Difficult Conversations Podcast
Lessons I Learned as an ICU Physician
Episode 104 | August 4, 2020
Communicating to Be the Most Powerful You
Author & Coach
Welcome to the Difficult Conversations with Dr. Anthony Orsini. Today we are lucky to have a special guest, Kathy Caprino with us. She is an internationally-recognized career and leadership coach, writer, speaker, educator dedicated to the advancement of women in business, a former corporate vice president, now a trained marriage and family therapist, a seasoned executive coach, senior Forbes contributor, and author of two books, and her podcast is called Finding Brave.
Kathy tells us her personal journey, facing sexual harassment, gender discrimination, toxic colleagues, and narcissistic bosses. She had a breakthrough moment and finally had enough. She then became a marriage and family therapist which was life-changing, which is how she learned so much about empathy and communication and how you really match with someone. Kathy tells us a story and things you should never say to someone in a difficult conversation. Dr. Orsini has a great story to share as well as key advice when he teaches communication.
Physician burnout is an epidemic right now and Dr. Orsini touches on that and Kathy addresses the issue with some great advice. Kathy tells us how she coaches women to stand up for themselves. She shares a story with coaching clients and tells us some key advice to stay compassionate, stay understanding, but be very clear about what you will and will not accept. Also, learn here what you should expect when you read her new book and how is it different from her first book. Please hit the subscribe button to find out more about what we do and how we teach communication and download this episode now!
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Kathy Caprino (3s):
What they found is if you make a value statement, it works better. So for instance, you might say in that
situation, I really value honesty and transparency. So I have to share, I don’t agree with the direction the
team is going. And just saying that value statement allows it to be heard.
Welcome to difficult conversations lessons I learned as an ICU physician with dr. Anthony Orsini. Dr. Orsini
is a practicing physician and president and CEO of the Orsini way as a frequent keynote speaker and author.
Dr. Orsini has been training healthcare professionals and business leaders, how to navigate through the
most difficult dialogues each week. You will hear inspiring interviews with experts in their field who tell their
story and provide practical advice on how to effectively communicate whether you are a doctor faced with
giving a patient bad news, a business leader who wants to get the most out of his or her team members or
someone who just wants to learn to communicate better.
Dr.Anthony Orsini (1m 7s):
This is the podcast for you. Well, hi everyone. This is Dr. Anthony Orsini, and welcome to another episode of
difficult conversations lessons I learned as an ICU physician. You know, when I started this podcast, I made
a promise to myself and a promise to you that each and every episode will not only be informative, but
inspiring as well. And I’ve been very fortunate to have some great guests to my admire and I respect. And
today is no exception. We are very lucky tonight to have Kathy Caprino with us.
Dr.Anthony Orsini (1m 37s):
Kathy is an internationally recognized career and leadership coach, a writer, a speaker, and educator
dedicated to the advancement of women in business. A former corporate vice president, Kathy is now a
trained marriage and family therapist and a seasoned executive coach. She’s a senior Forbes contributor
and the author of two amazing books. Her most recent book titled the most powerful use seven bravery
boosting paths to career bliss was just released on July 28th and is now available on Amazon and other
Dr.Anthony Orsini (2m 8s):
Kathy’s core mission is to support a finding brave global movement that inspires and empowers women to
close their power gaps, create more impact and make the difference they long to in the world. Kathy is the
founder and president of Kathy Caprino LLC, a premier career coach and executive consulting firm offering
career and leadership development programs and resources for professional women or finding brave
podcasts is in the top 100 on Apple, Kathy as a former TEDx speaker. And by the way, I checked it out.
Dr.Anthony Orsini (2m 38s):
It was great. She’s a frequent keynote speaker and top national media source on women’s issues, careers
and leadership. Well, that’s quite a resume. I think I’m going to have to take a break a second to catch my
breath. Wow. A lot of words. Well welcome. But I must say it’s quite an honor to have you on this very
recently launched podcast, a big fan of yours. And I think the last I checked your head 130 episodes, maybe
Kathy Caprino (3m 5s):
I have, and I can’t thank you enough for having me. I’m so honored and grateful. Tony, thank you.
Dr.Anthony Orsini (3m 12s):
Well, that’s really impressive. And I know it’s a lot of work now from personal experience, so it’s more
working people understand, I think, but it’s certainly, I recommend your podcast, everyone. It’s really great.
So I have so many questions for you, and I want to talk about your latest book, but in full disclosure, we’re
recording this in early July. So the book is actually not out yet, but I’ve already, pre-ordered mine on Amazon
and I can’t wait for it to come, but you and I first got to know each other, I guess it was about six months ago
when you were doing a Forbes piece on the keys to navigating tough conversations with employees.
