Learning to lead means building consensus. In this episode of Conference for Women’s radio show, “Office Hours,” author Amy Richards explains how you can strategically bring people around to your way of thinking.
Click “more” to read more and listen to the full podcast.
Richards has spent years honing her powers of persuasion as an author, activist, and cofounder of the Third Wave Foundation, which organizes and empowers young feminists 15 to 30 years old.
Some key lessons:
—First and foremost, listen; it’s your job to make your story fit into the other person’s narrative.
—Stories are more convincing than statistics. Tailor your stories to the specific context you’re in.
—Don’t spend all your time trying to convince people; accept that sometimes you won’t be liked and make the tough decisions anyway.
—Bottling up your emotions at work can be counterproductive; let them out, but in ways that are appropriate for your particular situation.
—Be ready to network in all situations. “The most personal settings can be, sometimes, the most professionally profound.”
—The most senior person in the room is not necessarily going to be the biggest help to you. Look a little down the ladder for contacts with staying power.
About Amy Richards: After graduating cum laude from Barnard College in 1992 with a degree in Art History, Amy Richards embarked on an unexpected career as a feminist activist, writer, and organizer. What began as a summer project, Freedom Summer ’92, a cross-country voter registration drive, eventually led Amy to co-found the Third Wave Foundation, a national organization for young feminist activists between the ages of 15 and 30. Amy’s leadership and visionary work launched her as a primary spokesperson and leading voice for contemporary feminist issues.
About Sam Ettus: Sam is the leading lifestyle and parenting expert for working women. Ettus has coached thousands of women, from celebrities, to entrepreneurs, top CEO’s and professional athletes. Ettus is a best-selling author of four Random House books and a contributor to Forbes and Disney’s parenting site, Babble. She hosts a nationally syndicated radio show for working moms and has interviewed countless luminaries from Al Roker to Bethenny Frankel and Mary J. Blige. Ettus has made hundreds of local and national TV appearances and is a sought after speaker at corporations, conferences and colleges. Ettus earned her B.A. and M.B.A. from Harvard University. Connect with Sam here. @SAMANTHAETTUS
CONFERENCES FOR WOMEN
“Build Your Persuasive Powers”
Guest: Amy Richards
Interviewer: Samantha Ettus
Interviewer: Hello and welcome to The Conference for Women’s radio show.
Interviewer: Hi Sam. Thanks so much for joining us.
Interviewer: Thank you, and today we have an amazing guest. I’m so excited to be interviewing Amy Richards. Amy went to Barnard, and then unexpectedly embarked on a career as a feminist activist, writer, and organizer. And she ended up cofounding the Third Wave Foundation, which is a nationally renowned organization for young feminist activists between the ages of 15 and 30. She’s an author and a TV personality and a renowned speaker, and her leadership and visionary work have launched her as a primary spokesperson and leading voice for contemporary feminist issues. Welcome, Amy.
Amy: Thank you for having me.
Interviewer: So, one of the things that fascinates me so much about your work is that you are able to get, you know, large groups of people who come to the table with such different viewpoints. You’re able to get them to come to some sort of consensus, and often transform people’s opinions about feminism and other ideas when it comes to women’s issues. How do you do that?
Amy: I think the most important thing here is that we’re dealing with people who don’t necessarily – and it’s not even a matter of agreeing or disagreeing – people maybe just don’t understand where you’re coming from – is, first, be a great listener and, by that, I specifically mean is it’s to really understand how you can make the issues you care about, applicable to somebody else’s life.
I ended up at a dinner a couple of years ago: I sat next to this man, and he worked at Nike. And it was right at the height of when Nike was being incredibly picketed because of their supposed unfair labor practices with sweat shops around the world. And I sat down, and I made the mistake of saying, “Hi, I’m Amy. I’m an activist.” And I put him on the defensive for the rest of the dinner because I got out of the gate in the wrong way.
The next time I was at a dinner that was similar to that, I sat down, and it was a man, and he worked at Smith Barney, which was, you know, at that point, an independent company. Now they’re part of the much bigger investment banking world. And he said to me, “What do you do?” and I was about to say, “I’m a feminist activist,” and I said “Tell me a little bit more about what you do.” And what he did is he ran a, you know, a wealth management division. And I had gone to a meeting at Smith Barney trying to get them to do a human rights screen for funding. And we wound up having an incredibly productive conversation.
