Jamee Adams and Jody Steurer are sisters. A little over a year ago they began their podcast, Speak Up Sister, striving to strengthen men and women to speak up clearly and effectively at home, work, church, and in their communities. Jamee Adams holds a Master’s in Public Policy from Tel Aviv University, Israel. She is a small business owner specializing in business systems development, and currently serves in a Primary presidency. Jody Steurer has a Bachelor’s in Psychology from Brigham Young University and is a certified life coach. She currently serves in a young women presidency.
In this podcast, Kurt, Jody, and Jamee discuss the dynamic in councils and meetings between men and women, finding not only equality in numbers of men and women attending the meetings but also helping women feel heard and giving them more opportunities to speak up.
4:45 Discussion of women being outnumbered in church meetings. It’s not so much about numbers but women feeling confident in speaking up and also being invited by the men to speak up. It’s time that women are given more of a role.
12:40 The cultural dynamic in our faith is based on the patriarchal system. Men having the keys and the power of the priesthood has also been taken to also mean that they have more authority and voice over the women. However, this is completely not true. Women might not hold the keys of the priesthood but they do have equal access to the priesthood power to serve in their callings.
14:20 A shift must be made to be more collective of both men and women.
14:45 There are certain assumptions in the church that the stake president or man with the highest authority makes the final decision. We need to let go of those old assumptions and shift to follow the pattern of the Twelve Apostles and the First Presidency to discuss and all agree before making a decision.
18:30 Both men and women come into a meeting with the assumption that because women don’t hold the priesthood their opinion doesn’t weigh as much as a man’s does.
19:00 There are also assumptions that we should all communicate the same way and if someone doesn’t then their opinion is discounted. Women are often discounted for having strong personalities or for being direct when men are applauded for such traits.
22:00 Generally speaking, women can be more sensitive and take a lot of time explaining and storytelling. Men prefer to get to the point and get straight to the facts. Both men and women need to work on different skill sets of communication. Men can improve on their sensitivity and women can work on clearer communication.
34:20 The goal is not a majority rule. The goal of our councils is unanimity. Everyone should have a voice in ward councils.
40:00 Jody and Jamee coach women on how they can speak up more effectively.
45:00 Jody and Jamee coach the Bishopric walking into ward council. The bishop needs to advocate and validate everyone in the room.
47:35 Dealing with disagreements. Find ways not to alienate that person and automatically shut the person down when there is a disagreement. Leaders should strive to have a great connection and relationship with the women leaders to create unity even when there are disagreements.
Unleashed: The Unapologetic Leader’s Guide to Empowering Everyone Around You, by Frances X. Frei
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Read the TRANSCRIPT of this podcast