In this episode co-host Adam Chen speaks with Rachel Druckenmiller, founder of Unmuted and keynote speaker/corporate facilitator. Rachel’s unique journey is explored as well as how she found her passion in life helping individuals unmute themselves and stop the self-silencing behavior we all experience. Rachel opines on how internal and external obstacles can be overcome in both work and life to realize our full potential.
About Rachel Druckenmiller
For much of her life, she silenced herself. Always an overachiever, the “good girl,” she only let people see the put-together version of who she was. When she needed help, she kept quiet because she didn’t want anyone to think she couldn’t handle it or that she was inadequate or incompetent in any way. Wrestling with feeling excluded by her peers or trying to process the tension in her parents’ marriage, she bottled everything up inside, like so many of us do. She silenced her pain. Even though she loved to sing and write, she didn’t share her voice publicly because she was afraid of judgment, rejection, or being embarrassed. She didn’t know how to truly turn “off,” and her success in school and at work was what made her feel like she mattered. She silenced so much of her joy during that time for the sake of hustling to get ahead. It’s like she was living her life on mute. Maybe you’ve been there, too. We silence ourselves and struggle with self-care, self-doubt, and self-compassion. We feel disconnected in our relationships at work and at home. We sacrifice our health and wellbeing in our quest to get ahead. We get so used to living our life based on other people’s expectations that we don’t even know what we want anymore. Sometimes it takes one of those “here’s your sign” moments, those nudges, to wake us up and compel us to live differently. For her, that moment came when she was 32, totally burned out, and sick and tired with an acute form of mono called Epstein-Barr Virus. A lifetime of striving, proving, and achieving had caught up with her. Even with 13 years in the health and wellness industry, she knew she had more to learn. Another unexpected blow came in May of 2020, when she was hit by a car and suffered a spinal fracture in the midst of the global pandemic that forced her to pivot her business to 100% virtual. These difficult moments have given her perspective, time to pause, reflect, and build her own resilience. It’s through those experiences that she’s reconnected to who she is and what she really wants. She’s learned to advocate for herself, strengthen relationships, share when she’s struggling, and become unmuted – expressing her thoughts, feelings, and voice with confidence and courage. She even started working with a vocal coach in 2021 to more fully pursue her passion for singing instead of silencing herself out of fear. She’s letting her voice be heard and sharing the gift of song. Becoming resilient has helped her continue to feel grounded, hopeful, connected, and more fulfilled. Every time she faces adversity, she sees it as a catalyst and an invitation to live life more fully and intentionally.
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According to the episode, engaging people and capturing collective wisdom and insight can be achieved by inviting them into moments of curiosity in real time with each other. The host emphasizes that active involvement in a process increases engagement. Therefore, participants are encouraged to reflect or connect with others every 15 minutes, making the topic personally relevant. By creating these moments of curiosity and interaction, the group’s collective wisdom and insight can be captured.
The host stresses that giving permission for people to become unmuted is key to making a difference. This means allowing individuals to be vulnerable and put themselves out there, despite their inherent fear. By establishing a safe and supportive environment that encourages curiosity and sharing, engagement levels can be heightened. This not only captures collective wisdom and insight but also allows individuals to experience the process themselves.
Overall, the episode suggests that by inviting people into moments of curiosity in real time with each other, engagement can be enhanced, and collective wisdom and insight can be captured. This approach involves creating opportunities for reflection, connection, and conversation, while also granting permission for individuals to express themselves and be vulnerable.
In the episode, the speakers discuss the tendency for people to keep their work life and personal life separate or fail to recognize their mutual impact. They mention that some individuals compartmentalize their work and personal lives, keeping them in silos. This lack of awareness about how work and personal life influence each other can be detrimental.
The speakers also highlight that some people may be unaware of how their work life and personal life are interconnected. They emphasize that whether individuals realize it or not, their work and personal lives do impact each other. They use the phrase “newsflash, everybody” to underscore this point.
Furthermore, the speakers delve into the nature of entrepreneurship and how it often involves integrating personal passions or interests into one’s job. They explain that many entrepreneurs intentionally infuse their work with a passion or penchant for something. However, they also note that being innovative does not necessarily require integrating personal passions into a job. They emphasize that someone can be in a job without it being their greatest personal passion.
Overall, the episode highlights the importance of recognizing the impact of work and personal life on each other and suggests that individuals should strive to find a balance and integration between the two.
In the episode, the speaker emphasizes the significance of reminding individuals about the qualities and behaviors that contribute to their effectiveness at work. They mention that people already know what they need to do to be effective, such as listening, empathizing, being present, and showing kindness and compassion. However, it is important to remind them of these qualities and behaviors because they may forget or overlook them amidst their daily work responsibilities.
The speaker underscores the role of facilitation in this process. They mention that in their sessions, they actively involve people rather than simply talking at them from the front of the stage. They believe that when individuals are actively engaged, they are more likely to remember and apply the qualities and behaviors that contribute to their effectiveness.
To facilitate this process, the speaker employs various techniques. For example, they engage participants in reflective exercises where they consider the qualities and characteristics they exhibit when they are at their most and least effective. They also encourage participants to have conversations with each other, making the topic personally relevant. Additionally, the speaker mentions using word clouds to visually capture everyone’s words about how they are most effective, reinforcing these qualities and behaviors.
Overall, the episode underscores the importance of reminding individuals about the qualities and behaviors that contribute to their effectiveness at work. By facilitating discussions and engaging participants in reflective exercises, individuals are more likely to remember and apply these qualities, leading to improved effectiveness in the workplace.
Rachel Druckenmiller, Founder of Unmuted, Keynote Speaker