And so, I use those examples saying that I think that we often have more in common with people than we realize, and so, we need to find that kind of commonality of our starting place. And then we’re going to be guaranteed of having a much more productive time together…
Interviewer: And I love those examples because, you know, we’ve all done that, we’ve all made that mistake, where you think, “I talked too soon. I should have listened first and then sort of tailored my pitch a little more to who they are.” And so, I love that example. You know, one of the things that I think is so interesting is that many women are afraid to speak up, because they’re afraid that it’s going to impact their careers or impact their job in some sort of negative light. How do you make your point without risking that?
Amy: You know, it’s just a reality that women are penalized more when they speak up. You know, Sheryl Sandberg, who’s really helped us shine the spotlight on this said, “You know, when women are bossy, it’s bad. When men are called bossy, they’re leaders.” And so, I do think that women have to recognize that. Not that we can’t try to change that in the long haul, but in the short term, we really have to recognize that. And again, I think it’s finding developments of relate-ability. I also think it’s, you know, you have to be a good leader. You have to be willing to be un-liked at certain moments, you know, because being a leader means making tough choices. And it means standing for something. And so, I don’t think you can spend all of your moments just trying to win public approval. You have to spend some moments making tough choices.
Interviewer: And for those of us who just tuned in, we are talking to Amy Richards, and just a reminder, our Twitter handles are MassWomen, PennWomen, and TexasWomen. Now, what you just said, which is so important, especially for women here, is that you have to be un-liked sometimes, right? I mean, there’s always gonna be – I heard a statistic that the average person 90 percent of people will like them, and 10 percent will hate them. There is no one who will be liked by everyone. And so, if you’re always making your decisions based on that 10 percent, then you’re going to fail, right? So it almost has the likers in mind. And so, for women, that’s especially important. Let’s talk a little bit about feminism and your work with feminism. It feels like the word has made a wonderful comeback recently, and there’s a lot of talk about boys now calling themselves feminists. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Amy: Yeah. When I first defined myself as a feminist, I was very dependent upon the dictionary definition, which has been “movement to the full social, political, and economic equality of all people.” When you give people that definition, most people identify as a feminist. And even men in public opinion polls. And, as much as I think that definition means something, when it comes to translating feminism into their everyday lives, it doesn’t mean that much.
And so, for me, I have evolved to describe feminism as, there’s something in each of us that makes us feel vulnerable, maybe even insecure. We could have come from…we could be too poor, we could be too rich, we could be, come from alcoholic households, we could come from where we have one parent in prison. We might have a gay sibling, we might be gay. There’s something that makes us feel vulnerable in very mainstream settings.
And feminism’s about saying that there’s no “normal” and that we can all bring our whole selves into the room and that will transform the room. In fact, we should own those parts of ourselves that feel different precisely because the motivation to keep us feeling different is intentional. And it’s intentional to keep certain people holding more power over the rest of us. I think that feminism has become popularized, as it were, because you have a generation of people who were raised with more feminism, you know? In another generation, people often came to feminism later in their life, and so it was something, you know, that they were gonna eat steak every night for dinner, and then, all of a sudden, you’re vegetarian. You’re like, “Wait, you just changed the rules on me!”
I think this generation, that those were the rules from the beginning, that there would be more equality. And not only do we see it in this generation as benefitting women, we see feminism as something that benefits our culture and our society. So, it’s no longer a movement; it’s about the betterment of women, it’s seen as the movement that’s the betterment for everybody.
Interviewer: That’s great. So, it’s become a more inclusive movement?
Amy: Yeah, and I think that, I mean, one statistic I read recently is, you know, it came out of initially one of the Scandinavian countries and then they adapted in the United States, is that, you know, companies that have a higher percentage of women on their board, a higher percentage of women, you know, CEOS, women of leadership, women in other leadership positions, have a bigger return on the investment. And so, to me, that’s just one example of how having women in positions of authority, supporting women in their unique leadership, benefits everybody. And I think the more we can sort of document that, that it’s not just about supporting an individual woman at the expense of an individual man, that it’s about supporting our whole, unique human landscape, and having that benefit our whole human landscape.
Interviewer: Now, emotion is often seen as a feminist trait. What role does emotion play in being persuasive?
