E12. Shaping the Future through Honest Conversation with Rebecca Scott
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Francisco Mahfuz 0:00
Hi everyone, Francisco here. Just before we get started, I wanted to share something I'm really excited about. I recently launched the story powers bootcamp, a course that teaches you everything you need to know about how to find craft and tell stories that work. But it's not just an online course, because you get personalised feedback from me for all the practical activities in three hours of life coaching to work through any challenges, or focus on specific projects. So it's like if you bought a cookbook, but the chef came along with it. So go to story powers.com and click on Course, all the information you need will be there. So please check it out. And if you love the show, and would like to support us, you can go to buy me a coffee.com forward slash story powers. I drink about five coffees a day, so any support would be much appreciated. All right on with the show.
Welcome to the story powers podcast, the show about the power of stories, the people who tell them and why you should be doing it too. I'm your host, Francisco mahfuz. My guest today is Rebecca Scott. Rebecca is a futurist, a business technologist, a strategy consultant, and the founder of vivid spring solutions. She has a 20 year career that spans healthcare finance, technology and business analysis, and is international keynote speaker on topics including innovation, team dynamics, and employee success. She also hosts the podcast humans now and then, which explores how our rapidly changing world impacts people now and in the future. This was a fascinating conversation. If you agree, please leave us an iTunes review. And let me know what you like most, if you disagree, just write a review anyway. And tell me how to improve to see what I've done there. Ladies and gentlemen, Rebecca Scott. Rebecca, welcome to the show. Hi, Francisco. How are you doing?
Rebecca Scott 2:01
I'm doing well. Thank you. Thanks for having me.
Francisco Mahfuz 2:03
I wanted to start at the start of your speaking career. Because for those of us who do speak, this might not seem a big thing. But for most people, any type of public speaking is the strangest thing in the world. So any any type of professional activity that involves that is for most people, a pretty different story. So how did you get into it?
Rebecca Scott 2:29
Yeah, it's interesting, because if you would have asked me 10, you know, 1015 years ago, if I'd ever be a public speaker, I would think you were crazy. But I got into it, because I had things to tell. And it was it was related to the things that I've learned. And originally, it was things I learned in business and work. And so as I learned things for business and work, I wanted to share that information, because I found a lot of people saw that it was useful. So I got into public speaking to talk about some of the more kind of technical or analytic or operational aspects of the work that I did. But over time, I started to realise there's a bigger value in sharing the story about what I've been through in life and who I am. So I started telling more stories about kind of that journey, the impact on me. And that kind of also brought me into the work that I do today, really focusing more on the impact of the world on people.
Francisco Mahfuz 3:23
There's a lot of things in there, right? So when you write a keynote, how do you go about it? I mean, how do you? How do you choose between personal stories and images and lots of facts and data that I'm sure will fall into a lot of the topics you talk about? So how, what's your process for that?
Rebecca Scott 3:44
Yeah, and usually starts with I have a interest in something. And it's something that I want to dig into something that I am either passionate about, or feel like I've learned a lot from, and I want to research it, and I want to share the information. So usually it'll start there. So I don't usually, you know, start a Keynote or speech because somebody has reached out asking me to speak, rather, I have topics and areas of interest that I pulled together information about dig deep into and really explore how I feel about that. And that ends up inspiring a lot of the speech the speaking that I do. As far as personal stories, I think it's it was interesting, and I've got one I've got one to share. And I want to go on for too long about this one, but, but I experienced significant burnout several years ago through work. And it's something obviously very common in this day and age. But what I realised as I was experiencing this experiencing that significant burnout, that there weren't a lot of great resources to help me understand how to recover from it. I was having very significant health problems in relation to my burnout. So constant burning in my chest. I couldn't sleep. I had headaches. I couldn't focus. Someone would start a sentence and by the time they'd finished the sentence, I'd forget gotten what they said, I was worried for my health and well being it was very bad.
