Finding the Power to Share Your Story w/ Chris Mills

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This is a podcast episode titled, Finding the Power to Share Your Story w/ Chris Mills. The summary for this episode is: <p>This week on The Badass Women's Council, Chris Mills joins Rebecca to discuss Chris's journey with mental illness. Chris was part of Rebecca's Stand Tall in Your Story Event, where you can find her whole story. Today they focus on being a high achieving woman and how you can create a space for yourself and your team to be fully themselves. Tune in now, and check out Chris's Stand Tall speech, linked below!</p><p><br></p><p>Listen to Chris's Stand Tall in Your Story Speech: <a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank"></a></p>
How Chris felt after giving her speech
01:33 MIN
It's okay to ask for help and support
03:04 MIN
Great leaders ask questions, and try to understand their employees
05:50 MIN
Extend grace to others, and extend grace to yourself
02:07 MIN
Give yourself and your team space to be themselves
04:18 MIN

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: (Singing). This is Rebecca Fleetwood Hession, host of The Badass Womens Council podcast, and I'm super glad that you're here. We provide reflection and connection for the high- achieving woman, so obviously, the podcast episode you're listening to by yourself. So the connection, you can find at badasswomenscouncil. community. Come on in and join us. All right, here we go.( Singing). Hello, this is Rebecca Fleetwood Hession, host of The Badass Womens Council podcast, and I am super glad that you're here because today, we have one of my favorite people, Chris Mills, in the house. Hello. How are you?

Chris Mills: Hello and good morning. I am doing well, yeah.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Good. Okay, so we're doing video and audio today. If you're just listening, I'm going to do a little video thing. So the first thing I did when I saw Chris on video today was acknowledge that her top matches my pants, which means we're kindred spirits. Yes, I'm wearing pajama pants. Get over it. But I did my hair and makeup, so I feel like that balances things out. That's okay, right? Chris, tell-

Chris Mills: Well, as you know, Rebecca, I've got this little foot issue going, so I'm dressed up, but I have on tennis shoes and a boot, so the outfit is very similar. From top up, one thing, from the bottom down, another thing.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Good. That is one thing I do enjoy about our new working environments, yes, yes, yes, yes. So tell our listeners a little about your career life. Who are you? What do you do?

Chris Mills: Oh, goodness. So officially, I am the chief operating officer of ML Talent Strategies. And so, what does that mean in the real world? ML Talent Strategies, what we do is make HR and talent simple for small businesses. They can't afford to have human resources people and talent people, and my staff is this incredible organization of 20- plus years of experience, and so I get the great benefit of leading an incredible team to help take care of these small businesses.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: I love it, I love it. And your HR career has been so rich, so robust, from small business to, what, Fortune 50 or at least Fortune 500, 100, I think.

Chris Mills: Oh, yeah. I mean, ADP, the huge payroll company, Roche Diagnostics, Ingersoll Rand, huge organizations, for sure, which is where I cut my teeth and then decided that big corporate was wonderful, but maybe some smaller companies could be where I could find a better niche, and have enjoyed that, for sure.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Yeah, I was so excited when you made that shift because I knew the power and impact you could have on a small to midsize business. I was just so excited to see that shift. And so, today, the topic that we are bringing to our listeners is mental health in the workplace and starting that conversation. And I had the privilege of working with you as a Rise and Thrive participant last season, and this was the story that you told on stage at Stand Tall in Your Story on April 20th, 2021 in the middle of a spring snowstorm. There are some things that, just, you don't forget. And what I've always wanted for these stories that get told at Stand Tall in Your Story is for there to become a ripple effect, that the story gets introduced on the stage, we put a spotlight on that story on the stage, and it just opens up your world to continue to tell that story in other ways. And so, that's happened, right?

