Episode 81: How Couples Grow Together Into “First Love” With Tom Habib [The Amiel Show]

This episode is for people in relatively healthy relationships who are wondering: what else is possible for us?

Couples go through stages of growth. Over the past several decades, a new stage has broadly emerged that was barely visible before. Its features include:

  • Balance between giving and receiving
  • Successful patterns for managing tasks, sharing responsibilities, and practicing reciprocity
  • A shared narrative about the relationship
  • Reflection and introspection
  • Reasonable capacity to regulate nervous systems before and during conflict

Sounds pretty good, huh?

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It is. If your relationship looks like this, it means you’ve grown more as a couple than most couples alive today and 99.99% of couples in human history.

Millions of people are buying books and attending workshops to achieve what you experience.

This week’s guest, Tom Habib, calls this the “Relational Stage.”

It’s quite healthy.

However, once you’ve spent substantial time here, you realize that some important stuff is missing:

  • Your partner doesn’t fully appreciate what you do or who you are. When you’re honest with yourself, you realize that the inverse is true.
  • You miss the intensity and frequency of romance in your relationship’s past, and this distracts you from the love and person in front of you
  • On some level, you fear you have chosen the wrong partner. Otherwise, why aren’t things as great as they used to be?

This is an amazing opportunity: to grow, as a couple, into the next stage of relationship, which Dr. Habib calls “First Love.” It is the first time you are both present with each other to actually love the other person in their entirety. Rather than being distracted by the mirage of an ideal partner, you feel gratitude for the person you are with today.

In our conversation, Dr. Habib briefly walks through the five stages in his integral Couples Line of Development. Then we focus like a laser beam on the transition from the Relational stage to First Love.

Are you up for the challenge?

Highlights

  • 5:00 When Tom viewed marriage as a “bourgeois conspiracy by the Church”
  • 11:00 The five stages of the couples line
  • 13:00 Pre-trans fallacy
  • 26:30 What if you treated your partner like a great neighbor?
  • 39:00 A practice to do at home with your partner
  • 51:00 Most couples in therapy are trying to get to the Relational stage
  • 53:00 “Pixie dust” helps you wake up and grow up
  • 1:05:30 How your kids are affected
  • 1:08:30 Thanksgiving with your parents when you’re at First Love

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Episode 80: White Nationalism And Male Identity with Elizabeth Debold [The Amiel Show]

A year ago Sunday, white nationalists marched on Charlottesville, Virginia carrying torches and chanting “blood and soil” and “Jews will not replace us.” It was not a pretty sight. Most people I know found it abhorrent. The author Ta-Nehisi Coates did, too, but he wasn’t surprised. In an earlier episode Diane Woods explained why.

The media, for the most part, has highlighted the ethnocentric dimensions of this tale: racial grievance, hatred, and the specious theories underlying them.

Yet an important element has remained beneath the surface: gender. White nationalism is also a story of a certain group of men coming to terms with a world they find unfamiliar and threatening, one where women have economic power, men have lost their traditional identities, and the worlds of work, dating, and marriage have turned upside down. Many of us would call these advances of modernity and postmodernity. White nationalists see them as epic disasters.

This week, Elizabeth Debold, a developmental psychologist and gender futurist, explains why.

It’s a story of some human minds growing into greater degrees of complexity and others’ growth halting at age 12. It’s a story of wage labor, two-income households, and the demands of being a “super mom” and, increasingly, a “super dad.” It’s also a story of men confused about what is expected of them and frustrated that society often criticizes them for doing their “jobs” of working long hours and bringing home the bacon.

Debold also reframes the debate about so-called “social justice warriors” on college campuses. Everyone from Fox News to white nationalists to Jordan Peterson cite this group as the epitome of postmodern excess. Debold says: not so fast. The ideas may be postmodern, but the minds unpacking them are operating from a much earlier stage of development.

We live in a complex age, and it takes wisdom and a multi perspectival approach to even begin to understand it. Debold brings both and more.

In some ways, this interview represents a bridge in this podcast. As my interest turns toward global challenges and the health of our politics, Debold helps connect these concerns with my longstanding series on women in leadership, the newly launched series on the American experience of race, and the ever-present influence of constructivist developmental theory.