Dr.Anthony Orsini (3m 48s):
And I remember calling you afterwards just to follow up and you were so easy to speak to. We had a great
time. We shared stories with each other. I think I looked up at the clock. It was 45 minutes later and we built
instant rapport. It was, it was just great. So when I decided to do this podcast, I said, you know what? I
wonder if Kathy will do it. So you were the, one of the first people that I thought about it.
Kathy Caprino (4m 14s):
That’s so kind. Thank you we did have a great chat. I think it could have gone on for hours.
Dr.Anthony Orsini (4m 19s):
Yeah, it was so easy. It really was.
Kathy Caprino (4m 23s):
But I think we’d see things similarly in terms of how we talk to people, how we connect, right.
Dr.Anthony Orsini (4m 29s):
And it’s all about communication. And that’s why I started this podcast because I’m just fascinated by the
way people communicate. It’s just amazing or people can’t communicate. I’m also fascinated about that also.
So before we talk about your book and get into all the questions, cause I have so many questions for you,
you know, I know your story because we shared it that day on the phone and many people do. But for those
people that don’t, could you just spend a few minutes to tell us about your personal journey and how you got
to be where you are right now?
Kathy Caprino (4m 59s):
Hmm. Thank you. I’d love to quick story. Long story short, I had an 18 year corporate career marketing
publishing membership services. And on the outside it was successful on the inside. It was not. And I had
bumps all along the way, rough profit experiences. But when I hit 40, they, they became crises truly. So I
faced sexual harassment, gender discrimination, toxic colleagues and narcissistic bosses. And who knew
what narcissism was.
Kathy Caprino (5m 30s):
I didn’t until I became a therapist. And I’m like, Oh, that’s what happened. Narcissism zero work, life balance.
I was chronically ill for every three months or four months. I get an infection of the trachea as a physician. I
know, you know what that is, but no one could help me. They’re like here take antibiotics. It was such a
mess, Tony and not in the fabric of my young kids’ lives, but honestly, more painful than all of was waking up
and thinking, is this the work I’m going to be doing this?
Kathy Caprino (6m 3s):
This, it was meaningless to me except for the paycheck, which was big. So I knew I had to make a change.
And I tried, I saw therapist. I saw career counsel. I couldn’t do it because at 41, with two kids in a big house,
what are you going to do? Number one, most people don’t even know what they would do if they could, if
they won the lottery, I couldn’t figure it out. So what happens when we don’t move forward on our own, the
universe stepped in one month after moving to this bigger home in a more affluent area was nine 11.
Kathy Caprino (6m 33s):
And one month later I was laid off and this is one thing we were talking about. It was so brutal to me, how it
was done and it wasn’t even, you know, it wasn’t abusive. It’s just, when you think you’re a valuable person
in an organization and you are kicked to the curb and when the conversation leaves you feeling less than in
confused, it’s devastating. So I will make this brief, but it was a breakthrough moment for me. I said, I’ve had
enough. I’ve had enough of not feeling in control, not feeling valued, not feeling I could be myself.
Kathy Caprino (7m 9s):
And I became a marriage and family therapist, which was life changing in and of itself. This is how I’ve
learned so much about empathy and communication and how you really match with someone and help
them. And you can’t help someone if you’re judging them and looking down on them. Right. But then I have
to say, I found coaching career coaching and especially for women. And I’ve been doing that for 15 years
and it is the most rewarding thing in the world. But this book is a combination of what I’ve seen. That is an
epidemic of powerlessness, Tony, it for women.
Kathy Caprino (7m 43s):
So there are seven damaging power gaps that I’m seeing every day. And I did a survey just to check that it
wasn’t just my self selecting pool in 98% of the women surveyed are having at least one of these gaps and
over 75% have three or more. And when you have these gaps, you can’t thrive at the highest level. So that’s
my story in three minutes.
Dr.Anthony Orsini (8m 7s):
Well, it’s amazing story. And I know you can go on and on forever and I can talk, I can talk to you forever. So
it’s, it’s great. So you talked about the life changing moment. How that conversation, you speak about toxic
bosses in your first book, and you talk about the way that you were let go. How did that conversation go?
And now that you’re a coach, how do you think the conversation could have gone better? Because part of
this podcast, even though I’m a physician, I’ve trained some HR professionals and we have dr.
Dr.Anthony Orsini (8m 38s):
Larry Barton coming on in a few weeks, who is a crisis management expert. And we talk about how to let
people go with compassion. How do you think that conversation could have gone better? If it could.
Kathy Caprino (8m 50s):
I would like to talk about that, but can I talk about the context to anyone who’s listening as a manager and
leader has to understand this, and if you haven’t been through it, you can’t really understand it. But after nine
11 happened, we heard that a lot of people would be laid off. So, and they tried to do it quickly, but I think it
was a good three weeks that closed doors, everyone thinking, was it, is it me? Is it me? Is it me? Is it me?
