Did you know that awkwardness is your greatest asset for professional and personal growth? My guest today is here to tell us all about it. She’s my dear friend, Henna Pryor. Henna is an author, sought-after workplace performance expert, executive coach, and award-winning, two-time TEDx speaker. Following two decades in the corporate world, a few career pivots, and a wildly successful leap to entrepreneurship, she shares her work from the stage and screen to expand on her belief that the key to most people’s success is embracing their bumpy edges.
Henna and I discuss the importance of owning your uniqueness and how leaning into awkwardness can actually strengthen your relationships.
listen to the EPISODE
6:37 – Henna’s origin story that led to her book, “Good Awkward.”
7:51 – Henna’s awkward story from 5th grade that still lives with her today
8:50 – Leaning into the awkward and embracing it changes everything
9:17 – How does Henna define ‘awkward’
11:36 – The important difference between awkwardness and ineptitude
12:29 – The pratfall effect
12:57 – How the pratfall effect is similar to the service recovery paradox
14:13 – The key skill is to learn how to ‘repair’
16:08 – People are almost untrained to deal with awkward situations now because we hide behind technology
18:18 – How technology has hindered certain interactions
20:08 – How Henna slowly embraced her uniqueness at her corporate job and boosted her performance
21:48 – The avoidance of awkwardness increases awkwardness
23:13 – Awkward versus vulnerable
27:58 – The one thing that Henna fought for when writing her book
29:40 – Henna shares some of her awkward experiences that ended up getting cut from the book
31:21 – The biggest takeaway Henna has from her research
32:15 – Henna’s embarrassing moment from a recent TV interview promoting her new book
Get your copy of Good Awkward
Brittany Hodak [00:00:03]:
Hello, and welcome to the Creating Super Fans podcast where you learn how to turn your customers and employees into super fans. I’m your host, Britney Hodak, and I’m a speaker, author, and entrepreneur obsessed with all things customer experience. Here’s the thing. We’re living in an experienced economy right now, and regardless of the size or age of your company or even the products or services you’re selling, one thing’s for sure. If your customers aren’t telling their friends about you, you’re in trouble. If you wanna create super fans, being great is no longer good enough. You’ve got to be super. This is the show that teaches you how.
Brittany Hodak [00:00:47]:
Did you know that there are at least 2 kinds of awkward? There’s bad awkward, which are the cringey moments that we’ve all experienced, and it turns out there’s this second kind of awkward, good awkward. My guest today is here to tell us all about it. She’s my dear friend, Hannah Pryor. She’s a sought after workplace performance expert, executive coach, and award winning 2 time TEDx speaker. Following 2 decades in the corporate world, a few career pivots, and a wildly successful leap to entrepreneurship, she shares her work from the stage and screen to expand on her belief that the key to most people’s success is embracing their bumpy edges. This helps them be even braver in the work that they do. She’s known for her science backed approach to improving the performance of hungry high achievers in a fun, no nonsense way. And today, she is here to share all of her secrets.
Brittany Hodak [00:01:43]:
We’ll jump right into my interview with Hannah after a word from today’s sponsor. If you’re looking for a proven system to make more impact and income, I wanna highly recommend that you talk to my friends at Brand Builders Group. Brand Builders Group are the best in the world at helping people find their uniqueness and building on it to monetize their personal brands. Right now, Brand Builders Group is offering free brand strategy calls to everyone serious about taking their personal brands to the next level. Just visit free brand call .com/brittneyhodak to request your call. I’ve been a customer for 5 years, and I can tell you the team is absolutely incredible. You may have even heard cofounder Rory Vaden on a past episode of this podcast. They’ve created a system that really will help you get clear on the shortest path to grow your impact, your influence, and your income.
Brittany Hodak [00:02:40]:
So go to free brand call .com/brittneyhodak today to schedule your free strategy session. Hannah, thank you so much for joining me on the
Henna Pryor [00:02:51]:
show. I’m so excited to be here. Big big Britney fan super fan, I might even say.
Brittany Hodak [00:02:56]:
Well, it is mutual and even more so now that your book is out. We have been talking about this book for, gosh, what, over a year. Into something
Henna Pryor [00:03:04]:
Brittany Hodak [00:03:05]:
First met, we were both aspiring authors. We were working on our books. We were trying to figure it out. We were talking about what we were gonna do. And, I said to my husband the other day when I got an advance of your book thank you very much for sending that advance. Oh, good. I was like, this, I think, is the first book that has come out since my book came out that, like, made me a little jealous. Like, I have some of those tensions of, like, oh,
Henna Pryor [00:03:27]:
you did this, and it was
Brittany Hodak [00:03:29]:
so smart. They’re like, oh, why didn’t I think of that? So I adore you, and I adore this book, and everybody should read it. But I just wanted to start by saying well done, my friend. I know how hard it is. I know how hard you’ve worked, and I am just So, so proud of you for creating this amazing piece of art that you have now released into the world.
