Join us today for the Interview with Katherine McCord, about Neurodiversity and Inclusion...

This is the interview I had with speaker, hr technologist, and inclusion specialist Katherine McCord.  

In today’s podcast, I Interview Katherine McCord.  I ask Katherine about how different is not a deficit.  I also ask Katherine about inclusion and neurodiversity and why it matters.

Join in on the Chat below.

Episode 1384: Interview with Katherine McCord About How Different is Not a Deficit

[00:00:00] Scott Maderer: Thanks for joining us on episode 1, 384 of the Inspired Stewardship Podcast.

[00:00:07] Katherine McCord: I'm Katherine McCord. I challenge you to invest in yourself, invest in others, develop your influence, and impact the world by using your time, your talent, and your treasures to live your calling. Having the ability to recognize that diversity is power is key, and one way to be inspired to do that is to listen to this, the Inspired Stewardship Podcast with my friend, Scott Maderer.

[00:00:43] In other words, we can still respect each other, even though we're different and we can still work together and be humans together. And that's what it's about. And everybody is included in that. So this idea of inclusion is not for you. Yeah, it is. And anybody who says that doesn't get it. And sadly, some of [00:01:00] those voices are very loud.

[00:01:03] Scott Maderer: Welcome, and thank you for joining us on the Inspired Stewardship Podcast. If you truly desire to become the person who God wants you to be, then you must learn to use your time, your talent, and your treasures for your true calling. In the Inspired Stewardship Podcast, you will learn to invest in yourself, invest in others, and develop your influence so that you can impact the world.

[00:01:37] In today's podcast, I interview Katherine McCormick. I asked Katherine about how different it's not a deficit. And I also asked Katherine about inclusion and neurodiversity and why these things matter. I've got a new book coming out called Inspired Living, assembling the puzzle of your call by mastering your time, your talent, and your treasures.

[00:01:59] You [00:02:00] can find out more about it and sign up. For getting more information Inspired Living. That's inspired Inspired living. Catherine, a physically and neurodiverse woman herself built her career on inclusive innovation in people operations and HR technology.

[00:02:22] She lives by the motto that different is not a deficit. In 2014, she founded Titan Management, a national people operations consulting firm, and then in 2021, she took up HR Tech by designing the first ever fully accessible anti bias applicant tracking system plug in that fires the resume and showcases company diversity.

[00:02:45] Featured at Web Summit, HR Disruptor, SHRM, and the London School of Business, she makes an energetic, interactive, education based speaker who always brings some spice. Welcome to the show, Catherine! Thank you so

[00:02:59] Katherine McCord: much for [00:03:00] having me. I am super excited to be with you today.

[00:03:03] Scott Maderer: I'm glad to have you here. So we talked a little bit in the intro about you and your journey the way I've started joking about intros is they're like the Instagram pictures of our life as opposed to the real life.

[00:03:17] So

[00:03:17] Katherine McCord: true.

[00:03:18] Scott Maderer: Here, let me frame that and make sure the dirty laundry is not in this background it's right on camera. So can you talk a little bit more about your journey and what has brought you to the point of doing the work you do and putting the message that you put out into the

[00:03:34] world?

[00:03:34] Katherine McCord: Yeah. I'm super focused on neurodiversity and inclusion and innovating HR in general, because HR has just needs to be shaken up. It's way too antiquated. What led me into that was just, I got into the the field of recruiting a while back and realized how broken that was and so set off to start fixing that and I had done HR [00:04:00] work and a lot too, so I started incorporating that and the more I got into it, the more I realized how much we needed to shake everything up and then the inclusion stuff came from all the things I saw going wrong and not just even from the human side of it and the caring about integrity and And people feeling belonging, but even just from a business standpoint, it's dude, you're missing the mark,

[00:04:22] so we need to fix it. And a lot of people, it's really funny because I have six invisible disabilities. A lot of people think that I got into and three sorry, four neurodiversities. They think that I got into that work because of myself. But again, it came back to just the things I saw going wrong in the world.

[00:04:42] Some of the sadness I saw through this connection. Some of the just people not being utilized their full potential and just wanting to dive in and fix it.

[00:04:51] Scott Maderer: Yeah I was actually on a show not too long ago myself, and we were talking a little bit about leadership and that. And [00:05:00] one of the things I said is it's always interesting to me because you'll have these corporate value statements.

[00:05:06] We treat our employees like family. And then you have a rule like, but when the employee is out ill, we can't actually call them or send them a card or follow up with them or talk to them in any way. And it's wait. Those are.

[00:05:23] Katherine McCord: And even I hate the family thing too.

[00:05:25] You're not my family. My family are those awesome people I'm trying to support. I don't want to be family with you. You're my workplace. And it does create, I think, sometimes an unreasonable expectation that you have to be like besties with everybody at work. No, you don't. No, you don't. You're there to work with them.

[00:05:41] We've forgotten that as a society that work is work and home is home and they don't need to intermix, right? And accidentally that's caused some exclusion too, because then you get people, as an example, who are on the autism spectrum or who have some anxiety, stuff like that, who don't want to be overly social.

[00:05:58] And, but there's all this [00:06:00] Come to the team building activity and chat with everybody for three days straight. Oh God like why is that happening in my life? But then on the other side, we've forgotten the human touches. of if somebody's sick, reach out to them and check on them.

[00:06:16] That's just common. I think everybody's

[00:06:18] Scott Maderer: just being good. That's just being a good human. Yeah.

