Inside Influence


The Next Right Thing: Joe Newman on parenting in crisis, structure and compassionate discipline

Season 1, Ep. 75

Hi – this is Julie Masters and you’re listening to The Next Right Thing – a mini-series from The Inside Influence Team. Designed to provide some actionable certainty in uncertain times. Specifically – and the situation we’re all facing right now – the ‘messy middle’ of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The idea behind this series is to go out to some of the most popular guests from past episodes of Inside Influence – and ask them one question: ‘What are the most important things you are focusing on right now (tools, ideas, strategies) - or advising your clients to focus on - that you know for sure work in uncertain times?’

The intention being that somewhere in there, from these incredible minds, you might be able to find inspiration for your next right thing – or to put it another way - a point of certainty amidst the uncertainty.

In this episode I speak with… Joe Newman. Joe describes himself as an expert in helping parents in crisis. When we first brainstormed this series - he was top of my list to reach out to. As one of the first children to be diagnosed with ADHD. A label that taught him that he was “broken,” – he went on to shatter expectations and re-build his identity as a teacher and champion of children labelled by society as ‘difficult’ or ‘beyond help’. Founder of Raising Lions – he is also author of the book by the same name ‘Raising Lions: The Art of Compassionate Discipline’. In other words – how to hold structure in situations – and with children – where structure doesn’t come easily.

Honestly, I think I have used his tools more in my parenting journey than any other source. And – as I say at the beginning of this podcast – I think if this lockdown has taught me anything over the past six or seven weeks – it’s how to apologise. Two kids under three, two businesses in chaos and two parents trying to find their way through without destroying their sanity or each other. That’s a situation – by anyone’s definition - that needs some tools.

In todays conversation we talk about… structure and why it’s vital. Mutual recognition – including why starting your sentences with ‘I need’ – far from being selfish – is one of the most powerful lessons we can teach our children in creating intimacy. Why the fight is never about the thing – insert homework, wearing shoes or use of the iPad – but about power, autonomy and dignity. And the powerful shift from right and wrong – to cause and effect.

What I want you to reflect on here… is actually a quote I heard from Joe the first time we spoke. It’s a quote from Peggy O’Mara and it says this: ‘The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice’. Seriously: ‘The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice’. Doesn’t that just slay you?

Those words I feel have been seared on my brain since the moment I heard them. But here’s what I’ve realised, the more I’ve thought about it. Our words become the inner voices or our children – yes – but those words start as our own inner voice. The voice, the tone and the language we use on ourselves. In our best and worst moments.

So, maybe we can start there – the next time we hear something coming out of our mouths that we don’t feel is perhaps our best selves – by asking ‘where do I say this to myself’, ‘when did I first hear those words’ and ‘how can I be gentler, more resourceful or present in those moments’. Maybe by tending to that inner voice, we can become a better inner voice for the people that we love. 

If you want to dig even further into Joe’s tools and strategies and the work of Raising Lions… you can also hunt down our previous conversation - which I believe is episode No. 54. Obviously check out the book – and if you sign up for his newsletter I believe he’s also running free Zoom Q&A’s for parents in crisis. So definitely worth checking out.

So… other than staying well and looking after each other – now the time to sit tight, listen up and hopefully find somewhere in here - the fuel you need for your next right thing.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say I again - this series very much a ‘by the seat of your pants’ kind of thing… lockdown means we’ve had to work with what we have in terms of equipment and internet speeds. So sound quality isn’t always perfect. But – as I’m learning to embrace - that’s not the point. 

The point is that we’re showing up – with intent that somewhere in here – imperfections and all - you will find the fuel you need for your next right thing.

More Episodes


Margaret Neale - Getting more of what you want, a blueprint for battle free negotiation

