Difficult Conversations Podcast
Lessons I Learned as an ICU Physician
Episode 190 | October 31, 2023
Support Changes Outcomes and the Working with Cancer Pledge
Program Director, Working with Cancer Publicist Group
In this episode, host Liz Poret-Christ along with Dr. Orsini, welcome guest Gina Jacobson, who discusses the Working with Cancer initiative. The initiative, born out of a heartfelt response to the need for better workplace support for employees facing cancer and chronic illnesses, aims to create a safe and positive environment for disclosing health conditions at the workplace. Gina, a survivor of stage four colon cancer, shares her passion for the initiative and her belief in the power of workplace support. The initiative has garnered support from major companies, including Yahoo, Disney, Walmart, SAP, Adobe, as well as The Orsini Way, all dedicated to fostering more inclusive and supportive workplaces, regardless of the company's size. Gina’s own experience surviving Stage 4 colon cancer and her belief in the power of workplace support have driven her commitment to this initiative.
Gina explains how companies can become involved in the initiative, emphasizing flexibility, and providing a framework with five commitment pillars. The conversation underscores the significance of teaching people how to support colleagues facing cancer and the need for a safe space for difficult conversations at work. The discussion also explores the challenges of sustaining the Working with Cancer initiative and ensuring continuous training. Gina discusses the importance of ongoing training, teaching people how to speak to and support their colleagues facing cancer. She emphasizes the need to provide a safe space for individuals and caregivers to have difficult conversations at work, how personal experiences and emotions play a role in advocating for the initiative’s global change, and its integration into inclusive manager training. Cohort sessions for managers are introduced as a way to offer intensive, real-time support. Gina highlights the initiative as a catalyst for promoting empathetic and compassionate communication in various challenging situations, extending beyond cancer. For more information, check out the Working with Cancer Pledge website and connect with Gina for more information. Hit the subscribe button now!
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Gina Jacobson (2s):
And as I look back on my journey, I truly believe that the support that I received in a work environment was a significant contributor to my survival against the odds. And my belief in this initiative and my engagement in this initiative is 100% driven by the belief that I have, that when you receive the right support from your social circle and specifically from your work environment, that has a very real impact on the health outcomes that you will experience. So that is a huge part of my driving force and my belief. And when I’m talking with companies about signing the pledge, that is the hope and dream that I am talking with them about
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, this is the podcast for you.
Announcer (1m 30s):
Liz Poret-Christ (1m 31s):
Welcome to another episode of Difficult Conversations. Lessons I Learned as an ICU physician. This is Liz Poret Christ, Managing Director of the Orsini Way, and I’ll be your host today. Don’t worry, Dr. Orsini is here with us.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (1m 44s):
Hi, I’m here. Nice to see everybody.
Liz Poret-Christ (1m 46s):
Back in December of 2022, we hosted an episode of the show called Recognizing Fear with Gina Jacobson. If you didn’t catch that episode, I highly encourage you to do so. But in the meantime, let me introduce you to the return of our incredible guest. Over the past nearly three decades, Gina has thrived in a broad range of roles within the Publicis group, including overseeing media at Starcom in creative development at Leo Burnett. She’s known for her critical strategic thinking, digging into her client’s businesses and having a passion for building and nurturing teams who deliver engaging strategic work. During her tenure, she is led results driven and award-winning work across Categories as diverse as hospitality, insurance, tech, toys, retail, mobile, and across clients including Four Seasons Insurance, Kraft, Heinz, Kellogg, Nintendo, and so many more.
Liz Poret-Christ (2m 42s):
I could go on for days. Gina’s previous title ats. Starcom was Chief Growth Officer, but she always preferred to think of herself as more of a chief potential officer. In that role, she oversaw new business and organic growth, uncovering new opportunities and inspiring companies and colleagues to pursue what’s possible. An experience that prepared her perfectly for her current role. In a world where one in every two people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, the Publicis Foundation has launched the first cross-industry coalition to erase the stigma of cancer in the workplace, supported by leading cancer charities and organizations, including Memorial Sloan Kettering, McMillan Cancer Support, working with cancer and Gustav Russe Institute.