Francisco Mahfuz 5:04
Sorry, how long did that go on for? Right? So
Rebecca Scott 5:07
that significant kind of before I really started looking for solutions that several months, until I realised that I could not continue in that state. So I want to talk to doctors, I did my own research to try to really figure out how do you recover from burnout effectively, because a lot of people just think like, you need to cut back hours, you need to relax, go on vacation. But what I learned is, that's not necessarily the solution, we need to think about it as a health condition, and you've pushed your body too far. And there's things you need to do to recover from that. So it took me about 18 months in full before I felt like I was back to myself, for I felt healthy again. And I wanted to share that story. Because I felt it was important for other people to learn that too. So the first time I was truly vulnerable. In my speaking, I talked about my personal story through burnout, which is a little scary, because it was the first time I did do a very vulnerable personal story in front of 200 people. But what I found is that a lot of people in the audience resonated with my story, thanked me, I people walking up to me afterwards hugging me, it was it was the strangest experience to me. But I also had people two years later come back to me and say that was really impactful to me that changed my life. And then you start to realise the power of being vulnerable and telling your story.
Francisco Mahfuz 6:27
As you well know, the vulnerability angle is one one, I tend to bang on about a lot. And this is just something that it's becoming more part of the normal conversation these days, I think vulnerability has become a little bit of a buzzword since since Brene. Brown, but it still shocks people how much of an impact it has, when you share something, something difficult when you share a struggle. So I I had my story in a way, it's slightly similar to yours. But I think it's perhaps more common to most people because they will never think of that as burnout in the story I lived through was, I just didn't like my job a great deal. I mean, I like the job. But there was a lot of pressure. My boss wasn't necessarily the nicest person ever. And I started feeling that and it became a physical thing. In my case, it was a tension on my back and shoulders, which is very common. And working on the computer aggravated that so the whole thing, disguised itself as maybe a sports injury that didn't heal properly and Office and Office injury. And, and I just drank, you know, I would probably drink every now and you know, during the week, most nights I'll have a couple of glasses of wine. But then on Friday, I would start drinking. And I'd go through a bottle before I realised that I had started. And I didn't think too much of it. I just thought when I'm stressed out I need to I need to decompress a little. And at one point I realised that if I had another day on Friday, I would go to lunch. And I would try and drink as much as I possibly could at lunchtime, because I wanted to, you know, be numb from from all the stress. And I wouldn't touch my work email until Sunday. I just didn't want to have anything to do with it. And eventually, I quit the job and things improved. But it never occurred to me to think of that, at the time as burnout. I just thought I have a stressful job. And I dealt with that for I think three or four years.
Rebecca Scott 8:34
I think that's really interesting to think about that. That thing a lot of people experience was dis disconnection from their work. And there's been more and more research associated with things that we call maybe disengagement. But what I rather think of as a disconnection between the work that we do, and the outcomes that we as a team, as an organisation are trying to achieve. And as people start to feel disconnected from that, whether that be because the work itself does not align to their values and their passions and their interests and their strengths, or they don't feel like the work that they're doing is making an impact towards those goals, then we start to feel that dissatisfaction and disconnection from our work. So one of the things that I like to do when I work with teams, is think about each individual's connection to the common goal and common mission of that team. Because it really only takes one person on a team to feel that disconnection for the rest of team to kind of be held back. Because we all have compassion for one another. And we don't think about the fact that if one person on our team is struggling, it impacts us positive and negative. We want to help that person we feel bad about that person or in some instances we are annoyed by that person. But really what it comes down to is making sure every single person on that team feels that the work that they do aligns to not only their own personal strengths, they feel like they're doing a good job in their work, but that that work is valuable, and helps the team achieve a common goal.
Francisco Mahfuz 9:59
I think that. I mean, you're obviously absolutely right. But I would also add that given what's happening now with the, you know, within the Coronavirus, crisis relieving through, there was just there was a piece of news I read yesterday, which would suggest that even if the work you're doing is as meaningful as work will ever be, there is a human capacity for pressure that can be, you can, it can have just too much pressure, even if the work is, is the most meaningful it can be. The story I read was, was a nurse who took her own life, because she just couldn't cope with all the pressure of dealing with, you know, being the frontline right now, I think this was in, in the UK, which is one of the countries that has been very affected by what's going on. And she's saving lives and the health professionals have never been more highly regarded than they are now. So I think we could argue that as far as meaning goals and a connection with their work, this is when I'm not going to say it's as good as it gets. It's pretty awful. But there is no question that what they're doing is valuable. But perhaps there's there's something to do with how they're not being very well supported. And there's issues with equipment and just you know, that sheer amount of human suffering must take its toll after a while. But But even in work like that there is a point when when it just becomes too much.