Chris Mills: Yeah, yeah. So for me, that night was the first time that I publicly stated my journey with mental illness and stood on stage and had friends and family that had never heard my story. I mean, literally, family members, my immediate family, had no idea the journey I had been on. So it gave me a stage and the Rise and Thrive program gave me the power to share that story for the first time. And to your point, it was the first time, and it has proceeded to continue to be told since then.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: In some ways, I believe that when we release our stories into the world, you've got to leave some of the burden of carrying it without sharing it on the stage, so then you could go out and be free to have those conversations. What was that like? What did you say on stage that was the first time you'd said out loud?

Chris Mills: Well, let me back up for a second. Let me share an example. So I have a good friend who is diabetic, right, and so she's in her fifties, she's been diabetic since she's nine. She remembers having to go to the restroom in a restaurant to give herself insulin, and a lady in that restroom not understanding that she was diabetic shamed her for thinking that she was doing some sort of drug, right, and so way back when, diabetes was viewed as a stigma, right, and doing that sort of thing in public was a stigma. And now, here we are, for her, 40 some years later, having the conversation that it's okay to be diabetic. I mean, think of all of the commercials and now the pumps. Everything's very visible. Well, I want the same thing for mental illness. And so, the stage gave me the same release of being able to put out there, hey, I have bipolar and it is okay. It is what I have. It is not who I am. It's a diagnosis and it's just a piece of who I am. It doesn't define me, I guess, is the best way to put it.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Yeah, I love that, when you talk about the difference between have and am. That's big. In fact, this is my I am mug, which doesn't play off in the video world, but every morning, it's a reminder for me to decide who I am, right? And so, you have this, it's a part of that, but it doesn't define you holistically, so I love that you distinguish that very intentionally. What was that feeling like after the talk was over?

Chris Mills: Well, I mean, in true transparency, I went off the stage. I was like," Okay, I'm done. I just need off the stage," because I needed to process it, right? But it was such a release. It was such a like," Hey, you know what? This really is just a piece of me," and the release that came with it, and then the confidence to continue to share that. And coming off the stage, just the number of people that came up to me afterwards, who shared their story, whether it was them personally, or it was a family member who was working through that journey of mental illness. And it is a journey, right, and so I don't ever want anybody to think it's a stopping point. Just because I put it out there doesn't mean that that journey isn't continuing and they're aren't days where it's a little overwhelming and then there's days where it's absolutely wonderful. I also remember just the complete tiredness I felt the next day, because it was the first time of saying it publicly, and just that physical and emotional exhaustion the next day, and yet, at the same time, just... Oh, how do I even describe it? Just that, you know what, this is great. This is who I am and I'm going to own it.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: That has been the feedback and the experience for every person that has done Stand Tall in Your Story and Rise and Thrive. To release it into the world takes that burden off. I remember Denisa Lambert, in year one, she hugged me at the end of her talk and she said," I feel like I just left 25 pounds on that stage," because she had been carrying this burden of this story that she was so afraid people would find out about, same with you, and ironically, she did lose a bunch of weight after that. So I think there's just this physical release and impact that happens, that we can't deny. We've had enough experience with this event now that we know this is part of the deal. When we try to clench and hold those things that we're afraid to share too tightly, it starts to have a physical impact and emotional and mental impact on us, so I love that you courageously put it out there. And that night, what were some of the things that you heard? I know I heard so many comments of," Thank God she opened this conversation." What were some of the things that you heard?

Chris Mills: Well, I remember one individual coming up to me afterwards, and her daughter had been diagnosed with bipolar, and she just shared with me, her journey of being the mother and also not wanting to talk about it and just realizing the importance for her that if she didn't talk about it, her daughter wasn't going to talk about it either, and so we need to start that conversation. So that was a piece of it. I had so many people say to me," Gosh, I knew you were a high performer, but I had no idea what you were battling behind the scenes," and just so thankful now that I can have that real conversation with my coworkers, right? I can say to a coworker," It is bubbling up for me right now, and I am struggling, and so today, I'm canceling a meeting, and here's why." I'm not just canceling the meeting, but here's why, and just being vulnerable to say," I can't mentally do that today."

