Authentic Communication and Embodying the Chariot and Page of Swords with Angie Flynn-McIver

On episode 29, I speak with Angie Flynn-McIver ( @ignitecsp ).  Angie Flynn-McIver is a leadership coach via a long career as a theatre director. Angie likes to describe her work in both areas as being a “detective of human behavior.” Now as the leader of her own coaching company, Ignite CSP, Angie relies on her experience and intuition to make decisions about business, growth, personnel, and even how to select the ideal client. Her book, “Before You Say Anything,” is coming out in spring of 2021. Angie and I discuss the importance of authentic communication. Communication is so much more than just what you’re saying, it’s how you say it, when you say it, and what information you deliver along with it. Angie uses her own brand of intuitive gifts to guide clients both one-on-one and in small group work, towards the most effective way to communicate presentations, ideas, or products.


  • Angie talks about how intuition shows up in her communication coaching work.
  • Angie explains what it means to be a detective of human behavior and how it helps her investigate and empower the underlying motivations of her clients.
  • We discuss how Angie’s backgrounds in theater led her to a greater understanding of the importance of effective communication and how it shows up in all areas of life.
  • Angie shares some of the ways that intuition has guided her as an entrepreneur and helped her to bring her knowledge and coaching to a broader audience with amazing results.
  • We also talk about the pitfalls of ignoring intuition in business and building wisdom through that experience.
  • Finally I explain how Angie is an embodiment of the chariot card and the page of swords.

Communication affects every area of our lives and can greatly improve our interpersonal relationships and our career prospects. 

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Check out this episode!


Sheila M  0:05  

Welcome to Living Tarot. I’m your host Sheila Masterson. I’m a tarot reader and teacher, an energy healer and medium, and creator of Practical Tarot for Everyday Intuitives. Each week, on this podcast, I’ll share my own experience of embracing and growing intuition and interview guests about how they heard the call of intuition, embraced the adventure, and embodied the taro along the way. Join us and learn how you can stop second guessing, empower yourself through intuition, and live intentionally with the Tarot.

Welcome back to Living Tarot. On today’s episode, I’m interviewing my friend Angie Flynn McIver. Angie Flynn McIver is a leadership coach by way of a long career as a theater director. Angie likes to describe her work in both areas as being a detective of human behavior. Now, as a leader of her own coaching company, Ignite CSP, Angie relies on her experience and intuition to make decisions about business growth personnel, and even how to select the ideal client. Her book, Before You Say Anything, is coming out spring 2021. I’m so excited to have Angie on this episode, because her work is very unique. She’s done a lot of work to help people with public speaking in terms of how they can use it to advance their careers. And as somebody who has a theatre background myself, I really love the energy and that sense of like intuitive understanding that Angie brings to her work. I loved this episode so much. And we really talk about how intuition comes into play in leadership coaching in general, and also specifically how it shows up for her in the work that she does now. And we also talk about how she is truly the embodiment of the chariot card, and the page of swords. So without further ado, let’s dive right in.

Okay, so welcome to the podcast, Angie. I’m so excited that you’re here today. Can you tell us kind of, in your own words, what you do in the world?

Angie Flynn McIver  2:38  

Yes, thank you so much for having me. I’m excited to join you on the podcast. I call myself a detective of human behavior. And not like Sherlock Holmes, I guess, although that would be really cool. I am a coach and I specialize in communication skills. And so what that means for me and my work and the company that I run is that we really help people get to know themselves really well so that they can be as effective and clear at communicating as they want to be. So that they can really show up the way that they want to whether that’s in public speaking or in having difficult conversations or leading meetings, really anywhere communication shows up. That’s where you’ll find us. 

Sheila M  3:32  

Yeah, I love that you do this so much. So first of all, I have to say that Angie and I both have theatre backgrounds, which is super relevant to me, because it’s a huge part of my life. But I think it’s so interesting how you’ve taken something that is so traditionally like… you know, you’ve taken this background that’s kind of not in the corporate world and turned it into something that’s actually really effective in corporate America, and really in all areas of life. And I think it’s so powerful because one of the things that I think has really helped my career in the long term is all of that theater background. I feel like I have the ability to improvise on the spot. I’m very comfortable in public speaking. I’m not nervous in front of people, obviously. And I really feel like it’s had a huge impact on my ability to show up publicly in front of people and really, like share my voice and communicate effectively, even when I was in corporate America. So I think it’s so interesting that you made that kind of transition over. What inspired you to move from just that theater background into talking about public speaking and coaching, especially in business?

Unknown Speaker  4:46  

Yeah, yeah. So to connect the dots a little bit, I’m a theater director and producer. My husband and I founded professional theatre here in Asheville, North Carolina, where I live and we’ve been running that theater since 2001 and my husband really runs that full time now, or at least when theater is happening in the world, he is running that theater. And so I really started to take a step away from theater and towards, as you say, this communication coaching about 10 years ago, and I got really interested in how we create authentic communication on stage, the process that we use, with actors, actors and directors use to make something happen on stage or on film in a way that feels real to the audience watching. Excuse me. And the way that we’re able to do that is by really bringing that detective power, right, that observational power of what do people do when they are trying to make something happen, when they are trying to reach somebody else, when they are frustrated, when they are, you know, trying to achieve something. What does that look like? How do they embody that? What are their voices do? What is the interpersonal communication like? So what I wanted to do was see if I could bring that process that we use in theater to a non theater audience. And that was when I really started taking these steps into leadership development, into coaching, and as you said, into corporate America. And I have to tell you, it kind of makes me laugh whenever somebody says, Oh, now you work in corporate America, because I don’t. I totally do, but I don’t see myself like that at all. In fact, I always kind of joke when i get dressed up to go to one of these companies that I’m in my corporate drag. It just it doesn’t feel like… it’s still feels like I’m a mole. You don’t know that I’m really an artsy theatre person who’s there. 