Rebecca Scott 11:34
Absolutely. And when you know, and one of the things that came out of my research with burnout, the healthcare profession, and yet in general, has a very high prevalence rate of burnout, the pressure that they're under, goes well beyond like when I talked about the general team dynamics that I talked about a minute ago, a lot of health co workers are up and above that, because first of all, they're working usually extreme hours, long shifts, 1215 hour shifts of times and people working that long can't last I mean, we have a physical limit. And unfortunately, sometimes those physical limits are, you know, taken to their to their max. And people do physically get very tired and rundown. On top of that when you're talking about the situation that healthcare workers are in today, it's traumatic, you have a lot of death and disease happening around without a lot of feeling of control, because it's a relatively new condition. patients to get to a point at which there's no return. And that is traumatic for healthcare workers too. So I think there's a different layer of difficulty and trauma with being in healthcare. We had a similar story here in the US, a doctor that unfortunately took her life. Because just a couple days ago, maybe that's
Francisco Mahfuz 12:53
the story I've seen. I might be confused. It might be because I think it has happened in the UK already. So it might be the same story.
Rebecca Scott 13:01
Yeah, I mean, I wouldn't be surprised if there's more than one story, because the load on the health care system right now is, is tremendous and difficult for health care workers. But I think that's one of those things that it's difficult, especially when you have work like health care, or if you're a doctor or nurse and caring for patients and your work has meaning and value. The I think the danger that you could fall into in those types of careers, is you start to value other people's lives and well being more than your own. And that's when you start to see people really struggle, because then their own well being and health is not being cared for to the same extent.
Francisco Mahfuz 13:38
True. Let me take you back to something a little lighter. That perhaps you'd like us to digest right at the beginning. So so when I asked you about how you got into speaking, you gave me your why, but you didn't actually given the story. So you know, the things you wanted to share and you share the experience. But I want to know how that actually translated into speaking how do you go from Okay, I have things I want to share to being on a stage and telling other people about it, because that is not anywhere near as automatic as sometimes we make it sound. Yeah,
Rebecca Scott 14:17
I get I guess it wasn't, I mean, for me, I first had to have that. That transition out of imposter syndrome, right? Which I think is pretty common. Like, who would want to listen to me? What do I have to save meaning I don't even really gonna care what I have to say. Once I kind of got beyond that I felt like a drive to give it a shot. And that drive led me to do research on okay, if I want to share this information that I have to share. How do I do that? How do I go about it? So I went out and did that research and found local conferences and started with those local conferences. Luckily for those conferences, I had contacts I had people that I knew that were able to connect me with the people who are organising In the conference, and I went about, you know, went about that way, say, Hey, I've got something I want to share. Here's my idea. Luckily, they liked the idea. And I went ahead and applied and was accepted. That first one I did, though, was a little clunky. I've got a story about that if you want
Francisco Mahfuz 15:15
to do, by all means kalank is where the fun leaves. All right, good.
Rebecca Scott 15:19
So this was my very first public speaking event. And I'm sitting in the front row of the room, it was not a relatively large room, probably maybe 75 people in the room chair set up in a rows person, the front, that was the speaker before me, giving their giving their talk, I was listening very diligently, of course, very nervous, because as the clock ticked down, it was got closer and closer to my start time. And I knew I was next. So the person before me ended, they didn't have a very long transition period. So I only had 10 minutes to get set up before I would start. So the person ahead of me, finished, we all clapped, I went to stand up, my leg had fallen asleep. And I literally fell on the two peoples that were sitting next to me, because I collapsed. So my introduction to public speaking started with me falling on the people in the front row. And all I could do is make light of it and say, You know what, this is a great way for me to get started on the next speaker. And luckily, the people in the room laughed. And you know what, even though it was clunky, and embarrassing, I can't think of a better way to introduce me to public speaking.
Francisco Mahfuz 16:32
I mean, I love this story, I think it's one, it sets the bar so low, so low that all you can do is impress them after that. You were literally falling over yourself with excitement. But the other thing about your story that is just, you know, to my ears insane, is you're telling me that the first experience you ever had with public speaking was into not that big a room 75 people, the vast majority of people I know that do any public speaking myself included. I mean, you know, if I if I talk about real public speaking, maybe would have been something like Toastmasters, right? So you know, a Toastmasters meeting will have 3040 people, they're not normal people, they clap for everything that the most supportive people you ever gonna find. So that, you know that that was my first experience with what you could call public speaking, doing that in front of 75 people without having, you know, at least then 1015 20 speeches before seems I mean, if if all that happened was that your leg fell asleep? I mean, I would have expected you to black out and go on stage, you know, blind or something. From the stress. So you know, falling over sounds pretty mild in comparison.
