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The Sage Sayers

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The Sage Sayers

Debbi Gardiner McCullough

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A weekly podcast on ways to stay calm and compel others as you communicate. Along with executive communications tips and strategies, we interview intriguing individuals who've found the "Sage approach" by finding gifts, opportunities, and knowledge within trying situations. New Zealander show host, Debbi Gardiner McCullough, has written on social and business trends and struggles for the Economist, the Guardian, and Financial Times of London. She's a self-retired college professor of writing ...
 
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show series
 
In this week's podcast, I take the interviewee vs. interviewer seat. Charles Jett, a Chicago, Il. based career coach, interviews me on PQ Podcast, a weekly podcast exploring the ways that mental fitness (our ability to rebound with a positive vs. negative mindset) helps us in life. In this interview, Charles asks me how I apply this magical tool to…
 
If you're a reserved or introverted communicator, you may feel you must share your ideas only when (and if) it's fully hatched. Or perhaps you feel less compelled to disrupt or add any more noise because you feel little need to share yourself. Either way, when you know silence doesn't provide the best option, ways exist to speak up in meetings whic…
 
My guest this week is Godswill Mhlanga, a finance and accounting whizz who’s worked in the U.S. and abroad across most industries, and even with Ernst and Young, where he served banking, life sciences, mining, and financial service clients for 10 years. I’ve brought Godswill to the Sage Sayers today in part for a lovely reunion; he studied at Kenan…
 
A recent poll found over half (specifically 52%) of American workers consider career changes for next year and as January approaches, 44% already plan to make the switch. A sad 14% of Americans feel satisfied with their current job. From clients and peers working in other global regions, I hear similar numbers all over. For a career transitioner li…
 
I've invited back this week Charles Cranston Jett, a certified coach specializing in career management, critical skill development, and career crises to help us answer a popular question with the communicators I coach: How do we tell our career story in clear, compelling ways, and especially when we undergo career change? And how do we find the rig…
 
Women entrepreneurs are thriving throughout these singular times and my guest this week, Mimi Pressley, a Florida-based hair and makeup artist, has ideas as to why. [While true data remains scant, women business owner's groups on Facebook have grown from 1,000 members in 2019, to 15,000 members in 2020, to 21,000 today, as one indicator of this tre…
 
My guest this week is Yug Varma. He’s a San Francisco, Calif-based trained microbiologist and synthetic biologist with a background in organic chemistry. He’s also Co-founder and CEO of a skin microbiome company, Phyla. All of Yug’s work leads towards an impressive goal: To develop the next generation of whole cell therapeutics to treat chronic mic…
 
72% of Americans did not take a summer vacation in 2020 and this year (with some small hope) 50% of Americans took a summer vacay while the other 50% did not. Meanwhile, consumer research finds 44% of Americans choose not to use their Paid Time Off. In this week's episode, we unpack what lies our Judge and other Saboteurs tell us about restoring ou…
 
My guest this week is Mark Herschberg, an author, public speaker, and an MIT instructor based in New York. Along with teaching at MIT's career success accelerator and serving as a startup CTO, Mark's recently published an excellent resource. It's called the Career Toolkit, a book (and app) helping others develop the skills they need to design and e…
 
The mass resignation--millions of workers leaving their jobs in hopes of a better life and purpose--offers us gifts and opportunities as communicators. We can learn something from this global phenomenon, too. In this week's podcast, we explore what I hear and learn from thoughtful and strategic communicators all over the world. You can read my arti…
 
Many communicators want to uplift and humanize topics through storytelling; but how to do it succinctly and well? This week's podcast shares a tried and tested framework, offers some small best practices, and we demonstrate all of that through telling a wee story of our own. You can read my related article on storytelling on Medium this week via th…
 
My guest this week is Dublin, Ireland-based Maura Dolan who has spent the large part of her life and career coaching executives to find the calm, clarity, and perspective to lead from an authentic and collaborative place. Maura's just released a lovely book via Amazon, The Collaborative Nature of Coaching: Basic Skills for Managers, Leaders, Life a…
 
My guest this week is Dorie Clark, an American author and executive education professor at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Along with working as a globally recognized communications coach for top-tier corporations, Dorie's also a three-time book author, most recently with: The Long Game: How to Be a Long-Term Thinker in a Short-Term Wor…
 
My guest this week is Bill Carmody, Head of Coaching for Positive Intelligence, who oversees the application of mental fitness for thousands of coaches worldwide. He also creates and rolls out the business development program where he supports coaches to elevate the business end of their coaching business. In our interview, Coach Bill reminds us to…
 
My guest this week is Parisian and Armenian Coach Marie-Louise Pereira who helps the many coachees she serves all over the globe better understand our values, our purpose and with a vital end goal: To avoid burnout. With around 75% of US and European professionals reporting feelings of worker burnout, never has it become more pressing to understand…
 