Season 1, Ep. 83
Greetings everyone, my name is Julie Masters and welcome to another episode of Inside Influence. In which I delve into the minds of some of the world’s most fascinating influencers – or experts in influence - to get to the bottom of what it really takes to own your voice - and then amplify it to drive an industry, a conversation, a movement or a Nation.If I asked you to think of a business negotiation, depicted in TV, film, theatre etc. chances are it’s a scene of high drama. It’s a desk-banging, horn-locking, hard-balling battle where someone (usually the most aggressive) leaves with everything and the little guy gets nothing.Now, if I asked you to think back to the last negotiation you were involved in, I’m guessing it didn’t look much like that. But I bet it still had a feeling of edge to it; an understanding that the available outcomes fit into one of only two camps – what they want – and what you want.But is this ‘us vs them’ version of negotiation due to the nature of the negotiation process itself? Or the human nature we bring to it?According to my next guest - this battle orientated framework for negotiation – is as broken as it is ineffective.Professor Margaret Neale is The Adams Distinguished Professor of Management at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University – as well as Negotiation Strategies Program Co-Director of the Executive Program for Women Leaders.Professor Neale’s research focuses primarily on negotiation, and in 2015 she co-authored ‘Getting More of What You Want: How the Secrets of Economics and Psychology Can Help You Negotiate Anything, in Business and in Life’.This book leverages decades of research to answer questions like: ‘Who should make the first offer?’ and ‘How to create a compelling pitch?’What I loved about this approach is the definition of negotiation itself – which shifts the focus from a battle mindset – one I’ve never found comfortable or particularly effective - to one of‘finding a solution to your counterpart’s problem that makes youBETTER OFFthan you would have been had you not negotiated’.Why is that important? Not many of us consider ourselves talented negotiators – but most of us, in one area or our lives or another, would get a gold star at problem solving.In this episode we jump into:How much preparation you should be doing for each negotiation - chances are it’s a lot more than you think – and here’s a clue – twice as much as you’re doing right now.The 4 step structure for how to get what you want from a negotiation - including how to tackle most people’s least favourite part:The Ask.Why – when heading into a negotiation – you should neversolve the easy issues first. Why? Because leaving the big hairy stuff until last is the fastest way to end the negotiation in conflict.The differences between how men negotiate and how women negotiate. This is not only hugely important for women to understand – but for any men who want to better support the women you lead, mentor or love in getting what they have earned – then these insights might change the way you approach it.And finally, how to move someone out of survival mode and into learning mode – which let’s face it - is the only mode where solutions are found.Right now, as we try to figure out what comes next in this pandemic - new rules are being written daily and everything about ‘the old way of life’ has the potential to be renegotiated. I know for myself, this sometimes feels like a huge opportunity – and other days like a daunting challenge - but here’s the choice: do you want to approach these negotiations a) ready for conflict Or b) ready to collaborate?If the answer is the latter -then yeah, me too.So, sit back, do whatever you need to do to negotiate some time for yourself – no easy feat these days - and enjoy my conversation with the fiercely sharp mind of Professor Margaret Neale.

Jonah Berger - The Catalyst: How to change anyones mind without having to push

Season 1, Ep. 82
“Greetings everyone, my name is Julie Masters and welcome to another episode of Inside Influence. In which I delve into the minds of some of the world’s most fascinating influencers – or experts in influence - to get to the bottom of what it really takes to own your voice - and then amplify it to drive an industry, a conversation, a movement or a Nation.Now, some might say, that one of the ultimate forms of influence is the ability to change the mind of someone’s else.Which shouldn’t be that hard right? Replace fact A with updated Fact B and then done. System overwrite. Opinion changed.If you’re smiling right now – then I’m guessing you’re with me in that – never once – in my entire career of trying to get ideas adopted and actioned. Have I EVER had that experience.Generally speaking, and by that I mean pretty much always, if we feel we’re being pushed to do something, we push back. If something new or novel is suggested, our brains automatically pick out every reason it’s a terrible idea before we even CONSIDER it.Even when confronted with proven evidence that a change is needed research shows that - human nature (in its infinite wisdom) – then makes us MORE determined to double down on our current version of events.So - when opposition is literally hard wired into our nature – and without access to Yoda and some serious Jedi mind tricks – then then question then becomes – how do you change someone’s mind?My guest today has spent a career unpacking the hidden forces behind influence.Professor Jonah Berger is a marketing professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and internationally bestselling author ofContagious,Invisible Influenceand now The Catalyst.At the heart of Contagious -which (without overestimating) is a complete must read -is why certain products, ideas, services, and behaviours catch on. While others stay on the side-lines.The success of Contagious and resulting consulting requests for some of the worlds top tier firms – including Google, Apple, Nike - then led him to another insight. That there are two phases to impact. The first is getting someone’s attention – the second is converting that attention into action.That realisation - and resulting research - led to his latest book ‘The Catalyst: How To Change Anyone’s Mind’; a counterintuitive approach to initiating change - which isn’t about pushing harder or exerting more energy, but insteadlowering the barriersthat prevent that change from happening.·In this episode, we talk about what those barriers are – and how pushing against them, as instinctive as it feels, rarely works.·We discuss the technique of providing a menu; and why giving someone options allows them to buy in while retaining control. Sounds simple, but apply it and you’ll find this one is a game changer.·We look at the impact of movements – the role of protests - and the what next when it comes to harnessing attention into action.·And finally, one for the world we currently find ourselves facing: How tolift the handbrake of uncertainty. Allowing people to experience what you’re offering, by temporarily removing the risk involved in changing their mind.At this point I would usually provide a menu of ways to enjoy the podcast – along with some suggestions of what to reflect on – but in the spirit of this episode – I’ll leave that up to your own free will.Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing – I hope you enjoy my conversation with the incredible Professor Jonah Berger....

