Your Intended Message
The language of love, loss and compassion: Dr. Joseph Stern

The language of love, loss and compassion: Dr. Joseph Stern

March 24, 2022

When compassion is missing, what can you do?

Technical competency is not the same as compassion. Yet both are critical in healthcare.

Dr. Joseph Stern is a neurosurgeon who discovered that compassion was missing from healthcare, when his younger sister, Victoria, developed leukemia, had a bone marrow transplant and died.

Episode 87

In this conversation with Dr. Joseph Stern, we explore:

  • The importance of emotional agility
  • There's a time for compassion and a time for technical expertise
  • Understanding the patient's anxiety and terror
  • Developing shared vulnerability to communicate in an empathetic way
  • How routine can get in the way of connecting with people
  • Shifting from empathy to technical precision
  • Why it's critical for health care professionals to manager their own emotional care
  • Recognizing and removing the emotional armor

Dr. Joseph Stern is a neurosurgeon. He is the author of "Grief Connects Us: A Neurosurgeon's Lessons on Love, Loss and Compassion.

You can find the book on Amazon or click the link here.



Excerpts from this conversation with Dr. Joseph Stern



So everything is about the focus on training and education as a neurosurgeon is about becoming technically proficient and mastering very difficult subject matter.

But we're working with people. And these people are generally terrified, and whether or not they're dying, they need a compassionate connection with their doctor.

And that's where I feel that in neurosurgery training, but particularly in medicine, I think we fall down on the job in terms of the importance of what it is to connect with patients and in with what they're going through.

So I feel that was what my sister brought, to me, it wasn't so much that I was that it's only when people are dying, it's that anyone who is getting medical care, is at a low point and needs a compassionate connection, you need to have shared vulnerability and an ability to communicate in an empathic way with patient.


You're a stronger, better person by allowing yourself to be vulnerable



I'm assuming that you have become a more compassionate doctor, more compassionate surgeon. What language Have you started to use more of that you didn't use before?



I think I listened more, I listened more and tried to talk less.

I sit and I give people time, and I want to hear what they are concerned about and what matters to them.

And so I feel that the meaningful relationships with patients are really what sustained me that actually, you know, by the time I'm fairly advanced, in my career, I've been doing a surgery for a long time, I liked doing surgery. But I also really like the the relationship, the trust that the patients put in me and kind of our relationship.

So I cultivate that. I also think that I'm not afraid to ask questions about what they're feeling or what their goals are, and what what it is that they're experiencing, what is it, they're worried about? What scares them?

So I think a lot of times in the past, I probably would have shut down a topic like that and moved on to a medical treatment or bombing people with facts.

I'm, I'm going to give them all the facts about their illness. And it's, in reality, they're multiple planes of communication are going on at the same time.

One is the fact information dump, you know, which a lot of times doctors do, but the other is like, what are you experiencing?

What are you taking away from this? What are your worries? What are your goals? What concerns you here?

And I think that those ability or willingness to get a little bit uncomfortable, maybe to cry, maybe two, but more to listen.



Well, we're looking at a time in healthcare where burnout is at very, very high rates.

And I believe that some of the reason for burnout is our we're not kind to ourselves, so there's no self compassion.

We don't we don't take time to make sure that we're okay. And because we push away the grief and these other experiences, we, it ends up being a very fragile relationship that we have that we have when we could really dig in and be more connected and get more pleasure and more value out of work.

And so I, I would urge them to make some of these transitions toward honest communication, really being in touch with their own emotional experiences not shying away from these connections and conversations, and, and the emotional agility part that you need to be a successful provider of healthcare.

You need to be able to have that connection and also have the technical expertise.

And if you can learn to bounce between those two, you're really going to be a very wonderful provider.


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Control your mind and emotions: Brad Yates

Control your mind and emotions: Brad Yates

March 17, 2022

What is EFT? Emotional Freedom Techniques. How might it help you?

You don't need to fear being trapped by your emotions. You can exert control.

Brad Yates walks us through understanding and using EFT, (also known as tapping) to relieve stress, build confidence and manage our personal energy.

Episode 86 (Brad is from California)

In this conversation with Brad Yates we explore:

  • How not to feel trapped by our emotions
  • How to build a better understanding and control of our emotions
  • What is tapping, (EFT) and how might you start using it for your benefit?
  • How does tapping leverage our understanding of acupuncture?
  • How might tapping encourage positive self talk?
  • What is the science that supports Emotional Freedom Techniques?
  • What is the connection with self hypnosis, rhythm and sensory feedback?
  • How might you start tapping with Brad? (no obligation and no charge)

Who is Brad Yates and what has he done?

Brad Yates is known internationally for his creative and often humorous use of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT).