Rebecca Scott 17:47
I think it was probably a blessing looking back, because maybe all those things would have happened, had I not gotten that out of the way.
Francisco Mahfuz 17:53
Sure. Sure. I mean, it is it is true, sometimes that strange events like that sometimes at all you need to, to break the tension. And you know, from that happens, and then arguably, you're not worried about looking good, because that's gone out the window. So all you do is you go there and tell your story, or share your message. And you know, that arguably that's what public speaking should be about shouldn't be about how great a speaker people think you are, you should be about was there value in what you were sharing. But, you know, it's very easy to, to worry about the first the former and not about the latter.
Rebecca Scott 18:32
But I was gonna say what I thought was really interesting about that was not even just the fact that I completely embarrass myself. But the fact that I got a laugh when I was when I acknowledged that I looked like a fool. And that actually built a connection with people in the room that was also valuable. So I think there's something there to people. Look, people don't mind, if you have flaws, or if you're imperfect,
Francisco Mahfuz 18:56
the best. And I would argue safest form of humour nowadays and we are in very politically charged times, it's very easy to say something that could be considered offensive. But it's very hard to have an issue with the other humour you're using is about yourself, you know, if you if you did something silly, or if you're talking about your physical appearance or things like that, particularly if it's not something that is generalizable right, I can talk about my lockdown hair, and no one can take offence about that. I mean, what, you know, maybe you're talking about your physical appearance, there are certain things that other people might take issue with. But if I'm talking about my hair, or the way my you know, the way I move the way my accent sounds, then then I'm in safe ground. You know, I can make as much fun about that as I want and no one can ever have an issue with it. If you can, you should always try to make people laugh and think even if it's a serious talk, and if you can make them laugh about yourself, then they will always think okay, so, you know, this person doesn't think too high. Have themselves. It's not the head is not too big, just yet. And that can only help. In my experience, at least, what I wanted to move to is, what are some of the things you've done in your career? How are very different than then that story shows we talked about burnout. But obviously you have this whole futurist thing going, before we get into what that has, has led to, which is the podcast. What exactly is a futurist?
Rebecca Scott 20:33
Yeah. So? That's a great question. Because I think it really for me, I can say who it is for what it is for me, because I think this could be multiple things to multiple people. And I'll say there are people that have had years and years and years of long career in, in future in futures thinking or foresight, I'm not one of those people, I do have a background in innovation. So a lot of my early public speaking, a lot of my early research in some of the work that I did, was in relation to innovation or setting up the ability to be innovative within companies, I still do some of that work today. But that really led me down the path of me thinking more about what was going to happen in the future, and my own agency to shape that. So for me being a futurist means you look forward, you're curious about where the future is taking us, good and bad. You know, all of the above. For me, in particular, I focus mostly on the impact that our rapidly changing world has on people, whether that be technology, societal changes, political changes, environmental changes, what impacts are these going to have on human beings now and going into the future? And what can we do to help shape that future? Instead of feeling like we're powerless to change it?
Francisco Mahfuz 21:52
Okay, so that that that makes enough sense. But I think that perhaps the the question that a lot of people have when they hear about futurists, or anyone doing that type of work is in assumption that you'll be making predictions.