If you're like me, you're often sharing your ideas in a free-flow way wanting to make sense of things as you go. While external processing's lovely for big-idea people, from the field I hear a real appetite for bottom lining big, but not fully-formed key ideas. The need for some structure and brevity feels especially vial in ad hoc situations, like…
 
My guest today is Jayne Willoughby, a professional coach and artist based in rural Alberta, Canada. Jayne's a true Sage Sayer who's found the gifts and opportunities through life's inevitable setbacks. Jayne's cheerfully reinvented herself multiple times across multiple industries including nursing, psychiatry, and now coaching. She's a certified c…
 
Performance reviews can trigger angst in all of us — and not surprising really because so much feels at stake. And yet, applying a blend of mental fitness, communications coaching, and journalistic strategy, you’ll find efficiency, clarity, and results. Consider these five approaches to minimize the guess work (and worry) with your next performance…
 
There's real folly right now in not writing in clear, accessible, and audience-centered ways. Here in the U.S., the home for The Sage Sayers, 30% of workers plan to resign from their jobs and Gallup polls track around 70% feel dejected and not interested in work. In this week's podcast, I'm sharing tips and techniques for bottom lining key informat…
 
If you're like me, you want to share your story willy-nilly without much thought for strategy. But Coach Pam Knox, my guest this week, advises nothing beyond purposeful, strategic storytelling. Unless we have purpose and know our audience, we'll not be targeted, nor will our message resonate, she says. Coach Pam's a global business strategist, stor…
 
In this week's episode of the Sage Sayers, I’m narrating Chapter One of the Perfect Novel of My Life. This narrative coaching and mental fitness exercise builds discovery of our inherent gifts to the world and the gifts, knowledge, and the opportunities within each challenging situation. I learned this exercise through the Positive Intelligence men…
 
My guest this week is Colby McCullough, a supply chain expert with a combined 24 years of experience in the aerospace and consumer goods industries. He grew up in New Orleans and holds a BS in Structural Engineering and an MBA in Operations Research from Carnegie Mellon. Colby now directs the supply chain analytics at a large, Mid West consumer goo…
 
My guest this week is Charles Cranston Jett, a certified coach specializing in career management, critical skill development, and career crises. Charles got here through years of management consulting and executive search experience, especially CEOs and those reporting to CEOs. He also finds calm from lessons and wisdom learned from his former Navy…
 
In this week's podcast, we offer tips and strategies on asking for a raise, promotion, or improved rates and terms with a contract. This podcast provides a revised audio version to Coach Debbi's article on feeling brave as we persuade, published this week on Medium, which you can find here. Have a communication challenge to tackle with Coach Debbi?…
 
My guest this week is Pastor and Dr. Thomas A DeLoach who captures the hearts of North Carolina's youth through preaching, coaching, and his provocative messages on God and community. With Father's Day approaching, Pastor DeLoach's beliefs feel extra timely: He wants to raise the standard of character and integrity of our leaders and help young, tr…
 
Guenter Schaber wants to transform how salespeople (and entrepreneurs) view their prize. He means: Rather than focus exclusively on the big payout at the end, enjoy the journey along the way. Doing so becomes vital, if you want to feel happy, he says, and will help you become more successful, too. In this week's podcast, we hear from Guenter, a Mun…
 
My guest this week is Peter Khoury, a professional speaker and public speaking coach from the West Bank based in San Francisco. Peter's a great story to tell of a life full of art, priests, and wonder as a boy to his career in engineering, training, and now public speaking and training through his business, Magnetic Speaking. Peter's a firm believe…
 
In this week's podcast, we explore how mental fitness through Positive Intelligence (the science and practice of mastering your mind so you can reach your full potential) serves us with high-stakes presentations and messages. Glossophobia, the fear of public speaking, becomes a universal problem and no other tool (I've discovered) helps like mental…
 
My guest this week is Jennifer Kho, former managing editor for the HuffPost and the Guardian's US edition. She's now president-elect for the Journalism and Women Symposium and senior advisor to leading media outlets including Canary Media and Capital and Main. Throughout her career, Jennifer's always loved the storytelling and knowledge she gained …
 
My guest this week is Luca Dondi, an executive coach based in Rome, Italy, who has developed an intriguing niche helping executives navigate across cultures. Luca knows this experience first hand having worked (and studied) in multiple cultures and frequently as a minority both due to his personality, life approach, and nationality. In this intervi…
 
Most of us want to feel joyous at work and a delightful 2020 book by Marie Kondo, tidying expert and best-selling author, and Scott Sonenshein, an organizational psychologist has loads of timely advice. In this week’s podcast, I share the core lessons and steps I absorbed from “Joy At Work. Organizing Your Professional Life,” in hopes it sparks joy…
 