And when you are in that scenario, it’s so scary. Especially if you have big financial responsibilities, right? So
first of all, you’re scared to death and you’re thinking, could it be me?
Kathy Caprino (9m 23s):
It can’t be me. And so I just want to say this one thing, why this was also hard. I make friends with
everybody. That’s just my Greek Italian nature. As you can see everybody and the office manager who got
all of our equipment and I was a vice president, then he was a good friend of mine. And the day we were
going to hear who it was, who got laid off, he couldn’t look at me. I could just cry. So the very first
devastating thing is don’t make people wait like this. Don’t do something different where we’re not all
wondering, am I going to be dumped?
Kathy Caprino (9m 56s):
When he ignored me? I was sick to my stomach. So I knew they were going to tell everybody the next day.
And what I heard was you were going to get walked out. You were going to have 30 minutes to get
everything, get stripped of your card, key in your computer and Lee and be walked out like a criminal. Okay.
People do not do it like that. Okay. So how did I learn this? Another vice president who was a great friend of
mine. He said, he knew he wasn’t one of them.
Kathy Caprino (10m 28s):
This was the night before. And I said, can you go find out if I am? And he came back and he was this burly, I
love him, loved him, burly Megan’s man. He actually sat down talk about difficult conversations. And he had
a tear in his eye, this man who I never saw a vulnerable moment for two years. And he said, it is you. And
you know, you’re full of these emotions. You want to throw up you a, how can it be there’s rage? And so I
said, would you go back and ask the boss? Would he do it now so that I can leave with some dignity and
have some time?
Kathy Caprino (11m 2s):
And the boss said yes. So I went in to talk to him and this is why it’s so painful. And anyone who’s had, I’m
not saying this guy was a narcissist, but anyone who has had emotional manipulation in their life is going to
know what I mean. I said, why, why me? Because I had had great promotions, a huge promotion, big raise.
Why would you be laying me off? And he said, I did some speaking around.
Kathy Caprino (11m 33s):
And I talked to two people who work with you. And they said, you’re difficult to work with. And what’s really
difficult is, you know, when you’re being gaslighted, you know, that’s a term in narcissism of all the people I
work with, you chose the two people that I don’t like and who don’t like me. So BS, you are just covering your
yep. And when you’re being gaslighted in that way, it’s so I just shake even thinking about it. Don’t be asking
me. So, number one, in a difficult conversation, don’t lie to cover your tush.
Kathy Caprino (12m 9s):
That’s how we had felt now, am I right? I don’t know. I, you know, we have been in touch and I didn’t want to
go there. It’s painful. But the second thing he said that I will never forget. And I learned never to do. He said,
you know, I think the world of you, and this is harder for me than it is for you. No it isn’t. And when Tony, we
were talking about this, don’t ever say something like that to someone who you are giving terrible news to,
and you know why that’s so bad. I was just thinking about this earlier.
Kathy Caprino (12m 39s):
I learned this as a therapist, frankly. I think we should all have therapeutic training. Everything you share with
someone should not be for your benefit. It should be for their benefit. If, I mean, not in a friendship, of
course, you’re going to be honest and open, but when you’re delivering that kind of bad news, it should not
be about him and his feeling. How dare you and how not empathetic. I just bought a huge house because
this company told me to do it. The president told me to buy the biggest house I could buy.
Kathy Caprino (13m 9s):
So you’ve just stripped away a lot of my future. And you’re saying you feel worse about it than I do. It’s so
angering Tony. So I know you have both books about this. You have years of training by the, what do you
think about what I’m saying here?
Dr.Anthony Orsini (13m 27s):
You’re right on. And I’ve been training doctors and nurses, how to have difficult conversations. I started out
by training doctors, how to give bad news. And there are certain words or phrases. And I was thinking about
this when you were speaking that are just no nos. And you don’t say them. Sometimes people say words
that are phrases, that they don’t mean what they’re really saying. And maybe they’re just nervous and maybe
would take that back now. I don’t know, but there’s certain phrases.
Dr.Anthony Orsini (13m 58s):
When you tell someone they have cancer and they start to cry and the doctor says, I understand the patient
turns around and says, why you have cancer too? How could you possibly understand in my field as a
position, as a neonatologist, a mother loses her baby, her baby dies. And you hear doctors and nurses. And
they don’t mean anything by Kathy, but they’re saying I understand. And I go, no don’t ever say that you can
switch the words around and say, cause I know this is what you mean.
Dr.Anthony Orsini (14m 28s):
Just say, I can’t imagine what you’re going through right now. It’s comforting. And, and you know, physicians,
when I teach physicians and even business leaders, they hear these phrases and they go, Oh, I like that. I’m
going to use that one. You know? But there’s certain things that you say, my mother-in-law just a quick story.
