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Lemony Snicket Quote

maybe we need to begin before we are ready

They are not ready for you or for this work.

I hear some version of this a lot when talking with organizations about bringing the courage work to their teams.

And I get it.

I am the big scary soft skills – feelings, hard conversations, trust, shame resilience, empathy, etc.

Except you don’t get your technical skills or a healthy team (or family for that matter) without these “soft” skills.

And I wonder what will have to happen before we get ready?

Because I have led those workshops, the ones where we must repair damage and trust because something really hard has happened.

Or maybe we need to begin before we are ready.

Now more than ever, people need to know they matter at work, to feel seen, and to be their whole selves. Now more than ever, teams need a common language and skillset to turn toward one another in creativity and innovation, in the day-to-day to-do’s, in the new, different, and difficult ways of working and the world, and because we spend more time awake with one another at work than we do at home with the people who love us the most.

Perhaps courage is beginning before we are all the way ready.


Justine is a Licensed Professional Counselor with more than 25 years of experience in traditional mental health and personal and professional development. Justine has been certified in the work of Dr. Brené Brown for ten years. Justine is the author of eleven books, including five Amazon bestsellers covering subjects such as infertility, faith, and grief. She has been honored to do two TEDx Talks, The Permission of the And and The Donut Effect. She travels nationally and presents virtually to global audiences delivering keynotes, workshops, retreats, and trainings on topics such as leadership, courage, resilience, mental health, preventing and coping with burnout, and courageous and curious conversation, especially in creating cultures of belonging and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Justine lives in St. Louis with her husband Chad, their three dogs, and for four months of the year hundreds of monarch and swallowtail butterflies.

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