Henna Pryor [00:03:50]:
Oh, she’s gonna start Crying. No. Thank you so much. I mean and and, again, I Britney and I have known each other now for, like, it’s a little over a year, and I think just watching women like her walk these roads before me And show me how it’s done has just been such a source of inspiration. Any authors know that writing a book’s not easy, and so to do it and, you know, this is gonna very much be resonant with your audience to do it in your way and your voice and help people kind of come behind you. And the movement and what it stands for has been not only transformative, but just humbling. Right? And that’s what you hope it’ll do. You hope it’s a pretty book, but you hope it creates super fans.
Henna Pryor [00:04:24]:
You hope it creates community. You hope it creates a movement, and so it all just feels really good. So thank you for saying
Brittany Hodak [00:04:29]:
all those nice things. Well, thank you. And, you know, one of the things that I I know firsthand how hard it is to do is to write a business book that is well researched and solid from, you know, like a like a standpoint of of the frameworks and the methodologies, but that feels really accessible, It feels like it is written to you by a friend who is saying, alright, friend. Here’s what we’re gonna do next. So that it’s not a book that you fall asleep every time you Later, you put down and you’re like, oh, I know I should read it, but it feels like work. And Right. You accomplish that in spades. Your personality come shining through, which makes all of the stories talking about this idea of what it means to be good, awkward, and embracing that resonate that much more with the reader.
Henna Pryor [00:05:17]:
Oh, thank you. I I think it’s it is the the the one thing I’ve learned and I think many of us feel after the pandemic even though it’s been, you know, couple years since the worst of it is everyone’s BS meters are up. Right? You’re like, is this just somebody’s opinion? Is this you know, is it rooted in fact? And so, Yeah. Keeping keeping science backed data backed stuff fun, and I know your book is the exact same. Right? Keeping that stuff fun, but also Approachable and implementable is is such a attention to balance, but your book does the very same thing. So I’m appreciative.
Brittany Hodak [00:05:48]:
Thank you. Yeah. No. I love you more. No. No. This is our I don’t have
Henna Pryor [00:05:52]:
you more. You wanna hang up 1st? I’ll hang
Brittany Hodak [00:05:54]:
up 1st. Okay. Okay. So the book is called good awkward, how to embrace embarrassing and celebrate the cringe to become the bravest you. And we’ll get into what all of that means. But I love in the introduction of the book, you’re talking about this concept of good awkward, and you said, for the longest time, All that I knew about was bad awkward. Like, that was all that was accessible to me. I want you to talk a little bit about good awkward and bad awkward and kind of where the idea for this book came from.
Brittany Hodak [00:06:28]:
Like, how did you realize that awkwardness and, specifically, your awkwardness could actually be a superpower or to inspire other people.
Henna Pryor [00:06:37]:
Yeah. I think most people can relate to some version of this origin story, which is for a long time, The me I wanted to be was clashing with the me that I felt like was on display. So my story is I’m a child of immigrants. My parents are from Pakistan and India respectively. I always felt like I stuck stuck out like a sore thumb. You know, my clothes were different. You know, let me just be real. My eyebrows connected.
Henna Pryor [00:07:00]:
Like, my clothes were not cute or in style. Right? And so I grew up in the early eighties. I just my name is henna. I really wanted to be Jessica or Samantha or Britney. God. I wanted to be a Britney, right, like, so badly, and yet I was Hannah in the era of Hanna Barbera. And it just it felt like every time I wanted to fit in or belong, Something that the world was seeing was just jagged. Right? It was just not quite smooth and fitting in.
Henna Pryor [00:07:27]:
Then I got to college and things felt a little bit easier, here, but the the version that I knew for a very long time was every time I felt awkward, there was nothing good about it. It was just bad. I was just chasing approval. I was getting it wrong, And what it was creating was environments where I didn’t wanna put myself in those situations. I didn’t want to open my lunchbox because it might smell weird. I didn’t wanna raise my hand Because I remember I still remember. It’s funny. I haven’t thought about this in a while.
Henna Pryor [00:07:51]:
In 5th grade, I raised my hand. Something we’re talking about cars in class, And they said, well, you know, you just have to turn on the indicator, and the kid in the class next to me was like, indicator? What is she talking about? So my parents call it indicator. Apparently, most kids call it a turn signal, But that’s, like, the word that my parents use, and I remember the kids were all, like, laughing and pointing, like, almost in a movie. And it made me for a while not wanna raise my hand in class. Right. So bad awkward is when you feel so awkward that it creates a freezing effect. I’m not gonna do that again. I’m not gonna have that, you know, same situation repeat itself.