[00:06:21] Katherine McCord: That's just politeness. Like that's just what you ought to be doing. So it's really funny because we've hyperhumanized in areas that we absolutely don't need to, but then we've forgotten the things that actually matter.

[00:06:33] And I think it's. The difference between forced, which is the let's come together and be super cheerful for three days and do all these really ridiculous activities that just cost everybody time doing their actual job. Yeah, that's the performative versus the real work, which is like you said.

[00:06:51] Just Oh you're having an illness. Okay, great. What can we do to support you? What or not great. Obviously, that was a weird thing to say, but okay we accept that [00:07:00] what can we do to support you? That kind of thing. That's the real work that we need to be doing. And it's

[00:07:05] Scott Maderer: just basic.

[00:07:06] And sometimes I think it's, so I'm a big fan of everyone always talks about the golden rule. Do treat others the way you want to be treated. And I'm like, actually, that's a terrible advice. Wait a minute. What if I don't want to be what if you don't want to be treated the way I want to be treated, then I'm

[00:07:28] why do, what can I do as a leader when people are in those positions what are some of the things that they need to do. to start recognizing not I want to treat you the way I want to be treated, but I actually need to treat you the way you need to be treated or you want to be I need to dive in a little deeper.

[00:07:47] Katherine McCord: Yeah. First piece of advice, be from the true self like that. It just works because it comes naturally. That's what I always tell people. That's how that came so naturally to me, but think of it [00:08:00] as hospitality and all sincerity. Think of it as hospitality. You need to make sure that these humans are comfortable.

[00:08:08] Why? Because that's what they're going to be more productive, more creative, healthier, happier, then they stay with you, then the work gets better, it's more efficient. You see where this is going? So you just need to be hospitable towards them. And what that means is supporting them working in ways that are natural to them.

[00:08:27] So when you have a party You should be, making sure that everyone feels comfortable. Everyone has what they need. That's part of being a good host, right? This is the exact same thing. This is you want to just ask the humans, what do you need? And then give them that. It's very simple.

[00:08:49] And have but that requires actually listening to them.

[00:08:56] I have the most embarrassing introduction into that lesson in [00:09:00] my life. I was a very young manager in my 20s. And my husband and I have worked together in every capacity. We're one of those weird couples where it actually works really well. We just really compliment each other beautifully, professionally.

[00:09:14] I've been his boss. He's been mine. We've worked together. It's just crazy. In this particular case, he worked for a client of mine as a man, as a director. And I was coming in consulting on recruiting. They wanted to build out a recruiting area. And I said, great, I'll come in and I'll help you out.

[00:09:30] Cause I'd done some recruiting for them when they first got started. So I came in, I was allowed to pick anybody I wanted. I picked this one guy from their staff and he was, who was spectacular, right? Like on my husband's team, my husband looks right at me and goes, you're not the right manager for him.

[00:09:47] And I was like, ah, rude, so I get him out there. And I could not get this dude to produce and I could not get him to understand the concepts and I was like, there's something wrong. I'm doing something wrong. And I knew it was me because I knew [00:10:00] what he could do. So I finally, after a couple of days of this, swallowed my pride and went to my husband and he came out and he looked at this guy, asked him where a bunch of stuff was that he normally used.

[00:10:09] And then he looked at me and goes, did you ever bother to ask him what he needed? And I was like, Oh, and he said it like in a funny haha way, like not a rude way. He's did you even bother to do this? I was like. And then I did great with the guy. Then we got along. Once we figured that out, but I was not asking him what he needed.

[00:10:30] I was training the way I needed to train. And that's just not what works. So yeah, you, and you don't want to get caught in a lesson like that, especially by your spouse, man. That's an embarrassing moment.

[00:10:41] Scott Maderer: And, but I think it's true that again, as leaders as managers as folks that are in, quote, a position of dealing with and let's even abstract that even more just as a coworker, or co human our spouse or our [00:11:00] kids, all of that it's that recognition.

[00:11:02] And that comes back to your work on neurodiversity and other things, recognition of we're not all the same, and that's not bad. That's a great thing. Different is different. Difference, not good or bad. It's not a value, but it's an observation.

[00:11:17] Katherine McCord: Absolutely. No difference is not different. It's not a deficit.

[00:11:21] That's it. That's one of the main things I go around saying. Different is not a deficit. It's actually a benefit. It's a strength. That's what you want. Like there, but you hear that saying strength and diversity. It is true. That's, it's, you want diverse talents, you want diverse backgrounds, you want diverse mindsets, learning all of these things.

[00:11:38] That's what you want. And stop making assumptions about people too. That's the other thing that's just a killer in anything that you're talking about. Whether it's inclusion, leadership, being a good partner, whatever it is. No assumptions. A great example. My grandmother, When COVID started, 87 years old, and we're very tight [00:12:00] knit family.

[00:12:00] She was used to seeing all of her great grandbabies and she was very sad because she suddenly couldn't see them. And people are like, Oh old people can't learn new technology, but she goes, Hey, I want to see them. What can we do? So we got her smartphone. She learned that on her own.

[00:12:15] She got her own smartphone and just figured it out just right on her own. And I go, okay, great. So now let's teach you zoom. So we do zoom. She can see people. She's actually super, super excited, right? So then we go, okay, she goes, I want to learn something else. She gets so excited, right? She's excited to be learning again.