He has also been a presenter at a number of events, including Jack Canfield's Breakthrough to Success, has done teleseminars with “The Secret” stars Bob Doyle and Dr. Joe Vitale, and has been heard internationally on a number of internet radio talk shows. 

There are over 1,000 videos on his YouTube, that have been viewed over 36 million times. 

Invited by Jack Canfield to speak at his Breakthrough to Success event. Featured speaker on all 14 Tapping World Summits  Graduate of Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Clown College. 

Visit his website


Excerpts from this conversation with Brad Yates


It helps us control our mind and our emotions. Because so often those run away and we feel like we're at the mercy of our emotions. And that's why we have EFT, which is short for Emotional Freedom Techniques.

It's a simple mind body technique for giving us more freedom in terms of our emotions, rather than being trapped by the discomfort of fear, anger, sadness, and these all these natural emotions, but that sometimes we get sucked into and really limits the quality of our lives.

Now, that's curious. If I'm hearing that, right, you're saying that we can become captive, or a slave to our emotions and and perhaps we need to be a little bit more free from some of the emotions. It's not that we make the emotions go away, we just need to be in better control.



Brad, so the tapping is tapping with your finger on parts of your body. And you were just tapping on your, your face there in two or three places. And, and it was it's about one tap a second, roughly.

And while you're talking so I'm curious, is it the tapping that on the spot? Or is it is it a way of self hypnotism?

There are, there are similarities. I started out as hypnotherapist before getting into this. You know, after being a clown, and, and an actor, I'm not a doctor, but I played one on TV.

But there are there have been studies done to show that the tapping is an active part of the process.

So and you can actually tap without saying any words and you will calm down, it will down regulate your stress, even without the words now adding in the words and particular using affirmations using hypnotic language using cognitive behavioural therapy.

There's different ways of using wording, even NLP that can then help that process.

So you're getting the benefits of the the physical downregulation of stress with the tapping along with the mindset training at the same time is is then the the chief result of the tapping a reduction in stress.

Yes, that's the most the most obvious one. And so when you look at when you consider that most if not all of the issues that trouble us, both physically and emotionally, are either caused by or worsened by stress, then you'll see why a stress relief tool like this can be so helpful in so many different areas of life, including our physical well being our emotional well being and even our behaviour and our attempts to be more successful.

Because we then have that freedom to do things that we were afraid to do before. Alright, so let's, let's take a look at and how this works.

And here I am listening and looking at you and I'm thinking okay, my first thought is just sounds a little weird. And in so how do we get past that obstacle? How do we get past that brand?

Yeah, absolutely. George and I totally understand anyone who's there at that. I have introduced this to a lot of people and and sometimes people will be almost violent in their reactions.

Like this is the stupidest thing. I'll get comments on YouTube from people you know, saying things like that.

And then I'll often get comments from people later saying, I thought this was so stupid and now I am so grateful that I have this process. So there is that that resistance.

And as mentioned, I went to clown college. So when I learned this, this was not the strangest thing I've ever done, so I had an easier time.

But for the rest of you who didn't have the advantage of going to clown College, again, there's a lot of this growing body of scientific evidence validating it.

We have people from all walks of life using it, you there, there's video of Olympic athletes using it before their performance. I've worked with Olympic athletes worked with lawyers, doctors, award winning actors. So lots of people are using this.

So it's not just a lunatic fringe that's using a lot of people that you look up to people that you know, are you this is their secret weapon for feeling better, doing better and living better.

And again, a lot of people just say, look at acupuncture and say, oh, yeah, no, I understand acupuncture. That doesn't look weird. It's just the same thing without the needles. So for a lot of people, it should be, oh, it's acupuncture, but without having to use needles. 


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How to Give a Technical Presentation to Non-Techies: Andrew Churchill

How to Give a Technical Presentation to Non-Techies: Andrew Churchill

March 10, 2022

For Engineers and Technical Professionals when presenting to a non-technical audience

Transforming complex concepts into simple ideas people can understand

Andrew Churchill leads us through the process of dissecting complicated issues reimaging the key points into a clear and compelling message.

Episode 85

In this conversation with Andrew Churchill we examine:

  • How to get better feedback when preparing your presentation
  • Recognizing the presence of unintended messages
  • How one entrepreneur made a successful pitch for his spinal surgery tool
  • Why it's critical to consider how the audience will feel
  • Why the audience doesn't need to know everything
  • The danger of false focal points

Andrew Churchill specializes in helping founders and researchers deliver technical messages in a clear way.

He teaches engineers at McGill University how to connect with their audiences. 

You can find Andrew on Linkedin at Andrew H Churchill


Excerpts from this conversation

What do you want to know more about? How did you feel? And what did the person actually say?


 And the challenge is, as an academic, how do you present your research to people in three minutes that aren't in your discipline? So how do we go from that technical, unfamiliar world of my work? So you can understand me? And understand what I'm doing? The three minute thesis competition,


I talk about connection, comprehension and credibility.

George, you probably immediately recognise those as logos, pathos, and ethos. Communication is not changing very rapidly.

I mean, yeah, we have a microphone now and an electronic screen. But But, but the way humans relate to each other. The things we remember, the things that draw us in our capacity to remember, one of the things I'm one of the things I'm always talking with people is it's not.

You don't have to dumb it down. But you can't give us a lot of detail. Because we can't remember a lot. And we can't process a lot. So so it's not so when people say don't use jargon, I always say don't use technical words, use plain language.

I don't think I don't actually think that's so so here's a, here's maybe a controversial take. Academic academics should use technical language. They should use plain language too. But they shouldn't shy away from the language of their field.



They should teach it to us, they should bring us to their language. So because plain language doesn't work, there, you know, there there needs to be a plain language.



When we try and present technical information to a non technical audience. So it's not just about definitions, and explanation. The worst thing you can do is sound like a Wikipedia article.

And most people start with a Wikipedia article worth of information, which is fine. That's what the whiteboards for. You put the that information on the whiteboard, then you figure out what you want people to remember.

And then you figure out how to tell it in a way that people are going to become curious and motivated to listen. And, and then you try and finish in a way that people are going to be motivated to do whatever you're hoping they'll do after.



And Andrew I notice at least three important parts or elements to that that presentation. 

They started with something we know or at least are familiar with the flight simulator and they related that to the spinal surgery so they built a connection

If they just started in with spinal surgeon  Ha, we don't know, we don't know anything about that.

But they made that connection. So they started where we know that made a connection made us curious, introduced only one technical word, which then was explained, which now goes in our memory.

And we might feel good, I learned a new word today, haptic and even know what it means. I can use it in the sentence. It's like, when you're stirring the soup, and you feel that resistance, that's haptic feedback, you know, the right thickness of your stew.



That's a great analogy is perfect. See, it worked. And that message was received, because now George can explain haptic feedback.


But it's about being very strategic, and only choosing to highlight the ones you need and deleting way more than you think. The more you can delete, the more likely people are to understand and and stay with you.

I think there are two things that go on there. At least I think about this two ways. Be interesting to see if this resonates for you. One is a concept I call cognitive overload. Whereas you give me things eventually. can't take anymore. I'm done. And then I shut down.



And then the other one is a concept that I think of is false focal point.

I give you a detail. You think it's important. It's not. So I've created a false focal point. Because you're going to you pick up on things.

As you listen, you're like, Oh, that's interesting. But if it's not important if it's not central, but it's interesting. I've actually undermining myself. Because I've created interest in something. That's not what I'm talking about. It's not critical to what I'm talking about.



And and is that reinforcement and do that just because something's interesting doesn't mean it should be in our presentation.


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What’s Your Personality Style and Why Should You Care? Jonie Peddie

What’s Your Personality Style and Why Should You Care? Jonie Peddie

March 3, 2022

Know your personality style so you can leverage your strengths and mitigate your weaknesses

Joni Peddie guides us through the 9 personality styles of the Enneagram model

Episode 84

When you know and understand your hard wired personality style you will:

  • Recognize your blind spots
  • Appreciate your natural resting state
  • Be more comfortable with your internal dialogue
  • Have greater control of your reactions when stressed

The nine personality styles of the Enneagram in the sequence discussed:

8. Challenger

9. Peacemaker

1. Reformer

2. Helper

3. Achiever

4. Individual

5. Investigator

6. Loyalist

7. Enthusiast


Joni Peddie is the co-author of: The FAB Quotient: Experience Resilience and Fight Fatigue. 

She is co-author of: Resilience Up Assessment (in 200 countries).

Joni is based in South Africa.

To learn more about her programs visit,za


You can access your own resilience in 4 dimensions: Physical, Mental, Emotional and Purpose Driven Resilience.

Contact Joni by email to get the assessment at,za

There is a $25 fee for the assessment.


Excerpts from this conversation with Joni Peddie


And why is it important for us to understand our, our strongest personality type?



Because for personal growth and personal transformation, you need to know your own personality type to say, right journey.

If your personality type is called the top three in the Enneagram, then, what is the fear of the top three?  What does that shadow kind of fear?

You and I spoke a few minutes ago about the internal dialogue. And that can be largely driven by the fear and the desires of their personality type and the attitude of their personality type.

So if you know, with specificity, which one you were born, you can start to self manage in different ways, so that your fears and your blind spots don't trip you up.

And you can personally grow and be able to self manage differently, and then communicate in different ways to different personality styles to other people who are born different personality styles.



And does that mean that if a person is in one of those neighbourhoods, that they are also more likely to have shoulder personality of the other two types?



Very good insight there not a lot of people ask that question, George. And I've been teaching this for 25 years. So yep, very good question.

If they could have, we actually call it wings, but shoulders would work. So you're born a header, you know, that's your type. And then on either side, you've got a shoulder connected to the head.

So that's always on the circumference of the circle. So if we're talking about a type, clearly there could have a shoulder of an 8 or shoulder over one.

But certainly a type one couldn't have a shoulder of a non or shoulder to so the shoulders don't have to be in that neighbourhood that can kind of straddle neighbourhoods.



Do these strengths become a haven when we're stressed, stressed or threatened?



They certainly do. An earlier starting point, which was good, you know, you kind of revert back to the type that you were born.

So they become a haven because you you're hardwired that way. It's so it's automatic behaviour.

And actually, when people are stressed, the FBI uses the Enneagram. Because they can show when world leaders are stressed, those habits are automated, and you kind of play out an automated set of habits.

However, when you're not stressed, and you're more mindful, and you're more present, and you're more self aware.

Socrates said, self awareness is the beginning of wisdom. So when you're more self aware, you actually then will choose how you respond to people.

And in what way, you will choose that whole behaviour set according to the person you're speaking to the task, that issue were the businesses and the business growth.

People will not easily know your Enneagram type. And I find those leaders that I deal with are exemplary because they are not stuck in a certain automated pattern. They are free of it.

So there's a little bit of an oxymoron here is you need to for personal growth, know which type you are born.

And then you want to kick that box away and you want to go right I don't want to be a slave to that Enneagram type, I want to be agile, and use different behaviour sets according to the situation, the people that I'm working with.


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How to Deliver TED Talk Presentation: Devin Marks

How to Deliver TED Talk Presentation: Devin Marks

February 24, 2022

Let's deconstruct TED Talks to discover whey they were so popular

Devin Marks, the TED Talk Whisperer, reveals his findings and lessons from the success of TED Talks

Episode 83

Be sure to add your review on Apple podcasts


Topics and ideas we discuss:

  • History lesson from Billy Graham
  • Finding your story from your history to support the big idea
  • Why you need a Sherpa to Climb Mount Everest
  • How did the story raise $200 M for a start-up?
  • Presenting stronger online
  • How the big idea is underpinned with three key points
  • How to use the Athenian temple model to frame your presentation

A clearly focused message, a story wrapped message and an action inspiring message

Devin Marks has trained hundreds of speakers to deliver TED, TEDX and TED-style talks. 

Get your copy of Top 3 Secrets for Connecting with Online Viewers.

Click the link or visit



Excerpts from this conversation with Devin Marks


When you're working with potential Ted, or TEDx speakers, or Ted type talks, where do you start with them?



Always with their story. One of my favourite questions is what brought you to this invitation to deliver a talk?

Just walk me through the career path, the life path, the relationship path that led to today? What I it's always fun, especially when I'm working with engineers who always preface that with I don't have any stories.

There's a rich seedbed of story in the career, the relational and the life path, and it probably is connected. That's what the rearview mirror is for, to what they're doing today.

The big idea they're called to share. And then from there, we typically begin to ask, what is that big idea?

And can we mill it down and begin refining it through a six step process? I call that the idea mill.

Focusing on that first principle.

There's probably about 400 words and about a three and a half minute discourse. And it's unwieldy and misshapen. And it's sometimes their pre idea, and they've got six of these floating around, we want to hone in on that one over time.

And then begin tweaking, refining, balancing it, tightening it concentrating it, we want it to be tweet length, or shorter, memorable, illiterate, etc.



I've been told that most people take too long setting up the story.



So true, too much detail too much this that the other just enough, we need just enough. I liken a TED Talk to climbing Mount Everest.

And I'm not going to ask you to do that on your own. I'm a Sherpa. I'm a servant to your ambition.

And so I'll lead you up Mount Everest, we've been up and down many, many, many times. I know where the gravel crumbles, I know where the wind is bad and the sun is too hot and waters good or bad.

We can go a number of ways. But trust me in this path. Well, I mean, they're grappling hooks, we need to toss onto the side of that mountain and pull up.

And those are those relatable details. Those are those little two or three is all you need to establish credibility and ideally share something of your story that's relatable, and that the audience can import into their own story and future.

Right. I've done that before. Oh, I want to go with you on this journey.



What mistakes do you see business leaders committing in their style or delivery, when they come to you that you need to cleanse out of their system.



Too often they're accustomed to being the sage on stage, the authority figure that no one tells them, they're doing anything wrong.

And so that that certainty that they got it is a confidence but also it hobbles them in the delivery that is a TED talk.

Because a TED talk or a TED level delivery in any context, involves a great deal of rehearsing a great deal of coaching and a great deal of feedback from general audience members.

And that feedback loop improves the delivery every time. And that, that takes a little bit of courage to let go of control.


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Improve Your Virtual Presence with Lessons from a TV Newscaster: Malika Dudley

Improve Your Virtual Presence with Lessons from a TV Newscaster: Malika Dudley

February 16, 2022

Want to get better on Zoom? Study the TV newscasters. They know how to speak to the camera.

Malika Dudley reveals tips and mistakes from her experience as a TV weather reporter and interviewer.

Episode 82


Ideas and topics we explore:

  • Similarities between speaking on Zoom and on TV
  • Handling anxiety when speaking - live or virtual
  • Why it's important to appear to make eye contact
  • Preparing for on camera interviews
  • Reminder that you can't please everyone
  • How to leverage your video recordings

Malika Dudley is an award winning TV journalist. She is a former Miss Hawaii. She studied Communicology, (the scientific study of human communication).

She hosts The Communification Podcast




Excerpts from this conversation with Malika Dudley

One of my biggest tips would be to look at the lens of the camera instead of the face, because then you will be connecting with your audience more.

So you need to sacrifice a little bit yourself. Because for you, it's nice to have that connection and look at the faces that you're looking at. But my recommendation would be to at least go back and forth, if you can.



Oh, absolutely. I think everyone can relate to that, right. And what's awful about zoom, is that a lot people are not good audience members.

So maybe one thing for our audience members is that when you are attending a zoom, make sure that you're doing the same things that you would do in person.

you don't want to look bored, or maybe you're someone could be reacting to some, they're looking at their phone, and they get some kind of a whatever on their phone.

And so they have this weird look on their face, you would never know because you're you have no idea what's happening in their room.

So it's very different than in person where I can tell when someone's checked out, and they're looking at their phone, maybe they're reacting to their phone, or if I have everyone's engagement, and so as an audience member, it's really important to nod your head and smile, use those facial expressions to really give encouragement to your speaker.

And then yes, as the speaker, you, you kind of have to take it all with a grain of salt. And in fact, when I do speeches that are online, or if I have a presentation, I actually will put my notes up on top like in my screen, so I won't be able to actually see faces.

And, my dad always told me that you need to practice until it looks like you never practice today and in your in your life.




Did a word search online. And this was a word in the urban dictionary. And so they combined communication with beautification. So it's the beautification of your communication.

But also the more I searched online, I found that some people use this word communification to describe the unification of community. And both of those things are the goals and the vision for my podcast.

And when you listen to the podcast, not only will it help you to unlock your communication potential by teaching you these tangible research, base communication, strategies for navigating through things like apologizing, you know, when someone lies to you, or if you are being deceptive.

My first season is about communication and technology. So a lot of things like cyber bullying and phubbing, which is phone snubbing. So, you know, it's, it's just a place for us to learn and grow.

And then the opposite side of it is I think people need to feel like they are not alone. They want to know that when they're struggling, and we all feel this way.

We just think, oh, my gosh, I'm the I'm the only one I'm the failure. I'm the one that just sucks at this. But no, you are not alone. So many people struggle with the same issues.

I have a guest on usually, it's a celebrity, like my first episode was with the bucket list family, who has two and a half million followers on Instagram and all over, all over the internet. They're, they're very, very popular. And we talked about how social media, you know, impacts their communication.

And so it's really great to kind of hear from these people that live this day in and day out, when you see that they struggle. I mean, this woman who has millions of followers, is feeling depressed and judged and needs to take a break, then I think that makes us normal people feel so much better.

When we go, oh, wow, I feel the same way. But I thought I was all alone. And look at this girl who is liked by millions of people and still feels the very same exact way.

Because guess what? We're all human.


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Lessons from Sports to Apply to Workplace Teams: Diana Cutaia

Lessons from Sports to Apply to Workplace Teams: Diana Cutaia

February 10, 2022

What can we learn about communication and team building from playing and coaching sports teams?

Don't throw the ball the way you want to. Throw the ball the way they can catch it. The same rule applies to communication.

Episode 81

Former basketball coach, Diana Cutaia, offers inspiration and practical advice on how to build stronger teams.


Concepts and ideas that we explore:

  • How to reframe and address a behavior problem
  • Reminder about the lure of anger when communicating
  • Focus on process not the outcome, because process determines results
  • Celebrate other's results
  • Beware of the weakest link and the danger of tolerance
  • Why might the team resist change, again?
  • The role of the coach in supporting the team It's more than a pep talk

Diana Cutaia is founder of Coaching Peace Consulting. They help organizations boost workplace efficiency by building stronger teams and nurturing a healthy environment.

Coaching Peace provides virtual programs and multiday retreats. 

Diana Cutaia is based in Oregon, USA.

Learn more at


Excerpts from this conversation with Diana Cutaia:



Yeah, I think you hit on a good point there. George, I think one of the things to begin to think about when we think about behaviour, whether that's behaviour of a child, or adults.

Either way is they are trying to communicate with us and let us know, and there is a reaction. I mean, we always say, you can't change someone else, but you can change the way you interact with them.

And that, thus may change their behaviour. I think it's really important for us to understand if I'm a manager, and I walk into a meeting with one of my employees, and we're doing a performance evaluation, and they come in and they're wildly defensive, before I say anything.

I could get angry as a manager and say, hey, you know, no, we're not gonna, if you're gonna come in here and be defensive.

Or I could try to understand what feels threatening for them in this space, that they need to be defensive. And how have I contributed to that? And how might I approach this differently now that I have some understanding about how they're perceiving what we are doing?

And I think that's really important for us to kind of recognise and understand is that, you know, that connection and that communication becomes really important.



Lessons from sports teams?


Oh, gosh, there's so many, I think, the first of which is team, right, and how we kind of operate as a team.

And I think one thing that we learned in sport that I wish we could really translate, there's some businesses that do this really well, some companies that we've worked with, that we have been so impressed with how they do this is oftentimes we think about empathy, only in the context of sadness or tragedy, like when something bad happens, how are we empathising with someone?

How are we being in that space with them? And I think one of the things that we learn in sport is empathy, is also about connecting with someone else's joy.

So when you know your teammate hits a last second shot, and scores that basket, whether you win or lose, you think this is amazing, this is the best thing that ever happened. And there's this unbelievable amount of joy over their success.

When I coached, I would always say, if the other team makes a great basket, there are times I'll cheer him on, as a basketball coac., I'll cheer him on if you did something.

I'm not going to not recognise greatness and good things that happen. I'm going to share you have amazing joy.

How do we do that? In businesses? How do we celebrate each other's successes?

How do we cheer folks on when they need it, and also acknowledge them in those moments and not make it where it's adversarial or competitive in the way that we are using competition as a comparison, not a collaboration?


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How to be an outstanding podcast Guest: Alex Sanfilippo

How to be an outstanding podcast Guest: Alex Sanfilippo

February 3, 2022

Podcasting is an easy way for people to get to know, like and trust you.

Leverage the power of podcasting to build your brand.

Alex Sanfilippo is an entrepreneur who started his first business at the age of 10. He recently launched services to help podcasts guests and hosts to make podcasting simpler and more fulfilling.

Episode 80:

We explore:

  • Addressing the "Why?" of podcast hosting or guesting
  • Why podcasting is a powerful channel to nurture trust and build relationships
  • Five key points to cover when pitching to a podcast host
  • How to sound and feel when on the podcast
  • How to handle awkward moments during the interview
  • How to prepare yourself for your podcast appearance


Alex Sanfilippo founded a provider of services for podcast hosts and guests. -  Automatically Matches Ideal Podcast Hosts And Guests For Interviews

podmatch_logoao8kt.png - Software For Podcasters To Manage The Workflow Of Each New Episode Release


Alex Sanfilippo is based in Florida, USA.


Excerpts from this conversation between Alex Sanfilippo and George Torok



There are listeners who because of their experience, expertise and wisdom are potential guests for podcasts. What what can they do that might help them appear attractive to a host? 

The first thing I would say, and you mentioned pod match, which I'm so thankful that you mentioned that George.

Have a place whether it's pod match or not, where you can have all of your information. So you don't have to put it all in a message is that what you can put that link into a message with here's the 30 things I've done, here's a picture of me, here's this, right, have all those things somewhere.

And I can easily get you and your audience kind of a list of the things that they should have, that's pretty easy to find, I can get you a link for that. Actually, if you just go to

Get Your copy of the free checklist

There's a list of 12 things you can look at, that will help you be able to set up a really nice one sheet.

Again, you don't need to use my services, that's something you can just look at as a free resource. But once you're actually getting to the pitch, and you want to keep it short, so we can have that link where you can send them more details.

But the first thing I always tell people is to lead with value. Lead with value. Leading with value simply means to me to to actually care is to start off so George, like when I when I reached out to you to be on your show. I liked the name of the show. I liked the description. I liked your voice. I was like, Man, that sounds pretty cool.

But that wasn't enough. I could have led with that. I was like, No, I'm gonna listen to an episode. I picked an episode.

As a matter of fact, I want to recommend that episode because it goes well, we're talking about today, because we're not going to get into storytelling today. But as with Graham Brown, and he talked about the three bucks storytelling technique, that's episode 68 of your intended message, go listen to that episode.

Phenomenal. As soon as I listened to that I had the lead with value section done, I had listened to that. I liked it a lot. And I liked it so much I left to review the podcast.

So when I reached out to George I told him, Hey, I left you a review of your podcasts I listened to Episode I got a lot from it, I learned how to tell better stories.

And then once I did that, the next thing I did, so number two, that's lead with value number two, is to make a meaningful request.

A lot of people when they're doing pitching, they don't actually ever make the request. They just kind of leave it open ended. And a lot of podcast hosts or potential clients are it's kind of like, well, what am I supposed to do with this?

Give them a clear action, something they can take. So I actually made a meaningful request. I told George, hey, here's a spot that I think I could add value to your audience, would you be willing and interested to having me on the podcast, and that left it very, that gave him the chance to actually say yes or no to me.

The third thing I'll mention is to offer credibility. And offering credibility simply means that if I know somebody that knows George, I'm going to reference their name and be like, hey, you know, if you want to talk to Tiffany, she's a mutual friend of ours. 

You can reach out to her I was on her podcast, anything to add a little bit of credibility to show that you know what, you have some skin in the game that place or I spoke at this conference last year, I've been on 30 podcasts and last year, anything that's going to help something really short.

And then the next thing I'm going to mention is to to make it easy to say no, this is kind of how I end the thing is I usually make it really easy.

A lot of people, they just don't hear back, you don't hear back from people that you're pitching about your business idea, or that you're pitching to be on their podcast because they don't want to break your heart. If you already did all those nice things.

Now they're feeling like they can't really hurt your feelings. I always say, hey, no pressure at all. I only want to be on your podcast, if you think I can add value the audience. If not, it's probably better that we don't do this.

Leaving open like that. I've heard a lot of no's in my time a lot people have said no, no, thank you, I really appreciate it.

They wouldn't usually respond to other people, which is laid out in limbo forever. I personally like to hear back. And so that's something that's really worked for me.

And the last thing I always like to do is when I kind of have like a signing off tagline is I like to mention they'll share the episode. Because in all honesty, I will I love to share episodes I've been a guest on. And not all guests do that.

So if you do that only if you're willing to like don't lie, if you're willing to share it mention that because that as a host is like oh great, this guest is actually gonna help me promote a little bit, which is a tough thing that we have to deal with on the hosting side of the mic.


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Communication Techniques from a Retired Spy: JJ Brun

Communication Techniques from a Retired Spy: JJ Brun

January 27, 2022

Imagine being sent into a war zone with the mission of collecting information and influencing behavior of combatants.

Unlike James Bond, you don't have a license to kill, Nor do you have a fancy car and fancy devices.

You survive and succeed by communicating effectively.

Episode 79

JJ Brun was a "Contact Handler" in a war zone in Bosnia Herzegovina. His official title was Director General Intelligence Strategic Debriefing Officer. He was there to collect information from the people. He survived and succeeded in his role of building a large intelligence network of local people.

Ideas and concepts that we explore:

  • How to mentally prepare when you know you can't shoot your way out
  • The importance of appreciating names and getting them right
  • Why deception is not the best approach
  • Developing your listening and observing skills
  • Key phrases to build trust and encourage open conversation
  • Assessing personal types and adapting your approach

Get your free copy of "The 10 Most Effective Ice-Breaking Feel-Good Questions" by sending an email to

Learn more about JJ Brun and his services at the website

YES, you heard that right, JJ Brun offered to provide a no-charge workshop of up to 60 minutes on "Making Sense of the People Puzzle in Times of Change"

To learn more about that program and to arrange that for your team, contact JJ Brun at

Tell him you heard about this offer on the podcast, Your Intended Message.

His first book, Sell Naked on the Phone, sold over 60,000 copies.



Excerpts from this discussion with JJ Brun


Now a contact handler. Very unique skill set is a person where he or she is sent into a hostile environment where he or she has to cultivate sources within that environment and determine their intentions, or even modify their behaviours if and when required.

Without the use of any Jedi mind tricks. So my claim to fame within the intelligence community is that I was the first one volunteered to be a contact handler.

I was sent over to the UK to be trained to learn the skill sets and then I deployed into Bosnia Herzegovina being the first Canadian trained within this field since the Second World War.



Perfect. I was provided with my identity. Gov stories, funds, everything that I need all the little administrational aspect and I was provided with my weapon.

And that was a shock to me, because I was provided with a pistol two empty magazines that can hold 10 bullets each and 10 bullets, one pistol, two magazines, 10 bullets.

And I'm like, where's the rest of the bullets? As in? I've got two magazines. Should I not have 20 bullets?

To which we had an argument. Either I sign that off and I have to then come when I leave, bring back the pistol, the two magazine and the 10 bullets.

I was in trouble when I said to the gentlemen, what if I use one and I only bring nine bullets? Do I have to bring you the empty casing to prove that I've used one. He responded with if you don't bring me 10 bullets, you're going to get court martial.



JJ, I heard two, two points here that intrigued me. One is that you provided them with a voice. You were simply a conduit to allow them to have a voice. And my question is, why was that important to them? And even more than that, you said you had a network of bad guys. And why would the bad guys want you to convey their message?



Okay, well, the first one is that everybody wants to talk. And there's a saying, I don't know who's the author from this? Or who came up with this, but people don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care.

Right. That's a famous statement, and applies also across across cultures. Over there. There's different ethnicities? Well, back then he was the Serbs and Croats and the Muslims.

And everyone wants to be heard everyone wants to share their story. And you just have to provide them a safe environment where you want to receive their story.

And they want you to document they want you to to know that you're looking to make a difference. Now we were trained, we can't promise anything. You don't fake it, you don't promise the moon, you have to be authentic.

And quite often I would say, I can't promise you anything. Let me go back review what you've just shared with me. And Let's reconnect, when would be a good time for you Tuesday or Wednesday of next week, morning or afternoon, we'll book a meeting from a meeting.

And people, if you come with the sincere interest of sharing the story, right that their life mattered. And I was more of a reporter, in a sense of you're going there, you're looking to build a canal to find a connection with now, in every interaction we have with people either going to compete or complete that interaction.

Right, either going to compete or complete. Now, English is my second language. And when I'm reading the word complete and complete, one has the letter L. And so my brain was goes to well, What's the L factor in order to complete an interaction?

Until you can find a common link, a common luck or common love, no connection. As soon as you can find a common link common, like a common love, you have an opportunity to make that connection.


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Mission Driven CEO. What does that look and feel like? Ethan Martin

Mission Driven CEO. What does that look and feel like? Ethan Martin

January 20, 2022

Mission Driven Leaders have a higher calling, more than profit

Ethan Martin and his team at PFD Group coach high growth, mission driven companies to greater heights

Episode 78

In this conversation we explore:

  • What does it mean to be a mission driven leader?
  • How does that clear vision and mission nurture a strong team?
  • Why might three year goals and plans be more successful?
  • Why it's okay to adjust plans along the way?
  • What does love have to do with it?
  • What can an entrepreneur learn from flying a plane?


Ethan Martin is president of PFD Group. PFD Group focuses on helping high growth companies identify their strategic goals, build high performing teams, and execute their plans, by leveraging their expertise as industry CEOs.

Learn more about PFD Group here


Ethan Martin is Rockefeller Habits and 3HAG certified. He is author of "The Mentorship Engine" 



Ethan Martin is a pilot who also teaches entrepreneurs to fly and make the connection between flying and entrepreneurship.


Excerpts from this conversation with Ethan Martin



What we're seeing with our clients all over the world, George, is the importance of having a higher calling tied to your business. When there's, we call it a BHAG.

This is from Jim Collins and the fantastic research that Jim has done with From Good to Great, and his other books, especially Beyond Entrepreneurship 2.0, which we absolutely love, just so much wisdom in that book.

As leaders, we have a calling, we have an opportunity to truly steward the lives of those people working for us. And what we see when we align our business to a higher calling, some big problem that may take most of our life to solve, if not even beyond our lives.

Iit helps us to attract and retain the best talent. people I think we are realizing from this pandemic, that life is short, and who we choose to spend our time with is critically important.

And so when as leaders, we align ourselves to these higher calling what's really on our heart, what we're really passionate about, it is amazing how that is really key to building a great business that will grow, that will be very profitable, that will really solve everything.

But it all begins with having that kind of powerful mission tied to your company.



So it goes beyond simply being in love what you do. It sounds like there's some direction setting and prioritizing of what exactly you're going to do.



Yeah. It's one of the things we see with all of our clients is it's important to have a vision.

And this is created with a CEO in collaboration with his or her leadership team really important to pick what mountain are we going to climb?

Where do we want to be in about 10 years?  Where we want to be in three years - because three years is this magical timeframe.

George, in terms of communication being so, so clear, we'll oftentimes see in companies we call this mid mountain fog.

Where if the leadership team has this bold vision, but they haven't kind of chunked it into like a three year time frame, that's real. Because in three years, we have 12 quarters, to make all kinds of great investments, and people and product and partnerships, all kinds of things can happen.

But it's also close enough in that it's real. We see a lot of companies struggle with things like a five year wild ass guess, where the CEO, the leadership team, the ambassadors, all know, there's really not a lot tied to it, and then ends up being really stressful, because no one's really sure how to get there, or who they need to get there.

So three years becomes absolutely magical for really focusing leadership teams around where they want to go.


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