Henna Pryor [00:08:23]:
Now, you know, I get to my professional world. I hear Brene Brown talk about, hey, friends. Stay awkward, brave, and kind. You know, we’re all gonna stay awkward, brave, and kind. That became one of her taglines, and I’m like, okay. I’m working on being brave. I know what it looks like to be kind, but stay awkward. Like, no.
Henna Pryor [00:08:39]:
Thank you. I I feel like I don’t wanna do that.
Brittany Hodak [00:08:40]:
And I’ve spent my whole life trying not to be awkward. Why would you now? Tell me to forget everything I thought I’ve known for 2 decades of lived experience.
Henna Pryor [00:08:50]:
Exactly right. But what I kinda had this moment of is the minute I finally started allowing myself to lean into it instead of embrace it is when Everything, I’m sorry, instead of running away from it, lean into it and embrace it instead of running away from it, is when everything unlocked, is when everything changed. And I got very curious about What is this word? What is this emotion, and how
Brittany Hodak [00:09:09]:
do we use it at work? So how do you define awkward, and what makes it good?
Henna Pryor [00:09:17]:
Yes. So awkwardness, you know, there’s lots of Merriam Webster definitions we could use, but awkwardness, when we relate to it as an emotion, is something that we feel when the person we believe ourselves to be, our true self, is momentarily at odds with the person on display. So in other words, our internal identity doesn’t quite match that external reality. There’s a gap. So for example, I think I’m someone who is very articulate in business settings and have great ideas, and I raise my hand in a meeting and I not only have an idea that’s already been But I called the person by the wrong name. Right? In that moment, the person who I believe myself to be, smart, capable, thoughtful, somebody who knows names, is at odds with this other self, this person that I feel like other people see on display. And awkwardness is a social emotion. Meaning, if If I called that person the wrong name while I was just writing a memo at home, yeah, it might be like, oh, that’s not their name, but I wouldn’t feel awkward about it.
Henna Pryor [00:10:13]:
It It happens when we’re in front of other people. We’re kind of scanning for that external reality, and it’s an emotion of discomfort. You know? Ultimately, it doesn’t feel good, but it’s something that We have to learn to lean into, and this is where the good comes in. We have to learn to stay in that space between our 2 selves because every time you’re at a growth point in your journey, Every time you’re trying to improve, as long as you’re doing it with other people, which is 99% of our jobs, there is going to be an opportunity for awkwardness, and learning how to stay in that Space is really critical to our growth.
Brittany Hodak [00:10:46]:
And learning how to stay in that space can also Have almost this, you know, like, paradoxical impact of, like, you’re sitting there thinking, oh, they’re gonna like me less now or they’re going to think less of me. But in the book, you talk about that paradox. You talk about how, no. In fact, this actually can be a superpower. This can make you more approachable. This is can make you, more human. So talk a little bit about about that. Like, so you you’re in You’re in the moment.
Brittany Hodak [00:11:16]:
You feel this dissonance between what you think that you are and what you’ve now outwardly expressed that you are. There’s that discomfort. Why is that something that we should embrace, and how is that actually being perceived by the other person or other people in that social setting. What are they experiencing while we are experiencing that awkwardness?
Henna Pryor [00:11:36]:
Yeah. I love this question because it’s really at the heart of a lot of this. I think a lot Times people hear the word awkward, and they sort of just by default associate it with ineptitude. Right? I don’t want to be perceived as I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t want my awkwardness to show, but awkwardness is not the same as ineptitude. So the example I give in the book is I wouldn’t wanna hire an inept anesthesiologist, But I’d be perfectly fine hiring an awkward one. So interestingly, the research on many fronts supports the idea that if you are someone who is generally perceived as competent, as generally someone who knows what they’re doing, as generally smart, that actually expressing some awkward discomfort makes you come across as more generous, more trustworthy, more likable, and more forgivable because that lack of perfection actually puts other people at ease. It puts other people at ease.
Henna Pryor [00:12:29]:
It makes them talk to you. It makes them open up to you. There’s a a phenomenon called the pratfall effect is when somebody is so polished And so smart, we kind of dehumanize them. We can’t relate to them. And so when somebody’s really good at their job and a an awkward moment knocks them off their pedestal just a tiny bit. We don’t think less of them. We actually love them for it, and this is universally true. So the more we can lean into that idea, the better it is, and we can start to kinda adjust our behavior accordingly.
