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There is a difference between nice and kind.

Niceness is appeasing and complacent. Kindness is loving and generous.

Niceness, in IFS terms, can be experienced as a strong protector shielding us from vulnerability and risk by over-accommodating others. True kindness, on the other hand, connects us to our compassion and our values.

We sacrifice our integrity to play nice, to go along to get along. When we lead from niceness, we sugar coat and people please. While this may offer some relief, this posture usually creates more stress and internal dissonance.

To lead with kindness, you need the capacity to receive and navigate the responses of others. Kindness stirs up vulnerability because we do not know how we will be received, how we will be perceived, or how others will respond.

And these fears are especially common when navigating conversations and feedback around race, gender, ability, and so much more. 

My guest today helps me dig deep into the intersection of niceness, whiteness, and standing against racism.

Jenny Booth Potter is a creative producer, storyteller, and co-host of The Next Question, a web series about expanding our imagination for racial justice. She has co-led racial justice trainings across the country for churches and organizations, and is a founding partner of HerSelf Media, a company that aims to create stories that empower and bring joy to Black women. Jenny’s first book, Doing Nothing is No Longer An Option:One Woman’s Journey Into Everyday Antiracism will be released October 25, 2022. Jenny and her husband make their home outside of Chicago with their two boys and one wild puppy.

Listen to the full episode to hear:

  • The connection between niceness and defensiveness, and how it prevents real growth
  • How niceness inhibits self-reflection and reflecting on the systems we uphold and are a part of
  • The moment when Jenny realized that doing nothing was not an option
  • Why white people have to grapple with their roles as oppressors
  • How perfectionism and supremacy show up when we approach anti-racism work

Learn more about Jenny Booth Potter:

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meet the founder

I’m Rebecca Ching, LMFT.

I help change-making leaders get to the root of recurring struggles and get confidently back on track with your values, your vision, and your bottom line. 

I combine psychotherapeutic principles, future-forward coaching, and healthy business practices to meet the unique needs and challenges of highly-committed leaders in a high-stakes world.

This is unburdened leadership

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And clearing the way for a more innovative, inclusive future.

Unburdened Leaders are breaking
cycles of workplace burnout…

Are you about this, too? Let’s meet and see if I’m your coach – no expectations. Just connection.