The other day, I was talking with my assistant, Jasmine. We were observing how the What’s On Your Mind podcast that I do with Alicia McKay is getting more and more popular. Jasmine responded with “yeah, that’s because you and Alicia are doing in public what lots of people want for themselves: engaging in deep, rich, meaningful conversations.”

If you haven’t watched or listened to the podcast yet, each 10-minute episode is essentially Alicia and I riffing in response to the question “what’s on your mind?”, with no prior preparation. As a result, we have a really authentic conversation, exploring our perspectives and our vulnerabilities, with cameras and microphones capturing everything to share with the rest of the world. 

I think Jasmine’s onto something. We have a fundamental human need for belonging. To be heard. To make sense of our world. To have trusting relationships where we can be fully open and fully ourselves. Having real, authentic conversations is one primary way to express and fulfil this need.

What I’ve observed in many workplaces is plenty of shallow conversations. It’s easier to talk about the task at hand or bitch about other people. I think what many people are really yearning for is a deeper, more exploratory style of conversation. Unhurried, unencumbered, unjudged.

A client of mine has this little ritual. After a challenging day or a challenging meeting, she’ll check in with one of her colleagues. If either of them wants to process what’s been happening, they have a word that they say to each other, which is code for “let’s go for a walk around the block.” Nice. That’s the type of thing I’m talking about. 

Alicia and I started our podcast in response to our need to make sense of things as New Zealand went into lockdown due to COVID-19, in March 2020. The world is still crazy, so it just seems right to carry on. Even if we had no listeners, we’d still do it. We both get so much out of it. We need a place to make sense of stuff, and we give each other the room to do that.

How do you make sense of what’s on your mind? 


Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash

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