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Mercedes Martin: Rewiring Leadership In A Polarized World

Episode 42

About Mercedes Martin: She has over two decades of experience in strategic business consulting, inclusion coaching, global diversity and leadership development. Prior to launching her current consultancy, Mercedes worked at Ernst and Young for almost ten years in talent development, organizational, change and as an executive coach. After Ernst and Young, she was Executive Vice President of Business, Transformation and Innovation at Ashton212 consulting firm. Mercedes served as staff development officer in the United States Air Force early in her career.

Mercedes is a native Spanish speaker and a master corporate coach. She has worked with Fortune 500 companies including PepsiCo, Proctor and Gamble, Shell Oil, and Kellogs. Her global engagements have been across Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, Denmark, El Salvador, England, Mexico, Nigeria, Spain, and the United States.


In this episode, Jordan and Mercedes discuss:

  • What really keeps corporate leaders from responding to social issues and what a “safe and brave space” looks like

  • Mercedes conversation with the leader of the Proud Boys and with a North Carolina Trump supporter who carried a gun and had a tattoo of the Buddha.

  • How to set up learning experiences or conversations where people can learn and exchange information without blame or shame

  • Finding another perspective and another way of navigating polarity

  • Why people find it so hard to navigate through polarizing issues and what the problem really is

Key Takeaways

  • Create a safe and brave space for people to be able to talk freely without fear of judgement - to be able to go against the status quo and still be respected and included

  • Listen to all the sides of an issue - don’t drown in your confirmation bias by just listening to what you already believe in. Get out of your own “echo chamber”.

  • Be mature enough to discuss and respond to issues that have any aspect of VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity)

  • Oftentimes, it’s not really the data that sets people off - it’s the historical and emotional aspect of it that could “trigger” a negative response. Understanding this is the key to having better conversations with others

“first, model curiosity; second, make it okay to say ‘I don’t know’; third, make it okay to say ‘I need help’. ”— Mercedes Martinh

Connect with Mercedes Martin:

Jordan Goldrich

Your host, Jordan Goldrich, grew up in a loud New York family and once lost an executive position because of his style. He is co-author of the Amazon Best Seller, Workplace Warrior®: People Skills For The No-Bulls**t Executive, Chief Operations Officer, Master Corporate Executive Coach, and Licensed Clinical Social Worker. His guests are part of his international network of Workplace Warrior® executives, master corporate executive coaches, and thought leaders. Each guest will engage you in conversation about their successes, mistakes, and solutions. You will get strategies for being completely authentic, while you fulfill your commitment to your organization, build positive relationships, and take performance to an even higher level.

Connect with Jordan Goldrich: 

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