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Hallelujah. And without a diagnosis, I now have given myself the freedom to do that on days that I know I can't bring what I need to bring, and it's so freeing. And again, the ripple effect of it, to be able to say to somebody," Hey, I know we're supposed to record this thing today, I'm going through a lot of stuff, I don't have the energy to bring to that recording, can we do this tomorrow, or can we schedule another time," and for me to see that look on their face, like," Are we allowed to do that?" I'm like," Yeah, because we are not machines here to produce. We are humans, and some days are better than others. That just is." And so, I want to talk about the talks that you've been doing now. So because you put this out into the world, praise God, you now have been invited to come speak about this and to teach some of your clients and leaders about this, about how to release this in the organization. I'd love for you to share how you do that on stage because it's such a beautiful representation of your story and your experience that really hits home emotionally for people, to talk about being a high performer and what it means to live with this and navigating it. How can you share that? And I know we're not here with PowerPoint slides and all the things, but share a little bit about how you unpack that for people.

Chris Mills: Yeah. Well, I mean, if I can share, first, on a personal level, right, so my husband and I actually spoke at our church, and so, we set it up. There's a very powerful song that says the First Church of Mercy, right? And so, my husband's saying that, and then I started by talking about the fact that as a church, it is probably one of the worst environments for mental illness because everybody says," Well, if you trust and believe in God, then you're going to be happy. Christians should always be happy." And it's just not true.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Bullshit lie from Hell.

Chris Mills: Oh my goodness. crosstalk-

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: It's a bullshit lie from Hell.

Chris Mills: Read the Book of Psalms. David was a man after God's own heart and the poor guy dealt with depression. It's very obvious, right? And so, I unpacked it by saying," We have to be a church that is accepting and meeting people where they are," and so I talk about the day that I got diagnosed, the first day that I heard those words said with my name in the same sentence, so that resonated with the church. My church family knew me. And I should back up to say, I had to do a lot of work before I could have that conversation. My mother- in- law didn't know, my dad didn't know. I had to have all these personal conversations before I went into it, so there was a lot of unpacking.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: How many years from diagnosis to that time?

Chris Mills: 12. 12 years I had kept it secret. Yeah, 12 years that there were a few people in my close- knit circle that knew, but 12 years from diagnosis that I had not shared that with family inaudible.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: inaudible your experience.

Chris Mills: Oh, it was such a burden. And you know what, here's what I learned. It was hard to tell them. They were so loving and receptive. I absolutely discounted their ability to support me.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Oh, pause. That's huge. And I say in the book, when we don't ask for help, we prevent someone the opportunity to bless us, because part of the way that we are wired by the good Lord above is to serve one another, and if we don't share, we lose the ability for us to be in humanity the way we were built to be. That is a beautiful lesson.

Chris Mills: That's right, yeah. Yeah, I have to sit on that one for a little bit. It was hard, hard conversations, because to your point, for 12 years, and I got asked that question," Well, how long," and all of that, right, and there was emotion that they had to process through. And that is one thing I had to learn, and I talked with my therapist about this. I couldn't own the emotions that they then had to work through.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Right. And before we even go there, let's back up to that moment of you being able to receive that kind of support. I believe, and I've experienced personally and see it in most of my clients, that as a high achiever, which most of the people that listen to this podcast are career women, high achievers, either have had success or want success, and there's this stigma that says we have to always have it together in order to be successful, and that also is a bullshit lie from hell. In fact, like you did, the more we share that life is the rhythm of ups and downs and emotional flow and some days, we just don't have it, the more influence, the more impact, the more real we can be in our connections to be authentically human. That's what people want. They want to be around people that aren't treating themselves like machines to produce, that are saying, "You know what, I don't always have it all together." And I think that lesson in and of itself, whether you're dealing with a diagnosis or not, is to say, be human, share your struggles, share that you are an emotional being who has days that truly suck.