Liz Poret-Christ (3m 29s):
In the fall of 2018, Gina was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer. She has outlived her initial prognosis by several years and intends to keep living a joyful and purposeful life while helping others recognize and realize their full potential. Gina is the program director and one of the driving forces for the Working With Cancer Initiative. Welcome back to the show, Gina. It’s
Gina Jacobson (3m 53s):
So great to be here. Liz. And hi Tony.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (3m 55s):
Hey Gina. Great to see you again.
Liz Poret-Christ (3m 57s):
So because you’re an old friend to the Difficult Conversations audience, tell us a little bit about how you’ve been for the past year and maybe a little bit about yourself for our new listeners.
Gina Jacobson (4m 8s):
Absolutely. It’s been a whirlwind since we last spoke. I can’t believe it was less than a year ago. We’ve been super busy at working with cancer and driving that initiative. I think what started as just a germ of an idea has really blossomed into something that has turned into a true movement. We’ve got almost a thousand companies signed up now, protecting tens of millions of employees, And, I think when I consider what it looks like to recognize possibility and potential, I feel really good about everything we’ve done in the past year, personally you know, I was diagnosed now just over five years ago. I just had my five year Cancerversary And I have to tell you.
Gina Jacobson (4m 49s):
It felt really good to wrap that up just a few weeks ago and be kind of at this point in my life.
Liz Poret-Christ (4m 56s):
So we were chatting a bit about your anniversary, And I. Just wanted you to go into a little bit more detail about what exactly that means and how it’s influenced your participation in this initiative.
Gina Jacobson (5m 10s):
So fascinating. When I was first diagnosed, I did the rounds with my first oncologist and a couple after that for a second and third opinion. And each of them had some version we give you one to two years to live. That was the life expectancy and some version of we hope that medical science has something better to offer at the two year mark. And at the time I think I was busy Googling and figured out I only had a 10% chance to live to that five year mark. So I think from the very point of that initial diagnosis, the five year mark was always the survival. That’s what success looked like for me. And the achiever, the pleasing achiever that I was, I was very focused on hitting that number and kind of started the clock towards that five year mark.
Gina Jacobson (5m 57s):
So a very emotional point for me. I really went through treatment on and off for four years. My last year I was clear, but I think reaching that five-year mark was certainly significant for me. And as I look back on my journey, I truly believe that the support that I received in a work environment was a significant contributor to my survival against the odds. And my belief in this initiative and my engagement in this initiative is 100% driven by the belief that I have that when you receive the right support from your social circle and specifically from your work environment, that has a very real impact on the health outcomes that you will experience.
Gina Jacobson (6m 43s):
So that is a huge part of my driving force and my belief. And when I’m talking with companies about signing the Pledge, you know, that is the hope and dream that I am talking with them about.
Liz Poret-Christ (6m 53s):
About it’s so amazing. Before I started to work full-time for the Orsini Way, I worked for a large fashion industry company. And I continued to work for them Part-time, even after I had transitioned to healthcare, And I had the experience of working for both a large and a small company when receiving a cancer diagnosis, And I can tell you the way my employers, one of them being on this call, handled those details and facts was drastically, drastically different. So when you told me about the working with Cancer initiative, I nearly jumped outta my skin because it just made so much sense to me.
Liz Poret-Christ (7m 35s):
How did the seed of the initiative come about?
Gina Jacobson (7m 38s):
The initiative itself started actually when the CEO of our holding company went through his own cancer experience and was on the receiving end of truly hundreds of emails from employees all over the world who shared their gratitude, that he had been transparent about his diagnosis and in turn shared that they themselves maybe had not felt safe or comfortable sharing what they were going through. Maybe they had a, a sibling who went through the same thing, a parent literally hundreds of stories about people who were going through one of life’s most challenging chapters and felt that in addition to managing the brutality of treatment, they had to do what was necessary to conceal what they were going through in a workplace setting.
