August 18, 2016

Do you listen to podcasts to hone your skills?

By Paul Laughlin

podcastsLast week, I had the pleasure of being interviewed for a business podcast. A positive experience & I’ve shared the resulting interview below. This also reminded me of the power of podcasts & how little we’ve referenced them here.

So, to make up for that gap, this post is dedicated to sharing audio content.

Whilst attending a co-coaching forum this week (where coaches share ideas & support each other), it also struck me that podcasts fit well with the listening skills so key for coaches.

For those of you working in fields where listening is key (which covers most leadership & professions), I recommend the discipline of regular podcast listening.

Depending on the interest in this post, I will also look into developing our content here at Customer Insight Leader. At the least, to share more audio content. Potentially to also launch a CIL podcast, if there is sufficient demand.

Anyway, let’s get into sharing those resources for you.

The interview

First off, let me share with you the interview I’ve referenced above. It was for an established podcast called the xTen Podcast (named after a strategic programme for directors & business owners). In this episode, the host, William Buist interviewed me about my career, customer insight & why it should matter to business leaders. I hope you find it useful:

(sadly this podcast has been taken off air & so a link is not currently available)

Those who have listened to that will have heard William include his reflections on the Olympics & what that display of passion & commitment can teach business leaders. That’s also the link to my next recommended podcast.

Olympic Swimmers

“More or Less” has become an institution on Radio 4. It should be required listening for all statisticians or those working with statistics (including insight analysts & leaders). Many a news story would also benefit from having to pass under Tim Harford’s critical eye before misusing numbers to grab viewers.

In this episode, following the same topical olympic theme as above, the team investigate those numerous swimming records broken in recent Olympics.

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Fascinating to hear that swimming events are breaking records up to 40% of the time. Adam Peaty has clearly made a difference with his new stroke technique, but I was surprised that goggles & starting blocks made such a difference to the sport. As a runner myself, it’s also interesting to hear the advice on the perfect running distance, for health purposes (I won’t spoil the surprise for you, but it encouraged me).

Finally, let’s return to our theme for this month, coaching…

Coaching & Holacracy

There are a plenty coaching resources online, but only a few podcasts worth listening to (too many run out of steam after a year or so).

As an example of one that I’ve found useful, I’m sharing an episode from “Coaching for Leaders”. Although broadcast from the sunny site of Orange County, it is a practical & leadership focussed resource that has plenty of good ideas. In this  recent episode, the host 

Moving Beyond Command and Control – Coaching for Leaders

Brian Robertson ( web) ( LinkedIn) is the primary developer of Holacracy, which allows leaders to release the reins of personal power and persuasion into a trustworthy and explicit governance process. He co-founded HolacracyOne to support Holacracy’s growth, and he fills and loves a broad variety of the company’s roles.

Having been skeptical of plenty of media coverage of Holacracy, which did sound like a recipe for naive chaos, the system described by Brian actually sounds a good idea. There are certainly too many examples still in the world today of businesses using command & control to get results, or of insight leaders feeling constrained by bureaucracy. So, I hope that episode gave you some practical ideas for how to lead your team differently (perhaps as a way to coordinate insight work in different parts of your company).

What are you listening to?

I hope this episode was a refreshing change & helped identify a few podcasts that might be useful to you.

Do you make use of podcasts as a leader? Perhaps while traveling on business? Do share any that you’ve found helpful & would recommend to other customer insight leaders.

Enjoy your podcasts!