[00:12:31] I was like, all right, great. So let's give you Zelle because we're all tired of sending you checks. And so she gets Zelle, right? And your cash app, whatever you want to call it and she's sending money. I said, okay, so request money from everybody. So to all of her grandkids, her four kids, she gets everybody to send her money and they send between five and 20 bucks a piece and then they go, okay, now practice sending it back.

[00:12:54] And she goes, oh, no, that's too difficult. I can't learn that. And so I told people, I'm like, [00:13:00] dude, this woman learned three new technologies and how to be a con woman. Like at the age of 87 don't tell me . Don't tell me that people can't, the old people can't learn new things, so just,

[00:13:12] Scott Maderer: I don't know, maybe the con one wasn't new.

[00:13:14] I don't know. There is that, there's a

[00:13:18] Katherine McCord: possibility. There's no established pattern of that with her. Maybe we. I just don't know

[00:13:24] Scott Maderer: what maybe he has going on in the background, you weren't around her when she was in her 20s. You don't

[00:13:28] know.

[00:13:29] Katherine McCord: And like to your point, like this is the same woman that a year before that at the age of 86 shot a handgun for supposedly the first time ever and got a sharpshooter badge the same day.

[00:13:40] Like I don't know.

[00:13:41] Scott Maderer: I don't know. What? So maybe Mimi was secretly a club. Like we don't know. Maybe,

[00:13:47] yeah there might be more to Mimi than we know. But

[00:13:52] Katherine McCord: But don't assume ask people again, back to the asking and back to the let people lead their own journeys.

[00:13:59] If [00:14:00] they're, they know what they're capable of. They know what they have the energy for. Let them

[00:14:04] Scott Maderer: go. And I think again to be clear as a manager, as a leader, when people are put in those positions, I don't think usually people become quote micromanagers and control freaks because they are mean, or I don't think the motivation is malicious as much as it is.

[00:14:26] No, I've got my bosses demanding certain things and I truly believe this is the best way to get that result. Or

[00:14:32] Katherine McCord: it's fear. It's a lot of fear. Yeah, in there. Yeah. And maybe lack of trust, and that could be on their end. It could also be on the staff's end too. Has the staff earned the trust? Have they made sure that they're showing their manager that they do know what they're doing.

[00:14:49] But letting, you have to let, either way, honestly, you have to let people fly. And if they fall, let them go and get somebody else. And you want to train, right? And you want to help and you want to support, maybe move them to a [00:15:00] different role, whatever. But ultimately, sometimes people will not be a fit, no matter how good you are at hiring.

[00:15:05] One will get by you, right? And maybe they thought they'd be good at it too. And maybe they're not pulling a fast one. Just. It just doesn't work out for whatever reason. And

[00:15:15] Scott Maderer: so it's their goals or their values have changed and they're not where they were a year ago when you

[00:15:22] Katherine McCord: Exactly, man, these things happen.

[00:15:24] I've actually watched that happen. I watched somebody who was a top performer, loved their job, super happy. And then they suffered a very close loss and then another just crazy thing happened in their life. And then they had a health issue. And then it was like, I don't want to do this anymore.

[00:15:38] Bye. It was in their performance slip before that it was just not the right fit anymore. So we have to be willing to go with the human, the individual human evolution with that kind of thing, right? And accept that it's okay that somebody may only be with us for a couple [00:16:00] years, or maybe even just six months, as long as they're giving us their all while they're here, that's it.

[00:16:06] Like just let it go and then support them as best we can. But then when it's time to let them go, let them

[00:16:11] Scott Maderer: go and do that in a supportive way too. Yeah. I'm a firm believer. And when I was in leadership I used to. because I was a manager who managed managers kind of thing.

[00:16:25] And I one of the things I preached was higher, slow fire, slow you don't necessarily have to, when, what I mean by that is not don't fire quickly if it's needed. Obviously, somebody has done they stole a bunch of money or they did something unethical or whatever.

[00:16:41] Yeah, no, get rid of them. But I'm talking about, if you just like, they're in the position and they're struggling. Don't immediately jump to, Oh, we got to let them go. But by the same token, hire slow. Cause I think a lot of times the problems we have on the other end come about in the hiring. I

[00:16:57] Katherine McCord: don't like to say hire slow because there's so many companies out [00:17:00] there that take three months to fill a position that should have taken a week or two, honestly, but hire intentionally.

[00:17:06] So I think it's the same message, right? Hire with intent and with purpose, and make sure that you're interviewing the right way and for the right things, right? So we don't need to focus. We have this fixation and hiring on focusing on the resume. First of all, just throw that, just throw that up right on out there.

[00:17:25] Especially once you've looked at it, you've established that they have the meat and potatoes. Don't look at that anymore. Who cares? Just talk to the human and see, can they solve the problem that you need solved? It doesn't matter how they got that experience. It just what do they have the talents and the skills to build and the knowledge to build what you need built or to do what you need done.

[00:17:46] That's it. That's all you got to do. And by the way, that's the most inclusive way to interview too, because for instance, folks with neurodiversity, they're not going to have linear. Paths. It's not going to look the same as somebody else. Also, we need to be ready to [00:18:00] ask questions in different ways because different people, the way that they communicate, the way that they process information.

[00:18:06] So some people do great with open ended questions, self included. Some people don't. They like close ended, very specific questions. And you can still have a successful interview and a successful working relationship. You just have to pivot how you ask those questions again. back to taking care of humans.