My mother-in-law who recently passed away when she was this little old Italian woman who was very quiet,
believe it or not Italian women, it’s quiet. Right? So you’re Italian. Oftentimes I can tell you, but she was very
quiet and she never really spoke a bad word about anyone.
Dr.Anthony Orsini (15m 2s):
But when she had her third child, it was the third day. And those days you stayed in the hospital for like a
week when you had a baby. And on the third day, the nurse didn’t bring the baby to her. And she said,
where’s my baby. And the nurses said, well, the doctor will call you about half hour later. The doctor calls. He
doesn’t come in on the phone because on the phone. And he says, and she tells a story. And he says, you
know, your baby died last night. And he says, I’m sorry.
Dr.Anthony Orsini (15m 32s):
And he says, you know, these things happen, which was the first thing. And the next thing was, you’re
young. You could have other children. So when my mother in law told that story, this kind little gentle woman
still refers to him 60 years later as the a-hole who told her that, you know, and if you heard her curse, it’s
actually funny when you hear this woman Paris, because there’s certain things and words that you can just
change and you can learn. And for you, it was, you know, this hurts me more than you.
Dr.Anthony Orsini (16m 5s):
That’ll never leave your mind. Right? So
Kathy Caprino (16m 8s):
What a story I want to riff on that for a second. Could I, because you’ve said something really important
when people share, if they’re kind decent people, I don’t mean narcissists and fools, but if they’re kind
they’re, what’s coming out of their mouth is their way of making you the, they think they’re making you feel
better. I want to tell you, I was talking to my son, my 22 year old son about this one yesterday. Here it is. And
I really want people to understand this. My 96 year old mom has just recovered from COVID.
Kathy Caprino (16m 40s):
Wow, God bless God bless what a warrior spirit. But you know, there’s other issues about, you know, that
come about in terms of an older person that doesn’t move for four months in her room. You know, there’s
other issues. But this is what people have said to me twice. In two times in my life, my dad was 93. When he
died of cancer, that spread everywhere and dementia. It was hellacious to watch this man, thank you.
Kathy Caprino (17m 9s):
Fade, who is so brilliant and wonderful. And here’s what people said, Tony, I can’t tell you many people said,
well, you know, he lived a great long life. I can’t tell you how angering that is. And I was telling my son about
my mom, that people have said, I said, mom has COVID. And they’re like, well, how old is she? Yeah. Wow.
And I say 96. And they’re like, well, you know, she’s lived a good long life. I want to tell people don’t ever say
that because the reality is yes, 93 and 96.
Kathy Caprino (17m 43s):
It’s a long life. But that, isn’t what I’m talking about right now. I’m talking about having lost dad or I’m talking
about the idea that I could lose my mother without seeing her. I don’t care how old she is. And my son and I
were talking that well, mom, so many people have lost their parents at much younger ages. If you’ve lost
your father at 60, when he was 60 or your mother 80 to them, 93, 96 is amazing. But see again, Tony, it’s
about them. Yes. So he said, gosh, mom, I think I probably would have said that.
Kathy Caprino (18m 16s):
Trying to make someone feel better. And I said, well, here’s what I want to teach. You need to communicate
in a way that you validate what the person is feeling, not what you’re feeling. And we don’t need statistics.
Like the doctor going, look, this stuff happens and you’re young. We don’t need data. Would you agree with
that? Is that
Dr.Anthony Orsini (18m 37s):
I think we say things sometimes out of being nervous because no one likes to have these difficult
conversations. No one really knows what to say. When you tell them that your 96 year old mother has
COVID. And, but what I teach communication is think about here’s what I want to say to you. It’s not about
you. And sometimes we say things because we feel like we have to say something, you know, in the words
of Rabbi Kushner, who was the man who wrote when bad things happen to good people, when you don’t
know what to say, say you’re sorry, and then shut up.
Dr.Anthony Orsini (19m 8s):
And I think that’s great advice. And I quote him all the time. There’s so many phrases that really hurt. So I
think that’s fantastic. And that’s great. One other thing,
Kathy Caprino (19m 20s):
I have a friend who had cancer and she told me that she’s never felt so alone because she would walk in the
grocery store and her friends when they’d see her, they would go the other way. And it’s because they didn’t
know what to say. And she knew that, but it made her feel so alone. So here’s something I say, just like
Rabbi K ushner saying, you know, say, I’m sorry. And shut up. Sometimes that doesn’t feel like enough. Like
if we say, Oh, I’m so sorry, Tony, what I always say when I don’t know what to say is how are you holding up?
Kathy Caprino (19m 51s):
Perfect. So you tell me how you’re doing. And then, you know, most often they share because a lot of people
don’t ask them how they’re really doing. So that can be another one you can have in your toolbox. Yeah.
