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DN118 – Julian Treasure: What Are The Rules For Effective Communication?


DreamNation’s guest for today is a a sound and communication expert. Ever dreamed of being a public speaker? Julian Treasure is the man to listen to! His business is all about advising businesses on how to use sound in their physical spaces and communication. As a man, he is more to that. His passion is for the world to sound better and for people to be inspired to listen consciously and to express themselves beautifully. This is exactly what we are learning in today’s episode!


As a young boy, Julian is a quite, academic, stubborn and results-oriented kid. He’s deep into reading and music. He is an over-all introverted person, which tells us that those great on stage and speaking do not necessarily mean they are extroverted. Like what Julian says, listening and speaking are skills, which, like all other skills, can be learned and practiced.


Julian grew into a powerful speaker, incrementally. Today, his vision is to help people how to listen consciously and speak powerfully. If you wanted to know how powerful Julian speaks, you can easily find his five-part TED Talks series which garnered more than 100 million views. Transform your communication skills today! Start by listening to this podcast in full!


Here’s What You Missed


  • What is intentional communication?
  • What are the great attributes entrepreneurs should have?
  • Why is listening a skill?
  • What is the circle of communication?
  • How to speak powerfully?
  • How to create an interesting conversation?



Knowledge Nuggets

Build Effective Communication skills in 2021.

[5:21] Intentional communication. Thinking about what effect do I want to have? What’s the result. What’s my intention for this conversation. And then structuring communication one to many. Then listening. If you don’t listen, how can you lead people?


[6:31] You start with small things and you work up by degrees unless you happen to be, you know, unbelievably, naturally talented, which is a rare thing.


[7:20] Life as a spiral staircase. If you go around the mound, it’s similar, but every day is the same, we sleep and wake up. But ideally there’s an elevation in each day. My biggest question to myself in any day is have I grown at all today?


[11:49] Stubborn is one of two great attributes of an entrepreneur. You have to be pigheaded stubborn, just stupid, stubborn. Because a lot of the time you’re going through stuff which most people would say, that’s it. I’m out of here. It’s the inner flame, the conviction that you’ll get there in the end. Second is the willingness to take the jump. so you have to be stubborn and you have to be a risk taker.


[16:26] Confusion of opinions with facts. They are two different things, but unfortunately in most of the world, they are very, very confused at the moment. they’re conflated. Most people think they are they’re, their opinions are indeed facts or many people do.


[19:07] I think creating team is absolutely critical if you’re going to make something successful and that requires humility. It requires knowing what you’re good at and then what you’re not good at and surrounding yourself with the people who do this stuff. “Have fun, make money and work with people you like.”


[24:07] Listening is a skill. The interpretation of what you hear is listening, making meaning of a sound. You can practice it and you can get better at it. Consciousness about listening is critical.

4Cs of LISTENING: Consciousness, compassion, Commitment, Curiosity


[27:40] The circle of communication. It’s a circle because the way I speak affects the way you listen, the way you listen to affects the way I speak, the way I speak affects the way you speak and the way you listen affects the way I listen, and so forth. There’s all this interrelationship happening all the time.


[28:33] I think it’s difficult to be continually powerful in speaking, if you don’t listen to other people.


[31:01]  It’s not about you. It’s always about the gift you can give to the audience and it’s about them and where you leave them at the end of your talk, which is a different place to where they were at the beginning.


[35:07] It’s very important to be listening to opposing views. So, “looking good” and “being right”are things that we have to be very, very conscious of inside.


[38:11] R.A.S.A. Receive, appreciate, summarize, ask- the four pillars of really interesting conversation.


[41:47] Big change always starts with one person. Take the next step and see what turns up. Be true to your values.



Important Reads and Links


Julian Treasure books:


  • