In Conversation: The power of the spoken word.

Talking with Lucy Adams and Liam Black about life and the living of it.

This blog is all about writing and mostly about my opinions. Writing done quietly on my laptop, here at home or sometimes in libraries and cafés around Liverpool. And I hope my voice makes it through in these words I write. Because I don’t have one voice I use for my writing and another for when I’m actually speaking. Not consciously anyway. But speaking is different all the same as I’ve come to realise lately.

Liam Black 'The Social Entrepreneur's A to Z'
Liam Black ‘The Social Entrepreneur’s A to Z’

I’ve become particularly aware of this because of my participation in two podcasts my friend Liam Black has recently published of conversations based on parts of his book The Social Entrepreneur’s A to Z.

In each of them Liam and I are joined in the conversations by Lucy Adams of communications specialists Firehouse, who was previously Head of HR at the BBC. And there’s the difference, not the BBC but the conversations. The three of us could have sat in separate places on our laptops, in touch but only digitally, and the conversations wouldn’t have turned out half as richly as I think they have done. Or be half as fascinating as lots of people have been telling me they are.

also  Liam Black

No, they work because the three of us were sat round a small circular table having a proper conversation. Loosely guided by Liam and by the sections of his book we were talking through. And also the recording engineer through the studio window who’d occasionally tell us when enough was enough. But not scripted and none of us knowing where our discussions were going.

In the first one, about Mentoring, Lucy picks up that I used to be Liam’s mentor during his days at Furniture Resource Centre in Liverpool, his first CEO post, and she immediately begins interviewing the pair of us  about how it went, what we each got out of it and what we might have learned from the messy way it ended. A real conversation where we analyse what happened and one we’d never had until this day during this conversation in a London recording studio.

In the other Lucy talks very movingly and perceptively about what fear can do to a woman in a highly public executive role. How it took her ages too long to decide to leave the BBC but in the end how she took a week off to think it through but decided on Day One, realising all her reasons for staying were in some way fear based. Listen to the podcast for what they were.

On this same podcast I also talk about my ‘What would you do if you had a year to live?’ philosophy, probably more clearly than I’ve ever managed to write it down. Because I’m doing it with two people who I can tell are listening to me intently. It’s different you see. The power of the spoken word. The power and permission of listening friends. In conversation, really.

Me and Lucy Adams
Me and Lucy Adams

I’ve mentioned both of these podcasts on here before. But over the past couple of weeks I’ve been sending links to them to so many people who’ve asked that I thought it would make sense to put them both in the same blog post.

And of course there are more podcasts than the ones Lucy and I are on. All really interesting conversations with Liam, and all here.

Tomorrow Lucy will be in Liverpool for the LFC v Swansea game. And before she goes off to the match with her partner we’ll all meet for coffee round a small circular table somewhere and continue our conversation about life and the living of it. That’s what we do. And if Liam’s around on one of these days anytime soon he’ll be there too.

Listening and talking: the power of the spoken word.mentoring1
Listen to Lucy, Liam and me:
Talking about ‘Mentoring’ here

Then Talking about ‘What would you do if you had a year left to live’ here.

And buy Liam Black’s highly recommended book from here: The Social Entrepreneur’s A to Z.

Published by Ronnie

Writing about life, Liverpool and anything else that interests me. As well as working with others to make the world a fairer and kinder place:

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  1. Sorry Ronnie, love reading your posts, an exiled scouser and all that but I spent the best part of 30 years working for the BBC and although I’ve never met Lucy Adams, she and her ilk were the symptoms of such dumbing down of an amazing institution. The culture of “me, me, me” and the next big salary hike for the bigwigs was prevalent under this ladies incumbency. You may think she’s wonderful but what I’ve always liked about your blogs was your highly developed sense of community and caring for your fellow citizen. I don’t see Lucy Adams trajectory as being in any way compatible. Just my opinion.

    1. Thanks Bob, interesting conversations can often happen when the people having them come from quite different backgrounds, I think. I do enjoy talking with people who are much like me and spend their lives being involved in much the same sorts of community based things as I am. It’s both reassuring and informative and helps us all not to repeat mistakes we might have made in our own places.

      But I also enjoy a good conversation with people from completely ‘other’ life experiences. It’s often challenging and stimulating and I often like them even if I wouldn’t want to be them or do the jobs they’ve done.

  2. Hi Ronnie

    I read Bob’s concerns in his post earlier (above). It must have taken a bit of courage for him to state what he did for he obviously is an admirer of you and your work.

    Having said that, you did not have to publish Bob’s comments for all to see. The fact you did is proof of your being true to who you are & your principles.

    More openness and transparency is what we all need in life.

    1. Thanks Stephen,
      One of the points of writing all I do is to express my opinions on whatever interests me. Therefore I expect and welcome differences and discussions when they happen. Life’s more interesting like that.

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