Rebecca Scott 22:08
Yeah, so there are futures that make predictions. I would say they're more potential projections. Because we don't nobody has a crystal ball. You know, futurists are not psychics. Futures can't say that I have a vision that maybe there's some I don't know. But anyone who tells you 10 years from now, this is exactly how we're going to be living. And I know, there's a couple guys that have a pretty good track record. For whatever reason, they're intuitive. I don't I don't know. But for most futurists, we can't predict the future. And if anyone is doing it, they're probably not giving you reliable prediction. All we can do is say there's potential outcomes, right? So if you think about from a language called foresight perspective of foresight basically means I'm going to think into the future and make potential projections of what I think could happen. That's based on information that happened in the past information that I see around me now. And also insights into things like for instance, what are large tech companies researching? What are their strategic plans? What outcomes are they looking to achieve the next 510 years, which starts to shape out a potential direction. But those outcomes are not set in stone. Instead, their trajectories that we're on, things that we think about that will happen next 1015 20 years. A prediction, though, is something that would be perceived as being much more solid. And I think that's one of the things that people that hold people back from getting involved in shaping the future because they feel like that future is already set. That future is already defined in a lot of times. It's presented to us that way, by tech companies, or by, you know, sometimes futurists, but people say you know, 15 years from now, this is how we're going to be living, this is what we're going to be doing. I can't say that neither can they. It's just a thought of based on the current trajectory. This is where I think we'll be, but there could be other potential outcomes as well.
Francisco Mahfuz 24:03
Yeah, I used to be to follow a lot the word of Nicolas Nassim Taleb and I, one of the things that stuck with me. He was thinking the Black Swan, he talks about this, how some systems are just too complex to predict. And anyone who wants any type of confirmation of that, all they have to do is look at political or economic, our economic analysts, and ask them to say what they think is going to happen in the next six months or a year. It's just they're never right, beyond what they would get right with a coin toss. This is statistically proven, and there's plenty of work backing that up. But it's their job to sound confident about those predictions. So somehow they they do it and no one seems to mind that their their level of accuracy is very, very low. But I think that your interest in this area was part but perhaps not all of the story behind starting the podcast. So what I mean, why did you start humans now and then,
Rebecca Scott 25:17
right? So I actually ventured out with my own company last year vivid spring solutions. As my side gig, and, and worked on trying to build that in and through that journey worked with a lot of local leaders protect, in particular here in Indianapolis, and kind of explored their journey through their teams or their work that they do and the challenges that they face. And of course, one of the primary themes that would be woven through our conversations, we're dealing with the rapidly changing environment and the rapidly changing world in which we're living. From a business perspective, perspective, from a human perspective. From a family perspective, I mean, all of these things started weaving into our conversations, because we are starting to realise I think, collectively more and more, we are not just our work, we are not just our title, instead, we are all of those things that we experienced in life, and kind of all put together into this interesting weave that define who we are and how we live our lives. So eventually, I started to feel like, first of all, I wasn't getting a whole lot of traction, I think my business wasn't really taking off to the extent that I wanted. So I felt very frustrated. And I think that frustration in life sometimes serves as the catalyst. And those catalysts can be good, and take us towards a better journey for ourselves. That catalyst made me have a realisation and it was literally, me driving my daughter to gymnastics one day, I'm just driving in the car, not really thinking about the future, not thinking about my work, and not really thinking about anything like that. All the sudden, I have this epiphany, this thought that just entered my head about you idiots do a podcast. And it was so weird. Because first of all, I'm not a podcast listener, which is interesting. Like, I'm not someone who historically listens to podcasts. I'm familiar with the format, but that's about it. But the format, I was like, Well, wait a second, this is really good for me, because I enjoy good conversations with people. I always learned something from those conversations. I've actually had the thought during some of these conversations. I wish I had recorded that because it was a really good conversation. And I thought, well, of course, I should do a podcast, I never doubted it. It was so weird. But it was just like, this is the thing I was supposed to do. And it almost brought me to tears is how hard it hit me. And my daughter was kind of like what is going on with you. And I'm like, I'm gonna do a podcast, and it's gonna be about the future, and it's gonna be about impacts people and it's gonna be is I'm gonna really love it. And you know what, I really do love it. It's like the thing that I want to do. And I'm really happy to do it.
Francisco Mahfuz 27:58
So what you're saying is that you had what some might call divine inspiration, that you were meant to be a podcast on this earth.
Rebecca Scott 28:12
call it divine inspiration, call it a moment of inspiration, whatever you want to call it. It just hit me like a tonne of bricks that day. And then I went and did it. And you know what? I haven't looked back. It's been great. I've enjoyed it so far.
