad that I did.

On Showing Emotion At Work

Carly: I want to talk about compassion in the workplace. We talk a lot on the show about whether it's okay to cry at work, and the moments that we've all had around that. The definition of compassion in the workplace has really, really shifted over the last few weeks and months. And I'm curious what that means to you. 

Lori: Well, first of all, I think because of COVID, there's been a great leveling. So people at all levels of an organization are seeing inside other people's homes. There's sort of an intimacy to the way that business has been conducted…. You start to see how we're all connected. You start to see parts of people's lives that humanize them in a way that maybe they don't share in a professional environment in the same way. So I think that's all been really positive. I think, at the same time, there are professional boundaries.

True vulnerability, to me, is when you sit down face to face, one on one with someone who really matters to you in real life and you have a really hard conversation. And you reveal something about the truth of who you are that maybe is hard for you to do. That's vulnerability. I don't necessarily think that's what we need to do in the workplace. But I do think that we need to humanize each other in the workplace. And I think what that means is taking an interest in the whole person. I think that when you bring your humanity into the workplace, you get better work product. People think better together. People work better together.

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