Amy: You know, I think, the Wall Street Journal wrote an article years ago called Crying in the Office. And, you know, crying in the office is something we’re taught not to do in the office. And we’re taught not to do it because it’s seen as a sign of weakness. But, in fact, it’s what women often have a hard time expressing anger, and so anger often comes out as tears, when, you know, whereas in men, it’s expressed differently. And so, I think we should be able to express our full range of emotion, and I think that we also should recognize that an emotion to us and why we’re expressing it, might be very different for somebody else. And that we shouldn’t judge somebody for how they’re expressing it. You know, I get, you know, angry because I get frustrated. And I really should just be able to better explain and articulate my frustration; instead I get passive-aggressive.
But I think if I were allowed more opportunities to express that full range, it would be better for everybody.
Interviewer: If you were mentoring a young woman coming up in the ranks, let’s say, of your company, and she was often, you know, getting emotional about her arguments, how would you counsel her? Would you say…that that’s okay, go for it? Or would you say let’s take the emotion a little bit out of the argument?
Amy: Again, it really depends. It’s situational. I definitely think it depends on your workplace setting and what’s appropriate in that setting. And sometimes it’s going to be a greater cost to her to express her emotion than it is going to be to her to repress her emotion. And that’s, I think, what you constantly have to figure out. And that said, you know, the CEO of Price Waterhouse Cooper recently talked at a conference that I was at, and talked about how he had gone through a divorce during his tenure leading this company and didn’t talk about it, really kept his emotions to himself. You know, a couple of years down the road, when he felt like he had sort of weathered it, talked to some of his senior colleagues and was more open about this. Several of his colleagues, most of them men, came up and said “thank you for being honest about your emotions.” I felt like I had turned all of my sadness and anger inside, and I wasn’t actually being as productive an employee. And now I feel like I can let my coworkers know some of what’s going on, and I feel like it’s going to make me a more productive employee.
And so, I do think that sometimes, not being able to express that full range of emotion, does prove to be a negative in terms of your work performance. And so, negotiating when is the right time.
Amy: And I do think what, you know, you’d be surprised…I think more often than not, people are going to be supportive of you. I think sometimes people are reacting to what their assumptions are, and the assumptions are don’t bring your personal life into your workplace. And so, that stops the conversation. But I think if you can have a more fully developed conversation about the ways that this might benefit the workplace with you being able to be honest, I think that that can expand it.
Interviewer: Well, and it sounds like, and for him, it was almost a relief for his employees to say “Okay, we can bring our lives to work. It’s not like we have to compartmentalize everything to be successful.”
Amy: Exactly. And, I think, for him, particularly, I mean, for both the senior man and the people under him, they were particularly reacting as men. I think men are particularly vulnerable to not being able to show their emotions in the workplace.
Interviewer: And that’s how we raise boys also, right? My husband always says you want to raise compassionate boys and strong girls because if boys are not taught that it’s okay to be emotional, it really leads to trouble later on in life.
Amy: I do think that feminism has done a good job of is allowing women to be more powerful in other ways, allowing women to have more access to what has traditionally been masculinity. And what we haven’t yet done is allow men to have more access to femininity and to have more access to female qualities. Because those female qualities are seen as weakness.
Interviewer: I love that, allowing men more access to female qualities. Now, let’s talk about the role that emotion plays in networking, because I often think it’s hard to be a really good networker when you’re always hiding your personal life, right? You know, we all have friends – and it is more stereotypically male, but even, you know, a lot of strong women – in the workforce, they don’t let people into their personal lives. And I believe it makes it harder to form deep connections with them when they are networking. So, you could feel really close to someone, but there’s always gonna be a barrier when they’re not sharing with you what’s really going on in their personal life. How does that play into networking?
Amy: Well, you know, I, you know, I think it’s so funny, because I started my professional life in New York City when people still wore suits and ties to work, like, every single day and if you didn’t do that, you were penalized for it. And I think that what we saw, and I think that the tech boom was sort of credited with this, was a little bit more of a melding between the personal and the professional. You know, you could now come casual every day, you could play Ping-Pong in the office, you could hang out with your colleagues, you know, it was trying to make it… So I think that some of what you wore to work is part of an entire generational shift that happened within the workplace. Yes, there’s still places where we need to wear suits and sort of keep buttoned up, but I think more so, you know, we’re bringing our diets into the office, we’re asking for more organic food and where there’s more opportunities for us to really create a community in our workplaces.