My guest this week is Hector Garcia, a citizen of Japan and the author of several beautiful and best-selling books, including Ikigai, the Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life which he co-authored with Francesc Miralles. In our interview, Hector inspires us how to find and honor our Ikigai, our life's purpose. In doing so, we can better ensure w…
 
Whether we view failure with fear, shame, or disdain, culturally and generationally we can see many different ways we respond to failure. Although I've lived and worked within cultures which find failure off-putting and signaling incompetence, I'm working to welcome failure as a vital segue to meaningful growth. (Mental fitness and finding the Sage…
 
My guest this week is Christine Van Der Mark who discovered, a few days after Christmas in 2019, her late husband Shad had committed suicide. He was 41. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tracked 47, 511 suicide deaths that year; and through COVID-19, experts predict more deaths of despair, especially among middle aged men who remain ov…
 
In this week's podcast, Coach Debbi offers five tips to warm up the tone of your business writing so that you sound warm, accessible, and open vs. closed off and cool. If you suspect your readers tune you out, let's turn that ship around. If you're interested in Debbi's narrative coaching and executive communication coaching and training services, …
 
My guest this week is Amy Boettcher, an ICF certified coach and former attorney who practiced divorce law for 18 years and was partner at her Wisconsin-based firm. Two years ago, after honoring her need for new knowledge, growth, and for change, Amy retrained in an entirely new field: Coaching. She's since developed an intriguing, purposeful niche …
 
My guest this week is Professor of Theatre at College of William & Mary, Elizabeth Wiley. Prof Wiley's a Midwesterner who's soon to move her side-gig (audiobook narration) to her main gig after many delightful years as a professor. Through COVID-19 and positive changes within theatre, she's realized: Now's the time for creating change. In our inter…
 
My guest this week is California, Santa Cruz-based Chris Baker who, a few years ago, became one of the US's 106,000+ cases of newly diagnosed melanomas. Skin cancer, by far the most common form of cancers, impacts twice as many men as women and in Baker's case went on to become Stage Three. His likelihood of becoming one of the 7,000+ people to die…
 
My guest this week, Dr. Sergey Sikora, has learned rich life lessons about entrepreneurship from launching five successful ventures, including Releviate Therapeutics. He launched this most recent bio-pharmaceutical company, which develops therapies to target (and relieve) neuropathic pain, right within the thick of the Pandemic—a perfect environmen…
 
In this week's Sage Sayer's podcast, we tackle an age-old vocal pattern getting in our way of connecting with and retaining our audience: Flat, lifeless, and monotone vocal delivery. Coach Debbi offers ten coaching and business reporter tips to add warmth, vocal variety, and passion to your next high-stakes presentation. Visit Hanging Rock Coaching…
 
My guest this week is Dr. Linda Przybyszewski, a historian and associate professor of history at the University of Notre Dame. How I came to know Linda’s work is through her beautiful, NY-Times bestselling book: The Lost Art of Dress: The Women Who Once Made America Stylish. (As someone who loves fashion and a daughter of a mother who enjoyed sewin…
 
If excessive filler words take over your presentation, you're signaling to your audience your discomfort, disinterest, and/or that you're not feeling prepared. In this week's Sage Sayers podcast, Coach Debbi offers five tips to managing verbal filler (words like: “um,” “uh,” “like,” “you know”) so the vocal pattern doesn't overwhelm you—or lose you…
 
Singer, song writer, social worker, and activist Emily Cavanagh discovered a gift through COVID: Writing (and gifting) personalized songs to those feeling sad, lost, scared, and isolated. Her initiative: "A Song For You" has now hit 100 songs which go to front-line workers, COVID patients, and their families in hospitals and hospice centers across …
 
This week, we chat with veteran podcaster, Marc Lee, an award-winning executive producer with IBM.TV and host of multiple podcasts, often back-to-back within the one day. (He's a machine!) Lee, based in North Carolina, learned some fundamentals of effective audio storytelling through his parents who ran their own radio station during his boyhood. L…
 
This week, we interview Carmela O’Flaherty, an executive leadership and business communication coach helping non-native speakers of English thrive within corporate America. Coach Carmela (who's also a classical pianist and linguist) shares her stories and tips on how to stay grounded, calm, and confident, even when the language and customs around y…
 
We all want to captivate our audience; but in meetings, many simply want to feel they're listened to. In this podcast, Coach Debbi offers tips to listening in ways that others notice—and respond well to. For more insights and tips on business communication or for team or individual coaching and training, visit: Hanging Rock, LLC (hangingrockcoachin…
 
In our debut podcast, we interview Richard (Rick) Phillips, a bestselling sci-fi author, who wrote his first book (The Second Ship) with a publishing via Amazon in 2006. A million of sold copies (and multiple editions) later, he's also published eight books in the Rho Agenda series. Rick's self taught. His books have sold so well, he's left his day…
 
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