Francisco Mahfuz 28:26
No, it's great. And and I must say that that is not the part of your story. That that I find weird. I find that absolutely fine. What I find weird is that you were having conversations that you thought should have been recorded. I usually have the opposite thoughts. God, I'm glad nobody recorded this conversation. At least that's my group of friends perhaps I just need to speak to more and more interest to get intelligent and, you know, more appropriate people. You know, you launched a podcast recently in you started with a pretty broad array of guests in a nice, I must say, all your guests so far have been all very good looking. So how are you? How are you selecting them? I mean, what's that, you know, with a good looking Joke aside? What did you process? Or what is your process for anyone who's listening to this and thinking I'm just a complete weirdo? I am but I was also a guest that was the joke. Yes, he was just so my question is how because because what you described opens up so many avenues of potential guests you know, my my podcasts a lot simpler in that ways. You know, people that tell stories or storytellers marketers speakers, so I can sort of narrowed down my focus of okay, this person would be a natural gas. This person is just someone I want to talk to, but perhaps this is not what the podcast is for. How do you choose your guests and how do you choose the people that shouldn't be your guests.
Rebecca Scott 30:02
Yeah, that's That's an excellent question. And I'll just get this out of the way. Appearance is not a qualification I'm looking for. So I just got lucky, I don't know. But, but the thing that I look for is people who are willing to have good conversations about the future. And I understood going in that this was going to be both a benefit and a risk. The risk being the advice that I continue to get to this day, is that you need to narrow down who your listener base is, and align your guests to your listener base. The problem that I personally have given the goal that I have in my podcast and the goal, and I haven't really stated that clearly here yet. The goal of my podcast is to inspire people to get involved in shaping the future. Wherever you are, whatever your expertise, whatever that might be, I want to challenge you to get involved in in shaping the future, that is not limited to a specific field, a specific area of interest, a specific demographic, instead, it could be anyone. And so going into this, I knew that was going to be at some level of risk, because it's the big advice they give you. They being people other podcasters other speakers, what have you. And I've heard that before I'm well familiar without they say that. You've probably all have people like this in your life that they that give you lots and lots of advice about what you should and shouldn't do. They and some of them I greatly appreciate and has really helped me shape and think critically about where I want to go. And sometimes I've got to sort that out, though and say, what is the advice and what is the standard way of practice that I want to leverage and use to make decisions about how I'm going to do this. And one of those things that I'm going to caution, cautiously choose to put aside and one of those was around limiting the backgrounds and expertise of my guests. Instead, I look for people who are willing to have and want to have meaningful conversations about how the future is going to impact people from various fields from various backgrounds. And so when I talk to them, and usually I want to talk to people before I have them on as a guest unless I know them well. Or they are well known for some purpose that I think is important to talk about. If I have a good conversation and rapport with my guests like you and I did when we first connected, I know that it's going to be a good conversation, I know that we're going to get out of it. And we're going to have honest and meaningful conversations about people about how our world impacts people now and in the future. And if you can bring that I want, I would love to have you on as a guest. I've had some people that I've turned down, because I felt like they were not in the right part of their journey. Or you know, they they weren't ready to have those types of conversations in a very honest and meaningful way. And I say that because you have to be some level, to be vulnerable to say, enough to say like, here's my flaws, I'm willing to share some of my flaws. I'm willing to share with you. The things that I know. But I'll admit when there's things I don't know, those are kind of guests that I really enjoy. I think I tend to kind of shy away from any guests that seems overly confident or not willing to have those real, honest conversations about people and in how how the future will impact people.
Francisco Mahfuz 33:17
So what you're saying is, they don't have to be good looking. They have to be mature. Yes. No, I think I, I think most of most of the friends I have who are single still will describe their ideal husband that way. I want to pick up on something you said about the how narrow should your should any podcast be? That's right. And I think it's I think that the biggest danger is probably the middle of the road. Because again, I don't think necessarily quoting you know, the Joe Rogan experiences serves much because the guy's a genius Conversation List. And he's well known, but you could not find a more diverse podcast than his and already is. It's good conversations with intelligent people. And he produces so many of them that even if you disregard 80% of the episodes, you still probably find something in there to like, but it's not just that one. I mean, there's so many podcasts that I regularly listen to because I'm a big listener of podcasts, that he really struggled to find what their theme is. So for example, the Sam Harris podcast me talks about everything. One that I really like that arguably is a lot more niche, which is building a story brand with Donald Miller. In theory, it has a very similar theme to what I'm proposing to do, but it essentially become a business podcast, where he talks to people from all walks of business, about anything. And what I tend to think is the case and this is not just for podcasting, but I think this is for any type of content that you producing his people were liking or not liking you. So if you're tasting guests, your taste and good conversation is to their liking. They will like listening to your podcast, if they don't like you, or they don't like me, I could get the most interesting guests in the world, and they could be very niche, no one is going to listen to the subject because they can't stand me. Although I do find that, you know, I've seen examples of people doing whole podcasts on the basis of one, you know, fairly unknown Japanese reality show, right? So there's this thing called terrace house, right? Sure, this is the only podcast on that you listen to it, right. But if you don't can stand the host, it's still going to be an issue. And I listened to plenty of podcasts that I have no real interest in the subject. But I like the people doing it, and I find that I get value out of it anyway. So I wouldn't worry too much. And again, we can both crash and burn horrifically with that, without advice. But, you know, if you, you have to do something you like, because if you don't like doing it, because you're trying to be commercially viable, then it's not going to be something you're going to continue with. And I think this applies to, again, pretty much anything.