[00:18:24] But yeah just making sure that our hiring processes are more on point. Cause our higher processes are a joke right now, man. Like I see so many things that I just roll my, I'm like, who in the world thought that this was a good idea? And so much, and I'm going to get your opinion on this. Cause this drives me nuts is when organizations have so many people that are interviewing that don't need to be, that are at a higher level position.

[00:18:48] So for instance, if this is a floor level position, the only. The only people that need to interview are HR and the person who's directly managing them, right? If they're a a management [00:19:00] level, then the director may be the VP needs to interview. The CEO does not need to be involved. Cut it out with that.

[00:19:06] Like this, the CEO meets everybody that comes into our company. Why? You should meet them, but maybe not,

[00:19:12] but

[00:19:12] Scott Maderer: don't interview them. But that is a hiring decision. Yeah. Yeah. No

[00:19:16] Katherine McCord: You meet them after the fact. That's the

[00:19:18] Scott Maderer: only thing I would add is sometimes there's value to like, especially in a team position, like a floor position, like you're talking about in if you create the situation where some other members of the team can interview.

[00:19:31] Yes. Oh, absolutely. Again, you gotta be careful with that one and you actually have to train people how to do it. Yes. Because not everyone. knows how to interview 100%. And by the way, you need to ask your, you need to train your managers too. Cause a lot of times it's Oh, you're a manager. You need to interview.

[00:19:49] I've never known. I've never interviewed. What do I do? And there's all these legalities, right? And there's all these like

[00:19:55] Katherine McCord: best practices

[00:19:56] Scott Maderer: and nobody's teaching them.

[00:19:57] Katherine McCord: And they'll do no. And then [00:20:00] they're like, Hey just get on Google and research it. I'm like, no. No, do not do that. And never use like the Google top 20 list or anybody's top 20 list of questions.

[00:20:10] No, that is not how you interview. But, and it's so funny to me. And the other one that a lot of people don't know, this is one of my best practices tips. And like most people do not know to do this, but it works so well is you start the interview by giving a full rundown of the position, the team, the company, the expectations, the pay, benefits, all of these kinds of things.

[00:20:36] You answer every question that you think they might come up with up front. Just give them a rundown. And the reason for this is that number one, then they decompress because these things that were on their mind, they can completely focus on you. They're not trying to remember questions anymore. They're not worried about anything.

[00:20:52] All that's up front. You also ask them is there anything else that you need to know before we get started? That way also are you in a line with [00:21:00] pay? And you just give the range or whatever it is you want to tell them this is the scope, we discuss it.

[00:21:05] Benefits, all that, you get all that out of the way, so they've decompressed. They also know that you care about them, too. It shows that you care about them, right? And it sets a tone of conversation, right? And then immediately after that, so we've established, they know all these things. They have their questions answered for the time being.

[00:21:25] I tell them then the structure of the interview, right? Again, now they're decompressed. They know what's coming

[00:21:30] Scott Maderer: agenda.

[00:21:31] Katherine McCord: Yeah. Yep. And then I say, Okay. Tell me what matters most to you in your next job. First thing out of my mouth after that is the first question that's asked. And again, it puts the focus on them.

[00:21:45] What matters to you? And then we have a conversation from there and I make sure that all the same information is gathered at every interview. And I make sure that the same basic flow happens, but I let their answer to [00:22:00] that question and I don't let them give a shallow answers. Like pay or just this very bleh answer.

[00:22:06] I said, okay, but what does that mean to you? One of the biggest ones. I want room to grow. Okay, what does that mean to you? Do you want education for your current role? Do you want certifications? Do you want to travel? Do you want to advance? What do you want to do? And so you ask what that means to them, and you really get to know them.

[00:22:22] And then it creates a very intimate conversation, and it really helps you to grow. And it's the same thing, especially for neurodiverse people there too, you just set them up for success on so many different levels.

[00:22:35] Scott Maderer: One of the things that, that I talk about on the show too is faith and our faith journey.

[00:22:41] And I think a lot of times the journey we have in that part of our life, that spiritual part of our life. intersects and overlaps in, in different ways for different people with the rest of our life. So can you talk a little bit about the, your faith journey and how that's intersected with the work that you do?[00:23:00]

[00:23:00] Katherine McCord: Yeah, so I grew up with one side of my family having a grandparent who's a missionary, and then on the other side just being tons of music ministers on that side. So I very much grew up in the church, right? And different denominations, we rotated through different denominations, but, then also being exposed to other religions as well and so it's been very interesting because and what was taught to me by my parents and my grandparents and aunts and uncles and all this, was that the main thing that mattered if you're how you do the one takeaway, right?

[00:23:44] If you're the one takeaway from Christianity is love thy neighbor, that's it. Love that's the thing and I'm like, okay and then to contribute because my grandfather always taught me [00:24:00] Jesus contributed he fed, he did these things, he did, he contributed, so these are the two lessons that were, like, pushed into my little brain, and that I actually latched on to, they, there were some other stuff in there too, but those are the two that my little brain just latched on to, and I thought that those were so beautiful, because they're so generically helpful and so I, I just, I grew up focusing on those things on focusing on the loving contribution as my grandfather called it.

[00:24:30] And then on the love thy neighbor aspect. And so that very much pivoted into my work, right? And taking care of the other humans. from HR to consulting to and now helping neurodiverse individuals learn themselves and take care of themselves and advocate and making for a more inclusive world and all of these kinds of things.