Gina Jacobson (8m 22s):
And, I think having gone through his own treatment, he thought it was unconscionable that people would be in a position where they felt they had to do that and and really made a Pledge when he was better to come back and leverage his, his role as the head of a large communications agency, his connections with major organizations all over the world, and encourage companies to take a Pledge to support people who are going through cancer and other chronic illness. I think one thing that we see is that there’s so much positive intention. Most people actually do have a positive experience when they disclose a diagnosis in the workplace.
Gina Jacobson (9m 4s):
But if you don’t have the confidence, if you don’t know exactly what to expect, if you don’t know what your benefits are, which let’s be honest is probably most of us, if you don’t know that there’s so much fear that is added to what’s already an incredibly scary situation. And so if we can allay part of that fear by making sure that employees know their employer has taken a Pledge of support, even from the point of that diagnosis, they will know that they can expect positive experience on the backend and that hopefully will ensure that they actually do have a positive experience when they disclose in a way that feels right for them.
Liz Poret-Christ (9m 45s):
Now the list of companies that have taken the Pledge to improve the workplace for employees and their families, which is so amazing after a cancer diagnosis is extensive and incredibly impressive. Companies like Yahoo and Disney and Walmart, SAP, shout out to my husband’s employer and Adobe, The Orsini Way, of course, of course. Yeah.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (10m 7s):
A bunch of small little companies like, like yeah, little
Gina Jacobson (10m 11s):
Companies like us, right? But every company counts. And I think you’re a small company, but you’re also playing a really active role in the advocacy of driving understanding of how important the Pledge is. And so I hope that every company sees the value of signing not just for their own employees, but to set the standard and the expectation for a support place.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (10m 31s):
Hopefully when they see names like Yahoo and those big companies that a lot of the other companies gonna say Disney like, oh, I mean there’s a, yeah, those are some major players that’s, you should be quite proud of that.
Gina Jacobson (10m 41s):
I think we’re particularly proud when we start to see companies like a Walmart where the span of that employee base extends the whole gamut of people who are working in a minimum wage capacity all the way through to executive crews. And when a company like that can activate a Pledge in a meaningful way across that diversity of employees, I think that should make every company believe they can take some action to make their employees feel safer.
Liz Poret-Christ (11m 10s):
Now Tony, you jumped on my joke ’cause I said huge global companies and smaller ones like us. Well, how does a company get involved in The initiative?
Gina Jacobson (11m 19s):
I mean I think truly is. We are trying to make it as easy and as flexible as possible. We’ve got a website that I would certainly invite anyone who’s interested to take a look at working with cancer Pledge dot com. Every company really has the flexibility and freedom to determine what supportive steps they can take that makes sense for their industry, for their culture, for their employees. It really becomes a case of what they assess they’re already providing, where there might be gaps and how they want to address what opportunities may exist. Over the past nine or 10 months, we have culled sort of best practices of what we’re seeing active companies, some of these early adopters start to put into motion and we’ve tried to pull those together into a, a guidance or a framework for companies to follow.
Gina Jacobson (12m 11s):
So while there is flexibility, we are talking with companies now about five commitment pillars that they might consider as they’re starting to take a look at what they might want to commit to starting with corporate policy. What does your short and long-term disability look like? How do we make sure that there’s space and time for people to get the support they need during both treatment and the recovery period? And making sure that all of those policy things are tied up, that global policy is consistent for global companies that have multiple markets. They might be looking to equalize their policies across markets, that type of thing. And then separate from corporate policy are the, the remaining four Cs, which are more about programming communication.
Gina Jacobson (12m 56s):
I I talked a little bit about, it’s not enough to take those actions, but to make sure that your employees know that you’re doing that right. That’s the goal of the Pledge. I came across a piece of research that cited that even the perception of support can impact survival rates by 35%. Wow. Which is incredibly powerful. And so I think it really underscores how important it is that people know that you are taking action whether or not they even choose to engage in any of that programming. So communicating often, making sure that you’re talking about the different programs, the different awareness months, et cetera.