Dr.Anthony Orsini (20m 5s):
That’s referred to when people ignore you, someone referred to that as the bushes effect, he said he had
just found out his son had cancer. And every time he came home, his neighbors would jump in the bushes
because they didn’t know what to say. And they were trying to hide from him. So it’s common. So very
interesting stuff. But I want to move on to a couple other things, because I know you’re busy. You talk about
in your first book, breakdown and breakthrough giving you say that hating, what you do is giving yourself up.
It’s giving the power to someone else.
Dr.Anthony Orsini (20m 37s):
During my communication workshops, I talk about physician burnout, professional burnout, and there is a
clear epidemic of physician burnout right now. It’s about 60 positions are the highest rate of suicide of any
profession right now. And that’s correct. Yeah. It’s been like that for a couple of years now. And I kind of say
it differently than you say it. Like what happens in medicine right now is that physicians used to have control
of how they practice medicine, their hours.
Dr.Anthony Orsini (21m 7s):
They were entrepreneurs. If you would, they had their own practices. Medicine right now is very task
oriented. You’re pushed to be efficient. And what happens is, and I always quote, when people act contrary
to their beliefs and core values, burnout increases, and you were telling your story about how you just hate it,
what you were doing. And I think there’s a real good parallel. There’s a lot of parallels between what I do and
what you do. There’s a real good parallel because what happens to physicians is they realize I went into this
Dr.Anthony Orsini (21m 39s):
I went into this to form relationships and I want to comfort. And what am I doing? I’m being forced to see 25
patients in two hours. And so what happens is we go home as physicians and we don’t understand what’s
going on, but we’ve done a good job, but we feel empty. We go home because gee, I did really good. Maybe
I saved a couple lives. Maybe I really helped people, but in the end, why do I feel so empty? And it’s that
emptiness is because I wanted to bond with my patient a little more. And so we were actually teaching
doctors and nurses to spend that extra minute.
Dr.Anthony Orsini (22m 14s):
And it, and it is literally an extra minute to feel more fulfilled about their job. And so I want to know what your
comment is about that. Oh wow.
Kathy Caprino (22m 24s):
Wow. I feel so much for the, the health care community right now.
Dr.Anthony Orsini (22m 28s):
It’s really everyone who has not fulfilled. It’s it’s what happened to you, right?
Kathy Caprino (22m 34s):
That’s interesting. I haven’t ever heard this before. I think why so many I’m right there with you that when
your values aren’t aligning with how you’re being made to work, what I see with career professionals is they
feel either like an imposter that I don’t really know enough or what you’re asking me to do. I don’t know how
to do well enough. Number two, I thought I liked this work, but this company is so toxic and the outcomes
that I’m being made to deliver, I don’t care about.
Kathy Caprino (23m 7s):
So there’s a misalignment or a disconnection. It’s not exactly what you’re talking about, that I can’t make
relationships, but from a lot of people, like for me in a number of years, I can’t be who I am, who I really am.
Like, I’m a loving, caring person and I’m gentle and I’m compassionate. And I remember in one of these jobs
that wasn’t appreciated that wasn’t what we wanted in that role. That’s not what they wanted. And I talk
about six dominant action styles that I’ve seen people take or follow in terms of pursuing goals and achieving
Kathy Caprino (23m 41s):
Striver seeker, pacer, researcher, challenger, advocator. So for instance, if you’re an advocate of, you’re like
a striver, you get things done. You’ll climb any mountain, but you have to be doing work. That’s advocating
for something bigger than yourself. If you can’t do that, if you’re one of these styles and that style isn’t
allowed, I’m a seeker. You know, I just want to learn and I don’t want to just all get it done. And it’s all about
the goals. If you can’t pursue those styles in your work, you’re going to be miserable, but you’re not going to
Kathy Caprino (24m 14s):
So it’s interesting. I think in the physician world, it sounds like people understand, clearly I’m being treated
like a robot that I got to come in and do it and leave. I think for corporate professionals is a myriad of things
that are going wrong, that don’t fit with their soul.
Dr.Anthony Orsini (24m 29s):
Yes, I agree. Yep. Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. You talk about in your book also, and I want to get to
your new book, but standing up for yourself and how especially women don’t do that or not good at it. And
you give a variety of reasons. How do you coach that, Kathy? How do you coach to stand up for yourself?
And I’m a big person on body language. So, you know, 70% of language is nonverbal. And when I train
people on communication, I tell them, you can use all the right words, right? You can tell them exactly what
to say, but if they’re saying it in their nonverbal language is meek or scared, it doesn’t matter because 70% of
it is nonverbal.
Dr.Anthony Orsini (25m 6s):
And that’s the message you’re going to give, regardless of whether I give you a script or not. How do you
coach that to your, to your students?