Brittany Hodak [00:12:57]:
Yeah. And I and I loved I loved you talking about the effect because Where my mind immediately went to, in the customer experience space, there’s something called the service recovery paradox, which has been Written about for decades, it’s you know, there have been, like, countless studies, and they all come back with essentially the same result, which is when something goes wrong And you fix it, the customer in that experience is statistically more likely to stay with you longer, Say better things about you and spend more money than if nothing had ever gone wrong in their experience at all. And it’s because it’s in that moment Where things go a little sideways, and you’re able to step up and show that you’re there to care more, do more, fix this problem. You have humanized yourself now, and now they’re like, oh, I I understand, like, how hard these people are working, what they’re doing. And I I I think there’s, like, such a beautiful synergy there of you know, from, like, a corporate level or organizational level At a personal level, it’s essentially the same thing. That if you’re too perfect, people start to, like, roll their eyes because they no longer feel that they can connect to you versus this. Yeah. When you’re saying, like, they experience it, and they’re like, oh, they mess up too just like me.
Henna Pryor [00:14:13]:
Mhmm. I think this this type of research. I love what I love about what you’re saying is it transcends so many facets of life. Right? Like, doctor Becky Kennedy talks about this from the parenting standpoint where The key skill to learn is repair with your kids. So here’s what I love about awkwardness in particular, and I think this is exactly what you’re talking about in CX. To eliminate awkwardness implies eliminating uncertainty, which cannot happen. Life is not going to work that way. Away.
Henna Pryor [00:14:40]:
That is to somehow be able to predict every single person’s preferences, their expectations, their behavior. Humans are human. They’re going to do things that you don’t expect. They’re gonna have reactions that you don’t back. And so where you’re in your world that that repair comes in, it’s the same with awkwardness. I think trying to eliminate it is a fool’s errand. There’s no chance because in uncertainty is part of life. So what we can learn to do is recover, is to improve the comeback is to figure out how to exist in those moments and manage them with a toolkit successfully rather than trying to optimize for elimination.
Henna Pryor [00:15:14]:
Same in CX. You can try to optimize for elimination, but guess what? People gonna people, and it’s not gonna happen.
Brittany Hodak [00:15:20]:
It’s not gonna happen. It’s like saying, well, yeah, I could have a rain jacket and an umbrella, but instead, I’m gonna just, like, you know, Pretend that there’s never gonna be inclement weather. Right? Like, okay. Cool. Good luck with that plan. Hope it goes well for you.
Henna Pryor [00:15:35]:
Yeah. No. I think that’s so true. I think and and what’s interesting to me as I think The work that you do is in CX often we’re thinking about how do we minimize frictions. Right? How do we create opportunities for things to feel more smooth? Whereas awkwardness is a little different in my opinion because I think the danger that we’ve fallen into is we’ve minimized so many social frictions In the spirit of what we’re calling CX, so for example, you know, it’s easier now to order on toast tab dinner instead of calling the restaurant and saying, hey. I want tacos. Right. So a story I’ve been telling recently is my husband.
Henna Pryor [00:16:08]:
We were trying to order tacos, and the the toast tab wasn’t working. The website was down. And he was like, okay. Well, where are we gonna order food instead? And I was like, instead, I I wanted the tacos. Like, we’re calling the restaurant. Right? But we’ve gotten so far away from this social optimization and these these social interactions That when difficult ones come up, we’re sort of untrained. Like, our social musculature is atrophying. And so At the same time that we wanna create less friction in CX experiences, when it’s people to people work, we can’t eliminate them entirely because then it becomes that much tougher when we
Brittany Hodak [00:16:40]:
actually have to deal with something that goes sideways. And things go sideways a lot. Just last night, my family and I were out here at a Mexican restaurant, and It’s a restaurant that we go to, you know, like, I would say every other month or something. And a lot of times, I do order online, pick it up. We we eat at home because, as you know, when you’ve got little Sometimes you just, like, don’t wanna deal with it. Like it. Yes. In public.
Brittany Hodak [00:17:02]:
Yeah. So this was the first time probably in, like, 2 months we’ve been inside the restaurant, And we immediately noticed the addition of robot waiters. So they had, these little, you know, essentially, like, like, food carts with, like, an iPad and a camera on it, and programming, and it was just chips and salsa. So it was like, you know, Take the chips and salsa to the table, and that’s it. And then it would go back to whatever we’re being programmed, and somebody would, like, type in a different, table number. So very much like how you can, like, tell your Roomba, like, Clean the living room, but not the dining room or whatever. Right? Like, we go there and wait, and it’s like, here are your chips and salsa. Yeah.
Brittany Hodak [00:17:38]:
It was, like, really fun and novel watching go to other tables. But my kids are like, where are our chips and salsa? Because it it took, like, you know, like, 10 minutes from the time we sat down.
Henna Pryor [00:17:50]:
Oh my gosh.
Brittany Hodak [00:17:50]:
Yeah. Where and, like, our waiter came to the table a couple times, and my 3 year old’s like, can I get chips and salsa? And he’s like, oh, yeah. Like, I gotta, like, tell the robot to do it. And he’s like Tell the robot. Oh my god. It’s crazy. The salsa? Yeah. Yeah.
Brittany Hodak [00:18:02]:
One of those things where it was like, okay. So this is, like, totally unnecessary innovation, a. And, b, like at some point, you have to be like, okay. If if if, you know, robot waiter is, like, 17 tables behind, like, I’m gonna get some chips and salsa for these hungry
Henna Pryor [00:18:17]:
Brittany Hodak [00:18:17]:
Henna Pryor [00:18:18]:
Yeah. I I I like the expression. You know? I I do believe that technology has some amazing capability. And certainly in the CX world, it creates a lot of opportunity, but then you have to ask yourself, you know, are we cutting off the ranches but missing the root? Right? Like, where does it become favorable, and where does our trying to remove person to person interaction become unfavorable? I actually just saw, you know, Facebook. They’re, They’re like the local group. Somebody just posted, the ShopRite that’s, like, 20 minutes away had done all self checkout. They essentially done away with cashiers, and there was such an uproar. People were so mad that There’s this big announcement now.
Henna Pryor [00:18:51]:
ShopRite is adding regular checkout back. And I was like, what is happening
Brittany Hodak [00:18:55]:
in the world? Changed in.
Henna Pryor [00:18:56]:
Right. Right. And it because truly, you know, People need people. And even if it’s not smooth, even if it’s not flawless, we’re getting away from the muscle building that’s necessary to keep these interactions as healthy as they can be.
Brittany Hodak [00:19:11]:
Yeah. Well, so I wanna something that I wanna talk about, you you have become, in some ways, the poster woman for awkwardness. Right? You I love it. I love it. Okay. You’ve done 2 podcast. Well, now you you you have become you have become super famous. Like you are.
Brittany Hodak [00:19:26]:
My god. I mean, you’ve hundreds of thousands of people who’ve who’ve watched your TED Talks about awkwardness. So I wanna talk a little bit about your personal journey of, Like, leaning into this. You know, you talk about celebrating the cringe and embracing the awkward. Like, you had to do that in spades, but not just in a way to say, like, I’m gonna do this in my own life, but to say, I’m gonna go be, like, the champion of this cause. I’m going to be The one out there, like, screaming from the rooftops about awkwardness. Like, what did it take for you to step into a space to be brave enough to do that and say, You know what? I am cool with, like, when I die, it will say awkward on my tombstone. That’s fine.
Brittany Hodak [00:20:06]:
I hope it does. Journey, like, for you.
Henna Pryor [00:20:08]:
Oh god. That’s hilarious. You know, it’s okay. So here’s where I think before people give me too much credit, like, I haven’t changed. I just took that, you know, layer of plaster that I was wearing to try to be the palatable version of myself. Like, I just took that layer off. Right? There was this version. I worked for Ernst and Young out of my career, so big public accounting firm, then I went to a $2,000,000,000 staffing firm.
Henna Pryor [00:20:33]:
And while there were some natural gifts that supported that to a degree in both of those jobs, I was A performing version of myself. I was playing a role. I was playing the role that was expected of me and, you know, into the staffing career. I remember I was there for 14 years, and I remember me way through. I started to be like, you know what? I don’t wanna do it the way my boss trained me to do it. I’m just gonna, like when I laugh, sometimes I snort. Right? Like, I just get going. And I’m like, I’m not gonna try to hold that in anymore.
Henna Pryor [00:20:59]:
I’m just gonna let it roll. I’m gonna be a little more playful in my LinkedIn post because that’s my style. And Slowly, I started to sort of take off this layer that was sitting on top, and not only did my business not go down, it went up. And I was like, okay. There’s something here I would, you know, share more about when I embarrassed myself. I would share more about my missteps. I would Allow myself to get it wrong similar to your example. Right? And not only did it, you know, show in my numbers, it felt better too.
Henna Pryor [00:21:26]:
And so I just I got real curious. I said there’s something in this emotion. And when I dive I dove into the research, I’ll say what to answer your question, what was the permission slip for me is I think many of us, whether we realize it or not, we hold this idea that these people that look really confident don’t feel awkward. They don’t. They’ve they’ve figured it out. They’ve gotten it together. They’re so cool. They’re so collected.
Henna Pryor [00:21:48]:
And what I loved finding out was that’s not true. Everybody Save for maybe sociopaths who don’t feel emotion in any way, shape, or form. Right? But everybody feels awkward. The most confident people we know Probably experience it just as often as an and as acutely as we do. They just learn to not run away from it, But lean in because, ironically, the avoidance of awkwardness increases awkwardness. The avoidance of that emotion makes it feel more acute. And so what I do now is I’m just like, Well, this is awkward. Or, oh, I can’t believe I just said your name wrong.
Henna Pryor [00:22:23]:
That’s a cringe. I’m so sorry. Right? I name it quickly. I use humor, a bunch of the strategies that we use in the book. And now it’s so funny when people are like, Hannah, you seem confident. But I’m like, yeah. But it’s it’s not cool confidence. It’s awkward confidence.
