For anyone that knows me will know that I do LOVE a podcast, a love affair that began about 12 months ago [I’m sure you’ll agree there are probably more podcasts recorded now than one person could possibly listen to in their entire lifetime – the same can be said for books but that doesn’t put us off]. If you see me out walking, running, driving or on a train, I’ll likely have my headphones in listening to a podcast.
I’m not one for ‘jumping on the bandwagon’ [absolutely no judgement to anyone that does] it’s just I like to take my time with things and although I could easily go and download the latest episode from the ‘newest/popular’ podcast I prefer to explore, choose ones at random and let others make recommendations. That said, there are a core set of podcast series that I do generally make my selections from and these include;
I suppose what’s common throughout all of these is that they are conversation-based and feel authentic. Although most of the episodes with Steven Bartlett are just him, the listeners do feel part of the conversation [it might sound a bit daft as it is pre-recorded but he does have a way of opening up a dialogue with him and with ourselves]. It’s thanks to one of his episodes that this quote, ‘maybe great is just good consistently’ has been floating around in my head for well over a month now. I even have it written on a post-it note that I carry with me in my bag. Oh and the episode with Johan Hari is just incredible! Well worth a listen!
Whilst in Manchester last month visiting the Digital Advantage team, I met Vic from MIC Media who ‘makes podcasts for people, trains and coaches folk to make their own and hosts events for the podcaster community’. It was whilst chatting with her she told me about the Strong Manchester Women series that she has recorded, and for the drive home I asked her to recommend one for me – this one with Bernie Wood is the one she recommended, and it was fantastic! I came away thinking we all need to be a bit more Bernie.
— Anna Lize (@Anna_Lizee) September 12, 2019
For someone who doesn’t find starting a real-life conversation easy [slightly averse to small talk, worries I’ll say the wrong thing, ask too many questions…etc] these podcasts give me an insight into another human being and I don’t think I’ve ever come away from listening to one without learning something new, understanding a different point of view, or taking some time for personal reflection. I genuinely believe it’s so important that everyone is given the chance to share their story and use their voice.
Whilst writing this blog I’m being taken back to a Triad exercise I recently took part in at The Art of Connecting Communities event which was organised by Lancaster District CVS.
As a group of three, we were asked to take on the role of speaker, listener and witness in 10-minute rotations – our group also chose to walk outside whilst having these conversations. The role of the speaker was to “Share a story of a connection you made that changed your life. What was the impact?”, the listener was there to practice ‘active listening’; the role of the witness was to listen, watch and feedback but not to participate in the conversation. We shared such personal stories in those 30 minutes but came away realising how important it is to slow down a conversation and really take the time to listen. In some follow-up notes I’ve found it reads; “Participate and practice conversation…be willing to listen fully, respectfully, without judgment and thinking you already know the answer – practice conversation mindfully.” How often do we have conversations where we’re finishing the sentence in our head or thinking of the next question we’ll ask, or finding ourselves getting distracted about what’s for tea tonight? It’s so easy to do but just imagine the types of conversation we could have if we slowed down, stayed open and allowed space for clarity to arise…
“It is a very powerful experience to be listened to and to really hear another human being” Dr Andy Knox.
Still digesting EVERYTHING we’ve learnt over the past two days 🧠 but WOW what an incredible #community we have in #MorecambeBay 🌊#togetherwecan#artofhosting#peoplemakecommunities pic.twitter.com/yEjlLJ13fw
— Anna Lize (@Anna_Lizee) May 16, 2019
On that note I’ll end here knowing that to get better at having real-life conversations, I need to practice [and practice again] and you know what Steven, maybe great is just good consistently and to be good at something we need to firstly try, put in the effort to practice and be prepared to get it wrong or find it hard. Even then, let’s take the time to reflect and learn from it.