Episode 53: Talking To Irrational People With Dr. Mark Goulston [The Amiel Show]

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“Mark’s clarity is uncommonly illuminating, sometimes painful, but always helpful.”

That’s what the late leadership thinker Warren Bennis said about this week’s guest on the podcast, Dr. Mark Goulston.

The word that comes to my mind in describing Dr. G is chutzpah, a Yiddish terms for audacity or fearlessness.

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Now, here’s the thing about chutzpah: it’s an amoral concept. You can use it for good or for ill.

Dr. G uses it for good. After two decades as a crisis psychiatrist, he now advises leaders on how to get through to people, trains police and FBI hostage negotiators, co-hosts (as “Whitey Locks”) an all-Black radio show, is the Resident Big Brother at Business Women Rising, and was the subject of a PBS special, “Just Listen with Dr. Mark Goulston.”

This is a man you want on your side.

Think of Dr. G as the Harry Houdini of relationships. Houdini specialized in sensational escapes from insanely challenging physical situations. Dr. G can help you escape from insanely challenging emotional and political situations.

And, even better than Houdini, he can help you avoid many tricky situations to begin with.

Join me as we have a rich conversation about his latest book, Talking to Crazy: How to Deal with the Irrational and Impossible People in Your Life.

Highlights

  • 10:00 Mammals get stress ulcers. Reptiles don’t.
  • 13:30 Identifying people who suck the energy out of you
  • 18:00 Dr. G “listens into” Amiel
  • 23:00 Bullies and Dr. G’s tense encounter with F. Lee Bailey during the O.J. Simpson trial
  • 33:30 Warren Bennis on being a “first class noticer”
  • 41:00 Important, critical, urgent
  • 43:30 Handling “toxic deflectors”
  • 49:30 Putting irrational people in charge–the road rage incident
  • 52:30 Getting out of impasses: tips for Feel-Do and Think-Do people

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Never expect people who suck the energy out of you to not do that

–Dr. Mark Goulston  Tweet this quote

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Episode 51: The Manly Apology, A Jedi Leadership Trick [The Amiel Show]

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Women apologize too often. Men apologize too little. Not just at home, but in the workplace. Maybe even more so in the workplace.

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In this episode, I challenge men to give more apologies, to do it in a real way, and to stop making lame excuses for not apologizing. I also weave in clips from my interview last year with Robert Augustus Masters, author of To Be A Man: A Guide to True Masculine Power. Robert spoke movingly and compassionately about the power of apologies, and how apologizing requires power. I riff off of his comments.

This is a Jedi Leadership Trick, so you’ll also get the Five Steps to a Manly Apology.

This episode is 15 minutes long.

Highlights

  • 5:30  Five lame excuses for not apologizing
  • 10:20 Five steps to a manly apology: Get Clear, Get Still, Get In Touch, Get Real, Get It Done

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“I’m sorry if this made you angry” is not an apology. It’s the opposite of an apology.

–Amiel Handelsman  Tweet this quote

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Episode 48: Ba Luvmour On Parenting Teens [The Amiel Show]

Ba Luvmour

Parents of teenagers, this episode is for you.

Ba Luvmour, pioneering educator and Headmaster of Summa Academy in Portland, is back.

A year ago, Ba and I talked about the unique challenges of parenting kids between 8 and 12 years of age.

This week, he describes how around age 13, the rug gets pulled out from under kids. Everything they understood to be true about themselves and the world suddenly changes. The new way that they make meaning of their experience is utterly foreign to them–and their families.

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You probably already understand this.

But do you know how to adapt your parenting to this new stage of development–and the dislocating transition that precedes it? What big mistakes might you be making by not doing so?

If you don’t have good answers to these questions, join the club. Nobody teachers this stuff. If our son wasn’t a student at Ba’s school–and if we hadn’t gone through an intensive parenting curriculum there–we we would be clueless.

For example, are you aware of the ways that you may be pushing your teen away under the false assumption that they want to be left alone? And do you realize that by shifting your approach–like engaging them in inquiry when your instinct is to judge–you can create more loyalty to you?

Yes, I said loyalty.

Ba guides us through these questions with a wise and loving hand. And he is the real deal–street smart in the best sense of the phrase. I know this because our older son has spent three years at the school he cofounded and has been nurtured daily by the teachers that Ba trained.

Enjoy and share widely.

Highlights

  • 5:00 Nature rips the rug out from teens
  • 9:00 The giant mistake parents make with teens
  • 12:00 Playing with identity – sports, zombie movies, academics
  • 14:00 “My child is in my face or in my lap” and taking it personally
  • 19:00 When Ba’s daughter dyed her hair
  • 22:30 Buddies vs friends vs peers
  • 26:00 Helping kids through loss of friendships
  • 35:00 If we didn’t get it, it’s hard to give it
  • 36:15 Boys versus girls
  • 39:45 Teen romance and sexuality
  • 47:45 Alcohol and other drugs
  • 49:30 “Going to the edge” through rites of passage
  • 54:30 When teen identities are no longer sufficient

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“Your teenager isn’t rejecting you. She’s rejecting the former way of relating.”

–Ba Luvmour    Tweet this quote

 

“See through the child’s eyes. Feel through the child’s heart.”

–Ba Luvmour  Tweet this quote

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  • Body Being 0-7 years
  • Feeling Being 8-12 years **focus of this interview
  • Ideal Being 13-18 years
  • Reasonable Being 18-23 years

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Episode 47: Alan Sieler On The 6 Moods Leaders Create [The Amiel Show]

Powerful leaders know how to shift the moods of teams, organizations, and countries.

But first, they need to observe their own moods.

But what exactly is a mood? And why is it so central to action?

To explore these questions, I spoke recently with Alan Sieler, founder of the Newfield Institute and author of the brilliant three-part book series, Coaching to the Human Soul.

Our conversation was both serious and lighthearted–often at the same time. By the end, I felt so in synch with Alan and his message that I was ready to get named an honorary Aussie.

Check it out–and share with your friends.

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Highlights

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  • 11:00 Why leaders’ moods matter for taking action
  • 16:30 Alan’s “six pack” of moods
  • 22:00 The moods of resentment and peace
  • 25:30 Why a mood of acceptance can help change agents
  • 30:30 The sneaky mood of resignation
  • 38:00 Ambition, the go-for-it mood
  • 44:00 The physical postures of acceptance and ambition
  • 49:00 The mood of anxiety
  • 54:00 The mood of wonder
  • 58:30 Alan reveals his personal experience with moods

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“What makes resignation sneaky is it dresses itself up in disguise as stories & justifications.”

–Alan Sieler  Tweet this quote

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Episode 41: Peter Block On Ambition, Authenticity, And Community [The Amiel Show]

One of my favorites interviews of all time!

In the consulting field Peter Block is a giant. His book Flawless Consulting–now in its third edition–taught us how to show up in client relationships with authenticity, rigor, and an eye for potential pitfalls.

Peter also influenced a generation of managers with his book The Empowered Manager. Today, he brings his passion to building local community around people’s assets.

In this interview, Peter and I walk through the trajectory of his career–his earlier years as an ambitious internal consultant, the decision (unusual at the time) to start an external consultancy, how he learned to build relationships with others despite being a self-described “loner,” and the questions and commitments that have pulled him in and shifted how he works.

For a serious conversation about big ideas and a full life, this was a heck of a lot of fun.  Enjoy–and share widely!

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Highlights

  • 5:00 Getting into the field by accident & influence of Chris Argyris
  • 12:30 A loner finds connection in Gestalt and T-groups
  • 16:30 Early years of restless ambition and almost getting fired
  • 22:30 The risks of being authentic
  • 25:30 Influence of Werner Erhard, language, and speech acts
  • 31:30 The Philippines—working with citizens and loving it
  • 37:00 Taking two years off to raise kids
  • 42:00 Peter tells me, “You’re amazing. You frighten me.”
  • 47:30 Why focus on gifts rather than deficiencies
  • 50:30 John McKnight’s work on asset-base community development
  • 58:30 Contracting in place-based communities

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Authenticity–putting into words what you see happening–is risky.

–Peter Block   Tweet this quote

As soon as you acknowledge your gifts, you become accountable.

–Peter Block   Tweet this quote

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Episode 40: Nancy Berns On Moving Beyond “Closure” [The Amiel Show]

Your best friend at work leaves for another job. Your spouse gets fired. The great team you’ve been part of gets split up. Chronic illness keeps you from doing things you enjoy. You experience the death of a sibling, parent, or child.

What do these things have in common?

They are examples of loss.

But that’s not all.

They are also situations in which our culture (in the United States at least) encourages us to “get closure.”

Getting closure makes sense, right?

Not so fast, says Dr. Nancy Berns, Professor of Sociology at Drake University and author of Closure: The Rush To End Grief And What It Costs Us.

The pressure to move past loss is harmful to our families, our emotional health, and our organizations.

And there is a better way to grieve–indeed, many better ways, each appropriate at different times to different people.

This week on the podcast, Dr. Berns talks about closure and what becomes possible when we choose other approaches for handling loss.

Nancy Berns beyond closure

Highlights

  • 13:00  Why closure became popular in the 1990s
  • 16:00  Rituals help us feel part of something bigger
  • 20:00  The experience of infant loss
  • 25:00  Conversations Nancy had about the loss of her son, Zachariah
  • 28:00  Knowing who you feel safe sharing with
  • 33:00  Small acts of kindness
  • 38:45  Society’s expectations of how men and women should grieve
  • 43:00  Being part of someone’s death or burial

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Closure is just a word we’ve made up. There’s no research showing that we need closure.

–Dr. Nancy Berns   Tweet this quote

When people hear the word ‘closure,’ they often hear, ‘You’re telling me I need to end my grieving.’

–Dr. Nancy Berns   Tweet this quote

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