Transcript of "Engaging - with Nikki Lerner"

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00:00.00
podcomm
Hello I’m Craig Constantonine hi nikki it’s pleasure to have a ah a face to go with the voice I’ve heard you on Scott Perry’s podcast and um.

00:01.46
Nikki
Hey I’m Nikki Lerner

00:14.88
podcomm
So there’s always it like when I start looking into people like whoa. What are we going to talk about I try not to come with too many preconceived notions because I don’t want to set up guardrails and then miss the really good stuff because I say let’s go this way So we do a little bit of this. Thank you. We do a little discussion beforehand and the thing that I actually showed up with is a preconceived question has to do with.

00:19.92
Nikki
Um I appreciate that.

00:34.87
podcomm
I’m going to say crossover but that’s not quite the right word the crossover between the work. It’s not really work because you clearly love it. But the work that you do about being a minister to a congregation and how you’ve done that for a very long time for decades and I personally was curious about oh. What’s it like for somebody who’s got that level of. Passion and comfort and experience in that space. What’s it like for somebody like that to pick up a microphone and start doing a host on mic format podcast because up for me host on mic is really hard I find conversations much easier. So the question I have is I’m guessing that. What you do as a minister and what you’re doing in your podcast the host on my format I’m guessing that scratches the same itch about sharing passion. So can you tell me about how those 2 are similar or how I’m horribly off base or what your thoughts are on that vein.

01:23.96
Nikki
Yeah I love that question so much that may be the first time anybody’s asked me that. So thank you? Well done Greg um, yeah, you know so they’re certainly in the same universe I’ll say that they’re in the same universe. So I was ah.

01:29.24
podcomm
Yes, I’m pressing stop? ah.

01:43.17
Nikki
A minister for gosh over 20 years um to a in a church spiritual community of probably about 5000 people and there was definitely times where I would have to communicate publicly really every week.

02:02.62
podcomm
Right? right.

02:02.68
Nikki
I mean depending on my role for that day whether that be just speaking whether that was through music and and speaking whatever creativity. Whatever it was and you know I am my most comfortable when I am on a platform or on a stage in front of 1500 people

02:18.31
podcomm
M.

02:20.70
Nikki
Or 2500 people I’m my most comfortable there and so um to take that it’s kind of interesting because these days now that I’m I’m not really doing that you know in that context very much. Um, moving it to. Ah, communicating with people just on a mic every week I almost feel like that crowd of people is always with me I’ve never actually put this into words before like like I’m always a representative. Of a larger ah community a larger group a like larger group of people that goes beyond me even though when I I take out my microphone and I do my podcast every week I’m thinking about I got 1 person’s face in my head.

03:14.47
podcomm
You’re right.

03:15.20
Nikki
And it could be somebody that either I walked into in person who said hey I’m listening to the podcast um or somebody that I know is part of a community that I used to serve or whatever but but it’s like I’m I’m speaking to 1 person so that I can be as intimate as possible. Ah. While I am also carrying ah a community if you will or a sense of community that is bigger than me.

03:44.27
podcomm
That’s brilliant. So I get distracted because I’m like oh because I’ve tried to do host on mic recordings and I’ve never actually thought of or had somebody tell me you should try talking to a specific person. So I’m like first of all stealing it I need to go try that because that’s a thing. Um.

03:56.30
Nikki
Yeah, please. But.

04:02.10
podcomm
But I love how you’re describing. Um, so your your current work correct me if I’m wrong, but your current work is in coaching and in coaching culture which is a brilliant niche by the way we we need more of that more people doing that We’d be more of that. But having said that um.

04:11.73
Nikki
Um, yes, yes.

04:21.26
podcomm
That actually sounds like what you’re what you are saying you are doing when you’re doing host on Mic. You’re so standing between not in the way of but just like you’re you’re between this large collection of knowledge and experience actually is a better word this large collection of experience that you have just. Because of your life story like you didn’t mean to do it. But oh look I have this experience. Um, and then you’re I’m air quoting turning to face that one person. Um, So do you feel like ah clearly you feel like your podcast is ah is serving I was going to say it’s an attempt to serve that makes it sounds like it didn’t succeed.