Gina Jacobson (13m 36s):
Coaching we have been exploring and seeing other companies explore both one-on-one coaching for people who are in active treatment and are, are in the midst of figuring out how to integrate their work experience with their treatment experience as well as specific programming that we’re developing for survivors who are maybe coming back after intense treatment, still dealing with physical impact and maybe at a point where they are going, oh my gosh, what just happened to me and what does that mean and how do I incorporate that into my life moving forward community, which is about kind of connecting people who are having impacted by this experience with each other and then also building a broader community within a work culture.
Gina Jacobson (14m 24s):
So one of the things we heard from impacted personnel when we started to talk to them is I like the idea of coaching. I like the idea of of policy, but what I really want is for my boss to understand what it’s like. What I really want is for my team to have a sense of what I’m going through. I think there is so much positive intent. Your coworkers and colleagues want to support people who are impacted by this, but the confidence is low in terms of how to do that. And so a lot of engagement in things like what do I say, what don’t I say? What do I do? What shouldn’t I do? And building an understanding empathetic community that is ready to support somebody who’s impacted in a way that feels right for them.
Gina Jacobson (15m 8s):
And then the final point I already hit on, which is contribution, which is what are companies doing to make sure that they are helping to further this initiative either with financial donations to cancer advocacy groups or in actually playing a role in trying to make sure that they get the word out and encouraging others to take action to make their employees feel safer and more supported.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (15m 33s):
Yeah, I would mention, go back. Well, two things I would say about that. All that’s phenomenal. That’s fantastic. What do I say is a big one, right? So you talk about Difficult Conversations and how many people just, what do I say? The person next door, his wife died so I don’t know what to say or you know, so-and-so was diagnosed with cancer. I wanna tell her that I’m here for her, but I don’t know what to say. And I think you mentioned that people are really generally good people, it’s just that they just don’t know what to say. The other thing I love is the community. And I know a couple people that one person in particular who had cancer was pancreatic cancer and the people that he worked with did the cancer run the pancreatic cancer run and then all wore his name on the chest.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (16m 20s):
And little things like that I would imagine can mean so much to someone.
Gina Jacobson (16m 23s):
You’re right on both of those counts. It’s interesting as we’ve done different training internally at Publicis Group far and away, the thing that people are the most interested in and the most engaged in is the, what do I say? Nobody wants to get it wrong. And I think they’re conscious of the fact that in trying not to get it wrong, they’re not maybe saying or doing anything. And that feels even worse. And, you’re exactly right. We do the training with cancer in mind, but crisis hits in all kinds of ways every day. And so repeatedly I think people are going to find use for the muscles they develop through these programs to support their colleagues no matter what is happening.
Gina Jacobson (17m 7s):
And to be armed with a couple of phrases that, you know, they know they can safely go in and say something like, I’m sorry this is happening to you. It, it must be hard. Something that just kind of opens the door neutrally, acknowledges, and then really kind of step back and listen to what that person is is saying or not saying or how they’re engaging. I think your point about the run is a great one. For somebody who’s really comfortable and has been open about a diagnosis, what a wonderful way to show support. I think what I learned, even going through the programming and developing program with other experts is we can’t assume that the level of disclosure or the level of engagement that we as individuals might prefer is what everybody will prefer.
Gina Jacobson (17m 54s):
And so I think teaching the skill of engaging but also actively listening and so that you can reflect back to that person what they’re going through is also crucial.
Liz Poret-Christ (18m 4s):
And, I think that someone’s perspective, like I know in certain cases when I was still working in a customer service forward facing kind of job and things were tense or something didn’t go right, all I could think of in my head was, don’t you know that you have cancer? Like, leave me alone. And because I had no safe space to talk to anybody about it because I didn’t feel comfortable. So I think that by opening up, having a safe space for people to go when they’re having a tough day or need to have a difficult conversation really is gonna help alleviate a lot of those situations.
