Sidewalk Talk
Getting weird and vulnerable with Aziph Mustapha | Aziph Mustapha

Getting weird and vulnerable with Aziph Mustapha | Aziph Mustapha

August 17, 2021

Aziph Mustapha is a weirdo. As the head of culture transformation and employee engagement at Malaysian telecommunications giant, Celcom, Aziph has built a career on disrupting social norms. But being weird isn’t just good business, for Aziph it’s the only authentic way to live. 

On this episode of The Sidewalk Talk podcast, Traci gets to talk with—and really, make space for—Aziph as the two discuss creating psychological safety in the workplace, what it means to be a weirdo in a formal culture, and the importance of vulnerability and authenticity. As their conversation progresses, Aziph gets real with Traci, sharing that he’s struggling to process a number of the tragedies happening in the world right now, including the latest Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the COVID-19 pandemic. Traci thanks Aziph for his willingness to share, and together the two embark upon a time of listening and making space for the other. This is a powerful exchange between two great listeners that you won’t want to miss.

 

Episode Milestones

[00:07] Intro 

[03:02] Meet Aziph 

[06:15] What Aziph makes for breakfast and dinner in Malaysia 

[09:08] Creating psychology safety and cultural transformation in the workplace 

[14:19] Aziph’s vision for Celcom 

[20:46] Being a weirdo in a formal culture 

[25:31] Discerning when to be contrarian versus when to go along with social norms  

[30:07] Volunteering, community, and providing space for one another 

[37:38] Aziph’s willingness to be vulnerable and authentic 

[44:42] Aziph’s word for you

[47:04] Outro 

 

Resources Mentioned

Ted Talk: To Be the Best, Be a Weirdo 

Celcom 

 

Standout Quotes from the Episode

“Every person or group we touch with our business we consider a distinct society, and our job is to advance them in one way or another.”
—Aziph Mustapha 

 “Sometimes you need to make those conscious efforts to change even simple things, like language, simple terms people use to humanize that relationship.”
—Aziph Mustapha 

“Success gives you confidence.”
—Aziph Mustapha 

“You need to grasp on something, you need to have a bit of control in this vast, chaotic storm.”
—Aziph Mustapha 

“Maybe these human beings just talking to each other could help in small way.”
—Aziph Mustapha 

“People need to be listened to, and there’s just not enough people willing to listen to them in the world.”
—Aziph Mustapha 

 

Connect:

Find | Sidewalk Talk Podcast

At sidewalk-talk.org

On Instagram: @sidewalktalkorg

On Twitter: @sidewalktalkorg

 

Find | Traci Ruble

At Traciruble.com

On Instagram: @TraciRubleMFT

On Twitter: @TraciRubleMFT

On Facebook: @TraciRubleMFT

 

Find | Aziph Mustapha  

On LinkedIn: @AziphMustapha

On Twitter: @aziph_mustapha  

 

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Anna Katharina Schaffner on the timeless truths of self-improvement | Anna Katharina Schaffner

Anna Katharina Schaffner on the timeless truths of self-improvement | Anna Katharina Schaffner

August 10, 2021

Restless in the often too structured world of academia, Anna Katharina Schaffner carved her own path as a professor, researcher, writer, coach, and modern thinker. In her forthcoming book, The Art of Self-Improvement: Ten Timeless Truths, Anna sets out to shift the way we think about self-help and how to better ourselves by taking cues from our ancestors’ ways of thinking and living that still remain true today. Traci was thrilled to sit down with Anna for this latest episode of The Sidewalk Talk podcast to chat all about Anna’s new book, how metaphor shapes our human experience, and where to find the soul in today’s culture of human as computer. 

As the two talk, they make discoveries about the benefits of growing as a collective versus as an individual, explore the concept of loneliness, and talk about mutual messy interactions they’ve had in the past. Towards the end of the episode Anna shares a few of the “timeless truths” from her new book, including the truths of controlling your mind, using your imagination, and being humble. In a time where we’ve increasingly been told that we simply need to “rewire” our brains in order to function better as humans, Anna and Traci explore a different way of thinking—one that helps us examine the metaphors we use about ourselves, and become more vulnerably human in the process. 

 

Episode Milestones

[00:07] Intro 

[02:25] Meet Anna 

[06:40] What made Anna restless in academia 

[08:41] Provoking to leave a legacy 

[12:09] How metaphor shapes our human experience 

[16:32] A shift to growing as a collective  

[20:28] Learning from Eastern cultures and ways of thinking 

[23:39] Where’s the soul? 

[26:35] Questions and definitions of loneliness  

[29:40] Messy interactions 

[33:25] Anna’s discoveries about self-improvement 

[37:06] “Timeless truths” of self-improvement 

[39:57] Anna’s word for you 

[42:15] Outro 

 

Resources Mentioned

Perspectiva 

Exhaustion: A History 

The Art of Self-Improvement: Ten Timeless Truths 

“You’re not a computer, you’re a tiny stone in a beautiful mosaic” 

 

Standout Quotes from the Episode

“I like to take issue with what everyone accepts to be the case. I like to look at ideas that we take for granted, and that we don’t really investigate very much.”
—Anna Katharina Schaffner 

“I think it’s always very important to have a questioning mind.”
—Anna Katharina Schaffner 

“The language we use to talk about the psyche is very very telling because it reveals the models of the psyche that we believe in as people, but also as a culture.”
—Anna Katharina Schaffner 

“This focus on self-actualization and self-realization has begun to sound very tired, and very unsatisfying.”
—Anna Katharina Schaffner 

“Stories can give a lot of solace.”
—Anna Katharina Schaffner 

“Self-help reveals our models of selfhood.”
—Anna Katharina Schaffner 

“Be aware of the kind of language you use to think about yourself, and inner voices, and reflect on it because they will tell you a lot about your deeper values and deeper models.”
—Anna Katharina Schaffner 

 

Connect:

Find | Sidewalk Talk Podcast

At sidewalk-talk.org

On Instagram: @sidewalktalkorg

On Twitter: @sidewalktalkorg

 

Find | Traci Ruble

At Traciruble.com

On Instagram: @TraciRubleMFT

On Twitter: @TraciRubleMFT

On Facebook: @TraciRubleMFT

 

Find | Anna Katharina Schaffner 

At AnnaKSchaffner.com

On LinkedIn: @AnnaKatharinaSchaffner

 

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Street Wisdom’s David Pearl on finding magic in the everyday | David Pearl

Street Wisdom’s David Pearl on finding magic in the everyday | David Pearl

August 3, 2021

David Pearl is a true Renaissance man. A self-title “experience engineer,” David has done it all—from writing books and starting a nonprofit to advocating for social change and even working as an opera star. Our current reality may seem anything but magical, that’s far from the truth in David’s eyes. 

On this episode of The Sidewalk Talk podcast, Traci gets the chance to sit down with one of her new favorite European friends to talk about his nonprofit Street Wisdom, doing soul-work in the paradox of the here and now, and why simplicity is at the heart of what David and Traci are both doing with Street Wisdom and Sidewalk Talk. This is a playful and fun conversation between two people with an urgency to see our society, and the world at large, become a more inclusive, and magical, place. Come along for the ride and discover your own version of magic, today!  

 

Episode Milestones

[00:07] Intro 

[03:34] Meet David 

[11:09] David’s time on the street and what it taught him

[15:00] Street Wisdom and serendipity 

[19:37] Making connections with perfect strangers on the street 

[23:30] How Street Wisdom is finding its future 

[27:42] Finding the magic in the everyday 

[35:25] Play and breaking the rules 

[39:23] Doing work in the paradox  

[45:14] The urgency to grow Street Wisdom and Sidewalk Talk 

[47:25] Embodied intelligence 

[49:40] Simplicity and a shared sense of being seen 

[57:49] David’s word and song for you 

[1:03:02] Outro 

 

Resources Mentioned

Street Wisdom 

Wanderful: Find wonder in the every day. Every day.

 

Standout Quotes from the Episode

“For me, the brushes I had with mental breakdown were the wellspring of why I’m here today.”
—David Pearl 

“Serendipity is only surprising if you think you’re a separate human being who ends at your skin.”
—David Pearl 

“How could you be the perfect stranger for those strangers?”
—David Pearl 

“As soon as we take the problems to be real, they become heavy and difficult to move.”
—David Pearl 

“People don’t always see the work behind the apparent spontaneity.”
—David Pearl 

“The wandering is the new straight and narrow. When the world is as wobbly as ours, you’d have to be nuts to go in a straight line—you’d end up in the wrong place.”
—David Pearl 

“The way we change things is through a million simple things.”
—David Pearl 

“If you’re prepared to see the magic in the ordinary you can have a conversation, you can have a dialogue. And we need a dialogue because the one inside your head isn’t great.”
—David Pearl 

“There’s a certain urgency, and yet we can enjoy everything that happens.”
—David Pearl 

“Being lost and feeling lost are not the same thing.”
—David Pearl 

 

Connect:

Find | Sidewalk Talk Podcast

At sidewalk-talk.org

On Instagram: @sidewalktalkorg

On Twitter: @sidewalktalkorg

 

Find | Traci Ruble

At Traciruble.com

On Instagram: @TraciRubleMFT

On Twitter: @TraciRubleMFT

On Facebook: @TraciRubleMFT

 

Find | David Pearl  

At DavidPearl.net 

On Twitter: @DavidPearlHere

On LinkedIn: David Pearl  

 

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Dr. Tania Israel on making perspective-taking sexy | Dr. Tania Israel

Dr. Tania Israel on making perspective-taking sexy | Dr. Tania Israel

July 27, 2021

Author and professor Dr. Tania Israel wants to make perspective-taking sexy again. Her book, Beyond Your Bubble, is all about reaching beyond our differences to find where even the most vehemently opposed, politically and otherwise, can find common ground. On this episode of The Sidewalk Talk podcast, Traci talks with Tania about why conversations about political differences are so challenging right now, the concept of intellectual humility, and the skill and attitude we need to cultivate as a society in order to grow (hint: it’s listening and curiosity). 

Dialoging about our differing political opinions can be so difficult right now, especially in an age where social media and 140-character tweets are the norm. Tania wants to help us move away from moral posturing and towards a place where we actually sit down and have a nuanced conversation with someone, whether they believe what we do or not. It’s not an easy task, but it’s one Tania, and so many like her, are willing to embark upon. Don’t miss this timely episode!  

 

Episode Milestones

[00:07] Intro 

[02:50] Meet Dr. Tania Israel 

[06:51] Why conversations about political differences are so challenging 

[10:03] Moral posturing and politics 

[13:07] Social media’s ability to polarize 

[16:38] Lifting up the voices of those in the middle 

[20:44] What compelled Tania to write Beyond Your Bubble 

[24:49] The skill and attitude we need to work on as a society  

[28:00] Traci’s examples of dialoguing across political lines 

[30:57] Dialoging about differences on social media 

[33:29] The Heineken ad and bringing people together 

[35:43] How to find Tania’s work 

[36:55] Tania’s word for you 

[38:41] Outro 

 

Resources Mentioned

Beyond Your Bubble: How to Connect Across the Political Divide 

The Flowchart That Will Resolve All Political Conflict In Our Country 

More In Common 

The Week

 

Standout Quotes from the Episode

“It’s not just about a policy—it’s about taking a position about people who are on the other side of that policy, and I think that’s what’s actually creating so much damage right now.”
—Dr. Tania Israel 

“It feels like the standards are very narrow in terms of the ways we can prove what our values really are.”
—Dr. Tania Israel 

“People don’t necessarily like and retweet someone who says, ‘yeah, I can see both sides of that.’”
—Dr. Tania Israel 

“We need to make perspective-taking sexy.”
—Dr. Tania Israel 

“I can’t try to understand somebody else through my lens, I have to try to get what their lens is, and then I can see it.”
—Dr. Tania Israel 

“We need to actually want to understand before we’re motivated to actually apply listening skills.”
—Dr. Tania Israel 

“The more types of input we have about somebody, then the easier it is to understand their perspective.”
—Dr. Tania Israel 

“Keep investing in other people—we need each other, and we can hold each other and knit ourselves back together.”
—Dr. Tania Israel 

 

Connect:

Find | Sidewalk Talk Podcast

At sidewalk-talk.org

On Instagram: @sidewalktalkorg

On Twitter: @sidewalktalkorg

 

Find | Traci Ruble

At Traciruble.com

On Instagram: @TraciRubleMFT

On Twitter: @TraciRubleMFT

On Facebook: @TraciRubleMFT

 

Find | Tania-Israel  

At TaniaIsrael.com

On Twitter: @Tania_Israel 

 

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Antoinette Weibel on trust in the workplace | Antoinette Weibel

Antoinette Weibel on trust in the workplace | Antoinette Weibel

July 20, 2021

Antoinette Weibel thinks trust rocks! As a researcher and professor at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, Antoinette has devoted much of her life to the study of trust, specifically in the workplace. Traci cold-called Antoinette, and what resulted is a multifaceted and fascinating conversation on trust, vulnerability, and why trust has eroded in society and at work over the past 25 years. 

On this episode of The Sidewalk Talk podcast, Traci gets the chance to ask Antoinette all about her research on trust and how trust, or a lack thereof, colors us both as employees and leaders. Together, the two explore trust within organizations, employee engagement and wellness, and what Antoinette hopes will shift in the future when it comes to trust in the workplace. Their conversation wraps up with Antoinette sharing her top three ways to cultivate trust: taking an interest in your employees, listening to those employees, and then finding things to appreciate about them. Trust is such an important topic in our organizations and society at large right now—don’t miss this compelling conversation! 

 

Episode Milestones

[00:07] Intro 

[02:52] Meet Antoinette 

[04:18] What Antoinette has learned about trust 

[11:45] The chipping away of trust in society  

[13:49] Antoinette’s definition of trust 

[15:05] Trust within organizations 

[19:37] Employee engagement and wellness 

[24:07] The principles of trust Antoinette sees in her own life and career 

[26:59] Vulnerability and gender roles 

[33:29] What Antoinette hopes shifts in the workplace 

[35:29] The top 3 ways to cultivate trust 

[36:40] Antoinette’s word to you 

[37:42] Outro 

 

Resources Mentioned

The University of St. Gallen

 

Standout Quotes from the Episode

“It’s good to start with a bias towards trust.”
—Antoinette Weibel 

“I’m really daring something because I believe in you.”
—Antoinette Weibel 

“We’re not looking so much for the brilliant minds that can tell us what the future looks like, but we are now at present looking more for people who have a passion for other people, who maybe love their employees to a certain degree, and who are showing integrity.”
—Antoinette Weibel 

“A good leader can make all the difference.”
—Antoinette Weibel 

“Learning in itself is not the problem—it’s to let go a little bit of control.”
—Antoinette Weibel 

“I think it’s essential for building trust that you’re also able to listen.”
—Antoinette Weibel 

“Who has given us the right to create suffering machines?”
—Antoinette Weibel 

 

Connect:

Find | Sidewalk Talk Podcast

At sidewalk-talk.org

On Instagram: @sidewalktalkorg

On Twitter: @sidewalktalkorg

 

Find | Traci Ruble

At Traciruble.com

On Instagram: @TraciRubleMFT

On Twitter: @TraciRubleMFT

On Facebook: @TraciRubleMFT

 

Find | Antoinette Weibel 

On LinkedIn: @AntoinetteWeibel 

On Twitter: @antoinetteprof

On Facebook: @Weibelcrew

 

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Joe Koehane on the power—and magic—of strangers

Joe Koehane on the power—and magic—of strangers

July 13, 2021

Joe Keohane has been meeting strangers for decades. As an accomplished journalist and editor, Joe has made a career out of listening to people he doesn’t know and engaging with their stories. But as the world reemerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, loneliness is on the rise, and strangers feel more strange than maybe ever before. Is there still something to be gained from expanding our social circles and interacting with strangers after 18 months of isolation? Joe sure thinks so. 

 

On this episode of The Sidewalk Talk podcast, Traci sits down with Joe to talk about his brand new book, The Power of Strangers. Together the two talk about the impact listening to strangers has on us, the magic of meeting someone new, and how to cultivate a healthy curiosity towards others in an effort to combat loneliness. There may never be a more perfect time for this conversation as we relearn how to connect with those around us. 

 

Episode Timeline

[00:07] Intro 

[02:43] Meet Joe 

[07:39] Why Joe wrote The Power of Strangers  

[16:40] The impact listening to strangers has on us 

[21:55] The magic of meeting strangers 

[27:20] What surprised Joe in his research 

[36:18] Loneliness after the pandemic 

[42:49] Traci and Joe’s hospitality stories  

[47:03] Joe’s word for you 

[49:45] Outro 

Resources Mentioned

The Power of Strangers: The benefits of connecting in a suspicious world 

Standout Quotes: 

 “It really doesn’t take that much for people to feel comfortable with you. It’s not that hard for a total stranger to be like, ‘oh yeah, we can get along!’ just because of this piece of fabric on my head.”
—Joe Keohane 

 

“In a way, every time you speak to a stranger, if you learn to do it well, you get a little glimpse of what the life of another person is like, and that’s huge.”
—Joe Keohane 

 

“It becomes very difficult to dismiss a group of people when you’ve had good engagements with members of that group.”
—Joe Keohane 

 

“There’s a lot in a person, and when you talk to them you get to travel to that little universe, you get to interact with it.”
—Joe Keohane 

 

“One of the more curious things about humans is that we are neophobic and neophiliac at the same time—we’re afraid of new things, but we love new things.”
—Joe Keohane 

 

“It’s in our benefit to grow our social networks, to have friends.”
—Joe Keohane 

 

“The opportunity that COVID presents us with is it took us very quickly to the conclusion that we were slowly moving towards anyways, which was 300 million individuals alone in rooms looking at screens.”
—Joe Keohane 

 

“Almost every crisis we’re facing right now is a crisis of belonging.”
—Joe Keohane 

 

Connect:

Find | Sidewalk Talk Podcast

At sidewalk-talk.org

On Instagram: @sidewalktalkorg

On Twitter: @sidewalktalkorg

 

Find | Traci Ruble

At Traciruble.com

On Instagram: @TraciRubleMFT

On Twitter: @TraciRubleMFT

On Facebook: @TraciRubleMFT

 

Find | Joe Keohane   

At JoeKeohane.net

On Twitter: @JoeKeohane

On LinkedIn: @JoeKeohane  

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Squish Talks’ Stuart Chittenden on the power of conversation | Stuart Chittenden

Squish Talks’ Stuart Chittenden on the power of conversation | Stuart Chittenden

June 15, 2021

Stuart Chittenden is a highly interesting character. A lawyer by trade, he moved to Omaha, Nebraska from England after marrying his wife and grew fascinated by the inherent power of conversation. That fascination led him to start Squish Talks—the organization he has leveraged to unlock human potential in all areas of society simply through conversation. 

On this episode of The Sidewalk Talk podcast, Traci laughs, learns, and grows from her conversation with Stuart as they converse about all things politics, crying, crying about politics, the movie “Inside Out,” and their plans for a COVID coming out party. As many questions as Traci asks him, Stuart asks them right back to her, and what results is an engaging back and forth about Squish Talks and Sidewalk Talk and how these two individuals are using their platforms to create a world built on connection. 

 

Episode Milestones

[00:07] Intro 

[02:34] Meet Stuart 

[07:02] Stuart asks Traci why she started Sidewalk Talk 

[07:58] The heart behind Squish Talks and Sidewalk Talk 

[12:40] Stuart’s travels around Nebraska and what it taught him 

[14:53] Crying after the last presidential election and Stuart’s feelings now 

[18:03] How Stuart recovered from the election and regained his belief in conversation 

[23:34] Practices and experiences to carry forward post-COVID 

[26:48] Coming out of COVID party 

[30:27] How Stuart finds ways to engage in dialogue politically 

[36:22] Listening, silence, and humor as components of dialogue 

[41:11] What’s next for Stuart 

[44:17] Outro 

 

Resources Mentioned

Squish Talks

 

Standout Quotes from the Episode

“Conversation does have the power to connect people, but it also affirmed my sense that people have a desperate, and deep, and profound yearning to be seen by other people.”
—Stuart Chittenden 

“A conversation is never meant to share a truth with someone else. It’s meant to share your truth and to help someone else, too. It’s not about correcting something; it’s about connecting something.”
—Stuart Chittenden 

“I don’t need to know at this point which way did you vote, I just need to know that as a human being you’re awed by the majesty of this.”
—Stuart Chittenden 

“Unless I’m in-person with someone, I’ve found it’s pointless to engage in politics with someone.”
—Stuart Chittenden 

“I’m struggling to let my own beliefs go or stop them getting in the way of listening to someone else. And that’s work that I need to keep doing.”
—Stuart Chittenden 

“I don’t think we ask enough genuine, authentic, I-want-to-hear-your-answer kinds of questions of other people, of the world, of ourselves.”
—Stuart Chittenden 

 

Connect:

Find | Sidewalk Talk Podcast

At sidewalk-talk.org

On Instagram: @sidewalktalkorg

On Twitter: @sidewalktalkorg

 

Find | Traci Ruble

At Traciruble.com

On Instagram: @TraciRubleMFT

On Twitter: @TraciRubleMFT

On Facebook: @TraciRubleMFT

 

Find | Stuart Chittenden  

At SquishTalks.com 

On LinkedIn: @StuartChittenden

On Instagram: @squishtalks

On Twitter: @SquishTalks 

On Facebook: @SquishTalks 

 

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Dr. Fernando Castrillon on psychoanalysis, capitalism, and loneliness | Dr. Fernando Castrillon

Dr. Fernando Castrillon on psychoanalysis, capitalism, and loneliness | Dr. Fernando Castrillon

June 8, 2021

Psychoanalysis has long been thought of as outdated, misogynistic, and even racist—a type of therapy for the rich and privileged. In fact, Dr. Fernando Castrillon thought as much himself when he first encountered psychoanalysis, but has since changed his mind, and is working to change the minds of others through his work and words on the subject. 

On this episode of The Sidewalk Talk podcast, Traci talks with Dr. Fernando on all things psychoanalysis, how it differs from more typical forms of therapy practiced in the West, and how a psychoanalyst would address our society’s loneliness epidemic. During their conversation, Traci even shares her anger at psychotherapy with Dr. Fernando, inviting him to respond, and maybe even change listeners’ viewpoints on this practice that started with the likes of Freud and Lacan. The episode ends with Dr. Fernando’s word for you, the Sidewalk Talk listener, reiterating that psychoanalysis is, at its heart, an unlearning that makes room for another person to bring themself forward. 

 

Episode Milestones

[00:07] Intro 

[03:46] Meet Dr. Fernando 

[08:56] Overview of psychoanalysis and the California Dream  

[16:03] Psychoanalysis versus more “typical” therapy approaches 

[20:31] What Lacan would say about Sidewalk Talk 

[27:54] Output and a lack of receptivity in our culture 

[32:23] Traci’s anger at psychotherapy and Dr. Fernando’s response 

[36:50] The psychoanalysis of our society’s loneliness epidemic  

[44:44] Dr. Fernando’s word for you

[47:12] Outro 

 

Resources Mentioned

European Journal of Psychoanalysis 

California Institute of Integral Studies 

Clinic Without Walls 

 

Standout Quotes from the Episode

“My job then is to sit there and listen to what might arise from this place of lack, as opposed to somehow nullifying it by trying to fill it in with something. That runs directly counter to the discourse of capitalism.”
—Dr. Fernando Castrillon 

“There’s nothing that will do in, or make an encounter or an analysis fall apart more than one person thinking that by having a certain set of theoretical knowledge that they know more than the other. It makes you close your ears.”
—Dr. Fernando Castrillon 

“Theory is important to carve out our ear, but you’ve got to leave theory at the door the moment you have an encounter with somebody, otherwise all you’re doing is essentially trying to apply an ideology to a human. That’s violence.”
—Dr. Fernando Castrillon 

“We all have floaties. Psychoanalysis at its best is constantly deflating those floaties.”
—Dr. Fernando Castrillon 

“The more that we can empty ourselves out, the more the other will come forward. The less we are reliant on finding our footing in the world by trying to make the other give us a place, the more that the other will come through that is just them.”
—Dr. Fernando Castrillon 

“In the end, the best psychoanalytic training is an unlearning.”
—Dr. Fernando Castrillon 

 

Connect:

Find | Sidewalk Talk Podcast

At sidewalk-talk.org

On Instagram: @sidewalktalkorg

On Twitter: @sidewalktalkorg

 

Find | Traci Ruble

At Traciruble.com

On Instagram: @TraciRubleMFT

On Twitter: @TraciRubleMFT

On Facebook: @TraciRubleMFT

 

Find | Dr. Fernando Castrillon 

At DrCastrillon.com

On LinkedIn: @DrFernandoCastrillon 

 

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Teaching, connection, and transforming pain in kids with Michael McKnight | Michael McKnight

Teaching, connection, and transforming pain in kids with Michael McKnight | Michael McKnight

May 25, 2021

Michael McKnight is an educator at heart. Although he no longer teaches in the New Jersey classroom where he got his start and now has a handful of accolades and additional titles to his name, Michael is still as passionate now as he was four decades ago about connecting with students in ways that empower them to learn, not just stuff their heads with more information. 

On this episode of The Sidewalk Talk podcast, Traci sits down with Michael to chat about all things education, technology in the classroom, and the research that gets Michael the most excited about the future of education. Michael specializes in working with kids who have endured adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), but although these kids have gone through more than many adults at a young age, Michael holds on to his characteristic optimism and hope that kids’ pain-based behavior can be transformed by teachers like him who put kids and connection first. During the episode, Michael even shares his advice for parents walking through a global pandemic and the subsequent disruption of the education system with their kids. Parent, teacher, student, or someone in between—don’t skip this episode with Michael McKnight! 

 

Episode Milestones

[00:07] Intro 

[02:52] Meet Michael 

[07:31] The hope in transforming a kid’s pain-based behavior 

[09:22] Michael’s mentors and the research that gets him excited  

[13:40] Quality connection versus the obedience model in schools today 

[16:07] Michael’s advice to parents: rupture and repair  

[21:02] How Michael stays optimistic about educating kids 

[25:47] ACE’s: adverse childhood experiences 

[27:12] Technology and connection in kids and the classroom 

[35:50] Michael’s word for you

[40:00] Outro 

 

Resources Mentioned

Life Space Crisis Intervention

Unwritten: The Story of a Living System

Stockton University

“Resilience: The biology of stress and the science of hope”

 

Standout Quotes from the Episode

“Most of our most troubled kids are really kids that carry enormous amounts of pain, and that behavior that we see, we call it pain-based behavior—behaviors by kids in pain.”
—Michael McKnight 

“For the most part, young people learn not so much about whatever it is they’re studying—they learn from teachers they like.”
—Michael McKnight 

“Parenting is absolutely a task that is impossible to do perfectly. And I think we have to give ourselves a little bit of room there.”
—Michael McKnight 

“We focus on credential-izing, we focus on content, and then we wonder why teachers are in the classroom and that’s all they do.”
—Michael McKnight 

“I don’t see technology as being a specific kid problem. I think it’s an adult problem because it’s so easy to get caught up in it. It becomes an extension of self almost.”
—Michael McKnight 

“This isn’t about fixing you—it’s really just about getting to know you and seeing who you are, and that dynamic affects me as much as you, maybe me more than you.”
—Michael McKnight 

“At our core, we’re really feeling creatures who think. Human beings are feeling creatures who think. And we have to be able to go into emotions because they drive learning, they drive attention, they drive everything we do. And yet in many areas we’ve kind of disconnected that and kept this illusion that teaching and learning is purely an intellectual pursuit. It is not.”
—Michael McKnight

“Without that connection, many of our kids are there in body but not in mind. And our schools need to be able to shift from their current model of thinking to something much more alive and something much more whole and natural.”
—Michael McKnight 

 

 

Connect:

Find | Sidewalk Talk Podcast

At sidewalk-talk.org

On Instagram: @sidewalktalkorg

On Twitter: @sidewalktalkorg

 

Find | Traci Ruble

At Traciruble.com

On Instagram: @TraciRubleMFT

On Twitter: @TraciRubleMFT

On Facebook: @TraciRubleMFT

 

Find | Michael McKnight 

On LinkedIn: @MichaelMcKnight

On Twitter: @mmcknight32

On Facebook: @MichaelMcKnight 

 

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Dr. Kristin Moody on how empathy can change the world | Dr. Kristin Moody

Dr. Kristin Moody on how empathy can change the world | Dr. Kristin Moody

May 18, 2021

Dr. Kristin Moody started out her career as a teacher passionate about deeply connecting with her students. That connection, and her subsequent interest in the study of empathy, propelled Kristin into a career in just that—launching Empathy at Work and spending her time studying the science behind empathy and how we connect to one another. 

On this episode of The Sidewalk Talk podcast, Traci talks with Kristin on all things empathy, emotional contagion, self-care and mindfulness, and Kristin’s hopes for how the world can change for the better when it comes to empathy. In a continually more divided, and digitized, society, empathy can be hard. But it’s not impossible, and Kristin is here to give us the tools necessary to practicing empathy more authentically every day. 

 

Episode Milestones

[00:07] Intro 

[02:19] Meet Dr. Kristin 

[05:27] Kristin’s definitions of empathy  

[11:48] The physiology behind empathy and emotional contagion 

[21:55] Empathizing in a digital world   

[25:35] Connecting to different types of people, self-care, and mindfulness 

[30:40] Meditation  

[32:35] Social media’s impact on the brain 

[37:16] Kristin’s hopes for how the world can change  

[42:53] Kristin’s word for you

[45:10] Outro 

 

Resources Mentioned

EmpathyAtWork.net

The Mindfulness Coaching School

 

Standout Quotes from the Episode

“I am deeply called to learn from others, and that evolved into an understanding of what empathy is. Which I think is learning from and being allowed to be shaped by others in a way that we have a biology for and we have a physiology for.”
—Dr. Kristin Moody 

“Empathy is a focused attention on another. The acceptance of that person’s truth without judgement. An accurate interpretation of that person’s emotional state. And then a response to that person’s state with parity.”
—Dr. Kristin Moody 

“Empathy really just is about sitting in and holding space with someone and being able to share a feeling.”
—Dr. Kristin Moody 

“If you have true empathy, it doesn’t have to be exhausting because it’s a choice.”
—Dr. Kristin Moody 

“I can make a decision to flip the switch at any time and really listen to somebody and practice, and I can also make the decision at any time to turn it off and move through my life, to put blinders on. But that also means that sometimes you just have to go inwards and put blinders on so that you can sit down in the right situations and totally be open-hearted.”
—Dr. Kristin Moody 

“There are times when you can turn it off, so that when it really matters you can turn it on.”
—Dr. Kristin Moody 

“There’s just something about the idea of believing people, accepting their truth without judgement. Recognizing that their experience is different than yours or recognizing that the way that they’re experiencing something is making it different than yours.”
—Dr. Kristin Moody 

 

Connect:

Find | Sidewalk Talk Podcast

At sidewalk-talk.org

On Instagram: @sidewalktalkorg

On Twitter: @sidewalktalkorg

 

Find | Traci Ruble

At Traciruble.com

On Instagram: @TraciRubleMFT

On Twitter: @TraciRubleMFT

On Facebook: @TraciRubleMFT

 

Find | Dr. Kristin Moody

At EvolveNetwork.me

On LinkedIn: @KristinMoody

On Instagram: @empathy_at_work

 

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