Sheila M  7:02  

Yeah, I think that’s so interesting. And like you said, I feel like it’s one of those soft skills that nobody really talks about, but is extremely, extremely important, because we’ve all sat through a really boring presentation. We’ve all sat through really boring meetings. We’ve watched people talk about things and known that their messages good, but for some reason, it’s not engaging. And I think we’ve all had that, like it’s such a communal experience, for sure. But I think it’s so interesting that you’re really adding something to all of the messaging because it’s all in the delivery is like what you’re connecting with, because you could hear the same…you could hear two people say the exact same thing, and it not connect with you in the same way, which I think is so interesting about the type of work that you do. So how do you…what would you say to someone who was like, I don’t know… I don’t know, if I need this type of work? Like what do you think it can really do for people in terms of like, being able to effectively communicate what they’re all about?

Angie Flynn McIver  8:13  

That is such a good question. I don’t even… there’s so many answers to that. I have to choose like a way into the answer. And the first thing that I would say is the way that we move around in the world, the way that we have relationships, the way that we negotiate, the way that we move things ahead, and, you know, talk about projects, anything that we do in our life requires communication, not to put too fine a point on it. But it is really hard to do anything without needing to communicate with other people at some point. So this is really… I think of communication is really being the like the river that carries every other single thing that we want to accomplish as human beings. And so when you start to delve into what is motivating me, why am I speaking right now? What change am I trying to make? What need do I have? When we get really clear with ourselves about what we’re trying to do, then we can transform our communication so that it is a more direct connection to the person or the people we’re trying to talk to. So communication skills to me goes so far beyond and you’re exactly right, a bad boring presentation, a meeting that could have been an email, you know, all of those things are such a, particularly in the corporate, you know, or not even just corporate, any organization, those are the real standouts in terms of, Wow, if we could fix that we could get back all this time, we could get back all this, you know, person power that we’re losing in these meetings. But even more than that, I think we can use communication skills and coaching to have better relationships, too. You know, I’ll tell you a quick story. I was trying to start the conversation this morning with my husband that goes, we need to talk about the holidays. And I know many, many people have some contention around these conversations in their homes, and my home is no different. And I tried really hard to start by saying the thing that would take the temperature down on the conversation, and instead I turned it right up, like full flame under the conversation. Like he immediately… it triggers all over the place. And I was like, Okay, I think about this all the time, like, I think all the time about how to be a better communicator, and how can I be clearer. And I will say that the thing that I have on my side in a situation like that, is that I could kind of call a timeout and say, Okay, hold on, here’s what I was trying to do, I see that I was unsuccessful, can you tell me what I said that, you know, reflect back to me what I did, so that I can do it differently next time. So that the next time I try to have a conversation like this, it can go more easily. Anyway, so that’s a very, very long answer to your question. But I’m passionate about how being better communicators can really help us in so many ways.

Sheila M  11:48  

Yeah. And I it’s so funny, because I actually majored in communication in college. And one of my corporate jobs shortly after I graduated, there was a gentleman who worked in our office, and his son was also majoring in communications. And he was like, really put off by it, because like, he just would like rant about it all the time. And he’d be like, What even is that? You know, and like, I think like not realizing that I had majored in it. I don’t think he was like, trying to be a jerk, but it was just like this weird thing that happened over and over. And finally, the one day I was like, Hey, you know, when you get an email from somebody, and you understand what they’re saying the first time and you don’t have to send an email back and ask questions. And he was like, Yeah. I was like, that’s a communications manager. He was like, oh, and it’s so funny, because I, you know, I spent 12 years in corporate America and I saw so so so often how poorly communication was managed, and how it was kind of always the last thought. It was like, okay, like, we’ve decided all these things and we haven’t given any thought at all to how this thing is going to be communicated out. Or we just don’t know how to effectively communicate this to the team, or my personal favorite, when they create like a whisper down the lane effect, where like something is decided very far away from the people that have to actually do it. And then the people at the top train the next people down, train the next people down, train the people who are actually doing the work. And then you’re like, wait, what, and everybody was like, completely wrong, like some part of the message gets lost all the way down. And so I do think it’s one of those things that like you were saying about that argument with your husband… or not argument, but like disagreement with your husband, changing like the slightest bit, and having a sense of like, curiosity about your communication, I think that’s so powerful, because we are all really different and we do hear different things. You know, there’s not one universal way to communicate a message. And I think what you’re talking about is so important, because beyond just regular public speaking classes, and generally how to get an idea across, there is something very personal to the way that each person speaks and I think it’s so interesting with the coaching that you’re doing now, because it is really personal. And it’s specific to the person and the situation and what it is that they’re trying to do. So can you talk a little bit about, I loved how you described yourself as like an investigator into like, why this is important, and like what the message really is. Can you talk a little bit more about that?

Angie Flynn McIver  14:33  

Yeah, so I’ll give you an example. I have a client who I’ve been working with for a couple years, off and on, and she is just this rockstar, super interesting woman, has a very cool job. She’s a scientist. And she was referred to me because she was already a pretty good speaker, but she wanted to be great. And those are some of my really favorite people to work with because they’re motivated. She’s really ambitious. And she wants to be great at, you know, everything. And she knew that being a great speaker was going to help her. So we’ve been meeting for a while. And she and I were working on this presentation that she was going to give. And it was really strange, like, she would get up and she had her slides, and she was going through the presentation. And it just wasn’t like her personality wasn’t really coming through. She was swallowing her words in ways that wasn’t really… I mean, I’d worked with her long enough to know that this was not typical. And I said, Okay, hold on. Let’s sit back down. Let’s figure out what’s going on. And I started really talking through with her what this presentation meant, who is it for if you do a great job, what does it mean. And we did some some digging, and kind of got down to this layer, where it turned out that if she did a great job at this presentation, she was probably going to get promoted. And she really loved the job that she had. And so she wasn’t really sure that she wanted to do a great job at this presentation. Now all of this was on a totally subconscious level for her. And so in our coaching work, we call that your default intention. So it’s this engine. Your intention is driving your communication all the time, and it affects the words you use. It affects how quickly you speak. It affects your body language. Everything about the way you show up is really driven by your intention. And when something like.. and I’m making this up, but essentially for her it was I want to hide my light under a bushel a little bit. Right? I don’t want to show up as powerfully as I can. And again, she hadn’t put that into words. But she was afraid of what would happen if she didn’t sabotage herself. But then we needed to talk about, Okay, well, how can you make some different choices, you know, what are the conversations you need to have around your career that have nothing to do with this presentation, right. The presentation was a symptom of what was going on underneath, but that’s always happening. So in our work, we’re all about figuring out what that default intention is. A really common one that I think a lot of people can relate to is, I just want to get this over with, right. So if I just want to get this over with, whether it’s a presentation or leading a meeting or whatever, then it’s all about me, it’s all about what I need, and not what we call a deliberate intention, which is okay, I’m actually here to serve other people, what can I do to further this and make use of their time. So that’s, that’s really the crux of our work. 

Sheila M  18:01  

Yeah. And so this is what I think is so interesting to me, because we were talking a little bit before we came on about how you’re not, you know, a you don’t consider yourself to be a particularly like, witchy type of person, and would that still come across to people. But one of the main things I really wanted to do with this podcast was talk to people from both kind of traditionally witchy-er things and also people from, you know, the regular world or the muggle world, whatever you want to call it. But I think it’s so powerful, because there is something really intuitive in what you’re doing when you sit down with your clients, because you’re reading something off of them, and you’re hearing the subtext and everything they’re saying. And of course, that’s also due to I’m sure extensive training and years of experience as well. But there’s also just something of feeling that like underlying intention, and seeing what’s really true for people when they can’t, which I think is like truly, really intuitive work, just not work that we think of that way. So can you talk a little bit about how that kind of shows up for you in your work? I mean, the story you just told was like a really good example. But like, is that something that typically happens with people? Is that kind of like the crux of a lot of this investigation that you’re doing in your work?

Angie Flynn McIver  19:23  

It is. And I love this question, because I think that intuition shows up for me in really particular ways, in my work, both as a theater director and as a coach, and I’m trying to think of how to describe it because I think that… I mean and you’re exactly right. There’s a lot of experience that comes into it and reading that I do and research that I do and all that, but before that, before I can apply the experience, there is this intuitive feeling that there’s a…. I don’t know how to describe it. It’s like a place in my chest, that isn’t… that just tells me there’s work to be done here. And once I know that that is happening, I can’t ignore that, right. That saying this is where the work is. And the really interesting to me part of this work is that walking into a session with somebody, I never know when that moment is going to happen, you can’t plan for it, right. You can’t plan that that sense is going to reveal itself. But I’ve done this for so long now. And I think I really honed this as a director, sitting in rehearsal and you’re watching a scene happen, and there’s just something that’s not happening right. There’s something that’s not clicking, there’s something that’s not the way I want it to be. And I may not know exactly what I do want it to be yet. But I know that we have to start to sculpt that. So once I started doing this work, as a coach, it became easier for me to do what I call “let go of the trapeze.” So I’m going to start this coaching session, and I’m going to let go of the trapeze and I’m just going to trust that that intuition is going to catch me, right. By the ankles. Now we’re just going to swing and we’re going to do the work and that’s the the magic and the serendipity of it to me. It’s the stuff I love the most.

Sheila M  21:38  

Yeah, and I think that’s such a beautiful way to put it and, and what’s funny about what you’re saying is, you know it is so intuitive, and I know exactly what you’re talking about because it can be very difficult to put words to some of these senses, but it feels like you were saying you don’t know exactly what it’s supposed to look like, but you know it’s not supposed to look like what you’re seeing. And I think that’s so… it speaks so much to how it shows up a little differently for everyone, you know. So often for me, I can look at something or someone and know that there’s like a lack of something. I don’t have any… I’m not actually seeing something, you know, like I don’t… I’m not physically seeing something with my eyes. But like, I can see that something is there, or I can hear that something is there. And it’s so hard to explain because like it’s so personal to you and what you’re experiencing but like this is a good example from like my family, for example. So my youngest sister is like very, very good at math. And she also edits the transcripts for my podcast, so Hi, Mary Kate. But she is like, excellent math. And always has been just like very… just gets it. You know, and a lot of people think like, that’s not intuition, that’s just like being smart. But it’s not because it’s a very specific. You have a very specific eye for something. And she could just look at something and do it. So over Thanksgiving, we did a virtual Thanksgiving because my family’s kind of located different places. And one of my sisters is a nurse. And so we were all online, and she brought this game for us to play online, which was great, because we normally do like board games after Thanksgiving dinner. And in the game, there was one part where you have to like, memorize this…it was like these squares this little like pattern thing. And it was not small. It was probably like 30 different pieces or something. And you only had about 10 seconds to look at it and and figure it out. Now I was looking at that and like, because something like that does not come naturally to me, it’s not one of my gifts, I was terrible. I did not do well. But she literally I mean, we looked at this thing for 10 seconds. She got it 100% right. I was like, I cannot even imagine but that’s just like her thing. Like she looks at numbers and she sees something that I don’t or she looks at a pattern like that and sees something that I don’t and I think we say like, oh that’s just like smarts or something you know, or that’s just like being like highly intelligent but like there are people who are highly intelligent and communication like yourself and like people who are highly intelligent in like emotional understanding and emotional intelligence and there’s all these different ways that we have like that intuitive like push that’s just like yes, this thing or like I can see this thing. And I say all the time on this podcast, like inventors and scientists like you have to be so intuitive to do those things because especially with science, like it’s not a thing until it’s proven. Like the man who invented electromagnetic fields, like all of his peers thought he was out of his mind, they thought he was crazy. And now we use them for all kinds of things. They’re in MRIs and like all of these… like, we use that technology now, but at the time, it was just like this crazy idea. And it just takes somebody to see something…they’re like, I’m seeing a lack of something, I know that there’s something else to this, and I just haven’t quite figured it out yet. So I loved the way that you described that as like letting the trapeze go. And just like trusting. I think that’s so important too for any type of business, whether you have like, a corporate job, or a traditionally more like intuitive business, because I always say like, you have the exact same amount of control, whether you think you do or you don’t. So like at some point, you got to just kind of like, let it go and, and figure it out and trust that the training that you have and the experience that you have are really going to serve you and that you’ll know when you see it, which can be really hard. 

Angie Flynn McIver  26:03  

Yep. Yeah, I agree. I think as an entrepreneur, I mean, to zoom out a little bit. I think intuition has really served me well in a whole bunch of ways, in knowing, excuse me, where I wanted to spend my time, in having a sense of what I might be good at, like, what’s… how can I connect the dots of the things I already know to create something new. And then in terms of, you know, hiring people, as a director, and as a producer, you’re hiring people all the time, right, because we have a staff at the theater, but you have to staff every show separately. And in terms of intuition, I think the place I always listen to it is in hiring actors. If there is anything in me that says, I have a question about whether this person is really going to show up and do what we need, I can’t hire them. It’s just… it won’t work.

Sheila M  27:02  

Yeah. That’s so important. I know from years of experience. Like you really need everybody to be committed no matter how, you know, small or large their part is, because it’s such a community experience of putting on a show like you really need that. 

Angie Flynn McIver  27:22  

Yeah, Tina Fey has this great thing in her book, Bossy Pants, where she talks about working for Saturday Night Live. And she talks about her hiring philosophy, and it’s basically how am I going to feel if I run into this person in the hall at three in the morning on Thursday night, right, where they’ve, you know… and so you might be able to be great in the writers room, or you might you know, you may have a stellar resume, but if I don’t want to be in the trenches with you, then this isn’t going to work. And that really… I love that part of her book. I’m sorry, I’ve got a little cough.

Sheila M  27:55  

No, you’re good.

Angie Flynn McIver  27:59  

When I read that part of her book, it took me back to one of my first jobs out of college, I worked for the National Shakespeare Company and I ran their touring company in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. And it was, you know, a high school/junior high tour taking Shakespeare plays, you know, we would get in the, our little touring van at, you know, 5:30 in the morning to… anyways. It was awesome in lots of ways that I learned a lot, but it was good that I did it at the age I was at that time, not now. But that really did end up being one of my big criteria when I was casting was like, Am I gonna want to be in this van with you at six in the morning? Are you gonna…are you gonna pitch in and carry all the stuff? Are you gonna be on time? Are you gonna be pleasant? Are you gonna take the turn to drive the van? I mean, it was all of those things that, again, are really an intuitive… there’s only so much you can learn about somebody in a, you know, five minute audition. So a bunch of that is really honing that intuitive muscle and learning to trust that, that what’s on the piece of paper isn’t the whole person. 

Sheila M  29:09  

Yeah, oh my gosh, I know. And I think that is so, so important. And just going back to my days in corporate jobs, I saw that a lot because I you know, I always have a sense of people and I would see somebody coming in for an interview and I would be like, Oh, this is not gonna be good. I mean, I still remember one time at one of my corporate jobs, they had interviewed somebody and when I met him, I was like, Huh. I was like, he’s not gonna… I was like, he’s never gonna start. And they offered him the job and they were like rushing everything along so that he could get started and ordering the equipment and getting everything set out and everything set up. And sure enough the day he was supposed to start he emailed and was like, he accepted another job somewhere else. And my boss was like, how did you know and I was ike, I don’t know, I just, I knew. Like, I looked at him and I was like, nope, this is not the right fit. Like, I just I knew it. But it wasn’t… he was wonderful. I mean, anybody coming in for an interview is usually on their best behavior. You know, it wasn’t anything he did it. I just could tell.

Angie Flynn McIver  30:16  

Yeah, and I wonder, I mean, it’d be interesting to me, from a, obviously from a detective of human behavior standpoint, that I wonder if there were things that you picked up on, whether it was a… I don’t know, I just wonder, like a turn of phrase or something, something tipped you off, and something ignited that intuition in you and I’ve been in that situation so many times. There was an actor several years ago, several, many years ago that auditioned for me. And he asked me one question that was fairly innocuous, and I thought, Well, I’m not going to work with you. And then a couple years later, a different director at our theater hired him for something. And I called him and said, in my, you know, job as a producer, I said, Are you sure you want to use this person? I don’t get a great vibe. Like, I’m not sure he’s a team player. I’m not sure he is a great fit. And he’s like, no, no, he’s gonna be fine. And we went to the same grad program and I’m like, ok. If that’s all that it takes. And then sure enough, I mean, you know, where the story is going. He was a nightmare. He tried to kind of insurrect a mutiny in the cast. He was a, just generally unpleasant, just like an unpleasant person. I mean, I still haven’t, I haven’t quite gotten over it if you can’t tell. But anyway, I just… anytime I have ignored that thing, or tried to talk myself into hiring a person after I’ve had that feeling, I have regretted it every single time.

Sheila M  31:54  

And you’re already on top of it. Because I was like, that was gonna be my next question is like, have you had times where you have ignored it or where you just kind of like, let something go. And I know, it’s complicated, too, especially when you’re managing a team because if you’re not in charge of that part of the decision, you can’t be like, No, I don’t want this person in here. Like, you’re in charge of kind of a different part of the collective thing. But like, you can’t really throw your weight around that much. So yeah, I mean, are there any other times where you’ve really like been like, you know, I knew better, Like, why did I do this to myself? 

Angie Flynn McIver  32:29  

Oh, so many. I mean, as you’re asking the question there, all… the Rogues Gallery is flooding into my head of the people who are like ugh… why you know that… but you know, those are all good experiences. I mean one that I’m thinking of is an actor who had a great first audition. And then when I brought him back in for a callback, basically did the exact same… did it the exact same way and didn’t… wasn’t really great at taking adjustments, didn’t really change what he was doing, based on what I was asking him to do, or what he was getting from the other person in the callback. And I had this trepidation. I was like, he seems like… but he looked the part, like he just looked, and then I was also a little lazy. I was like, I mean, surely I can get him to be good enough, and he’ll be fine and I don’t really want to audition any more people. I really want to move on. Auditioning is not my favorite part of the process. And then he was just not… he would never change from that first audition. I mean, that was… he was incapable of doing, he’s a perfectly nice person, but he was incapable of growing past those first instincts that he had. And yeah, I mean, there are way worse examples of this. Like, there was one guy we hired, who works in theater, who not only did I not have a good vibe about, but a good friend of ours flat out said, like, I’m not sure why you keep this guy around. And I ignored it. And then he ended up being like, basically trying to start another theater while he worked for us.

Sheila M  34:09  

Oh my god.

Angie Flynn McIver  34:10  

Yeah. You and I have talked before about instances of betrayal and I just… I am a really trusting person. So I want… it takes a lot for me to be like, Oh my goodness, you don’t deserve my trust. You know, it takes me a while to get there, you know, but once I have I do learn the lesson.

Sheila M  34:37  

Hey there, I wanted to let you know that I’m currently accepting bookings for my career ahead tarot readings. These readings are designed to help you see the energy of the year ahead, to close out anything that’s been holding you back in the present year, and help you expand into your highest level in your career or business. Each reading happens to go through the year, month by month, talk about what you’ll be dealing with and how to best approach any challenges or hiccups that might come up in the year ahead. I have very limited bookings around the holidays. And I’m starting to get booked up into the new year as well. So if you are interested, please head on over to the show notes for this episode, or check out my website at And if you’re more of a do it yourself kind of person, I’ve also created a DIY year ahead Tarot guide that will lead you through a very similar spread to what I do with my clients, and help you to define what you really want out of this year, and see any challenges and how to approach them through the year. It is an entirely personal reading. It is a very accessible price point. And you can use it over and over. So it’s not specific to next year. And it’s not even specific to this time of year. You can use it for your relationship around your anniversary, you can use it on your business anniversary, or your birthday, the options are really endless. So if you are interested in purchasing your own DIY year ahead guide, you can do that by heading over to the show notes today.

Yeah, yeah. And I think it’s hard too because for so many people they can recognize it once it’s gone wrong. You know, it’s more like trusting it, like before it gets to that point that I think is something that I think both comes with, like wisdom of age and experience. And also, you know, it depends, I think how that relationship was with intuition and with like, your own sense of agency was cultivated, like through your life. So what was it like growing up in terms of like, your upbringing, and like, were you taught to kind of think for yourself or was there kind of like one way of being? You know, like, what really helped you cultivate some of those skills?

Angie Flynn McIver  37:15  

Hmm, I don’t know that I’ve ever thought about this before.

Sheila M  37:17  

I know, it’s kind of a complicated question. Just explain your entire childhood in one short, succinct answer.

Angie Flynn McIver  37:26  

I’m going to actually try to back into this answer from a specific story. So this was probably my early 20s. And I went to see a reflexologist, who was also a psychic, who my parents had been seeing, and they were like, you should go see, whatever her name was, Linda. And she was working on me. And she said, Oh, I’m getting this really strong image. And she said she was gonna describe it to me. And she said, it’s like you have…she said, it’s like, I’m looking at your feet, and you’re wearing two shoes and one of them is a big like a clown shoe and the other one is like a pump, like a high heel. And she knew both of my parents. My father is a musician. My mother is a banker. And she said, it’s like, you’re a perfect blend of your parents, you’ve got the entertainer, that’s the clown shoe, right, and then you’ve also got this business head, o foot in this case. And what was interesting about it was at that time in my life, I thought I was 100% theatre all the time. This was going to be my calling forever. And so I really rejected that business part of it. But what has ended up happening as I have, to your point gotten older and hopefully have attained at least some wisdom and experience, is that I’ve really started to value that balance. So when you ask about my childhood, that’s what really comes up for me is that I was certainly allowed to follow my own path and encouraged to think for myself in most ways. I mean, I think every…. probably most families have unspoken  and spoken guidelines and rules, and this is going to be this way and this is not going to be that way and I had some of that, for sure. But the fact that my parents had kind of non traditional careers in the sense that my father was self-employed and a musician and, you know, worked kind of weird hours. And my mom was the you know, big career banker, set things up, interestingly, for my sister and me to think past a certain structure that other people might take for granted.