Rebecca Scott 36:24
It's not this podcast, totally agree. Totally agree. 100%.
Francisco Mahfuz 36:29
And then let me just bring it back to my, to my wheelbarrow with the whole stories and storytelling thing. And when it comes to the podcast, I mean, obviously you have an overarching theme. And in you've selected guests that you think can contribute to that theme. But are you making any particular effort in preparing for the interview and choosing the questions you're going to ask in a way that guides people towards that conversation? Or you're more willing to play fast and loose? Because you're arguing because you've already selected before?
Rebecca Scott 37:05
Yeah. And then what I do is I basically do take some notes before, on some of the things that might be interesting themes we talked about in previous conversations, maybe interesting thing that they've they've done in their work that I want to pull themes out of maybe they've written an article or a book that has interesting information, I want to make sure to bring up so I'll usually have a bullet point of reminders of things I want to bring up. And usually that's it. There's two standard questions, I'll ask pretty much every guest, which is what makes you optimistic about the future. What concerns you about the future? Everything else is fair game. So usually, like I said, if I've got those bullet points for people, I'll try to weave in those bullet points to questions that I asked during the, the episode. But sometimes, I put those completely aside because the conversation takes a different turn, and I want to go that direction. So there is a lot of kind of intuition that goes along with with my approach to podcasting. So I want to take a theme further, if I find it very interesting, or if I feel like listeners will find it very interesting. And I feel like that has really brought out very deep and meaningful conversations. I've had a couple in particular a couple conversations I've had where I started the direction of the bullet points, and found out that I just wanted to scrap that entirely, because what we were talking about was more meaningful. And we built a better connection. And that's one of the things I'm also looking forward to is I have these conversations, I genuinely want to connect with people, both because it leads to a more meaningful conversation on more honest conversation. But also I feel people find it more interesting and authentic. And so it makes it easier to listen to, and people get more out of it. And so that's really kind of the goal that that I have as well. Yeah,
Francisco Mahfuz 38:47
I agree. And I think that one of the things about one of the things about podcasting that people shouldn't fall under the the mistake of making it the same thing as an interview show. I think podcast isn't I mean, obviously, it can be whatever you want it to be. But I think it's significantly more interesting if it sounds like a conversation where people actually shut up and let the other person develop a thought before they jump in and try to give their opinion. But if it's too much of I have the seven or eight questions, and I want to get answers to them. Even if this creates a very disjointed conversation, then I can't imagine that they're that much fun to listen to. And I know for a fact that they're not that much fun to do. Because whenever I've tried this before, you asked the question, and he was like, Man that they didn't they just came out of nowhere, that didn't really work. So I'm not I'm not going to do this anymore for the rest of this, of this episode. And I wanted to give you a not a challenge, but I'm going to pretend that you didn't know I didn't listen to anything you said about what futures do or don't do, and ask you to make some predictions. We are living through unprecedented events, you know, we, none of us in the western world have gone through a pandemic in more than 100 years, you know, the Spanish flu was probably the closest thing that we had to this. And the world was a very different place, then. So I don't know how much we can make a clear comparison. And there's been so much disruption in innovation in the, in the last few weeks, that it's very difficult to believe that once things are able to go back to normal, and we don't know when then that's going to be that none of this is going to linger, I have a feeling a lot of things that are happening right now because they were forced on us are going to become might become staples of our normal lives going forward. So what I wanted for you to do is, you know, what, what's your prediction? Or what's your feeling about? How does the world look, once we gotten rid of COVID, or this COVID has faded back in the background, again, like the flu, what happens from all the changes that have taken place now?