04:55.80
Nikki
I.

04:59.65
podcomm
Ah, clearly you feel that your podcast is serving the people that you’re broadcasting to um, can you share some stories or a story about how maybe that’s been vindicated or or verified or you’ve had that come back where somebody has said you know they don’t they don’t realize it but you know they don’t realize that by telling you this story. They’re actually showing you that you’re really going in the right direction like I got to believe in in ah in a church setting. It’s clear like is the message is the message landing. You know, whereas on a podcast where just talk into the microphone. So I I Love to fish for stories.

05:20.79
Nikki
Moving. Um, right? Yeah, we know what’s interesting is so I’m in year three of doing my podcast and I had been wanting to thank you.

05:41.93
podcomm
Congratulations I like to take giant moments to say we Podcasters struggle alone in Anonymity and I think it’s important that we say that’s awesome. Sorry you’re very welcome.

05:45.54
Nikki
Ah, that’s right? Yes, thank you for that I received that? Um, yeah, but you know I remember right before I was going to start it and I was nervous I mean I’m a communicator I’m I’m a public speaker. It’s what I do.

06:00.22
podcomm
So.

06:04.90
Nikki
And I was really nervous and I think it was because I had all these shoulds in my head about what a podcast should be or you know what I should do based on the podcast I listen to or you know some random person on Facebook saying here are the 5 things you need, but you make a great podcast right.

06:07.73
podcomm
No, not.

06:22.10
podcomm
Ah, oh.

06:24.51
Nikki
And I’m thinking. Okay so it’s got to be all these things and I’ll never forget me. Thank gosh thank god for my coach Scott I remember I was talking to Scott and Scott knew that I wanted to launch this thing and I had planned to launch it two years ago in the month of January and i. Had decided to record 5 episodes and just play you know, just be like I’m just putting these out. So then I started getting cold feet about it and I I was on a call with Scott and I was telling him I’m like you know maybe I need to push this back.

06:46.73
podcomm
Um.

06:52.25
podcomm
I Hear you I mean.

07:01.48
Nikki
Maybe I need to wait till February maybe next year you know all these excuses right? And oh my goodness and and Scott paused and there was this silent moment and he looks at me and he says is it good enough.

07:01.74
podcomm
Near coming comes the hiding right.

07:18.22
Nikki
And I was like ah yes, yes, it’s good enough and I kid you not that day I got a phone with him that day I pushed publish and I pushed publish and that was like two years ago and now.

07:22.25
podcomm
Right? ah. The.

07:37.57
Nikki
I think and again this is starting year three you know I know that there are at least two hundred people a week that listen to my podcast and and here’s the part that I didn’t see Craig was you know I mean I’m a culture coach right? So I’m not a person who is you know that that podcasting is my livelihood.

07:45.21
podcomm
Right.

07:57.41
Nikki
I looked at podcasting as a support to the the work I’m doing in the world and so what? what ended up happening was I had you know, started podcasting every week and then as I was working with clients in my culture coaching work I was able to then say hey. Go listen on my podcast to to this episode I talk more about it here and so now what my my podcast has become is I get a first of all, it’s for me I get a lot of delight in sharing these insights about culture with people so that’s the first thing second thing is.

08:17.35
podcomm
Um, yes.

08:27.57
podcomm
Ah.

08:35.35
Nikki
I See my podcast as a vehicle to practice myself in my own message and honing my own message right? So that when I’m with my clients I’m excellent right? And then it’s for my clients. The people that I work with.

08:38.65
podcomm
Yeah.

08:54.22
Nikki
Because now they you know there’s 93 episodes now right? They have 93 episodes to choose from of all different topics all about culture that they can listen to at any point don’t have to schedule time with me right? It’s now it now it’s become a resource and now is.

