Left to Our Own Devices Podcast

Episode 5: Alicia Menendez

Alicia Menendez

When the Sh*t Hits the Fan: How working women can manage our families, friends, and ambitions during the pandemic with Alicia Menendez

If you’ve found yourself talking to your team while giving your kid a bath, this is the episode for you. How do you show up for the people in your life while not abandoning yourself? It’s not easy, and as author of The Likeability Trap and MSNBC anchor Alicia Menendez tells us, “Finesse is hard to teach.” But we can all do it! Start by acknowledging loved ones in your life that may need a little extra TLC right now, and be sure to uplift invisible voices in the workplace. And—last but not least—recognize your own limitations in this moment. Alicia offers a nuanced, one-size-certainly-does-NOT-fit-all approach to relationships and connection. You’ll appreciate her perceptive, thoughtful approach to this Covid moment and how she uses her platform and position to elevate those around her. This episode is a must-listen for anyone wanting to level up their EQ and become a better friend, a better colleague, and a better human being.

Quotes

7:38 — “I think it’s really important to have conversations with your managers about what success looks like in this moment. Or to have conversations with the people you manage about what success looks like.”

8:47 — On recognizing your own limitations “The way that I am is—I want to do it all. So I had to get really clear with myself about which of these three projects were in first position, second position, and third position.”

14:12 — On doing pandemic check ins with loved ones “It has made me take into account, who in my life might need an extra layer of support or care and to move them to the top of my list.”

15:05 — “I will say that…I have a very clear sense of who I am as a friend. I will not talk everyday likely. We will not text everyday, but when the shit hits the fan, I will be there. And I will be there in a real way, and I will show up, and I have learned—I did not always know this—how to show up based on what you need, not based on what I think you need or how I would want someone to show up for me.”

16:25 —  On showing up for people when it matters most: “A small note, a small present can go a very long way, like the way in which those critical moments stick with people—I’ve experienced it, you’ve experienced it. You never forget who extended you a kindness in those moments.”

25:13 — “I will say, you know how writing a workplace book is. You do such a deep dive on research…Some of it fundamentally changes the way that you see your place in the world… A lot of the research particularly around women of color—you know I am Latina, but I am very fair skinned. I present in the world as a white, non-hispanic person. I have the ability to pass in and out—thinking about the fact that Black women in particular really can feel so invisible in the workplace…it made me think about how important it is to call it out. And to really make sure that I’m showing up in a way that acknowledges the work they’re doing—not just to them. That is nice, but really the value is making sure that that work is elevated to the people above who are in a position to make strategic choices.”

Resources

Alicia’s website

Alicia’s book, The Likeability Trap

Alicia’s podcast

Erica’s website

Erica’s book, Bring Your Human to Work

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