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In this episode I am delighted to have Professor Sir Cary Cooper as my guest.  Cary is the President of the CIPD, researcher, practitioner and part of the Manchester Business School.  His accolades are too long for me to list here so if you want to find out more about him, here is a link to a bio of his.  I wanted to get Cary on the podcast for quite a while now as someone that is personally experienced and a respected researcher in this area.  We get into:

Cary's personal experiences with Stress and Wellbeing

His experiences working, consulting and researching in the workplace

The importance of stress and mental health for individuals, teams, companies and the economy as a whole

Uncertainty, anxiety, burnout and the difference between acute and chronic stress

This is a fab episode and here are the links and references:

Articles on techno stress
Chronic Fatigue
http://oem.bmj.com/content/oemed/54/6/367.full.pdf - Spurgeon, Harrington & Cooper (1997)
Articles linked to Antonio Horatio-Osorio the CEO of Lloyds that openly discussed his mental health challenges
Report on social mobility in the UK (2017)

This episode picks up the Emotion at Work in Stories theme I shared at the start of 2018. This time with Amy King (@Amy_C_King) as my guest, we take a trip into how burnout has been a part of her life in recent years.

We explore the knowing and not knowing that you are becoming burned out, how loving what she does has contributed towards Amy's burnout experience and how she now approaches life (or does her best to do so) in a way that will prevent it from happening again.   

As well as exploring the practical, tangible and everyday things Amy has done and continues to do, we get into how psychology, sociology and wider aspects of burnout.

With this being a Stories episode there aren’t many references as such. There are some things from the news and other places we talk about and here are the links to those things:

When not being sick causes harm


Book - The Obstacle is the Way


Sleep and Burnout


Blog post from Karen Bevan about her experiences with what she calls a 'breaking point'


A TED talk that Any shared with me that she likes and thinks needs to be in the show notes



This episode picks up the Emotion at Work in Stories theme I shared at the start of 2018. This time with Amanada Arrowsmith (@pontecarloblue) as my guest, we take a trip into how imposter syndrome has been a part of her life from early childhood but really took hold in her early twenties.

We explore this internal voice that often tells her that she’s not good enough, not enough, that she will be found out and can cause crippling self doubt. We get into where that voice has come from, what has given it voice, how she quietens it, her strategies for working with it effectively.

As well as exploring the practical, tangible and everyday things Amanda has done and continues to do, we get into how society, norms and life can shape the formation and growth of this ‘inner critic’.

With this being a Stories episode there aren’t many references as such. There are some things from the news and other places we talk about and here are the links to those things:

Story about the liver branding surgeon


Reading I did around types of Imposter Syndrome


Does imposter syndrome affect women more than men?


Sas Petherick


Blog from Gemma Dale (@HR_Gem) on Imposter Syndrome 




In this episode you get to hear Nick Shackleton-Jones, Sukh Pabial & I explore and share our views of emotion, cognition, memory and learning.  The conversation takes turns and explores areas I didn’t plan or expect and was really intersting all the same.
We talk about the affective context model where Nick suggests that as humans everything that we think, has an emotional basis behind it.  We talk about using repetition in learning, making things memorable and emotionally evocative and how at times we just need to attend to what others are concerned about.
As we cover a lot of ground, there are a LOT of resources and links all listed below.
Nick’s original blog post that started this conversation
Sukh’s post in response
Friedrich Nietzsche
Martin Heidegger
Relevance Theory
Working memory summary
TED talk on how your working memory makes sense of the world
Episodic memory summary
Semantic (or declarative memory)
Herman Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve
Summary of Bartlett’s 1932 Study ‘war of the ghosts’
Elizabeth Loftus talking at TED about the fallability of memory
Harris (1973) study into estimates of basketball player height
Concern - Task - Resource Model
Iowa Gambling Study
Paul Ekman and Emotion
Tal Ben-Shahar and wellbeing and positive psychology 
Martin Seligman and positive psychology
The Charity Mind
Antonio Damasio - Descartes error
How we decide by Jonah Lehrer
Daniel Kahneman- Thinking Fast and Slow
The TED talk I mention on how people look back on their lives positively

In this episode I tell my story or at least some of my story of 2017.  I found 2017 really hard.  Physically and more importantly (for this podcast) I found it emotionally hard.  I feel lucky that feeling content and settled with life is something that generally comes easy to me. 2017 was not like that.  Here I talk about how I struggled with my identity, with how I saw myself and that the reality was not something I wanted to or chose to face.  As well as this sharing of my 2017 I talk about what is to come for the podcast in 2018.