Kathy Caprino (25m 13s):
So two things of the seven gaps that the most powerful you book talks about. One is commute. Number two
is communicating from fear, not strength, which women 70% have said they suffer with. And number five is
acquiescing, instead of saying stop to mistreatment. So I want to talk about women for a minute. There’s a
lot of research. I’m not making this up a lot of data about how, when girls hit about 12 or 13, they go
underground. Their voice goes underground. They were on par with boys before that, in terms of thinking
they were leaders interested in STEM topics, you know, all of it, but at 13 it changes.
Kathy Caprino (25m 52s):
So what I ask women to look at and you know, I teach a course and I see them 30 people on my zoom call
once a week, you can see everything, right. You can hear it. You can see them looking down. You can see
how afraid they are, but the communicating from fear not strength. The first thing I ask women to look at is
where are you weakening your message. And I don’t, I don’t necessarily train about eye contact. I get to the
core of where you communicating generally from fear. So where are you over apologizing?
Kathy Caprino (26m 23s):
Tons of research that women say, you know, I’m sorry, exponentially more than men. And it’s true. Really?
I’m sorry about everything. They weakened their message. For instance, when they’re about to say
something in a meeting, you know, I’m not sure this is right, but you know, if you are saying that you’re
broadcasting, don’t listen to me, right? Or you allow people often men to cut you off. So for instance, I’ll train,
listen, if you’re continually cut off, here’s what you say. Oh, thanks Fred. That’s an interesting point.
Kathy Caprino (26m 53s):
I would like to finish. I wasn’t done with my point very calmly, but there’s also this amazing thing I learned
when I interviewed these guys, the behavioral science guys, Joseph granny, and David Maxfield. When they
showed a video of a woman saying a forceful thing and another video to another audience of a man saying
the same forceful thing, I’d own agree with the direction the team is going. Her perceived competence
dropped exponentially and her perceived dollar value dropped exponentially compared to the guy saying this
exact same thing.
Kathy Caprino (27m 26s):
So what they studied and here’s the end of the story here is, are there statements you can make before?
You’re about to make a forceful statement that isn’t going to go over well, that is going to mitigate the
backlash. So I teach this a lot. What they found is if you make a value statement, it works better. So for
instance, you might say in that situation, I really value honesty and transparency. So I have to share, I don’t
agree with the direction the team is going. And just saying that value statement allows it to be heard better
rather than people feeling slapped down because everybody wants their ideas to be accepted where all
week, well, I don’t know if that’s a hundred percent true.
Kathy Caprino (28m 9s):
We’re all vulnerable. We all want validation. So when you say, I don’t agree, you’re going to get a rise out of
people. So there are ways you can say things that will mitigate the backlash, but we must say the difficult
things. We must.
Dr.Anthony Orsini (28m 24s):
I’m a big person on tone and body language. I don’t know if you’re familiar with Amy Cuddy. She’s a
Kathy Caprino (28m 31s):
Amy cutting the power stance. Right?
Dr.Anthony Orsini (28m 34s):
Awesome. Right. Yes. She’s done studies to prove that if you just stand in front of a mirror before you have
that conversation, you’re actually will be more confident that she measured cortisol levels and testosterone
levels. And that she’s brilliant. I love and I love, but it’s really the nonverbal and the tone of your voice.
There’s a great study out of a sociologist. I think her name is Nina . She did a study trying to
predict which doctors would have malpractice lawsuits. And so she took 36 surgeons.
Dr.Anthony Orsini (29m 4s):
About half of the surgeons had been sued multiple times. The other half had never been sued for
malpractice. And she put little cameras in the patient’s rooms and she videotaped and audiotaped the
surgeon going in for a routine visit just by dr. Sini. Then she took those, those interactions. She put it in a
machine that analyze just tone, not the words, just the tone and the machine predicted which doctors were
sued multiple times in which doctors weren’t just by their tone, the tone, harsh cars, condescending, harsh.
Dr.Anthony Orsini (29m 38s):
She had a whole bunch of things. And then she did something really cool. She just the videotape to people
with no audio. And they were able to pick the ones that were sued. So these people were blowing it, both
roles. So I teach that the positions, because when you’re having a serious conversation and you’re having a
difficult conversation with someone, you don’t want a doctor who looks me, you don’t want a doctor who
looks confused. You don’t want a doctor that says maybe, you know, I always tell physicians, the word think
should never come into your language. Take that out.
Dr.Anthony Orsini (30m 8s):
You shouldn’t say, I think you have cancer because the response is going to be,
Kathy Caprino (30m 14s):
How about no?
Dr.Anthony Orsini (30m 15s):
Why don’t you know, why don’t you find someone who knows that’s going to be the answer, right? But you
can change that one word. And you can say, I’m very concerned. I looked at the, or Jessica’s right. And I’m
very concerned that you have cancer. It means the same thing. It means I’m not a hundred percent sure.