Gina Jacobson (18m 46s):
I think a great point and one of the things that has been really interesting is to see how critical that need is not just for the diagnosed individual, but for the caregiver work specifically plays a really different role maybe for the caregiver than it does even for the diagnosed individual because the caregiver isn’t maybe receiving the same kind of support from close friends and family. That support is focused on the patient who’s going through the treatment. Caregiver really does need support and sometimes work can be a safe place to get that, but only I think if they’re feeling safe enough to engage in a conversation and we’re building a supportive environment that supports that.
Liz Poret-Christ (19m 28s):
I would imagine that your own experience with cancer fuels your desire to maximize this opportunity for global change. And I was wondering if you find it difficult to separate your personal feelings and experiences when you’re presenting to industry leaders. Like when I’m talking about what the work I do at the Orsini Way and the physician coaching that we do, my husband accuses me of being evangelical when I talk about it and knowing you for the past year, I, I kind of envision you being in a similar way.
Gina Jacobson (20m 0s):
A teeny bit evangelical. Yeah, I think that’s a fair assumption. I think that, you know, growing up in the advertising space you learn that to make a sale, generally you’re looking for some kind of an emotional hook and as well as a rational promise. And, I think what has been critical is making sure that I feel comfortable sharing my story as a story, not the story. The more time I spend with others who’ve been through this, the more I realize how many different paths people take and how important it is to be considerate of that. But to share a single story and a single story that’s rooted in the belief of the power of support and then support it with the rational numbers, the increased survival numbers and some of the things about some of the data that would support how people feel that work actually contributed to their physical and mental health and increases retention, increases employee engagement for people who are diagnosed and for, you know, the coworkers who see a supportive environment.
Gina Jacobson (21m 9s):
So I think you need to make sure that you’re playing on both sides of the equation. I think for me the other important thing is to make sure that this goes beyond the signing of a Pledge. So signing a Pledge and communicating the Pledge is an important first step, but nothing kills bad product like great advertising. And so as a communications company, as we’re thinking about what messages are we putting out there, the reality is that if we can’t work with companies to actually activate this Pledge in meaningful ways, we know the foundation will fall out. And so I almost feel like that’s where I get more emotional with the individuals who are enacting this programming to make sure that they actually do step forward and can figure out how they engage, what steps they can take simply versus those who maybe have more appetite for deeper engagement to actually push that forward.
Gina Jacobson (22m 6s):
And that’s, I think what I’m really get excited, getting excited about now is to see these global companies with truly hundreds of thousands of employees taking real actions and building real programs to support their employees.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (22m 19s):
And to sustain it. Right? You know what I mean? ’cause everybody gets excited about something like this. They go maybe go through their initial training and then but to, to make sure that the training goes on. That’s always the most difficult problem with long-term projects.
Gina Jacobson (22m 32s):
When we did manager training, we did an initial training, a 90 minute training. The training is available online, but I think we also started to think about how do we make sure that this is ongoing? How do we work this into our inclusive manager training so that it is always a part of any ongoing training. We also have Cohort sessions for managers. So you never learn anything quite as well as you learn when you’re in that moment of need. If you are a manager, And, you are working with somebody on your team who is going through this in the moment, a Cohort session that can provide that ongoing, more intensive support. I think that is ultimately what will help to build the muscle longer term is not just getting everybody in a conference room or on a virtual zoom and doing a single session, but making sure that we’re providing just an in-time training on an ongoing basis.
Liz Poret-Christ (23m 24s):
You really wanna change the culture from the roots, right? For people that are thinking to themselves, I feel like I might have heard something about this. Well, I encourage you to go look for the Super Bowl commercial that aired last February because it’s, those ads are incredibly powerful. Publicist did a beautiful job showing what that day to day for somebody really looks like and how support changes everything. So culture change doesn’t happen overnight, but you, I think this project’s really amazing. Not sure if you remember the difficult question we ask all of our guests last year. And, I’m
Gina Jacobson (24m 3s):
Gonna, I don’t remember gonna ask
Liz Poret-Christ (24m 5s):
It to you again. I purposely didn’t give you a hint, but I, you know what
Gina Jacobson (24m 9s):
Right, you want, you did not want me to be feel safe in this moment. Nope. Okay, here we go.