And I do think that benefits the workplace. You know, I think people have a sense of where there’s an opportunity to be more of yourself, it benefits your investment in the company. There’s a great company in Vermont – I can’t remember the name of it – and the people used to bring their dogs to the office. And they found this was a company dominated by men. And they actually said that having the dogs in the office was a great way for men to talk without having to talk because they could ask about their dogs. And they said “Oh, I’m taking Spike out; I’ll go ahead and take Josie out too.” And so, I do think that when we’re given the option of sharing, that’s like the Ping-Pong, the beer caps in the office, you know? I think that people recognize that they want it more than they admit…
Interviewer: So, it’s a way to connect with your personal life without actually having to get too personal.
Interviewer: So, for networking, it seems, you know, it still comes more easily to men, in the sense that, I remember being out to dinner with my husband and another couple. The woman, actually, had a very strong connection to my husband’s work. But at the end of the dinner, he and the man exchanged business cards and it really bothered me. And I said to him, “You should have asked for her card as well.” And it’s also the woman’s fault for not offering her card. But I think that’s that just something in general that women just tend to see more of a church and state separation between their personal lives and their professional lives than men do. And so they’re less apt to make a social situation into a networking situation. What are, sort of, the biggest tips you have for building your network, to really form deep connections?
Amy: I definitely think – I mean, first of all – don’t overlook any situation. The most personal settings can be, sometimes, the most professionally profound. You know, a lot of what we’re looking for when we say “networking, networking, networking,” is not like “Oh, we’re both in sales; let’s go have lunch.” It’s we’re looking to make a deeper human connection and to trust each other and just to understand people as human beings and then to forge better business relationships around that. And so I do think that you will find in your network – sometimes in the most unlikely situations – you know, sitting on an airplane when you’re stuck on the tarmac for an hour, maybe in an airplane or in an airport, or maybe you’re sitting at a soccer game, you know? My kids play on a soccer league and there’s a woman there. And finally, one day, I said “What do you do?” It turns out she’s a very senior woman at J.P. Morgan Chase, and she and I have all these colleagues and friends in common, and she and I have really been a support to each other, you know, over the last couple of years. And it started in a very personal place.
I do think, you know, take advantage. Also, don’t assume that the most powerful person is the person who can help you the most. You know, it’s oftentimes a person who is maybe working their way up that ladder, who has more time on that ladder to help you. And so, don’t overlook one person as potentially not senior enough to help you. I think those allies can come in different ways.
Interviewer: And different levels too, right? It’s sort of networking up and down as opposed to just thinking you have to go for the top and ignore the people that are, maybe, what you perceive as beneath you in their career levels, right? How do you really, sort of, think about influencing other people? So, if you need to bring someone sort of into your fold in terms of someone, as you’ve said, you need to work with people you don’t necessarily love all the time, right? You need to…I think I saw a quote from you where you were talking about when you were a varsity athlete growing up and you were, you know, it taught you to be on a team with people that you didn’t, wouldn’t, necessarily choose as your friends, but you had to work well together. How did that play in today to how you build consensus?
Amy: You know, I’ve become, I think the person I am now is very different than the person I was 10 years ago. I mean, not that I’m a different person, but I think I’ve become much more invested in the idea that doing the hard work is really gonna pay off. You have to trust that doing the hard work is gonna pay off in the end. And I think that I got too confused earlier in my career that if I wasn’t identified as the person responsible for a task, that I wouldn’t get credit for the task. And so, I think that there’s a wonderful woman that I do a lot of work with who funds [XXXX] filmmakers…Because, you know, too many of us live under the illusion of there’s a scarcity of resources. But, in fact, there are many resources to go around. And so I do think that just having that lens of, you know, my having an opportunity doesn’t mean that I am taking the opportunity away from someone else.
And, you know, when I arrived at college – Barnard College, which is an all-women’s college – I thought, up until that point that I had been singular as a girl. I was, you know, usually the only girl picked on the kickball team, you know, I was a good athlete, I was really good at math and science. And so, I was used to being one of the only girls in the room. And being…and in some ways, that was my secret sauce. Now, I got to be the girl who was good in math, I got to college, and all of a sudden, I was surrounded by only girls. We were all really good! And at first I found that very threatening because I thought it took away some of my uniqueness. But I realized that, if I could build a network out of all of these amazing women, that would make me all the better. You know? If we can be better together, that’s so much better than being better alone.
