Speaking in public can be a very anxiety-producing experience, but why? And how can we remove some of that anxiety and do a better job in front of an audience? Our guests discuss the fear of public speaking and offer advice on how to create, prepare for and deliver a speech with confidence.
The Mysterious World of Plants
Americans love to garden. We often do it without considering the history, and sometimes the toxicity of our plants. We discuss the unusual side of gardening and find out about some very interesting plants, how they have been used as hallucinogens, medicines, or tourist attractions.
Do you find yourself too distracted to get important things done? Have you tried every method to stay productive but haven’t found the right one? We talk with two expert consultants on how you can finally tackle that to-do list.
David Allen, author of Getting Things Done: The art of stress-free productivity, emphasizes committing ourselves to the outcome of the task itself, and then asking what physical activity needs to happen in order to get to our desired outcome. Allen’s three steps for reaching productivity are “capture , clarify and organize.” We must capture what has our attention in a to-do list or a reminder. Next, we should clarify if what we captured is actionable. Then, we should delegate certain lists for certain activities.
Productivity consultant Steve McClatchy notes that both a to-do list and a calendar serve as the most efficient productivity methods. Before we can commit to an activity, we must look on our calendars to see if we are free. Once we write an activity down on the calendar, the to-do is the action after the decision is made. McClatchy says that although people look at procrastination negatively, it often forces us to complete an activity or task. He explains that putting something off long enough may cause our bodies to panic, which then leads to focusing all our energy on the activity that we once dreaded.
When it comes to respecting authority, we may face conflicts with our bosses or leaders if we are told to do something illegal or immoral. We talk with Ira Chaleff, founder and president of Executive Coaching & Consulting Associates, who says that sometimes it may be necessary for us to disobey authority in order to protect ourselves and others. “Some of us learn the lessons of obedience a little too well, and when the time comes to stand up to the boss we give in because we’re afraid of negative repercussions if we don’t,” Chaleff says. “We can take some fear out of the experience if we know how to say “no.”
Chaleff elaborates about Intelligent Disobedience: thinking consciously about the orders we are given, saying “no” in a calm, professional manner, and explaining why we chose to do so. He says this method works for anyone, from an office employee to a soldier on the battlefield. Even service dogs learn intelligent disobedience for when they are given a command that may endanger their owner.
Chaleff says that practicing intelligent disobedience requires the courage to assume responsibility, the courage to help a leader move past your decision, and the courage to take a moral stand. He also advises teaching children to think carefully about what they are asked to and how to determine the right time to obey and the right time to question authority.
Does it ever seem like the more you try to get stuff done, the less you accomplish? It may be that you’re expending too much energy on doing and not enough planning ahead of time. Two experts provide simple strategies you can use to make more of the time you have to get things done.
Intelligent Disobedience: Knowing when and how to say “no”
We’re taught from a young age that we should obey authority, however there are times when you should say no to the ones in charge. Our guest discusses when and how to say “no” effectively for the benefit of the individual and others.
On June 26, 1997, one boy changed the world. That young boy was named Harry Potter, the famous protagonist of the seven-book series by JK Rowling. If you are unfamiliar with either of those names, there is a large chance you are living with the confundus charm. With 160 million copies sold in the U.S. alone and over 400 million copies sold worldwide, Harry Potter has truly taken the world by storm. This week marks the 10 year anniversary of the release of the final installment Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. To celebrate this triumphant anniversary, we spoke with two Harry Potter experts on the impact this series had and continues to have on the world.
You may be familiar with Professor Severus Snape, but did you know Harry Potter professors exist outside the mystical world of the books and novels? Swansea University’s John Granger has specifically dedicated his studies to the magic behind the Harry Potter series. Proclaimed the “Dean of Harry Potter Scholars”, Granger’s fascination with the series led him to dive into the symbolism behind Rowling’s works. Granger says that the entertainment factor of reading the books and watching the movies serves a religious function for everyone in this secular world. Additionally, these books hold a larger symbolism in the way they connect us with the world. Granger says the Potter series is now a shared text of the world, and of western civilization.
As fans who read the books when they were kids, grow up and then read them to their own children, it is easy to see how Harry Potter has become a favorite for multiple generations.
Elements of the Harry Potter series such as dementors and patronuses can be viewed symbolically as representative of the struggle of good versus evil. Many readers connect emotionally to Harry’s loss, struggle, and battle to fight his own demons. Clinical therapist Dr. Janina Scarlet builds on this connection by using superheroes, witches and wizards to help her patients cope with their depression or PTSD.
In her first book Superhero Therapy: A hero’s journey through acceptance and commitment therapy, Scarlet describes how she uses superheroes to help veterans deal with their PTSD. Dr. Scarlet’s patients select their favorite superhero, and then discuss how their own experience may relate. She says that the vulnerabilities of each superhero allows the patients to dive into their own flaws and overcome them.
Along with superhero therapy, Dr. Scarlet uses her personal favorite book series, Harry Potter. Scarlet says that the Harry Potter series truly demonstrates how to overcome traumatic experiences. When reading a story about a boy that deals with the loss of his parents, people can either relate and learn from him or sympathize for him. Although Harry may live in a fictional world, reading his story allows people to recognize he has similar experiences and feelings as all of us.
Dr. Scarlet talks about finding the patronus in all her patients to help them beat their depression. She says if we can all connect with happy memories as Harry did, then we can start to overcome any personal dementors in our lives. If you would like to know more about how Harry Potter can help you, keep an eye out for Dr. Scarlet’s Harry Potter therapy book coming soon.