Episode 169

How Fierce Civility Creates Win/Win Stories

As a kid growing up, I get to spend time with two families. On one side is my mom and stepdad, and on the other is my dad and stepmom. Being the only child in both families, I spend holidays at one house and then the other. Trick or treating on Halloween with one family earlier in the evening and the other later in the evening. I even have two different celebrations on my birthday.

Everything is separate…until 2010 when I decide to run a TEDx event for the first time and realize quickly that I need help. So Mom, an English major, offers to help with speakers. My stepmom helps with overseeing and running registration and volunteers. My stepdad has experience with stage managing and works with me behind the stage with the tech team and speakers. And Dad helps with all onsite needs including fine-tuning the sets and becomes our X-factor.

While my two families have very different values, beliefs, and even rules, they do have one thing in common: they have tremendous love to give and they come together civilly for a collective cause that is bigger than any one of us individually. They volunteer at our TEDx event to help change the world through spreading ideas.

Now my special guest today, Joe Weston, teaches people how to not only be civil to each other but fiercely so in order to influence what happens next in their stories.

In this episode of the Storytelling School Podcast, you’ll learn about why we get caught in a repetitive story of arguing and fighting with others. You’ll also discover keys to creating stories of mutual empowerment between people and get answers to questions like:

How are power dynamics at the core of stories that fuel fights? What has helped create a universal mindset that helps facilitate arguments? What’s an example of how a challenging life story can positively impact others? And how can the process of working on your first TEDx Talk change the story you tell yourself about public speaking?

What you will learn in this episode:

  • What influences the argumentative stories we tell ourselves and each other
  • What kind of exercise can help you transition from story to training in your Talk or presentation
  • Why simply writing the ideal Talk isn’t enough for a good presentation

Who is Joe Weston?

Joe Weston is an international thought leader, lecturer, author, consultant, coach, trainer, and advocate for lasting peace. Born in Queens, NY and raised in a volatile, argumentative environment, he was determined to understand the roots of conflict and find another way to safely address problems. So he went on a worldwide quest and studied diverse traditions such as various martial art forms, meditation, contemplative practices, neuroscience, communication models, and more.

Eventually, Joe ended up living in the Netherlands for 18 years where he expanded his vision of human solidarity that transcended nationality, race, religion, political ideology, and economic status and led to creating programs in the U.S., Europe, and some of the most conflict-ridden regions in the world. His career as a conflict prevention specialist spans over 30 years, and he’s a highly sought-after facilitator for individuals, corporations, government agencies, and nonprofits worldwide.

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Traver Boehm

2-time TEDx Speaker, Author, Coach, and Founder of the Uncivilized Movement

Mo Barrett

TEDx Speaker, Anecdotist, Connector, Mischief-maker, Retired Military Commander, Keynote Speaker

Katy Stevens

Musician, Performer, Recording Artist, Voice Teacher

Greg Smith

TEDx Youngstown Organizer and Voice Coach, Chairman and CCO of Compco

Than Baardson

Entrepreneur, Speaker, Connector, CEO of Unseen, Humanitarian

Cathy Sommerville

TEDx Speaker, Coach, Advisor, Leader, Author, Vice President


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