08:55.25
podcomm
On it.

09:07.30
podcomm
Right.

09:13.60
Nikki
Last layer of it I run into people all the time when I’m doing in-person speaking and they’re like oh hey I’m listening to the podcast. Um, you know oh hey I’m you know I’m doing this whatever it is and I’m so excited.

09:22.39
podcomm
Mmm.

09:29.32
Nikki
Ah, because you know how it is Craig you you turn on your microphone. You’re look, you’re staring at the microphone or you’re staring. You know you’re like is anybody listening to this you know does anybody care. Don’t nobody care about this this just me talking to the wall right? and then you get out into the world.

09:33.34
podcomm
Into the wall something right.

09:44.70
podcomm
Ah, yes.

09:48.11
Nikki
And you realize that that your your words and your insights have impact one of the clients I’m working with now before they ever hired me. They said we listen to your podcast every week as a team.

09:54.24
podcomm
Yes.

10:05.93
Nikki
And then we talk about it and then we do it and they’ve been listening to my podcast for five months and then they hired me. You know I mean so and so now did I do the podcast so that people would hire me. No.

10:11.48
podcomm
Um, yeah, yeah, can you ever can you have even words into sentences putting would you have ever even imagined that you know on that first day when you’re like oh no, no Scott am I right? and like you would never have imagined that it could even be that thing right? and it and.

10:29.81
Nikki
Um, and who right exactly? Yeah yeah, well then I had to also stop thinking thinking too much about what other people would think.

10:31.49
podcomm
It’s probably not the first 5 episodes that were the magical ones. It’s the last 90 right? and it’s like you know physician healed myself I did the thing and then suddenly the thing that I did turns out to be oh look. It’s a skill that’s great.

10:48.00
podcomm
Right? um.

10:48.76
Nikki
You know? So I’m like oh this is going to like this podcast’s going to suck you know and then I’m telling people I’m a public speaker and they’re like you’re terrible. You know and I was actually more afraid of people not seeing who I was and not experiencing who I am as a person right? I was afraid of that.

11:03.21
podcomm
And.

11:08.46
Nikki
I was like how am I supposed to be myself and have people get my heart and my you know my come from I was so worried about all of that and what it has done instead is really just ah, call me and woo me to be my most. I mean I’m always my authentic self but but my most authentic self to speak into a microphone to be that intimately connected with the person listening that they can hear the tone of when I say things this is what I love about audio and ah versus writing.

11:33.34
podcomm
Yeah.

11:46.37
Nikki
You always know my tone You don’t have to make up stories about how I’m saying something right? yeah.

11:46.75
podcomm
Um, yeah, and right and the nuance of you know do I feel like I’m completely crushed.

11:58.43
Nikki
And.

12:00.51
podcomm
Or do I feel like I’m open and airy and like I physically like Nickki can see me I physically changed my posture but you can hear it like it’s subtle and maybe you missed it. But in the back of your mind you picked up on if Nik and I were both like that comes through and you work 1 can work so hard I know I try sometimes I’m not a very good writer but I work really hard to try and. Convey that stuff through writing and then sometimes I realize yeah I’ve recorded conversations where the guests joy or um, you know the darkness if it’s a dark conversation. Those things just come through like humans don’t sit around and go.

12:22.76
Nikki
And.

12:33.67
podcomm
How do I convey this to they just go like oh I got a funny story you know and like it and it just comes through So I’m totally with you on the intimacy and um, and yeah, it’s very pillow talk you know because people who are listening if you have headphones on I’m literally in your ear which is way closer than any other human.

12:35.72
Nikki
Yeah, absolutely.

12:44.80
Nikki
And.

12:52.39
podcomm
Who isn’t in bed next to you? Whatever ever be? So there’s power in the medium.

12:53.91
Nikki
And Craig that that is actually the power I will say this of you know, standing in front of a room of 1500 people. Um, where you know that? ah you know that? ah something in your message is gonna land right? You do and. Being able to be 1 to 1 with someone on a podcast you know while they’re walking their dog with their headphones in and they’re listening to you say you can do this just lean in.