Highlights

  • 5:00 White nationalists, incels, and the loss of traditional male identity
  • 12:00 Richard Spencer is developmentally a teenager
  • 25:00 The flaw in pluralists’ views of white nationalists
  • 31:30 The wild card: when goodness appears
  • 48:00 The modern convention of dividing work and home life
  • 59:00 Teaching sophisticated postmodern ideas to 19-year-olds with less complex minds
  • 1:10:00 Step on my head, and I’ll step on yours back!

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Episode 79: Integral Mashup On Managing Promises [The Amiel Show]

Introducing… the first integral mashup on managing promises.

I’ve pulled short audio clips from five past interviews and added my own commentary—all on the topic of how we get things done in life through conversation.

This is my favorite topic in leadership development, particularly when meshed with other valuable frames, like the idea that we are all in over our heads in complexity, so why not grow a little bit?

Joining us on this journey are Bob Dunham, Lisa Marshall, Chris Chittenden, Elizabeth Doty, and Susanne Cook-Greuter.

All together in one place for the first time…sort of!

This episode is an experiment. It was both fun and challenging to unpack different guests’ ideas and then place them in a slightly larger context. This stretched my brain!

I’d love your help. Please shoot me a 1-2 line email and let me know what you think.

  • What worked for you?
  • What was missing?
  • Any topics you suggest for future Integral Mashups? Looking at the podcast archives gives me ideas…

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Episode 78: Rising Path With Ruben Rodriguez [The Amiel Show]

This week’s guest, Ruben Rodriguez, is one of the most brilliant designers of learning experiences for leaders.

He’s also an old friend and trusted colleague.

Ruben is super funny. Yet he claims that I once advised him to tone down his humor.

Ruben is also smart and accomplished. But he’s so humble that I bought a special air pump to inflate his ego.

And although he doesn’t write books, he invents much better book titles than yours truly.

For these reasons and more, I hope you enjoy listening.

Highlights

  • 9:15 From apples to Apple
  • 19:00 I get to the essence of things
  • 35:30 Heart conversation: why are you here?
  • 42:45 Head conversation: what do you really think?
  • 49:00 Body conversation: what will do you and when?
  • 58:45 Growth conversation: what’s your next challenge?

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Episode 77: Presence-Based Leadership With Doug Silsbee, Part 2 [The Amiel Show]

Doug Silsbee

This is part two of my interview with Doug Silsbee about his important new book: Presence-Based Leadership: Complexity Practices for Clarity, Resilience, and Results That Matter. Part one is here.

In this portion of the interview, Doug walks us through the core of his book: the nine window panes through which you can view leadership. It is a complex model and therefore eminently practical, because it matches the complexity in which we live.

It is also a serious and illuminating synthesis, one that invites all of us into a rich experience of what is right there before us.

Please take your time over the next sixty seconds to start listening—and then share with your peeps.

Highlights

  • 6:30 We are highly trained to look outside us, but not within us
  • 9:00 The meaning and limitation of legacy
  • 14:00 What identity am I unconsciously seeking to perpetuate
  • 20:00 Doug guides you to draw the nine panes (not while driving, of course!)
  • 24:00 A business example that brings it alive
  • 37:00 Regulating your inner state
  • 42:00 Embodying what matters to us

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Episode 76: Presence-Based Leadership With Doug Silsbee, Part 1 [The Amiel Show]

Doug Silsbee

Doug Silsbee joins me this week to discuss his remarkable new book: Presence-Based Leadership: Complexity Practices for Clarity, Resilience, and Results That Matter.

The book, like Doug himself, is a grounding presence, a heart-felt invitation, and a wise synthesis. He meets you where you are—offering practical insights and clever experiments to try—and calls you to sink a bit deeper into the place from which your life-force arises.

I was honored to speak with Doug. Within the first few minutes of the interview, you will learn why.

This is the first of two interviews with Doug. The next will appear a week from today.

Please listen and share widely.

Highlights

  • 9:00 Art is creating what you don’t yet know
  • 21:30 Today’s practicalities and why we are here both matter
  • 29:00 It is audacious to be an offer in the world
  • 31:00 What shapes our identity
  • 36:00 In meetings, everyone lives in their own bell jar
  • 39:00 Three levels of scale: context, identity, and soma
  • 44:00 Three meta-competencies: sensing, being, and acting

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