Henna Pryor [00:22:37]:
It’s a new version that I leaned into that feels really good, and I think that permission slip for other people to feel it too has been really freeing. So it you You know, the fact that it’s resonating just makes me so happy. Like, let’s just all take a take a little bit of that plaster off.
Brittany Hodak [00:22:51]:
Yeah. Well and I I would love for you to talk about what it has done for your own interpersonal relationships. So in not only allowing people to see a more authentic version of you, Having them closer to you, but, like, also the inverse. Like, do you find yourself Yeah. Creating deeper relationships professionally with people whom you witness being
Henna Pryor [00:23:13]:
awkward. Absolutely. You know, one of the things I talk about is awkwardness as an invitation to vulnerability. So I grew up in a household where, you know, my my mom is very strong, a strong woman and kind of, like, push Push down the tough emotions, just, you know, 1 foot in front of the other. So I’m not someone who naturally is wired to be a feeler. Like, I’ll go into my head very, very quickly and go into problem solving mode. Let’s just get it done. Let’s just take take care of it.
Henna Pryor [00:23:40]:
And, for a long time, I I knew vulnerability was a superpower. Bernie Brown has taught us that. Right? And It felt hard to access, and what I realized was I could not invite the type of deep relationships that I wanted that involved vulnerability, that involved deep, you know, deep levels of understanding unless I was willing to sit in that 1st awkward, messy middle first. So vulnerability is just There’s a lot of overlap between awkwardness and vulnerability, but it’s a little higher vulnerability’s a bit higher on the emotional exposure. You’re you’re doing a little bit more emotional versus awkwardness is just kind of like, oof. Okay. I like to think I’m pretty good at that, but that was a massive fail. Right? So it’s a little lighter, a little more playful, less High stakes, but getting comfortable in that space first has certainly allowed me to get to that next step, which is, you know, that true vulnerable disclosing place that has absolutely transformed my marriage, my making friends like you.
Henna Pryor [00:24:37]:
You know, we we connect at a different level when we take the mask
Brittany Hodak [00:24:40]:
off a little bit. Well and and I love that you mentioned the personal relationships there because I think It’s easy to think, oh, yeah. This you know, this is a business book. This is written about, you know, how to how to impact your business, but it transcends that. Like, this is Yeah. This is advice that is not just relevant from 9 to 5, but also from 5 to 9 and, you know, everything in between. This is Really about feeling more comfortable, not just in your own skin, but with how your own skin is, you know, being reflected on by everybody around you. And it’s just It’s a book I wish I could have read when I was, you know, 9 instead of 39.
Brittany Hodak [00:25:16]:
So I’m so glad that it is finally available in the world. I know it will help so, so many people, but, Man, Hannah, couldn’t you have, like, written this book when you were a
Henna Pryor [00:25:24]:
teenager? Don’t you always say, don’t we write we write the books, and I know you feel this way about yours. We write the books that we most needed back in, you know, certain stages of our lives and our career. And, you know, I I always thought I was the only one who felt awkward. You know, when I put my foot in my mouth, when I sent the wrong email, I copied the person. I’m like, god. I am the worst. Right? And it feels so isolating. And just to know, a, you’re not alone, b, it’s universal, c, there are things you can do to get more comfortable with the feeling.
Henna Pryor [00:25:52]:
I a 100%. I’m writing to Hannah from 10 years ago, 15 years ago, and, you know, I just hope that maybe I can catch a few people that feel it now and have them feel
Brittany Hodak [00:26:00]:
something different. Well, that’s, I mean, that’s what they say. Right? We’re we are most power powerfully positioned to serve the person we once I know my friend, Rory Baden, says that all the time. Yes. And and it is true. And, I think I think this book is going to help a lot of people start to separate awkward as, like, only one thing or only a bad emotion and and see the nuance and the opportunity around leaning into what I think has Traditionally been an emotion that people wanna lean away from.
Henna Pryor [00:26:29]:
Yeah. I hope so. I appreciate that. And I just I love watching you and the work that you have Put out there and create it, and and your voice and the way that you do it is so fully formed and authentic that I just love watching how you have taken this topic that can be very, here’s what you do, here’s how you approach people, and made it so human. I think this is the intersection of our work. It’s so human, and I’m just so appreciative that you bring the voice to this conversation that you do.
Brittany Hodak [00:26:55]:
I feel like that’s the most eloquent way anyone has ever been. Like, you’re super awkward, So thank you for No. Thank you for
Henna Pryor [00:27:01]:
making Thanks for keeping it awkward. I love it. We all love you for it, Britney. That’s why you have so many super fans because you keep it awkward all time.