[00:24:52] You said that all came from. At least in part that, that base lesson [00:25:00] of love a neighbor and lovingly contribute just aspect. So from that standpoint, I think it's been very instrumental in my in, in my development as a professional as well. Yeah.

[00:25:15] Scott Maderer: So we've been using the word neurodiversity and it

[00:25:19] it dawns on me that we probably should divide our terms a little bit. Because we use words a lot and don't always necessarily mean the same thing when people do it. So for you, whenever you're thinking about the work you do and neurodiversity and just diversity in general and inclusion and these sorts of words that we've been using.

[00:25:40] Big broad words, right? Yeah. What does that mean practically?

[00:25:46] Katherine McCord: So neurodiversity was originally coined by a woman in Australia named Judy Singer, who's a sociologist, and she used it as a very broad concept to mean that difference in diversity and thought and diversity and how the neurons [00:26:00] communicate inside of a human.

[00:26:01] Does not equal a deficit, right? So back to that different is not a deficit. It's since evolved and now the neurodiversity movement uses it to refer to a medically visible or diagnosable difference in how the brain processes information or stimuli. In other words, a little bit more specific than just, Oh, everybody has a different brain it's a lot more specific.

[00:26:22] And this is about 20 percent of the population has some sort of diagnosis, and then there's probably about another 10 percent or so that are undiagnosed. This is about a third of the population, a quarter to a third of the population, give or take and so that's what that means, and inclusion there's diversity, everybody knows what that means, that's not complicated, but inclusion It's somehow become somewhat of a dirty word in certain circles, which I think is very odd and I think that part of it is that there are people representing themselves as inclusion advocates or [00:27:00] inclusion specialists.

[00:27:02] that are not, they are specialists for inclusion for a certain group. And so all of the messaging is geared that way. And I think that's causing a lot of confusion. So inclusion cannot be exclusive. It is literally for everybody. It's saying as long as you're not hurting other humans, You're welcome.

[00:27:24] That's the line. You don't get to hurt other humans outside of that. Let's go. Let's do this. And it's about embracing people where they are. So that's what it is. So it's saying you're a Christian. I'm a, I'm of the Jewish faith. Let's come together. Yeah, that kind of in other words, we can still respect each other even though we're different and we can still work together and be humans together and that's what it's about.

[00:27:49] And everybody is included in that. This idea of inclusion is not for you. Yeah, it is. And anybody who says that doesn't get it. And sadly, some of those voices are very [00:28:00] loud. Yeah, but that's what it is. That's what it means. So neurodiversity is just a difference in how your brain processes and that goes everything from like traumatic brain injury and cerebral palsy all the way over to obsessive compulsive disorder and anxiety disorders.

[00:28:14] And again, difference is not a deficit and then inclusion is for

[00:28:17] Scott Maderer: everybody. And it can be neurodiversity can be. Dyslexia. It could be, oh yeah, autism. Oh, it could be it shows up a million different ways. Everything bipolar it's such a huge spectrum. Like people are like, it's almost a third of the population.

[00:28:32] Katherine McCord: I'm like, yeah, because it's this huge, like wide, but anything basically that changes your neuropathways and makes them causes them to function in a way that's. different. But another cool thing is that there's actually benefits to neurodiversity. And a lot of people don't know that. So the science behind this can be found in the National Institute of Health, National Library of Medicine, Harvard, Psychology Today, Stanford, Hewlett Packard did a study.

[00:28:56] So all of these places have done fantastic studies on [00:29:00] this. And what they found is that just as with everything else in our human design when we have a strength, obviously there's going to be some struggles in other places, or something else will be quote, neglected. But then there's specific strengths that come with this.

[00:29:14] So for instance, with autism, there may be a struggle with your social cues and things like that, but then on the other side you get this sort of brilliance that comes and this unique ability to find patterns and analysis and just a very, usually not always, but very blunt honesty, which is great and refreshing in so many ways.

[00:29:38] And every groups of dyslexia is known for creativity and innovation and an empathy and it just goes on from there. My obsessive compulsive disorder helps me to stay hyper organized. It also has its drawbacks and frustrations. My mania and my bipolar cycles nobody works like me, man.

[00:29:55] I'm like a freaking freight train and I'm told I'm super fun to be around and I I [00:30:00] have all this creativity and all that. Yes, there are struggles with these things, but there's also beautiful benefits. So it's interesting and focusing on people's strengths and then supporting them in their disability and or weaknesses, so to speak.

[00:30:16] That's the

[00:30:16] Scott Maderer: way to go. And again, I think all of us and honestly, even sometimes the very things that are our strengths also can be. a weakness in a different way that always we have also have a negative side to it. Yeah,

[00:30:32] Katherine McCord: I I'm the unstoppable force and the immovable object.

[00:30:36] There are those days where I forget to respond in curiosity, not ego and man, try arguing with me. But then with work, it's fantastic. So it just kind

[00:30:50] Scott Maderer: of, and that's where that awareness of I, I think sometimes we, we [00:31:00] look for. And I've used this in a faith background before but I think it applies wider than that.

[00:31:07] I talk about the difference between unity and uniformity. We're looking for, we claim to be looking for unity, but what we really want is uniformity. If everyone looks like me, thinks like me, acts like me. believes like me. Oh, that life would be so much easier. But

[00:31:22] Katherine McCord: it's so boring that way.

