Episode 18: Could you forgive the man who killed your father? with Jo Berry

What would you do if you came face to face with somebody who had killed a family member? What happens when we are able to see the humanity of those we normally ‘other’?

JoBerryJo Berry lost her father in 1984, after he was killed by a bomb planted by he IRA at the Grand Brighton Hotel. The man who planted the bomb, Patrick Magee, was released from prison in 1999 – and Jo decided to meet him. What happened next is not what you might expect… since their first meeting, Jo and Patrick have toured the world to promote peace and understanding. Read more about Jo’s story here.

In this powerful episode of The Way We Connect, we discuss this most unlikely of connections, the difficulty of working with our emotions of grief, anger and pain, the importance of breaking the cycle of revenge, and our visions of a more peaceful world.

Listen here: http://thewayweconnect.buzzsprout.com/160260/1690837-could-you-forgive-the-man-who-killed-your-father-with-jo-berry

Resources: 

Building Bridges for Peace (Jo’s organisation) http://www.buildingbridgesforpeace.org/

The Forgiveness Project – Jo Berry & Patrick Magee https://www.theforgivenessproject.com/jo-berry-patrick-magee

Jo’s TED Talk “Disarming with Empathy” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coljnvVH18o

 

Episode 15: Conflict resolution, mediation and Existentialism – with Yannick Jacob

What is conflict and why does it exist? What are the real reasons behind conflict, and how can a mediator help people to resolve their issues? And while we’re at it – what on earth is existential therapy?

Screen Shot 2019-06-21 at 11.56.04Yannick Jacob is an Existential Coach, Positive Psychologist, Coach Trainer & Supervisor, Mediator and the former Programme Leader of the MSc Coaching Psychology at the University of East London. In his own words: “I work with coaches, leaders and anybody who considers themselves to be in a “position of great responsibility” to help them gain clarity, make choices, build resilience and navigate their life. I believe in balance, understanding, helping people think (more deeply and effectively) and develop the courage to fully live across the whole spectrum of human experience. I believe that the key to sustainable happiness lies in not just accepting, not-avoiding or managing, but in embracing the inevitable struggles and challenges that life continuously throws as us.”

Join us as we discuss what drew Yannick to this field, how mediation works, the real roots behind conflict and perhaps how the existential approach ties in to all of this.

Listen to the episode here: http://thewayweconnect.buzzsprout.com/160260/1311637-resolving-conflict-mediation-and-existentialism 

Resources:

Yannick Jacob’s website (there is SO much on here to check out!) – http://www.coachingandmediation.net/

Dr Nash Popovic’s Personal Synthesis course (£8 for lifetime access!) – https://www.personalsynthesis.com

Episode 7: Radical Honesty – is honesty always the best policy?

Is honesty always the best policy? What are the pros and cons of being honest? And what is Radical Honesty?

In this episode, we invite Marvin Schulz – Radical Honesty trainer and coach – to discuss the practice of Radical Honesty. Originally created by Dr Brad Blanton, a psychotherapist who realised one day that the root of most suffering was some form of dishonesty or another – Radical Honesty is a practice in which people try to speak honestly to one another. But it’s more than that – it’s a way of being present in the moment, of recognising what is ‘true’ vs true for you, and of living in a more open, vulnerable and loving way.

The conversation takes us down some other interesting roads – when have we been honest or dishonest in our lives? What does honesty really mean? Is it better to be honest or polite, and in which situations? And what’s the difference between being honest and just being an asshole?

LISTEN HERE: http://thewayweconnect.buzzsprout.com/160260/691363-episode-7-radical-honesty  – or download from your favourite podcast app.

Resources:

Radical Honest website – https://www.radicalhonesty.com

Is is Better to be Polite or Frank? School of Life video 

Episode 4: Can you be your authentic self at work?

Can you be your true self at work? What would it be like to feel open, authentic and vulnerable at work? Is focusing on happy workers altruistic or exploitative, and is training people to create inner change an easy get-out for bad employers?

In this episode, we bring in David Papa: spiritual coach, leadership consultant and founder of Love & Profit. We start off by finding out about how he works with leaders to bring their ‘higher selves’ to work – a self that is more loving, vulnerable and open. Join us as David kindly shares with us his thoughts about how change is always possible from within, and about how we always have a choice to be happy.

But wait! Do we always have a choice, or is this easy to say for people lucky enough to have those choices? Is it really fair to talk about changing our mindsets if we are in a horrible situation? Listen and let us know what you think!

Listen here! : http://thewayweconnect.buzzsprout.com/160260/677553-episode-4-happiness-and-authenticity-at-work 

Resources:

David mentioned Martha Beck and her “shackles on or shackles off” test, a way to test with your gut or higher self what you really feel about a decision.

He also referenced the book The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor, a popular book that highlights the benefits of happy employees. However, Gwen countered with the book The Happiness Industry: How Government and Big Business Sold Us Well-Being by William Davies.

Another book mentioned was Reinventing Organizations by Frederic Laloux, with the quote: Workplaces have traditionally encouraged people to show up with their “professional” self and to check all other parts of themselves at the door. They often require us to show a masculine resolve, to display determination and strength, and to hide doubts and vulnerability. Rationality rules: the emotional, intuitive, and spiritual selves are typically unwelcome, or out of place”. The link here leads to an online platform and free resources about creating authentic, enlightened workplaces. (Gwen: I LOVE the book and the examples!)

David discussed Victor Frankl and his book A Man’s Search for Meaning. Frankl was a holocaust survivor who wanted to look at how some people thrived in seemingly hopeless situations. He went on to found logotherapy, a form of existential psychotherapy. 

And finally, we briefly touched on Brené Brown and her work on vulnerability. Her research shows that the happiest, most ‘whole-hearted’ people are those who are not afraid to show some vulnerability and weakness. She also writes some beautiful stuff about courage! 

Episode 3: Projection and Mind-Reading

Do we truly see people for who they are, or do our preconceived ideas mean we only see them through a filter? Do we assume we know what our loved ones are thinking and end up feeling upset or hurt because we didn’t challenge that assumption? Are the negative qualities that upset us so much in others actually parts of ourselves that we try to deny?

Sigmund Freud claimed that projection was a defence mechanism – instead of looking at something “bad” in ourselves, like selfishness, lust, or anger, we saw it in other people instead. Instead of seeing people as they are, we ‘project’ an image onto them, like a movie projector stopping you from seeing what’s really underneath.

We don’t necessarily only do this with things we’re denying in ourselves – we also project what we expect of people onto them, which can lead to stereotyping, discrimination, and a lot of unnecessary conflict. And what happens when we bring this into our close relationships? Maybe we start think we can read the other person’s mind – assuming they are upset with us or that they are bored of us, then treating them as if our projection is the ultimate truth.

Our special guest, John, talks about the role projection played in his marriage. He often assumed that his wife was needy and dependent on him, yet never questioned this. He also talks about how he struggles with his idea that people are angry with him all the time, and how he uses open and honest communication in his current relationship to figure out what’s really going on.

We also talk a little about how we feel when people project onto us – assuming traits or intentions that are not there because they have created an idea of who we are based on one or two pieces of information – and the ‘positive’ side of projection; where we project all our fantasies onto our new lover and see them through rose-tinted glasses.

Some of the resources we mentioned:

We mentioned the book Why Do I Do This? by Joseph Burgo; the quote about “when we project we turn the other person into a symbol: the Bossy Jerk or the Needy Wreck” was actually from this article here at ExperienceLife.com: https://experiencelife.com/article/how-to-stop-projecting/ 

This article – “Projection in Relationships: Stop it from ruining your connection” was helpful as we thought of ideas for this episode: https://www.monikahoyt.com/projection-in-relationships/

The book that mentioned how families project their expectations onto us is They F*** You Up: How to Survive Family Life by Oliver James.

We talked about Freud, and how he discussed projection as a defence mechanism. Read more about psychological defence mechanisms here: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201110/the-essential-guide-defense-mechanisms