13:21.96
podcomm
Right.

13:32.63
Nikki
I’m cheering loudly for you. You don’t get that in a room of 1500 not that intimate and that’s why I love it.

13:37.96
podcomm
Yeah, terrific is like my catchphrase when I don’t want to wreck it What else brings to sometimes I like to lead and a lot of times I like to just say what. About Um, what’s something that you’ve seen recently in let’s let’s say in podcasting Land. What’s something that of course then that doesn’t make sense. What’s something you’ve heard recently in podcasting Land. That’s that’s like knocked your socks off like you’ve you’ve heard somebody or something or some show and you’ve gone whoa.

14:12.26
Nikki
Man.

14:17.33
podcomm
That’s awesome and I don’t mean to put you on the spot if you haven’t been listening to a lot of podcasts that just not an easy question so that was afraid of and maybe you don’t you don’t have the name job if you don’t want to you can just be like I heard somebody do you know.

14:17.36
Nikki
Who oo wow no, it’s fine. No I listen to tons of podcasts all the time gosh no, there’s so there’s so much.

14:35.64
podcomm
Because I’m just curious that like sometimes you can learn a lot by what interests people. What makes them say wow.

14:37.18
Nikki
Yeah, um. Um, well I can tell you there is ah a woman that that I’ve started to listen to. She’s a she’s one of the mentors in a coaching community that I’m a part of and she is oh she’s so insightful. Her name is Varian Brandon and you know she kind of podcasts here and there she’s not like a weekly or daily whatever but that doesn’t matter because the things that she says are so impactful and she did the series on her podcast. Ah.

15:06.71
podcomm
Um.

15:15.44
Nikki
Think it was last year sometime it was called becoming I Just stumbled onto it like a month ago and one of the things that that she talked about was this idea of engaging your environment like when you’re trying to go From. Ah. The version of the person you are now to to that that beautiful vision of who you’re becoming right? and hopefully we all have that is that what you do in the perceived gap of that is engage your environment right.

15:33.23
podcomm
Um, yeah.

15:50.87
Nikki
So I asked her about this on ah on a live call the other day and I said can you just say more about that. She said be more specific. What is it. You’re waiting for what what is it and I said well here’s here’s an example, um, my husband and I we would like to move from where we live currently the house that we’re in. Because we have a different vision for our life now than we had fifteen years ago when we bought this house and moved in and I said we can’t move tomorrow for a number of different reasons right? There are some things that need to happen and I said so how do I deal with the tension of being here.

16:17.79
podcomm
Right.

16:27.80
Nikki
And the deep longing of wanting to be there right? Wherever the next place is and she said well here’s what I’d do she said I’d just start packing.

16:38.60
podcomm
Ah.

16:40.77
Nikki
She said I start packing she said I just start she says I’m sure there are things around your house that you don’t use every day she says start packing the boxes so that way when it happens y’all are ready and I was like hot damn that is.

16:53.80
podcomm
Yeah.

17:00.59
Nikki
You know I mean when she says it I’m like of course right and I didn’t think of it. But that’s a way right? like I can’t change I can’t move tomorrow right? However I can pack up some boxes and move some stuff up out of here.

17:04.30
podcomm
Right.

17:18.22
podcomm
Um, yeah, and you’re shifting from a mindset of here to well here for the moment to not here tomorrow right.

17:20.53
Nikki
To get my house ready for whenever it is. We’re gonna sell it. So Oh yeah, yeah, like I can’t stop thinking about that podcast episode I heard from her or the conversation that she and I had um. That’s just brilliant I’m grateful for that.

17:41.53
podcomm
That that is one of the the the asynchronous asynchronicity sorry I get obsessed with grammar the asynchronicity. The fact that she might have recorded something eighteen months ago

17:47.52
Nikki
Um.