[00:31:25] Scott Maderer: But that's not unity. That's uniformity.

[00:31:29] Katherine McCord: Yes. That's a brilliant way to say that. Yeah. No, that is exactly it.

[00:31:34] Scott Maderer: Yeah. And it's just recognizing that, no, we can have again, to your point of Jewish and one of my best favorite clients of all time. was a devout Muslim and we had a running joke that he would say something in my religion, this, and I'd be like, Hey, that's in my book too or I'd say in my faith, this, and he'd go Hey, that's in my book too and we had this running joke because we both respected the other person.

[00:31:57] We didn't see eye to eye on everything, but we didn't have [00:32:00] to, that wasn't the point. No, it's

[00:32:02] Katherine McCord: not the point. And that's the thing and you find so much commonality. And I love that you brought that up because I do some work around religious inclusion too, just as part of the broad scope. And.

[00:32:11] That's one that always shocks. And that's one that I use is I use the example of, did you know that this is in the Quran? Did you know that? Or I'll read a passage and they'll go, Oh yeah, that sounds like it's from Psalms. And I'm going, no, it's from the Quran. And it shocks people, but in the right way.

[00:32:25] And they're like, Oh my gosh, I had no idea. Yeah. That's because the media wants to create this divisive thing there's all these negative messages. It's your

[00:32:35] Scott Maderer: frame do you wanna frame it and look at the differences? Yeah. Or do you wanna look at similarities? You wanna find

[00:32:38] Katherine McCord: the similarities.

[00:32:39] And we're all humans that are trying to find love and security and safety and that's it. That's universal to every human out there is love, security, and safety. And so it, and can slash connection. And so if you focus on that, then everything else just gets. [00:33:00] and then honor each other's differences and get curious ask the questions I love to sit down and I did have to learn to harness it.

[00:33:08] Cause I'm that weirdo that will like, stampeded a person and immediately have 50 questions in my head. So I have to hold it back. But once you get to know a person asking them questions, learning about them then I like to research more, even after I've spoken to them and just really understand them, it expands you in a way that you cannot believe.

[00:33:27] And then learning to break your own ego mechanism, which is that natural thing in our brain. Don't feel bad if you have it. Everybody has it. Every single human on this planet. It's that thing that when you hear something that's different from what you think, the defenses start coming up as to why you're right and why you're correct.

[00:33:41] There's a judgment to it. Yeah. There's, yeah, there's, and that's what that is. But you can break that by simply just realizing that it's happening. Take a real, just nice little breath, just, and then ask a question, respond in curiosity. And then what happens is that becomes your natural response, not the ego mechanism, because your brain [00:34:00] goes, Oh, we're safe.

[00:34:01] It's okay. When we're disagreed with, that's a safe situation for us. Positive chemicals released when you respond in curiosity it's oxytocin. And so that gives you a new response. And a lot of people don't know too, that they're addicted to their ego response. So that fight response releases adrenaline and sometimes dopamine and so we can actually become chemically addicted So, you know those people are like always on Facebook being super negative.

[00:34:26] There is a reason they are

[00:34:28] Scott Maderer: addicted to that they do It's like the mouse hitting the lever to get food. It's the same behavior. Give me the cheese! Yeah, it's the same thing.

[00:34:40] Katherine McCord: But then the good news is you can reprogram your brain to want the oxytocin, which is the healthier chemical. And it's one that creates connection and relaxation.

[00:34:49] Instead of that tense fight or flight. Situations actually not healthy for your heart and your blood and all of that kind of thing. So get that curiosity response going. 'cause man, does it change your life? My, [00:35:00]

[00:35:00] Scott Maderer: my joke about coaching when, because I do training where I, I help other folks that are becoming coaches and I tell them that.

[00:35:08] You have to wear the curiosity hat all the time. You use that language. And the other is, I said, you're gonna get really good at poker because , somebody will say something to you that is the most shocking outta the bizarre sentence comes out of their mouth and you'll learn to go, huh?

[00:35:26] That's interesting. Tell me more. that was my hardest and honestly mean it really

[00:35:32] Katherine McCord: actually mean. That was the hardest lesson in HR for me, was to control my face because I have an extremely expressive face. And so whenever somebody would say something insane to me or, and I. I shouldn't use that word something absurd to me

[00:35:47] Scott Maderer: or something that was so far out of your realm of Yeah,

[00:35:50] Katherine McCord: and I was like What or so far out of the bounds of just reality?

[00:35:55] I've had things said to me that you're just like that just didn't happen [00:36:00]

[00:36:00] Scott Maderer: What planet were you on when that happened? Because

[00:36:02] Katherine McCord: it wasn't a video of this circumstance That is not at all what happened like what's going on? Or just the shocking human response. I once had a person who is committing identity fraud and when questioned about it just goes, Oh, it's no big deal.

[00:36:16] That's just something I do from time to time.

[00:36:21] Scott Maderer: No, it is a big deal. It's a reality.

[00:36:25] Katherine McCord: But inside my head, I was like but what came out of my mouth was. Okay. Unfortunately, because it is a felony that HR response,

[00:36:35] Scott Maderer: but in my head, I'm like,

[00:36:36] Katherine McCord: and then I just had a series of questions along the lines of what got you to this mindset, like that, then the human curiosity side of me kicked it, but yeah, but at

[00:36:46] Scott Maderer: this point in your decision, I'm very

[00:36:48] Katherine McCord: curious now I have further questions about

[00:36:50] Scott Maderer: this, but yeah, it's just natural, you can change your natural human response to be, to move from what in the world [00:37:00] to, huh, that's interesting.