Here is a link to the video I reference about the context forcing me to be someone I wasn't


Here is a link to the blog that I wrote part way through the year


If you are interested in hearing more about the live podcasts, please email 


*This is a rebroadcast of the episode orignally aired in July 2017*
Here we explore the breadth and depth of emotions so listeners can use what we discuss to help enrich lives or help protect from or reduce harm.  We focus on the roles #emotion #credibility and #deception play in the workplace.
In this episode our founder, Phil Willcox is talking with Georgie Nightingall about changing up the standard networking type conversation.  A lot of the talk we do, especially in a networking type setting is ritualised.  What we mean by that is the types of questions we ask, the responses we give and the way we interact is almost pre-set.  A good example of this would be the classic 'So... what do you do?' type question at a networking event.  During our conversation we go on to explore conversations in the workplace, in teams, on line and the link to the identity or identities we build for ourselves.  We also cover identity at work, at home and how the boundaries can/do/will become blurred.  I thoroughly enjoyed my chat with Georgie and below are the links to all the different theories or concepts we have discussed:
Relevance theory and meaning:
Trigger Conversations and their events:
Conversation(al) rtiuals
Allowable contributions
Allowable contributions and improvisation:
Thanks for listening.  If you enjoy what you hear, then please leave us a review...

In a rebroadcast of episode two,  we explore the breadth and depth of emotions so listeners can use what we discuss to help enrich lives or help protect from or reduce harm.  We focus on the roles #emotion #credibility and #deception play in the workplace.

In this episode we talk with SJ Lennie who is a DI at Greater Manchester Police who is taking a sabbitcal to complete her PHd at Manchester Metropolitan University.  Her area of research, emotional inauthenticity and the psychological impact of emotional labour of police officers.  Having been a police officer for 15 years with a successful career at Hampshire and Greater Manchester Police and a detective inspector.

We talk about the impact that organisational rules and culture have on both the emotions that you are allowed to display and to feel.  This conversation boradens out into the coping mechanisms and strategies that police officers use to help navigate the emotional labour (the emotions they feel) and the emotional work (working with others emotions) that is required in their job.  Some examples of these coping mechanisms include; suppression, repression, alcohol and acting.  Interestingly, SJ's personal experience and her research is showing that the majority of strategies that are used are psychologically unhealthy for the officers.

Finally we bring the conversation together to think about what we the listeners can learn and take from this into our daily lives or into our workplaces.

We talk with each other about a variety of research papers and books and you can find links to them all here:


Goffman, E. On facework 

Hochschild, A. R. (2003) The Managed Heart. The commercialization of human feeling. 20th Anniversary Edition ed., London: University of California Press.


Stevens, A. (2001) Jung: A very short introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Pennebaker, J.W. (1997) ‘Writing about Emotional Experiences as a Therapeutic Process’. Psychological Science, 8(3) pp. 162 - 166.

Pennebaker, J.W. and Seagal, J.D. (1999) ‘Forming a Story: The Health Benefits of Narrative’. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 55(10) pp. 1243 - 1254.

Liberman, M.D., Eisenberger, N.I., Crockett, M.J., Tom, S.M., Pfeifer, J.H. and Way, B.M (2007) ‘Putting Feelings Into Words: Affect Labeling Disrupts Amygdala Activity in Response to Affective Stimuli’. Psychological Science, 18(5), pp. 421 - 428.



In this episode, I stop and take stock.  I do this about the podcast series so far, how the episodes have affected me and my practice and about some stuff that has been going on for me personally.  I let you know a little more about the future podcasts still to come and what you can expect from the rest of the year.  