Liz Poret-Christ (24m 13s):
Safe but supported. Of course.
Gina Jacobson (24m 15s):
Safe but supported. Perfect.
Liz Poret-Christ (24m 17s):
So it wouldn’t be our show if we didn’t ask you when launching this initiative, what’s the most difficult conversation that you’ve had with either a colleague or even with yourself while trying to roll this out?
Gina Jacobson (24m 31s):
I have to say, I think the thing that has been the most challenging throughout, and it actually applies to other people as well as myself, is to get past the tendency to center your own experience. Each of us who have been through a cancer journey have depth of experience that goes way down. I have four years of treatment experience, And I understand my experience like nobody else does. And it was humbling, I think if I’m honest, to be bringing in advocates and advisors from organizations that had a breadth of experience that I did not have and constantly be having to ask, is this right for me or is this going to create an inclusive, thoughtful program that will be valuable for all of our employees regardless of what kind of experience they’re going through.
Gina Jacobson (25m 26s):
And so I think me coming up against that uncomfortable truth by virtue of working with some outside counselors and advisors has been uncomfortable. And then having to carry that message forward to others internally who likewise have their own experiences, And, you know, biases about how something might go. Those I think are, have been the most uncomfortable because at the root of those is bias. And assuming that my experience as a senior level executive woman who had a friendly relationship with the CEO is going to be the same as somebody who is much earlier in their career or who has a different kind of cancer or a hundred other variables that could impact the experience.
Gina Jacobson (26m 9s):
So I think that, to be honest with you, has been the toughest.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (26m 12s):
Before we got on air, we were talking about how much you’ve a little bit on there, how much you’ve done in one year, which is amazing, right? So what’s the next step and what are your hopes and prayers of
Gina Jacobson (26m 23s):
Well right now my, I said we’re about a thousand companies who’ve signed the Pledge. My real hope is to get 2000 companies to sign this Pledge by the end of the year, which I think falls into the stretch goal space. but I think increasingly as we start to see how this Pledge is coming to life, I feel like companies will get more and more comfortable taking action. I think as I think about what is the next stage, that’s really the question that we’re asking ourselves. How do we create value for companies and tools for companies that make it easier for them to make pledges like this for their people? And so six months from now, if you have me on again, hopefully I’ll have more to share about that.
Gina Jacobson (27m 7s):
but I think that’s really the goal for us is not just how do we drive communication that motivates change. How do we create utility that truly puts employers in a place that allows them to do what they do truly want to do for their people
Dr. Anthony Orsini (27m 21s):
To train them. So it’s not only just that they want to do it, but that now you’re giving them the tools, which I think is so important.
Gina Jacobson (27m 27s):
Yeah, I do believe that when we train for cancer for chronic illness, that’s muscle that applies to any other crisis that might come for somebody in any other space. So it’s muscle that I think ultimately will create more empathetic, productive workplaces at large and hopefully will create a virtuous cycle.
Liz Poret-Christ (27m 49s):
It’s really interesting. My daughter has a chronic illness and currently has a new job and she was very concerned about what would it look like when she told somebody that she had this chronic illness and she’s, you never know, she’s perfectly fine at this moment, but chronic illness is what it is and things change. So I think just that alone, seeing that the company that you work for, the company that you’re interviewing with participates in a Pledge to support its employees. Not only when times are great and everyone’s happy, but when things go south, I think will make companies more attractive in the workplace.
Gina Jacobson (28m 24s):
I absolutely believe that this is going to have an incredible impact on, on companies ability to recruit, to retain, ultimately I think probably will help to save health costs as preventative screening goes down as a function of fear going down. I just, I think that it’s all connected and if you can create that safe, secure space for your employees in a truly employee-centric way, ultimately that will be good for the brands, be good for the companies.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (28m 53s):
I think you touched upon it a little bit, how the tentacles of this just go downhill and reach out to other parts. I mean really it’s a lot of it’s about compassionate communication and so you are training, and I’m not equating having cancer with any other problem, but an executive, correct me if I’m wrong, an executive who is understands and how to deal with someone who’s fighting cancer. The guess is going to also be learn to be more empathetic when someone is having another life crisis or something else and divorce or a death of a loved one or something. So you’re basically making the world a better place.