[00:37:01] Tell me more about that and really mean it. It's not fake either. It's it's that sincerely what you mean is, huh, I want to learn more about this.

[00:37:10] Katherine McCord: So I love to learn from other humans, but I had to learn. That part was actually easy for me. What was hard was not defending, immediately defending things.

[00:37:20] I felt very strong about that. I had to learn. And then also how to phrase it so that other humans. understood what, that I wasn't trying to be aggressive because I can ask things so quickly and so excitedly that it's like, what's going on? So learning to taper that emotion, but it is, it does.

[00:37:40] Yeah. But it does change you like when you start doing this and you take yourself up the Maslow's hierarchy. For those that don't know, there's this pyramid by this genius called Maslow. And. At the bottom you have the basic biological needs and then it works all the way up to self actualization.

[00:37:59] So [00:38:00] you get to climb the pyramid when you do this and move into a healthier, more productive state of mind. And it's fabulous and it makes you happier. I'm a happier person since I learned to do this.

[00:38:12] Scott Maderer: And to be clear it's also, it's always an ongoing process because again, all of us have also there are certain hot buttons that all of us have that if you hit one of those, it's like, Ooh, now it's a lot harder.

[00:38:26] Katherine McCord: I, yeah. And I've gotten now to like where I can control it for so much. The one to me. That is still hard, that will set me off so specifically, because I, okay, so just to explain a little bit of this, I've done years and years of rescue work with animals, okay, I specialize in pit bulls, I briefly worked at the SPCA, I did work with some of the Michael Vick dogs, okay.

[00:38:49] So when somebody tries to defend Michael Vick, I go into rage. Like it is like a bear is coming at you, right? And that one I still have to catch myself and just be like, [00:39:00] say nothing. Say nothing. I say something, but I pause first. I breathe and I get it to come out in a way that doesn't sound like I'm an insane.

[00:39:09] person that's about to mull you that's just far more productive way to produce to produce the information, but we all have those hot topics, but you still are responsible for your own response to those and you still have to control this and

[00:39:24] Scott Maderer: you have to become aware of them so that you can, and respectful

[00:39:27] Katherine McCord: And there are those people that they really feel like, And I'm this way about a few other issues to not just that but you know that if you serve your time Then that it's like you're washed clean, and I'm like now that's for Jesus.

[00:39:41] That's actually That's for Jesus. That's not that's not real life for me for certain things for most things Yes, I actually do a lot of second chance hiring. I fully support that but there are some things that I'm like No, that just says who you are as a person. And I don't like,

[00:39:57] I still have that judgment in my head of [00:40:00] nah, pattern versus event where, you know, again if it's, there are things that happen in our lives that are isolated events. And we learn a lesson and we can recover and move on and everything else. There are other things where it's No, this is actually a pattern of behavior, right?

[00:40:22] Scott Maderer: Yeah. And I have to expect you've told me how you're going to act because you've done it consistently. So we know

[00:40:28] Katherine McCord: who you are now to

[00:40:30] Scott Maderer: not act that way would surprise me,

[00:40:33] Katherine McCord: right? Yeah. And it is funny too. We've had, we've gotten this thing in society where like integrity doesn't matter. It's just, Oh no, we should just as standards don't matter.

[00:40:42] It's Oh, we should just accept everyone. All of this stuff and you're this person who wants to be a complete jerk. No, you can walk away from that. There's nothing wrong with that. Even if it's your family, just be like, no, thanks. Do not want move on. We talked earlier about firing people slow to fire maybe, but [00:41:00] Sometimes

[00:41:00] Scott Maderer: you just have to do it.

[00:41:03] There's a time to do it rapidly too. Like again, you're back to the identity theft person. No, do it quickly. You got

[00:41:12] Katherine McCord: to go. Speaking of I had a cousin that got fired from my life that way. She stole my identity and I went, bye. And she's trying to come back. I'm like nah, I'm good. Thanks. But it's that, but having integrity too, sometimes means that you have to make those tough choices.

[00:41:28] Sometimes you have to say I don't believe in racism. You actively support it. We can't be friends. I'm sorry. There's a difference between political difference and integral and ethical differences. Those are very different concepts and somehow we've intermingled them in our society and I'm like no, I have

[00:41:47] Scott Maderer: friends that are

[00:41:48] Katherine McCord: of every kind of political affiliation you can imagine.

[00:41:52] And we're cool because our integrity and our ethics are aligned, right? It's the same thing at work, right? You don't need people that necessarily are your besties, [00:42:00] right? But you do need people that share your mission and your ethics. That's important. Absolutely. So I've got a few questions that I like to ask all of my guests.

[00:42:12] Scott Maderer: But before I ask that, is there anything else about the work that you do that you'd like to make sure that the listeners hear?

[00:42:19] Katherine McCord: Oh, gosh. That's hard. See, that's hard to ask me, because I think every single thing I do is fascinating, so I have to hone it into what do other people care about. No, but in all sincerity I think that the main thing is that when you're designing your workplace, when you are, and I don't mean physically, although that too, but when you're thinking about technology, application processes procedures, policies, all these different things, Higher processes make sure that you are designing for inclusion that you are thinking outside of you and what works for you and what's worked in the past and put the humans first.