None this time ;-) )


This is a long episode.  Mainly because this is a complex and complicated area.  Also though, Dawn and I are research colleagues and friends too.  In this episode we get into a whole host of interesting and linked topics:

Impression Management - how we work (non)strategically to manage how others see us

Self Presentation - how we will work to present our 'best possible self' according to context

Face and facework - the lines we negotiate, others give us or let us take in interaction and how they shape our identity(ies)

Dark side of EI - how emotional intelligence can be used to change behaviour of others

Principles of Influence - linking to Cialdini's 6 principles (Authority, Liking, Social Proof, Scarcity, Commitment and Consistency and Reciprocity)

This was a joy to record and I hope that you enjoy listening to it. 

Yes, it is

a) long

b) geeky

c) academic at times

d) practical at times 

It is also a whole lot of fun and you, dear listener, are getting a deep insight into human interaction.  ENJOY!!!!


EI (including the “dark side”)

  • Kilduff, M., D.S. Chiaburu and J.I. Menges (2010). ‘Strategic use of emotional intelligence in organizational settings: Exploring the dark side’. Research in Organizational Behavior 30: 129-152.  
  • Mayer, J.D. and P. Salovey (1997). ‘What is emotional intelligence?’ In: P. Salovey and D.J. Sluyter (eds.). Emotional development and emotional intelligence, pp.3-31. New York: Basic Books.

Credibility/image restoration

  • Benoit, W.L. (1997). “Image Repair Discourse and Crisis Communication”, Public Relations Review, 23(2), pp. 177-186.
  • Benoit, W.L. & Drew, S. (1997). “Appropriateness and effectiveness of image repair strategies”, Communication Reports, 10, pp. 153-163.
  • Benoit, W.L. and Stratham, A. (2004). “Source Credibility and the Elaboration Likelihood Model”. In: J.S. Seiter and R.H. Gass, Perspectives on Persuasion, Social Influence, and Compliance Gaining. London: Pearson Education, Inc.


  • Goffman, E. (1967). Interaction Ritual: Essays on Face-to-Face Behavior. Garden City, N.Y.: Anchor Books.

Impression management

  • DuBrin, A. (2010). Impression Management in the Workplace: Research, Theory, Practice. London: Routledge.
  • Goffman, Erving 1959. The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. Garden City, NY: Anchor/  Doubleday.

Self-presentation / self-disclosure

  • Dindia, K.(2000). ‘Self-disclosure, identity and relationship development’.   In: K. Dindia and S. Duck (eds.). Communication and Personal Relationships. Chichester: Wiley.
  • McKay, R., M. Davis and P. Fanning (2009). Messages: The Communication Skills Book. Oakland, C.A.: New Harbinger. 
  • Schlenker, B. (2003) ‘Self-presentation’, in M. Leary and J. Price (eds) Handbook of Self and Identity. New York, NY: Guilford Press. 492-518.



Ever since I heard about 'clean language' I was not convinced it can be a thing.  Then I studied lingustics and decided it most definitely was not a thing, in fact it was a load of rubbish.  However, as opposed to ignoring and dismissing it I wanted to explore it.  So I got in touch with the guest of this podcast episode, Judy Rees.  We had a chat on Linked In where I said 'I thnk this is bunkum' and we arranged a call to discuss more.  I enjoyed that initial chat so much I wanted to get Judy on to the podcast and here she is.  So, we discuss:

Clean language is not a thing - but there are degress of cleanliness 

There is some peer reviewed academic and popular research to suggest clean language has a place (some links below)

That the principles of clean language are set around a core set of questions with a fairly rigis structure and format which you interchange with another persons or peoples langauge (again more links below)

I really enjoyed this chat and once again played with the format and asked Judy to use some 'clean language' questions on me.  Enjoy

Links and resources

David Grove's book from the world of therapy (where his studies began)


Judy Rees book


Judy Rees website


An example of using clean language as a methodology in Qualitative Research


Link to Nancy Kline website


Clean approaches for Coaches


From Contempt to Curiosity




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