Sheila M  40:11  

Yeah, yeah, that makes a lot of sense to me. And like such an interesting experience to have when you’re so young, first of all, but I also think, really cool that your parents kind of left that open ended and let you decide for yourself. I think one of the ways and a lot of the stuff that we’ve talked about, and I feel like why we both have such an appreciation for each other’s work is because I feel like you’ve taken this thing that’s kind of, you know, with the theater, and with that experience, and speaking and really like, communicating a message with like heart and like, dynamic, you know, presence is really, really cool. But you’ve taken that, and you’ve put it into such like a… you know, this kind of creative, wild thing and put it into like a pragmatic, understandable, like usable in so many areas of life, but even in like the corporate world, where people can kind of like brush, you know, kind of brush things off a little bit and be like, Oh, that’s silly, what’s communication anyway, you know. And I think, you know, it’s so much like, what I’ve tried to do with Tarot is like, really bring it into everyday life and talk about like, how does this show up? How do you access this practice on a regular basis? And how do you take it from just being this like, cool, spiritual thing that you do to like a practical tool for your life? And I feel like so much about what you’re doing is doing that same thing. Like, how do you take all these skills that are kind of like, yeah, this is cool and fun, but also, it’s extremely practical, and even down to stuff like you were talking about with your husband, like having good communication in your relationship… oh, my God. If there’s ever been a year to have good communication in your relationship, I mean, I know I am feeling it, I know a lot of people are feeling it. Like, I feel like this year, we’ve gotten a crash course in communicating with each other effectively. And we both like my partner, and I… he hates when I call him my partner. He’s my boyfriend, but I think he’s too old to be called a boyfriend. So I call him my partner. And we’ve had so many conversations this year, because we’re very different… very, very, like almost like opposite communication styles. And so I can be very, like, open and like too much. And he can be very, like withholding and like afraid to share. So it’s been like a huge learning curve to be more effective in communicating with each other. And really being forced to be around each other this much. I’m like, you know, we’ve been together for five and a half years now, but so we know each other very well, but we’ve never spent this much time together. And I know that that’s true for so many people. I feel like I’ve been having like very similar conversations with so many people. But I do think that that’s really important to talk about, too, because it’s beyond just your work and your career. And, you know, even just like making presentations that are for entertainment, or shows that are for entertainment, is how are you going to effectively communicate the message that is driving you to want to speak about this thing in a way that is effective, and will be understood by the person that you’re communicating it to.

Angie Flynn McIver  43:40  

Yeah, absolutely. That’s the and I love what you’re saying about what…. we’ve all gotten a crash course, right, in how do we… you know, part of what comes up for me, as you say, that is like, one of the tools that I find most helpful for me when I am trying to figure out how to talk to the people I’m closest to is what’s my internal monologue. What am I saying to myself, especially with those conversations that are harder, you know, when you you have challenging conversations, or conversations, maybe that are more difficult to have, when you…. and not everybody does this, but I think a lot of people, even if they don’t mean to, rehearse it ahead of time, you know, they think through, oh, I’m gonna say this, and then they’re gonna say that. And then often what happens when we do that is that we catastrophize and we make it a worst case scenario. And in some ways that becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. What we… you know, we really create these neural patterns, when we think through it’s like, it’s visualization, but it’s visualization not in a positive and productive way. It’s visualizing the worst possible outcome. So when we can tap into that inner monologue and think, okay, if I say this this way, what might happen? What outcome do I want to happen? How do I want them to feel when this conversation is over? And that to me, I would say particularly as a spouse, but even more as a boss and as a parent. Those are huge for me. And in looking at this kind of outcome driven communication, it’s not so much about what do I need to say or how do I need to get this across to you? Right? It’s about, do I want you to feel at the end, like we’re on the same side, do I want you to feel like we’re on the same team or that I’m your ally. And if that’s the case, that changes everything about my face, and my voice and the words that I use and the way that I come in the room. And it has been, at least for me, this idea has been really transformative.

Sheila M  46:05  

Yeah. And I think that’s so important, too, because I think we can get so locked into, this is just what I’m trying to say, I’m trying to get this thing across, and not really like touch base, and not even really, totally understand for ourselves why that’s important. Like, why am I feeling this way and why does it feel so important that this person understands what I’m trying to say right now? Like, what’s behind that, because I found so often, when we have a miscommunication in our relationship, as soon as I explain, like, where that is coming from, or like why I was feeling the sense of like, urgency or desperation isn’t the right word, but like this sense of, like, really wanting it to be communicated the right way, is like… it totally, like deregulates, any kind of like argument or anything that was like escalating. It completely calms everything down. And it has such an ability to, I think, like, humanize the conversation for the other person. And like, anybody who was feeling really like emotionally, like, turned up is like, Whoa, Okay, wait a second, like, now we’re just kind of talking about what’s going on. And it’s had a huge effect on our ability to effectively communicate with each other about, especially things that are kind of emotionally charged, you know. 

Angie Flynn McIver  47:27  

Yeah, yeah. I think that’s… I think that’s the key part of what you’re saying is that, if you set up a way to talk to whomever it is, where you can cut through to, here’s what’s really going on with me, here’s what I’m really after, or here’s my fear, and it may be showing up in this funky way. And if we think about what I’m really trying to do is enlist your help, or what I’m really trying to do is show you that I’m here for you, or if I’m really trying to do is, whatever… get you to pass me the salt, like whatever it is. There is…it’s like we can cut through all of the crap to get to what’s really going on and isn’t that a huge relief?

