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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Episode 27: Nina Teicholz On The Big Fat Surprise

What if everything you thought was true about nutrition turned out to be wrong?

If this doesn’t sound like a leadership question, think again. What you eat has dramatic impact on

  • The physical and emotional energy you bring to work
  • Your capacity to stay healthy and free of heart disease, obesity, and cancer
  • How long you live

That is the theme of this special interview with Nina Teicholz, author of the international bestseller and critically acclaimed The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat & Cheese Belong in Healthy Diet.

Nina-Teicholz

Highlights

  • 4:09 Nina’s critique of Dean Ornish’s low-fat, plant-based diet
  • 12:30 The gist of Nina’s book
  • 17:30 How Nina the vegetarian had her own big fat surprise
  • 20:10 Nina addresses objections to eating meat
  • 30:00 Why it’s harder to overeat on fats and proteins
  • 31:30 Vegetable oils and the danger of oxidation
  • 40:30 Why institutional science is an oxymoron
  • 41:45 Ancel Keys and the Big Bang of nutrition science
  • 44:00 The bloodsport of nutrition politics
  • 45:00 The flaws and limitations of Ancel Keys’s study
  • 48:00 Why sampling diets during Lent skews the data
  • 51:30 The low fat diet goes to Washington
  • 60:00 The food pyramid

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Episode 25: Pamela Weiss On Leading With Clarity, Courage, And Curiosity [The Amiel Show]

Pamela Weiss is an amazing coach and teacher. She has one foot in the corporate world and another in the world of Buddhism. In fact, she spans so many domains that sometimes I think she must have three or four feet. That’s why I invited her to join me for this historic (play drum roll) episode 25 of the podcast.

In this interview, we talk about three important qualities of leadership: clarity, courage, and curiosity. These are qualities of bodhisattva leaders, “wise feeling beings” who are “dedicated to supporting the welfare of others.” Pamela challenges us to deepen our understanding of what it means to lead in the world.

Before the interview, I introduce a new feature to the podcast: the Jedi Leadership Trick. This week we explore one called Two Feet, Five Breaths. It’s pretty nifty.

Pam-Weiss

Highlights

  • 0:30 Jedi Leadership Trick: Two Feet, Five Breaths
  • 5:20 Introduction of Pamela Weiss
  • 10:40 Leadership: role or way of being?
  • 13:40 Bringing bodhisattva leadership into the vernacular
  • 20:15 Clarity, courage, and curiosity
  • 33:00 This isn’t easy…and it’s not meant to be
  • 35:30 The Personal Excellence Program (PEP)
  • 38:30 Selecting a quality to focus on in your leadership
  • 44:30 Refining your capacity to observe
  • 49:30 Why lack of self-care is often a symptom of something else
  • 52:00 Building authentic connection and the power of group coaching
  • 58:00 What Pamela is deliberately practicing in her life

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I’d like the term bodhisattva to be as commonplace in our language as cappuccino.

–Pamela Weiss  Tweet this quote

Our world is a mess. There’s so much we could help with. What’s most important to me?

–Pamela Weiss Tweet this quote

Read The Transcript

You can view (and then download) a complete, word-for-word transcript of this episode here.

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  1. Sign into iTunes using your ID and password
  2. Search the iTunes store for “Amiel Show”
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  2. Search the iTunes store for “Amiel Show”
  3. Click on “Ratings and Reviews”
  4. Give it a rating. Bonus for a review

Episode 15: Cliff Atkinson on giving high-stakes presentations [The Amiel Show]

Cliff Atkinson wants you to nail your presentations–particularly when the stakes are high.

Cliff designed the slides that won a $253 million jury verdict in Texas. And he wrote a book called Beyond Bullet Points that shows how to truly inspire and inform people. In episode 15 of The Amiel Show, he tells the back story of that trial and describes how to start strong, break presentations into powerful chunks, and create effective slides.

Cliff-Atkinson

We discuss:

  • 4:00 The back story to Cliff’s work in the Vioxx case
  • 12:00 Strong openings. Don’t start with an agenda
  • 19:00 People like mysteries and challenges
  • 26:00 Start with the story, then create the graphics
  • 32:00 Make information easy to digest. Stop overwhelming people
  • 38:00 Start with a powerful visual, not your agenda or corporate overview
  • 44:00 How we’ve misused PowerPoint
  • 47:00 Chart junk
  • 48:30 Corporate capabilities presentations are about the wrong people
  • 63:00 How groups can collaborate

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Episode 13: David Allen on the Updated (2015) Version of Getting Things Done [The Amiel Show]

hon·or   
/ˈänər/    
Noun
Being one of the first to interview the world’s top productivity guru about his new book

 

It used to be that you were either productive or relaxed–but not both, at least at the same time. Sure, the world’s wisdom traditions have taught for centuries how to move forward in life with quiet minds. But modern organizations were slow to the game.

At least until David Allen entered the scene.

David-Allen

Allen’s 2002 book Getting Things Done not only proclaimed “stress-free productivity” to be possible. It showed people how to do it. The positive results of following the system brought many grown men (and women) to tears. And it led TIME magazine to declare the book “the defining self-help business book of its time.”

On March 17, a week from today, an updated version of the book comes out. (I pre-ordered my copy on Amazon). In Episode 13 of The Amiel Show, David Allen and I discuss what’s new in this version, what’s timeless, and why power naps and someday/maybe lists make life better. We explore (times are approximate):