Brittany Hodak [00:27:07]:
I love it. Definitely not afraid to make some oops in public all the time. Love it. So talk about the writing process. I mean, I It really is a beautiful book. I mean, for anybody who’s watching right now, I’ll put up. It’s it’s it’s just the colors and the layout and the graphics. Yes.
Brittany Hodak [00:27:24]:
Book twins. Thank you. Talk to me about some of the some of the intentional decisions you made. Anything maybe that you had to, like, fight for, in in in the process of doing this book because you can tell that, like, this is all you. This is not me working with somebody who did 35 other books this here. And I was like, no. This is the way we do this. This is all you.
Brittany Hodak [00:27:43]:
So talk to me about the process.
Henna Pryor [00:27:45]:
Yeah. No. I love this. I mean, thank you for asking. I’ve always liked writing, you know, but the Writing a book is a whole different animal. As you know, it’s a longer game. It’s a longer project. I my publisher was wonderful, so I I don’t think I had to fight for much, but I will tell you the one thing that I wanted to be really.
Henna Pryor [00:27:58]:
If I did fight for anything, it’s this. I said, I am a firm believer. One of my favorite quotes is that we can take our work seriously without taking ourselves seriously. Right? Like, I think this can be well researched. I think it can have insights. It can have frameworks. It can have but we can also smile and laugh at ourselves a little bit. You know? I think That feeling needed to come through.
Henna Pryor [00:28:19]:
I wanted people to giggle while they were reading it or see themselves in it and go, oh my god. That’s me. Right? Like, That to me was a nonnegotiable. I didn’t want to lose that energy, and frankly, that’s who I am. My voice is very playful and silly and, you know, I I think you can be both of those things. And so I wouldn’t say I had to fight too hard. I think they were willing to let me keep my voice, but I am proud that anyone who knows me. It’s funny, like, now that friends are reading it and stuff, they’re like, can I hear you? You know? Like, that’s that’s all I want.
Henna Pryor [00:28:49]:
I want you to hear my dorky giggle and, like, me laughing as you read it, that’s that makes my day. But, you know, I think that’s hard to do sometimes.
Brittany Hodak [00:28:56]:
Well, it’s hard to do, but you nailed And, obviously, like, who as a friend, I also could hear your voice when you were reading it, and I was like I felt like I was listening to the audiobook even though I was reading it because I could hear you in my head. And I I had to laugh so many times when you were sharing stories and anecdotes, especially the professional ones, where it was just, like, so cringey and, like, those moments where you’re, like, not only reliving the most cringey things that have ever happened to you, you’re, like, Recording them forever and all time. Mhmm. This book will live forever. Were there any moments that you almost didn’t include either because they’re so cringey or you’re like, I just don’t wanna have to, like, be on the hook to retell or relive this story for eternity now that I’m, You know, going
Henna Pryor [00:29:40]:
on the record with it. Yeah. There’s there’s probably I mean, I’ll tell you the ones that made there’s a lot that ended up on the cutting room floor, which is why it’s. This is why awkwardness is funny because you’re like, how do you remember a lifetime of cringe moments? They tend to stick with you. Right? Like, you’ll remember them, and you’re like, oh god. Everybody was watching. But the ones that tended to hit the cutting room floor was there’s a lot of times where I did things that, like, accidentally turned into profanity. Right? So, like, I was giving, Giving a a keynote on something.
Henna Pryor [00:30:07]:
In one of my slides, it was supposed to have the word shift really big, and it was a new slide that I threw in at the last minute, and the f didn’t make it on. The f did not make it on, so it was, like, literally on the largest screen of all time is s h I t. And I’m like, that is not a good look for a professional, this is like a corporate you know, people were in suits, and I was like, oh my god.
Brittany Hodak [00:30:26]:
Right? I hope you look good. And then you’re like, oh, shift. Yeah. No. I mean, Some version of that. Like, that’s
Henna Pryor [00:30:32]:
thought what that
Brittany Hodak [00:30:33]:
was supposed to say?
Henna Pryor [00:30:35]:
Yeah. But, again, you know, I certainly got read for a moment, but that’s where comeback rate matters. Right? You just have to going. But, oh god, I if I if we had 10 hours, I would tell you all the times I’ve stepped out of line and stepped in it, but that’s the beauty of it because we all have those stories. We could all share our own versions of that.
Brittany Hodak [00:30:52]:
Oh, yeah. I mean, I and I love that you shared so many relatable ones from pop culture too. I mean, like, 3 pages into the book, and you’re talking about Jennifer Lawrence falling at the Oscars, and it’s like, you’re right. This is part of the persona that she’s built. And so it was really fun to also see the examples of you as an outside observer saying, like, This is why this works. This is why you likely feel the way about this person, this thing, this event, this company as you do because of This ability of embracing the awkward.