Rebecca Scott 41:10
Sure, and I can give, again, like I said, I can't give predictions, but what I can't give are projections. So I can tell you what, I think the trajectory could take us based on my knowledge, then based on what we've seen in the past, because you're right, the Spanish Flu happened over 100 years ago. And yeah, so you had people that were socially isolated at that point in time as well. Um, it's really interesting, because that point in time wasn't really well known. From a historical standpoint until now, because now we're starting to look back on that and think about it, but the world was quite different than than it is now. We didn't have the technology we have now, when people were in their homes, there was not the same level of enforcement. And again, there wasn't a really a great way to connect with people that were not in your home. But you also had people that were really built more around their any inner, you know, their, their community in which they lived, rather than having these connections with people from different countries like you and I are talking today. Very different environment. But when you think about what will this do to impact our behaviour moving forward, what will our world look like as a result of this, one of the things we need to think about is that people do create new patterns of behaviour. And it only takes a few weeks to do that. Once new patterns of behaviour are established, they're difficult to break. This is one reason why people have a hard time starting exercise routines. And then once they stop the exercise routine, they start a new pattern of not doing it, it's hard for them to get back to it. So there will be an impact to US based on the new routines that we're starting to shave. Now, the different types of connections that we're using, the different types of value we're getting out of those connections, the different value we get out of things like, you know, virtual meetings, because before it was a thing we needed to do out of necessity, because this is a person that's outside of my geographical Eric area, or this is the person that can't get out of their office or whatnot. And so we're going to have a conference, you know, conversation virtually, rather than maybe in a coffee shop, or in an office or so forth. Now, this has become more commonplace. It's also opened up a window into people's lives that we really didn't have before. So even though we were doing those virtual calls before, people were very mindful about shutting off the things that are happening around them, oh, I don't want my kids to interrupt this call, I want to make sure that I'm muting the call when, when it's the appropriate time and things like that. I mean, people are not as mindful about that now, or maybe because they can't be. But people are also more forgiving of that. So we start to see people differently beyond just maybe in context of their work. We're seeing them as people, we understand that things that are happening in the world are impacting them a little bit better than we had, which changes the way that we think and how we interact with people, maybe how we empathise with people, maybe how we think more critically about things and this isn't going to be everybody. I'm speaking of course, from my own perspective. But I do think things will change somewhat out of this. I think there are people that have had more awareness now things like environmental impact of travel. Now that more news and more, you know, kind of data comes out in relation to the positive impacts of the environment are simply people aren't travelling. It's remarkable like Los Angeles, Los Angeles, if you've ever been there, you've always pretty much every day would see a layer of smog over the city. Having a clear, clear view of Los Angeles was not very common today, every single day, Los Angeles I haven't been there since this has happened, obviously. But it's a clear city. I hear people that live they're like, Wow, I can see the city and I never used to be able to see it before. You have animals that are venturing into areas that they hadn't before because there's always been people. And it's gonna be interesting to see how much of that changes the way that we behave going forward. And for how long? Because it really depends on you know, if people are rewarded to go back to their old patterns of behaviour If they are, then I don't know how long that impact, or that change with those patterns of behaviours will last the long term. But if we truly learn from as a society, it may change the trajectory of how we connect, and how we think about one another. And also how we go about things like work, or how we view our work in the context of our daily lives. Those are the things that if I had to say a projection, I do feel that at least over the next couple of years, there will definitely be an impact in how we behave, how we consume, how we think about travel, and also how we think about our connection to one another.
Francisco Mahfuz 45:39
On that note, I wanted to ask you, if people want to find you, what's the best way to do that?
Rebecca Scott 45:47
Sure. So if you want to listen to my podcast, go to humans now and then calm. Otherwise, you're welcome to go to Apple podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, wherever your favourite podcast location is. If you're interested in learning more about my business, you can go to visit vivid spring.com. If you want to reach me directly, feel free to contact me at Rebecca at vivid spring.com
Francisco Mahfuz 46:07
Alright, that's it for today, everyone. Thanks for tuning in. Take care of yourselves. And until next time,