Chris Bailey - Hyper Focus: How to master distraction and create attention worthy work

Season 1, Ep. 81
“Greetings everyone, my name is Julie Masters and welcome to another episode of Inside Influence. In which I delve into the minds of some of the world’s most fascinating influencers – or experts in influence - to get to the bottom of what it really takes to own your voice - and then amplify it to drive an industry, a conversation, a movement or a Nation.”Now, when you listen to this podcast, are you onlylistening to this podcast? Or when you listen to this podcast, are you cooking? Driving? Working? Working out? All of the above?Chances are you’re not focussing solely on this podcast. Most likely, you’re doing something else. In fact, when you think about it – when was the last time you shut down all distractions and focused on one thing utterly and completely?And why am I even asking these questions – what does any of this have to do with influence? The answer is – everything. If there’s one thing I know for sure it’s this – we can have no influence, not over ourselves, our organisations, our networks or our communities – without first mastering the ability to focus.The most influential people you know are the most focused. I’ll say that again… The most influential people you know are the most focused. They are the most able to tune out the noise and focus on essential signals. And in doing so create a force strong enough to pierce through the noise in other people’s lives – long enough and consistently enough - to create an equally focused following.Add to that – that there are no shortage of distractions right now. No shortage of screaming elements that are as urgent as they are important. The future of the economy, important social unrest in our societies, a pandemic, the health and wellbeing and continued isolation from our families, educating and entertaining our children at home, trying to keep our jobs and businesses alive – not to mention the ever ready call of social media - just to remind us of everything else we (probably) don’t have the time or bandwidth to even consider adding to our plate.PLUS – and I will stop soon I promise – there’s this whispering opportunity many of us feel at the moment. The opportunity to look deeply at our lives, our careers, our businesses – and redesign them.For some it’s to include more breaks, more white space and more connection. For other’s it’s transitioning to a business model that will put us and our teams in the strongest possible position for whatever comes next.So – have I made my case yet? Focus and how we deal with distractions has everything to do with influence.My guest today has been making this case for over 15 years.Chris Bailey believes in a ‘human’ approach to productivity and focus i.e. no spreadsheets in sight. A fact that makes me truly happy.His fascination with focus first led him to dedicating a year after college – turning down a number of job opportunities – in order experiment with productivity. Primarily using himself as the guinea pig. These experiments included.... working a 90 hour week, watching 70 hours of TED talks in 7 days, and making himself bored for a month to see where his mind wandered. All this, with the aim to learn and share how we can focus more deeply, overcome procrastination and energise ourselves in the process.The result of this 12 months was his first book ‘The Productivity Project: Accomplishing More by Managing Your Time, Attention, and Energy’.The book was a huge success, but then Chris noticed something – that his old unfocused habits were starting to creep back in – particularly when it came to technology. This led to his second book – the manual he needed and couldn’t find: ‘Hyperfocus: How to Be More Productive in a World of Distraction’.In this episode – the conversation I needed but previously hadn’t been able to find - we dive into…1. The one thing that we (i.e. I) wanted to hear the most. That it’s not our fault we’re distracted. Apparently, we’re hard wired for novelty (for reasons we’ll get into) and that every time we discover a new and novel thing – hello social media - our brain gives us an addictive hit of dopamine. So, if you can give yourself a pass for that, and be kinder to yourself in those moments, that’s the first step to a better attention span.2. Following on from that, how to embrace the break. That includes learning to read your own cues about when it’s time to take a break. And by the way, looking at your phone is not taking a break. Sorry about that.3. The rule of 3. This is one of Chris’ top focus tips - each morning, he picks three intentions for the day - out of the many he has on his plate, and gets them done.4. How not to fear White Space (another word for the ‘in-between time’ we often avoid or try to fill with stimuli). And how harnessing that space, that pause, is the key to becoming a more effective decision-maker.5. And finally, the joy of email sprints – which I can promise you does not require active wear, but does get that never-ending monkey of your Inbox off your back.So, no more distractions from me, time to press pause on whatever you’re doing - or at least one of the things you’re doing - and get set to consider a new way of working with the ‘force of focus’ that is Chris Bailey....