[00:42:58] And y'all let me tell you [00:43:00] legalities are at the back end of that. That's a checkbox. Okay. And you can start there if you want just to make sure that you know what the legalities are so you can stay within the bounds. That's cool. But the focus needs to be on the humans. and taking care of them and focusing on being accommodating and on helping them to climb up that Maslow's pyramid.

[00:43:18] Because when you do, that's when they're most productive, efficient, happier, and healthier. It works. So there you go. That was my last bit of wisdom.

[00:43:29] Scott Maderer: That's it. We're done. No


[00:43:36] Scott Maderer: My brand is inspired stewardship and I run things through that lens of stewardship, but that's like diversity and neurodiversity and inclusion.

[00:43:43] And it's another, in some ways it's another buzzword or another word that means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. So when you hear that word, what does the word stewardship mean to you?

[00:43:56] Katherine McCord: Caring for others. That's what, that's how that [00:44:00] comes out to me. It's just it gives me the sense of, and I'm totally exposing myself as a mega nerd right now, but it gives me the mental illness, image, not illness, ooh, mental image of Alfred the Butler in Batman who just loves this man and just goes above and beyond for him at every turn.

[00:44:23] Just way above what his job is it just stays with him and is almost a parent to him and that's what I picture in my head is just really, truly taking that servant's mentality and a positive and loving.

[00:44:40] Scott Maderer: This is my favorite question that I like to ask everybody. Imagine for a minute that I could invent this magic machine. And with the machine, I could pluck you from where you are today and transport you into the future, maybe 150, maybe 250 years.

[00:44:54] Katherine McCord: I don't know how I feel about being plucked, but

[00:44:56] Scott Maderer: we'll go ahead.

[00:44:57] You can be lifted gently. [00:45:00] Thank you. Thank you. And not plucked like a chicken, but picked up. And taken into the future, maybe 150, 250 years. And through the power of this machine, you were able to look back and see your entire life. See all of the ripples, all of the connections, all of the impacts you've left behind.

[00:45:20] What impact do you hope you've had in the world?

[00:45:26] Katherine McCord: That I expanded the minds of humanity and helped them to better embrace each other.

[00:45:37] That's it. Especially for the neurodiverse people, but really for everybody.

[00:45:42] Scott Maderer: That was it. What's coming next as you kick off into 2024? What's on the roadmap? Oh

[00:45:48] Katherine McCord: boy, all kinds of fun stuff. So I have a book that's going to be coming out. I have not 100 percent settled on the title yet, to be honest with you.

[00:45:56] I've, I'm writing it and just letting the title flow into [00:46:00] my world, but it's going to be about neurodiversity and coming to understand yourself. This is for individuals who are neurodiverse and understanding yourself and what to do with yourself and how to join the community. Of of the neuroverse, so to speak.

[00:46:15] And so I have that going on. I have some awesome speaking engagements. I'm going back to Portugal for that, but also I'm going to be putting on a neurodiverse focused event. The first of its kind of mega, just winter wonderland meets tech summit type situation for neuro folks. That's going to be in New York sometime in in September.

[00:46:36] So stay tuned for that. And then other than that, just keep it on rocking and rolling with spreading inclusion and and information about neurodiversity and shaking up the world of HR.

[00:46:49] Scott Maderer: And you can find out more about Catherine over at Titan management usa. com. And of course, I'll have a link to that over in the show notes as well.

[00:46:59] Catherine, [00:47:00] anything else you'd like to share with the listener?

[00:47:03] Katherine McCord: Yeah we talked about the importance of breaking your ego defense and responding with curiosity, which is so very important and another part of creating truly strong and intimate relationships with other humans is vulnerability, but not just in sharing your own information, but this is something I learned a while back.

[00:47:24] I think it's the coolest realization is that, The most intimate thing that you can do with another person is ask them something and truly receive the information because that changes your neural pathways, sharing your own information Lisa's positive chemicals and all that kind of stuff. But when you learn from somebody else, that actually changes how you function and how you process and how you're going to see future events and there's nothing more intimate than allowing somebody in.

[00:47:53] to your brain. So embrace that, ask lots of questions, and grow. Just roll [00:48:00] with it. It's an amazing experience once you start doing it. And I know it's not the most natural thing, trust me, I'm the human equivalent of Grumpy Cat, so but if you can, if I can grow and learn to do it, then so can you, and trust me, it's worth it.

[00:48:19] Scott Maderer: Thanks so much for listening to the Inspired Stewardship Podcast. As a subscriber and listener, we challenge you to not just sit back and passively listen, but act on what you've heard and find a way to live your calling. If you enjoyed this episode please do us a favor. Go over to inspiredstewardship.

[00:48:43] com iTunes rate, all one word, iTunes rate. It'll take you through how to leave a rating and review, and how to make sure you're subscribed to the podcast so that you can get every episode as it [00:49:00] comes out in your feed. Until next time, invest your time, your talent, and your treasures, develop your influence, and impact the world.

In today's episode, I ask Katherine about:

  • How different is not a deficit...
  • Inclusion and neurodiversity..
  • Why it matters...

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We can still respect each other even though we’re different and we can still work together and be human together and that’s what it’s about and everybody is included in that. So this idea that inclusion is not for you yeah it is. – Katherine McCord

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About the Author Scott

Helping people to be better Stewards of God's gifts. Because Stewardship is about more than money.

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