Sheila M  48:17  

Yeah, I love the way you said that too. Because I think it’s in so many different relationships. And it’s really the heart of our connection with each other, and why some relationships feel close, and some don’t feel close, you know, and I think it’s something kind of unconscious for a lot of us, you know, not for you, because it’s what you do, and not for me, because I literally studied it for four years in school. But I do think, you know, for a lot of people, it’s very like, unconscious, the way that they’re talking about things. And I remember at my…it’s so funny, I don’t know why this is popping into my head right now, but at my last job before I left the corporate world, for four years in a row, I was trying to have a conversation with my boss about the fact that I felt that the work that I was doing was deserving of a significant raise. And I basically, I was like, okay, like, this is my expertise is like communicating a point effectively, like, I should be very good at this. And it’s literally what I did, like, for my team. It was part of my job, you know what I mean? Like, I know that I was good at it, because that’s what I was hired for. And so, you know, the first time I tried like my own way. The second time I tried another experts way. The third time I tried another experts way and the fourth time, I tried another experts way and I was like, okay, I’ve tried four different people’s way of doing this now. Three people, who know more than I do, one person who’s myself and in this situation, and I know that I’ve effectively communicated it, but no matter how I’ve gone about it, it hasn’t been heard. And that was honestly like, a huge part of what led me to leave that job. And I didn’t necessarily… it’s funny because, like, I left, and I think I trust my intuition. So I think I kind of knew that I was leaving to just do my own thing. But I was also just kind of leaving, because I felt like that had come to a close, like, I was like, This is no longer a relationship that that we can effectively communicate in. And we had this conversation really shortly before I gave notice where a lot of changes had been made. And the structure and the team, a lot of… basically, like a lot of attrition, and a lot of people have been cut, and I was seeing a significant influx in mistakes that were like silly mistakes, so not things that I was seeing a lot before that. And so we were having a conversation, this was way back before COVID, so we were in person. And she asked me, if I, like what I had noticed or if I had noticed anything significant. And I basically said that, you know, in a nice and professional way, but I said, you know, having less staff has had a huge impact and I’ve seen it on a daily basis and when I talk about it, it sounds like just like one or two little things here and there, but it’s happening, you know, three times as much as it was happening before and they’re not like… it’s not misunderstandings or stuff that’s related to just people having new territory to cover. Its people feel like… I can tell from looking at it, that it’s people rushing through stuff or feeling like overwhelmed by something. And I was like, you know, this is just what I’m noticing. And then she basically just disagreed with me. I was like you just asked for like, you just asked for my, like, professional expert opinion on this thing, that is the process that I invented, that’s used by the whole company, like, I am the expert, like I have my 10,000 hours in this thing, you know, like, truly. And I was like, okay, like, it’s just time now, you know. And I think that people, you know, whether you’re a supervisor, or whether you’re talking about family, like there’s so many ways that you need to be aware of both what you’re communicating, and also what people are communicating with you. Because I think that that’s important too. Like you were talking about actors who can take direction and those who can’t, you know. If you can’t take direction, you may as well not bother, in my opinion. You know, that’s a huge part of acting is being able to take direction, because your vision for the role isn’t always what works cohesively with the rest of the show.

Angie Flynn McIver  52:53  

Mm hmm. Yeah, no, that’s exactly right. And I think it’s so funny the story that you were just telling about… it is so frustrating even to hear you talk about that, but what was coming up for me was there’s… we can think about this, you know, 100 hours, and we can, you know, practice and practice and practice, but at the end of the day, we are only responsible for what we put out in the world and we can’t control what other people can hear. But to your point, also finding a way and I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, in terms of how to choose a moment when somebody can hear you. And I’m not… it doesn’t sound to me like there was ever a moment where this person could have could have heard you or could have been receptive to that message that there were too many other variables going on, there’s too much else going on, but I was thinking about how sometimes, and I hate to pick on my husband again, but I’m going to because he’s the only person I see anymore, in myy house.

Sheila M  53:58  

All of our examples are personal. Yeah.

Angie Flynn McIver  54:00  

I know. I know. But sometimes when I’m saying something to him, it’s like, the phrase that comes up for me is like, your head is full of bees. Like you can’t hear me. Like there’s no… this is not the right time. And it’s not… this is not a punishing thing. I’m not… you know, I’ve chosen a bad moment. You’re doing something else. You’re preoccupied. You are on your way out the door, like you can’t…you could even like stop what you’re doing and listen, but it won’t take any purchase. Right? I won’t gain anything here. So finding that moment, I think is such a big deal. Now that doesn’t, you know, actors who don’t take direction, they should just take direction. That’s a whole different ball of wax. 

Sheila M  54:44  

Yeah, no, it’s so true though. And you’re right, because I think that’s also something that is not traditionally talked about but is important. Like you can tell it like you’re saying head full of bees. You can tell if that person isn’t listening to you and my partner is a reporter and so sometimes I would say he’s still like… I can see the look on his face and he’s not trying to ignore me like you’re saying, like, he can look at me, and it looks like he’s paying attention, but I can see that like, fog of him still figuring out, like the last thing are still trying to put some sort of like, puzzle together in his brain of something. And I’m like, Okay, I’ll just talk about this later. And like you said, it’s not to be like, okay, you’re ignoring me, you know. It’s nice to be like dismissive. But that is part of communication is picking a time when that person can hear you. And if they’re super stressed, or they’re focused on something else, the message is not getting across, either. And that could have nothing to do with how you’re communicating it other than just it’s not the right time. So I’m glad you said that, too. Yeah.

Angie Flynn McIver  55:50  

Yeah. The other thing I was thinking about, as you were telling that story is a client who I worked with recently, who, similarly, she wasn’t asking for a raise, but she was trying to get resources redeployed more to her team, than to some other areas of her department, and she just could not get anywhere with her boss. And this was while I was actively coaching her, and so we were talking a lot about, and she’s a very, you know, she’s a team player, and she really, you know, she’s gonna make sure that the work gets done. And I was like, Okay, well, so part of what’s happening here is that she, being the boss, doesn’t feel like she’s between a rock and a hard place. she feels like she’s between a rock and a soft place. And you have to toughen up in the way that you communicate this need, in order for her to understand that she has to make a change. And that’s a really… it is a really technical… I mean, talking about taking things and making it super practical, so it’s about using words like I need, instead of, I think we might, right. It’s about saying, I can do this and I’m happy to help in this way, I can’t do this. It’s about shorter sentences. It’s about how you land your voice. It’s about, you know, a whole plethora of things, but, you know, communication is signaling. So part of this is about signaling I can’t continue with these resources, your job is to get this problem fixed, not to push it back down to me. And again, we only have control over what we have, right, but part of what we can control is, I have to make sure I’m turning up the dial on this need that I have in a way that this person can hear it, in a way that this person can escalate it, or can at least evaluate how important it is.