Gina Jacobson (29m 27s):
I’d like to, I’d like to think so. I mean, the truth is what executive isn’t dealing with some kind of fear or uncomfortable situation almost every day of their lives, whether that’s a function of a coworker or a client. Fear exists in all kinds of forms in all kinds of companies. And so you use cancer, maybe the catalyst or cancer may be the specific thing that you’re focusing on, but I truly believe that the training and coaching we do there will have positive impact across all kinds of relationships and all kinds of conversations.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (29m 58s):
I was doing research for a keynote about a year ago, And I read something from Harvard Business Review. This is something like 73% of leaders are uncomfortable having Difficult Conversations and 53% of leaders deal with crises with their employees by avoiding them altogether, as you had said. So if that’s right out of Harvard Business Review, like their solution to somebody who they heard may have cancer would be to just as Rabbi Kushner says, hide in the bushes and just pretend it doesn’t happen. And so your awareness is just, as you said, just creating that awareness is making things better. So it’s just, we’re so excited to be able to help you in a little small way about giving you a little bit of exposure.
Gina Jacobson (30m 36s):
You guys have been an incredible early advocate posting about it and making sure that the, the message gets out there. So hopefully you, your continued advocacy will get people excited and interested and not just taking the Pledge, but truly activating the Pledge and putting in place the programs that can really let say change and save people’s lives. That’s really what’s at stake.
Liz Poret-Christ (30m 58s):
How does somebody find out if their company has taken the Pledge and if they haven’t encouraged them to do so?
Gina Jacobson (31m 3s):
The working with cancer Pledge dot com website has a page that lists all the supporters so that supporters page is updated every week. You can go in and take a look alphabetically if your, if your company has taken the Pledge. I think virtually every company that has taken the Pledge has agreed to let us list them on the site. So that is a good way to take a look. And we’re in the midst of creating materials now to make it easier, if somebody wants to champion the Pledge, that we can give them the resources that they need to go to the key stakeholder in HR, go to the c-suite, go to whomever ultimately has the decision making authority and start to put that into motion.
Gina Jacobson (31m 47s):
Because generally what we see is it just takes one person. One person who maybe is, has been impacted or feels strongly about this And, if that person champions it, the conversion rate of companies actually taking the Pledge is happily very high, but you need somebody to get the ball rolling. So I would welcome anybody who is ready to do that, to take a chance and we will be here to support you with q and a and materials to get that done.
Liz Poret-Christ (32m 16s):
I encourage everyone to visit the website, as Gina said, working with cancer Pledge dot com. We will post the links to The Pledge in our show notes so that you don’t have to worry about writing it down while you’re driving. Gina. What’s the best way for someone to get in touch with you if they need you?
Gina Jacobson (32m 33s):
There’s actually a button for email. You can, it’ll be right on the site where if you’ve got questions, you need additional resources. If you click on that tab, an email will come to my team and we will make sure that we can get folks what they need.
Liz Poret-Christ (32m 46s):
Awesome. Thank you so much, Gina, for being back on the show. We are so proud to participate in the Pledge and so amazed at the work that you have done in such a short time and cannot wait to see what comes next.
Gina Jacobson (32m 56s):
Thank you so much for being a part of our success so far.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (32m 60s):
Thank you, Gina. You’re awesome and we’re gonna help you maybe get to 3000. Let’s see.
Gina Jacobson (33m 3s):
Ooh, I like that.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (33m 7s):
Alright, thank you so much. If you enjoyed this podcast, please go ahead and hit subscribe. Go ahead and download our previous podcast. We’re all past 90 podcasts by now, so you got plenty to choose from. And we’ll put on the notes how to get in touch with me or Liz or Gina. So thank you again Gina.
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Dr. Anthony Orsini
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