Interviewer: So, how do you network with women? Because one of the things that I have found is that women tend not to network as much. So, it’s usually the men who will be more apt to open up their Rolodexes or even suggest making an introduction, whereas women tend not to even think of networking that way. You know, I can count on one hand the women in my life who will open up their Rolodexes readily and be like “You have to meet this person! You must meet this person! You should really connect with this person. Are you laughing because you recognize that? That there’s not that many?
Amy: Well, I think 1) that human connection comes very naturally to a lot of women. So, I think we think we like each other, and I want more people to know you. That said, I do think women getting down to what is perceived to be traditional networking…it scares women a little bit. Because it feels like “Oh, I shouldn’t put myself out there” or like “Who am I to ask that person to have lunch with me? Why should I?” You know, we talk ourselves out of that situation because we think that we’re burdening somebody else with our own needs. And so we stop. I mean, how many times, you know, I see this, really, in the face of parenting…parents need tons of help. I mean, “I wish I could have someone else pick up my kids for a birthday party, but no, no, I should be the one to go pick up my kid from the birthday party. And so, I think that we fear asking for help, 1) because I think we don’t want to burden people, also because I think women asking for help, asking for connections, asking for help, can be perceived as weakness. And we don’t want to be perceived as weak.
That said, I do think women are becoming great networkers. I think that women – I mean, I was recently, funny enough, at a spa, and women were, you know, spending the day sort of avoiding each other, not wanting to talk about who they were and what they did and, finally, because of a unique situation when somebody started talking about their professional life, and then everybody started talking about their professional life. And then we all went and did this spin class together, and I thought, you know, this is like golf has been for men, you know?
And so, I do think that women have to find – I think that we underestimate the things we find community in as being silly, as being too girly, as being too frivolous. And so we don’t honor them as networking things. And I think we have to honor the spaces that we’re at, as networking opportunities, and put the networking into those spaces, not solely rely on going to places that have been typically preserved for networking – you know, country clubs and golf courses…
Interviewer: Right and you know, one of the things that we said is that women are so comfortable helping but they’re not comfortable receiving help or asking for help. And so, one of the best ways that women can sort of enter the networking space is just to help other people. So fine, you don’t want to ask for help; go start helping people, and then that will come back to you, right?
Interviewer: So, open up your introductions, or introduce those friends and ask for, and as you said, there are enough to go around. It’s not like we’re all in competition with one another. It helps us when other women succeed.
Amy: Absolutely. And I do think that people…and, you know, it is…I think men…I worked at a law firm that did divorce, and men were frequently the majority of our clients of divorce. The majority of men – over 80 percent of them – were remarried within the first eight months, and I think that is that men don’t how to be alone in the same way that women do. I also think that this is a backhanded way of saying that we also give men those opportunities. We go to men and say “How can I help you? Can I do this?” You know, not necessarily women but other men.
And I think that, you know, not only do we need women to do this, to do more of it, but we have to stop assuming, you know, that that’s how men are.
Interviewer: So, in that situation, you’re saying the women were going and helping these men find new mates or what…?
Amy: They were just offering to marry, they were getting married to them, because they thought “He can’t be alone. He’s got three kids…”
Interviewer: Oh, wow. They’re taking care of them, I see.
Amy: They’re caretakers in the supreme, you know, use of the word.
Interviewer: Right. Okay. So, let’s go back to persuasion and you mentioned “secret sauce” and referenced something else. But what would you say the “secret sauce” is of a persuasive argument?
Amy: You know, again, it goes back to what I think are the core qualities of leadership, which are being convincing but also being empathetic. You know, I think you have to have empathy for those who are different from you, you know, for those who are going through different experiences. But you also have to be willing to make hard choices. You have to be willing to have a clear vision, a clear opinion. You know, I walk into some rooms and I really want to say, “I can’t believe we’re all white people,” but I’m not gonna win anybody over by saying that, alas. So I have to sort of convince the other people in the room that there’s a disadvantage that it’s all white people, you know? And walking in and saying “You know, it’s so funny to me, I noticed when I walked in here, everything I know about your company is that you, you know, do a lot of sales in the Dominican Republic, and I was just so struck knowing that when I walked in here. I also think with persuasion, you have to think that I think you give people the benefit of the doubt until they prove otherwise.