Henna Pryor [00:31:21]:
Yeah. No. I I it it to me, it is the the best learning that I think could possibly have come from this whole thing is just It’s a community of us. It’s all of us. Like, it is truly all of us. And once we embrace that idea and kind of celebrate it within each other, it unlocks this whole new level of Connection of bravery, of courage, of confidence, and if that’s a brand that we all are willing to try on for size, life gets a lot more fun, and it gets a lot easier to do the things you really wanna do with your life. And and that to me is what everything’s about. Like, just take take your shot.
Henna Pryor [00:31:52]:
Take the risk, and don’t worry if you look awkward because guess what? You will. And then we’ll move on. Well and
Brittany Hodak [00:31:57]:
you’ve been getting so many shots this week. We’re recording this on the Friday that That your book came out. So you’re 3 days now as an officially published author, and you have been everywhere. You have been on TV, on podcast, in print publications. I wanna know what is the most awkward moment you have had so far promoting this book?
Henna Pryor [00:32:15]:
Oh, okay. So recently, I was I was on a TV show, and my shoe, like it was like it’s An old pair of, like, gold sandals that I had on with my dress, it, like, straight up broke as I was walking onto the set. Like, it broke, And I had to borrow a pair of pumps from, like, one of the other newscasters. Like, my shoe broke. And I was like so I was like, what’s the alternative here? Barefoot? I said, do you guys fan out. She’s like, yeah. Yeah. We can we can see your feet.
Henna Pryor [00:32:39]:
So I had to borrow, and it wasn’t even luckily, her feet were bigger than mine, so I had to kinda, like, scoot my heels back, but it was, you know, it was embarrassing. It was awkward. I’m like, I can’t believe, like, I’m supposed to be this professional woman who just wrote a book. I’m I’m, like, about to do this barefoot or, like, wear this other woman’s shoes.
Brittany Hodak [00:32:56]:
It was Feel like you invited me to show as an author, not a cobbler Right. Like, in an all day.
Henna Pryor [00:33:01]:
And I’m like I’m like, they weren’t like Target shoes. They were you know? And so, again, in that moment, it was embarrassing. I thought I wanted to be this polished professional person, but come back rate. Right? We’re like, okay. This is what we’re dealing with. What are we gonna do about it? But And I
Brittany Hodak [00:33:16]:
guarantee you, you endeared yourself to those producers and those newscasters in a way that you would not have had your shoe not broke because in that moment, you became not just author Hannah, but Right. Human
Henna Pryor [00:33:27]:
Hannah. Yeah. No. They they thought it was hilarious. And, of course, when you write a book on awkwardness, every misstep becomes just on brand. Right? They’re like, Well, that’s
Brittany Hodak [00:33:36]:
appropriate. For the next Like, every bad
Henna Pryor [00:33:38]:
picture at my launch party, we’re like, good awkward. I’m like, you know, this is great. This is a great permission slip every single dumb thing I’m gonna do for the rest of my life. Like, let’s all let’s all lean in.
Brittany Hodak [00:33:47]:
Right? Yes. You have figured it out. Mine is the opposite. Mine is I feel like I now attract these, like, atrocious customer experiences, like, constantly. I was I was traveling earlier this week, and Alex on my team was with me, and it Just like 1 nightmare after another trying to check into our hotel, and she was laughing. And she was like, I feel like this happens to you everywhere. Like, the universe is constantly like, here, Britney. Here’s more material.
Brittany Hodak [00:34:11]:
And I was like, oh, yes. Yeah. Hi. Yes. I am the problem that admits me. Yes. That’s hilarious. Oh, I like the little t swift
Henna Pryor [00:34:18]:
thrown in there.
Brittany Hodak [00:34:18]:
I throw it in. Right? Always true to brand.
Henna Pryor [00:34:20]:
I love it.
Brittany Hodak [00:34:21]:
Hannah, thank you so so much for being on this show. Everyone needs to get the book. Obviously, we’ll link it. We’ll put all the information. As we go, is there anything else that you would like to share with our dear listener today.
Henna Pryor [00:34:36]:
I’ll just leave you with my favorite mantra. This life is uncertain, so I beg Each and every one of you do it awkward, but do it anyway. I love it. Thank you so much, Edna. Thank you for having me.
Brittany Hodak [00:34:47]:
Alright. That’s all the time we have for today’s episode of the Creating Super Fans podcast. Thank you so much for tuning in. Now remember, if you’re a super fan of today’s episode, you can help us out in a big way by leaving a review and a rating wherever you get your podcast. It may seem like a little thing, but it can make a huge difference in helping others discover the show. Now until next time, remember, super fandom is a two way street. Show your love for your customers and your employees, and they’ll love you right back. We’ve got an exciting show lined up for next week, so I hope we’ll see you right back here.
Brittany Hodak [00:35:22]: