In contemporary business ‘speak up culture’, communication, connection and the psychological safety that flows from these are becoming key targets. Their profound affect on productivity, loyalty, and retention has been thoroughly demonstrated, most notably in Google’s Project Aristotle.
It’s interesting that this has coincided with the unstoppable rise of podcasts, which provide such a fabulous way to bear witness to some truly fantastic long-form conversations. In an era where screens and short attention spans are de rigeur, it’s actually thrilling to hear people really connecting, and actively working through tough questions together without the tight time limitations that apply on television or radio.
Philosophers Deleuze and Guattari (1974) said that thinking doesn’t happen solo, but in conversation with others - that it depends entirely on friendship, which forms the impetus for us to say something to each other, creating ‘thoughts that move’. I’d argue that the podcast conversation is fast proving to be a generator of thought leadership. So rather than overwhelm you with a bunch of pod titles, let's get specific. Here are five of our favourite episodes, conversations, and pod relationships, with a bit of a focus on psychological safety. Probably no huge surprises!
Annabel Crabb and Leigh Sales Chat 10 Looks 3 (any episode) Where productive chaos meets control freakery, Australia’s two most sought-after and respected political journalists are happily changing the face of feminism one intelligent and insane book-banter at a time, all the while consuming cake and throwing insults at each other. The resulting effect on their careers? Only bigger and better. The idea that we have to conceal our messiness and all the things that make us human, in order to be professional, is completely busted open. Such a relief.
Nakkiah Lui and Miranda Tapsell on Pretty for an Aboriginal, Episode 1: Adam Briggs
During 2017 and 2018 this fantastic podcast by two of the most powerful opinion makers in contemporary Australian culture riffed on ‘all the things this country has trouble talking about: relationships, sex, dating, being a total boss, weight, and most difficult of all, race’. In this first episode Nakkiah, Miranda and Briggs parse gendered language and work through what it means to determine your own path.
Wil Anderson and Andy Lee on Wilosophy, Episode 103. Andy raises Wil’s past public bullying some years ago, and after receiving a genuinely thought-through apology, they talk through how it happened and why, and what it takes to heal a rift. When do you ever hear colleagues doing this? When do you hear men doing this? An extraordinary opportunity to hear how it might work.
Wil Anderson and Cal Wilson on Wilosophy, Episode 87.
A chance to hear these two fabulous comics shooting the breeze about the stuff of life, expressions of love and appreciation between colleagues and why we should let people know how we feel while there’s time.
David Tennant and Olivia Colman on David Tennant does a Podcast, Episode 1.
Who wouldn’t want to hear two of the most lovable actors in the English-speaking world talking. Best of friends after their stint together on Broadchurch, they talk fame and family and how they’ve muddled through while keeping it real.
Written by Christina Koch, Lead Consultant at The Cornell Voice Advisory
Deleuze and Guattari (1974) What is Philosophy in Maaike Bleeker (2003) ‘Dramaturgy as a mode of looking’, Women & Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory, 13:2, 163-172