So you have to assume that they’re innocent until they let…even if they’re…even if I’m standing next to Rush Limbaugh, I have to give him the benefit of the doubt that we’re gonna get along for five minutes.
Interviewer: Now, I want to give you an example of what happened to me last week. I walked into a, it was a Harvard Business School alumni event in California, and I went to this evening event. And they had five speakers and they were all male. And I was so distraught, and I immediately tweeted out “maybe in the next century,” but, obviously, that would kind of go against what you were just saying. Which is that no one’s gonna really listen to me if I’m getting angry right away, or, you know, tweeting that right away. How would you have handled that situation?
Amy: Well, because you know, I read the New York Times, I’m, you know, and I’m shocked by the number of New York Times-sponsored events – there’s one on the future of architecture, they did one on greening our country, they did one on future ideas – and how they are 80 percent male speakers and 80 percent, 90 percent white people. And I thought “Really? This, our future cities depend on white males?” and that’s not the majority of inhabitants. So I have that same reaction that you have and I’ve been trying to think of a thoughtful response. And on the environment one, for instance, what I did is I went and I found people who I thought would be appropriate to be on that panel and sent a letter and said, “Did you think about these 10 people?”
Interviewer: Right. And did you name the people?
Amy: I sent it to a friend – in that particular instance, I sent it to a friend who works at the New York Times. She said, “You know, very good point, and I’ll pass this along.” But, of course, the planning was already too far along. By the time we’re noticing it, it’s too far along.
Interviewer: Right, right.
Amy: I think that what I should do, should I really care about the content, is to stay on top of them, you know, and say “I know you have five more conferences coming up, and I just want to make sure you’re gonna consider those names for the next time.”
Interviewer: Right. And, I mean, that’s the thing. Is there a happy medium between calling people out or things like that, because it does get notice effectively if it’s in a public setting. Someone is seeing it and thinking “Okay, next time we have to think more about that.” And then the sort of private networking influence that you have with your friend, for example.
Amy: I just had a talk with somebody who does diversity in independent schools and I said “how do you move the dial?” She said, “The first way you move the dial is you have to have the facts.” Now, a lot of times, because one of the beautiful things of the model is that we have integrated almost all aspects of society. The down side is that we think that integration is equality. And so we think because there are some women there, because there’s two black people, because there’s four gay people, that it’s much more integrated than it is.
And so, what we need to do is pause and really look at the numbers. How many? And is this an appropriate number? Should we ask more of ourselves? So I do think getting the data, making observations, getting the data and then getting the buy-in.
Interviewer: I love that, and let’s talk…we only have a couple of minutes left, so I just want to talk to you a little bit about effective communication. You run a speaking, a speakers’ bureau, you talk with people around the country every week. What would you say the people that you admire most for their communications styles – what techniques are they employing?
Amy: You know, you can’t convince people when you’re speaking with statistics. You convince them with stories. So the more you can tell a story, and the more you can tell a story that is very particular to that…if I’m speaking to a bunch of women in fashion, you know, I shouldn’t get in and tell them a story about my kids. I should get in and tell them a story about going shopping the other day. I mean, you have to tell stories that relate and give examples that relate to the time and place at which you are.
I also think that, I mean, I think that PowerPoint and visual presentations are key, but you cannot give a presentation and have your visual presentation say exactly the same thing. Those should augment what you’re saying, not duplicate what you’re saying. ‘Cause then it just distracts people. People are reading that and not looking to you. I think a sense of humor is key. I think, you know, it’s a…I see women with a sense of humor, it borders on self-deprecating and humor, and I think it’s okay to be a little bit self-deprecating. People will want women to be humble. A woman comes in, and she’s too strident, and it’s two strikes against her. Women often win over a crowd by doing something that is very humbling in the moment.
Interviewer: We’re out of time. Amy Richards, thank you so much…
Amy: Thank you so much.
Interviewer: The Third Wave Foundation for more on Amy and her wonderful work. And for those of you who are listening today, please do tweet us @MassWomen, PennWomen, and TexasWomen. Thanks so much for listening.
Amy: Thanks so much.