Ellen Patnaude Assumed Her Past Experiences Would Buy Her a Seat at the Table

Ellen Patnaude Assumed Her Past Experiences Would Buy Her a Seat at the Table


Check out all episodes on the My Favorite Mistake main page.

My guest for Episode #141 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is Ellen Patnaude.

She’s a Communication Coach. She’s the owner of the firm LeadQuine. And her LinkedIn headline describes her as:

“Truth teller. People-ing Guru. Tough Cookie.”

Ellen is also a friend of mine from high school, as we played together in a regional youth orchestra for a few years.

In today's episode, Ellen shares her “favorite mistake” story about her time as a community organizer. She attended a meeting and assumed that her experiences growing up in Detroit would be relative to this group near Chicago. She was trying to prove her credentials, but learned that listening was more important than arguing about her bonafides. How did Ellen learn from this experience? Why is she now grateful that this happened?

We also talk about questions and topics including:

  • The importance of showing up, listening and asking questions (and not having your own agenda)
  • Apologized… it was accepted… tough love
  • You help people get better at communicating and interacting with others… common assumptions??
  • How can leaders check for understanding without being parental?
  • Asking better questions…
  • Fired from a job for asking the wrong questions…
  • Assumptions are #1 source of conflict
  • Test your assumptions?
  • Your firm’s tagline is “taking blinders off your team” — what’s the meaning behind that?
  • What are some common mistakes people make in the realm of communication?
  • Coaching people through those?
  • Mistakes coaches make?
  • Becoming less censored and less filtered?
  • You’re currently writing a business book… Tell us about that

Scroll down to find:

  • Video of the episode
  • Quotes
  • How to subscribe
  • Full transcript

Find Ellen & LeadQuine on social media:

Watch the Episode:


"She just looked at me and eventually said, 'You know what? You're not here to save us, sweetheart. We're not in Detroit, we're in Chicago and this doesn't have anything to do with our current struggles.'"
"The number one assumption that I see get people in trouble is that they have correctly heard what is being asked of them."
"Leaders have to reflect, right? Any good leader that I know takes time to stop and regularly evaluate how effective they are."

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Automated Transcript (Likely Contains Mistakes)

Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus. He is also a Senior Advisor and Director of Strategic Marketing with the healthcare advisory firm, Value Capture.