Chris Mills: Yeah. Well, and recently, I spoke to a group of CEOs and executives through True You, and you were there. And afterwards, I talked with a colleague who was going through some similar struggles, and the slide that stuck out for her was when I talk about the words we use around high performers, right? So I have a slide and it talks about things like, oh, a servant leader, and is always prepared for meetings, high energy, a business leader, all these great things. And people were like," Oh yeah, that's a high performer. I want that person. I want that person in my organization. That's who I want to hire, right? I want to lead that person. It's so easily to lead that person." And then the next slide talks about, fell asleep in a meeting, didn't show up for a company event, wasn't prepared, didn't review the materials. And of course, everybody in the room was like," Oh, that's not who I want on my team. I don't want to have to lead or manage that sort of person." And then the moment of silence that happens when I say," That wasn't two different people, that was me." That was me, people. That was getting all of the accolades and then at the next minute, having a leader not ask me what's going on because all of a sudden, there's a transition to what they were viewing as an underperformer.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: And those showed up in your performance reviews, right?

Chris Mills: In my performance reviews, right?

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: And there had been no prior conversation about anything on that second slide, right? It just, surprise in your performance review.

Chris Mills: Yeah, surprise. No like," Hey, what's going on? You're always prepared," or," Hey, I noticed you fell asleep in a meeting. I've never seen you do that." Never any conversation about that at all. And then I come to my annual review, and there it was, and thick feeling in my gut, just in my heart, just like, ugh. And what great leaders do differently is they ask questions and they seek to understand.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: What I hear from people is," I'm afraid to ask about it because I don't know how to help, and if I ask about it, does that mean that I've signed up to be the help?" And I think there's this stigma that we've created, that an organization and your leadership is responsible for your life and your happiness and your wellbeing, and I think that's bull, crap. But to be humans inside the construct of a business is really what we're craving, and so let's talk about how you coach and advise leaders on how to open this conversation. What are some things that you're you're sharing?

Chris Mills: Well, I mean, one of the things that I talk about that I think is important, is we constantly like to use the terminology we want to set you up for success, right? And so, what does it mean to set somebody up for success? Well, in the traditional world, it's, well, what training or development do you need? Well, now, we need to talk about, well, what type of environment do we need to be creating for people, right? And so, how-

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: And we're not talking about foosball tables and a keg. And I say it, creating the conditions you work best in, and that's a human to human thing. So keep going.

Chris Mills: Yeah, and it looks very different depending upon the individual and the situation. The other thing I'd be a little remiss, Rebecca, if I don't address the fact that some people are afraid to have this conversation because they're afraid of the legal ramifications of it.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Okay. This is HR stuff. This is stuff I don't know.

Chris Mills: inaudible. I don't want to go into a ton of detail, but there's just a lot of people who are like," Oh my gosh, if I open this door, then there's a legal world of disability and all of this that opens up." There is, but at the same time, there's just this personal responsibility that we have as leaders to take care of our people, and don't let that legal mumbo jumbo get in your way of doing the right thing for your team members, right?

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: And if you have concerns, there are businesses like yours, other places where you can go and get advice of what's real about this. Yeah, yeah.

Chris Mills: That's right. At the end of the day, it's vulnerability. You have to start the conversation. You don't have to own the conversation. By that, I mean, for example, you could say," Hey, I noticed you fell asleep in the meeting," and the person might be," Yeah, I was tired and I apologize. That won't happen again." Okay, there may be more going on, but they're not ready to continue that conversation. That's okay. But a follow- up question might be," Okay, so that was an eight o'clock meeting. Would it help you if we pushed our start times to more like nine or 10 o'clock in the morning?" Right? So just know that you can continue to evolve that conversation and it helps people be like," Oh, they do care. They are comfortable with it."

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Yeah, and P. S., for every single working mom out there trying to deal with working from home and school start times, to be a kind leader in today's world is never to have an eight o'clock meeting. I mean, let's just eradicate that right now and recognize that that in and of itself has caused so much stress at a dinner table the night before, and two working parents battling it out about whose meeting is going to get sacrificed so one can get the kids' stuff ready for school and the other... That's real.

Chris Mills: It's real. It is. Well, and for somebody dealing with a mental illness, mornings can be rough. I mean, I described myself as, there were mornings where I was the person who was up at 4: 00 AM, I was running 10 miles, and I was reading my Bible, and I was doing all the things and it was an easy start to my day. And then there were mornings just getting out of bed was more than I could handle. The thought of taking a shower was, how in the world? And this was pre- pandemic where you had to be physically somewhere.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Dressed with pants and everything.

Chris Mills: Exactly. And I remember, multiple mornings, having to redo my makeup because I was in tears, right, thinking about, how was I going to get there? And that was because, I mean, I had a leader who had a 7: 30... You had to be on site at 7: 30. I look back on it now and I think how hard that was for me, let alone those working parents, and the anxiety that we put on people around that.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: And going back to what you said earlier, about some days, even without a diagnosis, there's something going on in your life that you just can't. It brought me immediately to a time, gosh, seven, eight years ago, maybe, where my marriage was coming apart and we were in the worst of it. And I had a meeting with the president of Lilly USA and one of my consultants that had flown in to do some work with this global rollout we were doing. Millions of dollars of sales for me, and that was me. I was sobbing hysterically that morning. and I was just saying to myself," You got to get it together. You got to get it together." And I did. I got all my makeup put back on. I had on my little pencil skirt and my heels, inaudible, get into the hotel where we have the big meeting. And I remember it like it was yesterday because it was so mortifying. And it was Alex Azar, the president of Lilly USA, Scott Field, my consultant, were coming down the escalator, and I feel it bubbling up. We've done the pleasant pleasantries, how are you, I've listened to the pump you up music on the way in. And as we're coming down the escalator to turn the corner, to go into our meeting room, I feel it coming and I can't stop it. And I was in front of them because they had let me go first, gentlemen. And as we got to the bottom of the escalator, they said," Hey, turn," and I turned around and I was just tears, sobbing. And I just looked at Scott, who is a good friend of mine, we worked together for a long time, and I said," I can't," and he goes," Okay." And I went off to the bathroom and sobbed for maybe an hour or more, cleaned it up, went back into the meeting. And all he said to me afterwards was," Are you okay? How can I help you?" I didn't need anything more than that. He just acknowledged that I was human. And I said," Thank you for allowing me just to dismiss myself," and he said," It's fine." That was such a gift, for me not to have to tell the story, explain what was going on, just to be able to fall apart.

Chris Mills: Rebecca, the one word that I have learned is grace, and that is, we need to extend it to people. We also need to extend grace to ourselves, especially as high performers, because you could have gone down this whole path of just completely beating yourself up throughout-

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Oh, I did for a while.

Chris Mills: ...that whole situation, right? Yeah. And there's so many times that I did the same thing. And now, the reality is, I extend grace to people and I give myself grace, because here's the thing. We are loved by God and he extends so much grace to us, and if he can do it, we can do it too.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: One of my favorite things is when someone is running late for a meeting with me, and they'll text me, and you can feel even frenetic stress in a text message, right? You can feel it. You know they're freaking out that they're late. My favorite thing is to say," Breathe, be safe, I could use a few minutes myself just to unwind, I'll see you when you get here," or," I'll see you when you log on." And what I love about saying," Hey, I could use the time too, this gave me a minute just to pause," is it makes them feel like I'm not sitting there waiting and frustrated. And sometimes it's 10 minutes and you would think the world was coming to an end, because we've set this expectation that you always have it all together and that's just not realistic.

Chris Mills: Well, think about the number of times where everybody has sweated every little detail. Oh, it has to be a hundred percent perfect, right? And then there's the saying, oh, the 80/ 20 rule, only 80% of it has to be, and we can fix the 20. Mo one's going to die because the 20 is not right. One, I had to buy into the 80/ 20 and now, you know what, sometimes it's 50/ 50. It's less than 80/ 20. We're human. It's okay. It's just okay.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: I love it when it doesn't go the way I had planned. Now, I do. There was a day that that would set me over the edge, right? I love it when it doesn't go as I had planned and something supernatural, serendipitous, God just throws in a blessing that I couldn't have even planned for, and you're like," Oh, well, that was way better." And the letting go of some of the control, I talk in the book a lot about the difference between control and connection, that if we would seek connection more than control, things would go a lot better for ourselves and others, so I'm with you, a hundred percent. When I work with my clients, I want them to discover their unique, personal story so they can then stand tall in that story and live a life full of soul and emotions and their natural curiosity about their unique gifts, talents, and abilities so they can live a thriving life, because our brains are hardwired for stories and our brain wants us to thrive, so I help my clients tap into that. And I also have a sponsor for this podcast called StoryBook, which is a unique and innovative platform that helps you bring your company's stories to life by tapping into the emotional flow and the natural curiosity that we have about your products and services, so check them out. You can go to my website, wethrive. live, click on the Stand Tall in Your Story link, and see the kind of work they're doing for us, or go to their site, cantaloupe. tv. And there's hundreds of stories there that they've created, that you can experience. Check them out. We're so grateful to work with them and for them to sponsor the podcast. Oh my gosh, I want people to start this conversation. Let's give people two or three things to, what can I do? I'm a leader, I lead a team, or I'm a mom, or I'm a whatever. What can people do to start this conversation, or just practical application kind of things?

Chris Mills: Well, I'll ask for forgiveness if I'm not supposed to do this, but let me give a shout- out, right? So we did this event at inaudible, talked to the CEOs and executives. In a very great way, this came back to me. But one of the CEOs, Jimmy Rayford, over at Dealers Wholesale, right, Jimmy immediately went back and took action. And what did he say? He sent an email to his organization saying, look, I deal with anxiety myself, and this is what it looks like, and I want you to know that we want to have an environment where you can be real and have that conversation. So just start there. Start with the people around you. Just be real about how you're feeling because then they can be real.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Here's what I love about that. We talk about the ripple effect a lot around here. Christine Dolliver, who's his VP of HR, is in Rise and Thrive season three, right now. She was getting ready, in two weeks, to stand on that stage at Stand Tall in Your Story and tell a very similar story about her mental health journey. And when she got that email from him, she messaged me and she said, look what Jimmy just sent. I have chills thinking about it. And all of a sudden, her fear and apprehension about standing on that stage and telling her story was released, and then she was excited to go share that story because she knew she was going to be supported by her CEO. It was such a beautiful moment, a ripple effect. The next meeting we were at, I think it was the next week, she was talking so fast and was so excited, it was just like, breathe, girl, breathe, because it was just this huge release of emotion for her and permission for her to be herself.

Chris Mills: And that the key there, is giving your team and those around you to have the permission to be themselves, have that dialogue. What kind of things do you need in your life from me to feel like you can be you and be successful? And what does success even look like for you, because we just assume that everybody wants this big, huge career aspiration, and that's not it. We talk a lot about the reasons why people stay at a company or leave a company, and one of the newest ones is, people want to be seen as a whole person. How many of your teammates do you know their kids' names? Do you even know they have children? Do you know that they have to get the kids on the bus at 7: 30 in the morning or they have to meet the kids at 3: 30 or four o'clock in the afternoon, or their spouse is working? I even think about my husband. I mean, he was going through this journey with me as well, right, and so he needed that support of friends and family, and so we just got to get it out there. And the other thing, Rebecca, that, this is a little off topic, but I want to make sure we hear, is we have to start to changing our language. There's two things that we say a lot of. I hear constantly," Oh, that's my OCD kicking in." I bet it's not your OCD kicking it because if you have OCD, that is a major mental illness, so stop saying it. Start saying," You know what, I'm a perfectionist and I have to stop doing that sort of thing," or," Oh, that person's emotional, they must have bipolar." No, bipolar is much bigger, right? And so, we use those words in our everyday language and it adds a stigma to it. So when you say," Oh, they're emotional, that must mean they're bipolar," who in the world that's bipolar is then going to say," Hey, by the way, I'm bipolar"?

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: I've spent a lot of years talking, writing, and speaking about attention deficit disorder, ADD., Same thing. The minute somebody's distracted," Oh, ADD." I'm like," Maybe, maybe not."

Chris Mills: Yeah, yeah. Now that I'm telling my story, when somebody says," Oh, that person must be bipolar," I pause and say," Well, can we talk about that, because I know what bipolar is because I've been diagnosed with it. Let's not use that language without knowing that somebody's been diagnosed that way."

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: And I believe we do that because we're so uncomfortable with our own emotions that if we're experiencing them ourselves or somebody else showing them, we have to call it something because we're so uncomfortable with it. I just want people to be safe, in whatever room they walk in, to feel safe, to be themselves in whatever emotional flow they're in that day.

Chris Mills: Well, and I'm looking at my board. You can't see it, but up on my board, I have words that you use, we are personal, emotional and social. Let's not forget that. We are not some system. We are people, and with that brings all of our emotions, every last one of them, and it is okay to have those emotions.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: I love it. Okay, so if someone wants you to come in and talk to their organization, or do presentations about this, or have conversations, they can reach out to you, right?

Chris Mills: Oh, absolutely. I am loving this conversation. And my conversation is really about what great leaders do, and keep in mind, everybody is a leader. You don't have to have that formal title. Everybody's a leader, so what great leaders do differently to make it an environment where people can have this honest conversation.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Yes, and I've seen the presentation. It's beautiful. It plays out. So everybody in the audience that was there, that inaudible for you was just captivated and learned so much. So I highly recommend, if this is a topic you want to introduce and you're feeling uncomfortable, contact Chris. Is the best way to do that LinkedIn, or what's the best way for people to contact you?

Chris Mills: Yeah. I mean, you can do LinkedIn, for sure, just Chris Mills, but ML Talent Strategies. And that's my email, chris.mills@ mltalentstrategies. com. So you can email me, you can send me LinkedIn, for sure. I would love to continue this dialogue.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: And I'll put some of that in the show notes too. Thank you for being here.

Chris Mills: Before I forget, that's the point. This is not a presentation, so don't be prepared for me to come talk. This is a dialogue, and so I'm going to engage your leaders to have that conversation.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: Love it. Thank you for being you.

Chris Mills: You're welcome. Thanks for the opportunity.

Rebecca Fleetwood Hession: And please join the online community at badasswomenscouncil. community, where we can continue the conversation and you can meet other badass high achievers like you. Thanks so much. Make it a great day. If you like the music for the podcast, go to iTunes, Spotify, wherever you listen to your music, and look up Cameron Hession Clouds. You can download the full song there. He's got some other stuff out there as well. And y'all, he's my son. It'd be great if you'd go and download some of his stuff.( Singing).


This week on The Badass Women's Council, Chris Mills joins Rebecca to discuss Chris's journey with mental illness. Chris was part of Rebecca's Stand Tall in Your Story Event, where you can find her whole story. Today they focus on being a high achieving woman and how you can create a space for yourself and your team to be fully themselves. Tune in now, and check out Chris's Stand Tall speech, linked on this page!

Today's Host

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Rebecca Fleetwood Hession


Today's Guests

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Chris Mills

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