Sheila M  57:57  

Exactly, exactly. Yeah. You’re totally right. And yeah, I think that’s like one of the not so obvious things about communication, for sure. And so I do want to talk a little bit more about what you’re working on, but before I do, I want to talk about what I think it’s multiple cards that I really see you embodying in the Tarot, because I think with your work, it’s pretty interesting. So first of all, the first card that came up for me was the chariot. And I love this card for you because I feel like so much of what you do is teach people about how to, like, package this thing that they’re trying to get across, or how to, it’s kind of like the vehicle or the vessel that all of this really important stuff goes into it. So like you were talking about with your client, like recognizing the emotional experience of it, recognizing what’s going on behind the scenes. Oh, I don’t know if I want this promotion, so if I do well in this thing. You know, and some of the ways that people can self sabotage, and taking all of that and helping people kind of like push it out there and deliver it in a way that, you know, moves them towards where they really ultimately want to be because the chariot is very much about like, what avenue can I take to like get towards what I want and how can I show what’s kind of underneath this, like hard outer shells, like how can I bring forth all of the stuff that is behind that but in a way that is very concise and like communicated clearly and able to, like efficiently get me to the next place or get this point across which I think is really cool. And then I also think that one of the things… one of the cards that I see showing up for you as well is the page of swords, and I love the pages and with the pages swords, it’s funny because you know, swords are really about communication and like that air quality and also what’s going on in our mind that is needing to kind of come forth. And with the page of swords especially, it’s about approaching those ideas with like a curiosity and kind of nailing, like drilling down and asking those questions and going like a layer deeper and a layer deeper and a layer deeper and trying to uncover what is really trying to come out or what, you know, what really wants to be presented in the moment without a lot of judgment. And I feel like so much of your coaching work is really about doing that, and really drawing those things out of people. And so yeah, how does that strike you?

Angie Flynn McIver  1:00:51  

I love both of those. That is like, spot on. And I it’s funny when you talk about the chariot as being the vehicle or the vessel, because one thing that we’ve been talking about a lot since all communication has moved virtual, is that when we’re having a workshop or an event, or a meeting even, it needs a container. Like we used to have a container when we would go into a room and have our meeting or our workshop or event in a room, but now we don’t have a container. And so that that means a lot of things. And so figuring out like as you said the packaging, you know. How do we get from point A to point B? And, yeah, I really love that. Those are both great. 

Sheila M  1:01:36  

Yeah, yeah. I love it. I love it. So tell us like how we can work with you now? And people are listening to this and they’re like, Oh, my God, I really need… I really need help, you know, how can they work with you? And what do you have going on now?

Angie Flynn McIver  1:01:51  

Yeah, thank you, my company can be found at – that stands for coaching, speaking presenting We have individual clients. I have about nine coaches who work with me and they all take individual clients. Obviously, that’s all done virtually right now, but in the hopefully in the after times, we will travel again. We work with, as you said big companies. We do workshops, particularly with things like leadership development initiatives, where maybe some people who are getting ready for the next level at their companies are being trained in public speaking and presentation skills. We do a lot of that kind of work. But our big thing right now, our big focus that we’re very excited about is these small group cohorts that we call catalysts, that are coaching groups that meet for about five weeks, and you get one on one coaching and you get to meet your cohort and work with your cohort of peers. And then you get really robust coaching support from the Ignite CSP staff. And the one that we’re rolling out in January, and then again in March, is the public speaking catalyst specifically, and we’re dealing with a lot of virtual quote unquote, public speaking right now and how that looks different and how we have to show up differently in these virtual platforms.

Sheila M  1:03:24  

I love that so much. And what’s so funny about you explaining this too, and I know about what you do ahead of time, but I’m like, Oh, my gosh, this program is literally like the chariot too like, I think that’s so funny, because it’s like a little package that’s taking you from like, start to finish. Like, that’s so funny. I was like, sitting, I was like, Oh, my Gosh, that’s so crazy. And I love that you do it like that, too. And like you said, I think there’s really something to be said about the transition to virtual and how difficult it has been to people because anybody who has a theatre background knows how much you play off of your audience, whether that audience is an actual audience for a play, or whether it’s a team for your meeting. And it is just not the same online. And I know even just from teaching yoga and switching to teaching yoga online, it’s a huge transition. And you’re not getting the energy in the room anymore. I didn’t realize until we transitioned to teaching online how much I was reading the room when I walked like through the classroom and looked at people because I don’t teach from like my mat, I kind of move around the room and you know, maybe adjust people, maybe not I don’t really do a lot of hands on stuff because I don’t think that’s appropriate, but I really… I took it for granted, I think before going online. So I know there are so many people who could benefit from that right now. That’s awesome. 

Angie Flynn McIver  1:04:53  

Yeah. We worked with a bunch of teachers too, to that point. We did some work with teachers over the summer and that was a huge eye opener for me really of exactly that. You know, if a fourth grade teacher who usually, you know, walks around the tables can’t do that, you know, what are they doing instead? So that’s something that we’ve been doing a lot of work on. 

Sheila M  1:05:14  

Yeah, yeah, it’s hard to tell who’s falling behind. It’s hard to tell who’s keeping up. It’s hard to tell, like, if there’s a struggle, if somebody is really emotional, if you need to kind of like pull back a little bit. And I’m sure that’s true for all different types of teaching and like any type of speaking at all. It’s really hard to know how engaged people are online. So I think that’s super valuable. So I will put everything in the show notes so that people can get in touch with you and find you and get involved in those programs. But thank you so much for taking the time to be here today.

Angie Flynn McIver  1:05:44  

Thank you. I’m thrilled to have been here. This was wonderful. 

Sheila M  1:05:47  

Yeah, this is so great. So I will talk to you soon. 

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