Kathy Caprino (30m 29s):
Ask a question, Tony, I got to ask where I was going with. What you were saying was that I bet you, these
people are narcissists because narcissists has zero ability to sit in other people’s shoes. So they’re saying it
in ways that are so off putting, but I don’t think that’s what you mean. Do you, you’re talking about doubt
insecurity is that it is that what was coming out that made these people,
Dr.Anthony Orsini (30m 57s):
Oh, you’re going back to the lawsuit. What made people get sued as people generally don’t Sue for
malpractice because of bad outcomes. They Sue for malpractice because they’re angry because they feel
that they didn’t have that relationship.
Kathy Caprino (31m 9s):
These people are narcissists. We need to go back on that study and overlay narcissistic tendencies.
Dr.Anthony Orsini (31m 16s):
It could be. In fact, the study is in the famous book, blink. He refers to that study and how insurance
companies, instead of setting malpractice rates, by your record of how many times you’ve been sued,
insurance companies are moving towards just analyzing doctor patient relationships to set the malpractice
rate. Because if you have that tone, if you have that empathy in your voice, you’re less likely to get sued. So
it’s fascinating. Do we have time, Tony? Can I talk about this to you? We have as much time as you want
Kathy Caprino (31m 45s):
Three hours. So sometimes, and it happens less and less with me now, but every once in a while, I will have
a coaching client who does something that’s inappropriate for me. So for instance, someone said that I came
late to a meeting too, and I was late eight minutes and I had said, I would give her eight minutes. And she
said she was so rattled that she wanted a complete redo. I’m not going to go into that for a minute, but I am
going to go into the answer was no, that is not going to happen.
Kathy Caprino (32m 21s):
And there was, and I’ll give you another example. There was one guy we were talking about, you know, how
to change careers. And he wasn’t taking the advice, the coaching, he wasn’t taking the steps. And all of a
sudden in a Mo in one morning, I get a lambasting email. You’re not helping me at all. He lost it. And I do
think know, he told me he suffers from bipolar. I think this was a bipolar moment. So I want to say that in all
of these times that, and I’ve grown in this. When someone attacks me or asks for something that I feel you’re
not going to get it.
Kathy Caprino (32m 54s):
And I think the guy might’ve even said, I want a refund. There are no refunds for working with me. And I
make that very clear. Why? Because you can see 500 videos of me in podcasts and you can check out my
approach, right? It’s the approach works. But I wrote to him, I got upset, but I wrote to him and said, I hear in
your voice, how angry you are. I hear it. I don’t think I said, I understand. I hear it. And this is what I would
like to share. And then I was very clear and very calm that this is not how I see what has gone down in our
Kathy Caprino (33m 31s):
And here’s what I see has happened. And number three, if I ever get an email from you like this, again, we
will be done in there. As you know, there are no refunds, but I’m here. If you would like to have a
conversation, I would love to talk on the phone. This was before zoom at Benanna was calm. I was not
judgmental and cruel, but I laid it on the line here. I will not get another one of these emails. And he, two
hours later wrote, I am so embarrassed. I was having a very bad morning and I was so overwhelmed.
Kathy Caprino (34m 4s):
And I, I see now. And I think I said, I would like you to read this again, your email from a really calm place.
And tell me what you would do. If I sent this to you and he said, I’m mortified. So why am I saying I’m the
best communicator in the world? No. However, I’ve had to hone it a lot in working with people that want
things that aren’t appropriate to give them. But I think the keys are stay compassionate, stay understanding,
but be very clear what you will and will not accept.
Kathy Caprino (34m 42s):
And you don’t have to. Somebody once said, and I say it all the time. You can say anything. When you say it
with love in your heart, I would say a lot of people go love. I don’t have love at work. Come on now. I think
you can say anything when you say it with compassion in your work.
Dr.Anthony Orsini (34m 56s):
And there’s a difference between we use the word, empathy and compassion interchangeably, but there’s a
difference. It’s a difference. Empathy is understanding someone’s pain, right? But compassion in Latin
compassion means with pain. It means feeling someone’s pain. And before you’re going in to have that
difficult conversation, it would really help. If you just take a minute to pretend or feel like you’re the other
person, like, what’s it coming? Like, what’s it from their point of view and with emails and reference to what
you just said, people don’t do that. Cause they just rattle off an email. They hit send.