17:55.95
podcomm
You know and then basically like so it’s like it’s sticking to bottle your throw in the ocean and I hope that goes somewhere and then you find it and that begins this resonance and then you just can’t not I got ask you this question which comes from that thing I’m like I love that that as podcasters we can um you know, simply. And I mean that both and like really, it’s easy. But also don’t make it overly Complicated. We can simply make a thing and put it out there and it doesn’t like deteriorate or get snowed under it just sits right? where you leave it for people to find when they’re ready.

18:26.16
Nikki
And Craig it doesn’t die like see for us as creative people when we’re creating every week right? when we create our podcast. We’re looking at it as okay, here’s the here’s the thing for the week this is what I’m doing this week this is what I’m putting out in the world this week and once it’s done. It’s done for us. We’re we’re on to the next right? But we don’t always realize is that that thing now is living and breathing and it takes a life of its own I mean just a week ago I had somebody message me and and tell me that they had listened to the very first podcast episode I ever did to.

18:46.35
podcomm
You’re a.

19:05.32
podcomm
Right.

19:06.10
Nikki
Three years ago whatever it was right and like talk to me in detail about it and how impactful the story was that I told I was relating culture work to a instance I had while watching the Mr Rogers movie ah

19:23.99
podcomm
Um.

19:25.67
Nikki
If you want to hear that story but but that’s the first thing I ever talked talked about but it’s like that was 2 three years ago I’ve moved on to you know other topics and gotten better at podcasting and all of that and yet this person was like this is going to change my life. And they just listened to it a week ago. So for for all of us who are podcasters I actually think that we we need to approach our work with more grace ah with more. Ah. Joy and gratitude for whatever is coming out of us each week right? and and to stop speaking against it and we just speak against so much of our creations like oh well that podcast suck.

20:18.82
podcomm
That’s dark. Yeah, another tech problem right.

20:19.49
Nikki
Oh that message was terrible. Oh you know what? I mean? Yeah, like oh it was techie and the reality is is that that Craig I’m about to preach now but that that Craig that that woos us tempts us.

20:26.12
podcomm
Yeah.

20:37.80
Nikki
Into pride. We think it’s like no don’t look at me I’m humble because that podcast sucked. No no it actually that’s not that’s that’s not humility. That’s actually pride because as soon as you you know, somebody’s like hey Craig I love listening to your podcast.

20:49.75
podcomm
Um, yes, my head swells up and.

20:55.28
Nikki
And your response instead of saying like well you know, but your response instead of just saying. Thank you. I’m so glad that you’re engaging with it. Your response might be hey you know? thanks but you know I’m trying to get a better microphone and you know that wasn’t really great and so now that person. Who who had an engagement with your podcast. Can’t even enjoy their own moment because now all they’re thinking about is you right? when before they weren’t thinking about you. They weren’t thinking about your they don’t care about your microphone. You know they don’t they don’t care half the stuff we care about.

21:22.53
podcomm
Right.

21:31.64
Nikki
Listeners don’t care and so then what happens is is that now what we’ve done in an attempt to appear humble is we have stepped right into pride and now our listener is only thinking about us and all the stuff that’s going wrong and we have.

21:32.19
podcomm
I agree with you hundred percent

21:48.47
podcomm
Rob them of the experience that um.

21:49.32
Nikki
Essentially robbed them of that experience like can we please stop doing that you know let’s stop doing that and just offer our our creations and offer our insights with generosity that way and leave it. You know leave leave it up to the intangible things that happen in this world for people to get what they need to get out of it and celebrate it.

22:14.33
podcomm
Yes, please Nikki as much as I hate to say it every time I do these things I think that’s a terrific place to stop I’m so glad we got there. That’s great I agree with you? Yes, please once more louder for those in the back as they say ah.

22:26.86
Nikki
And yeah, right, Yeah gold Oh back at you.

22:33.44
podcomm
Ah, well it was a distinct pleasure. Thank you so much.