Dr.Anthony Orsini (35m 26s):
And they, in the old days, when I was younger, you wrote a letter nasty letter. And by the time you mailed it,
the next morning you ripped it up. But people don’t do that. What emails they hit send, and then they regret
it. So put in the other person’s shoes, I think is great advice for someone who’s having those difficult
Kathy Caprino (35m 43s):
And isn’t there also another, there’s a lot of research on didn’t. They do it in the, whatever, what, in the fifties
of this, they recruited a team of people to turn a dial and sensibly. The person that you couldn’t see was
feeling a shock and you know, an electric shock. And you know, the instructors had turned it up and you’d
hear it was an actor, but they didn’t know that you’d hear the person’s screaming and the instructor, no, turn
it to 10. And they’re screaming. What they found is when you’re not seeing the person, you are going to
follow instructions even to the detriment or even to the death of another person.
Kathy Caprino (36m 21s):
So, and other pieces, get on a zoom call with them, Dar fire off an email, look them in the eye.
Dr.Anthony Orsini (36m 29s):
There’s the body language again, the nonverbal cues. It’s so important. The energy of the person. Exactly,
exactly. So, well, before we finished, I want you to tell me, by the time this airs, I’m already going to have
read it, but I haven’t read it yet. So tell me what I should expect when I read this book. And how’s it different
from your first book?
Kathy Caprino (36m 48s):
Thank you for asking. So the most powerful you is about, and it comes from the 10 years of research on
what a, here’s, how it happened. I was looking at why is it? So I’ve worked with thousands of women right
around the world. I sat back and said, I don’t get it. How is it possible that all of these women at every first of
all country level socioeconomic level education level fueled, how are they coming with the same problems
over and over and over again?
Kathy Caprino (37m 20s):
And here’s the question I wanted to answer. Number one, what is missing in their lives and work that they’re
coming to me for help with. And number two, what is coaching with me, giving them? And the answer was
bravery and power. That’s what is missing. And when I ask women, tell me about power. A lot of women who
said, I don’t want power. And I say, why not? And they say, because it’s abused. So that is the biggest lesson
that I wanted to share that you can’t have what you want in this life without internal and external power, but
I’m not talking about power over.
Kathy Caprino (37m 56s):
I’m talking about power to power to create power, to impact, power, to change. So, and bravery in my view is
the ability to recognize what isn’t working and take accountability for what you can change. Power is the
ability to change it. So this book is the seven damaging power gaps. And what I love about it, you know, all
of us who are in thought leadership are doing podcasts. It’s fun to hear yourself talk for a while, but it’s much
more fun to hear other people’s messages and strategies and, and research.
Kathy Caprino (38m 29s):
I find. So the book talks about not only my coaching strategies, but it’s every chapter is a real life client or
course member who, how she suffered having the gap and how she overcame it and what she did. And it
talks to 30 plus of the nation’s top experts in things like Susan Cain, introversion, Terry, real, what it is to live
in a patriarchal society and what that does to both men and women and Judy Robinett about how we need to
network in the right room and network up and Ivan Meisner about networking.
Kathy Caprino (39m 1s):
So it’s really powerful. And I’m so proud of it. I have to say it’s a culmination of 10 years. And I think every
woman on the planet should read it. And I think men who men have these gaps, do we, they just process
them a little differently. But I think also if you lead and manage, you need to read it because you need to
understand, speaking of empathy, you need to understand the internal lives of the women you’re leading and
what they’re going through in certainly male-dominated organizations in careers, but even in the patriarchal
world, we live in.
Dr.Anthony Orsini (39m 34s):
Yeah. You know, you just heard about something else too. The difference between a manager and a leader,
and wow, I’m trying to really get the message out. Cause I’ve had some toxic bosses as you call them. And
I’ve had bosses that I would walk through fire for. And the difference is how they communicated with me,
how they made me feel, how they valued me. They didn’t try to push me down to make themselves look
better. They tried to lift me up to make themselves look better. You know, I always say, if the person you
hired it comes great.
Dr.Anthony Orsini (40m 8s):
You can still say, Hey, I was smart enough to hire her. You can still take the credit. You don’t have to push
them down. And so it’s really important that we, we learned communication in business and how those
conversations go. So I’m so excited to read your book. I can’t wait for it to come. This has been great. If you
want any more information, you can contact Kathy Kathy caprino.com and her podcast finding brave is
available on Apple. It’s been a pleasure. And while you did not disappoint, this was a great interview.
Dr.Anthony Orsini (40m 40s):
Thank you again. If you liked this podcast, please go ahead and hit the subscribe button. If you want to find
out more about what we do and how we teach communication, you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hopefully you’ll listen again every week. And I’m excited. And thank you again, Kathy.
Kathy Caprino (40m 55s):
Thank you so much. And thank you for the work you’re doing in the world. Tony. It’s so meaningful.
Dr.Anthony Orsini (41m 1s):
Thank you. That means a lot.
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The Most Powerful You: 7 Bravery-Boosting Paths to Career Bliss by Kathy Caprino
Breakdown, Breakthrough: The Professional Woman’s Guide to Claiming a Life of Passion, Power, and Purpose by Kathy Caprino
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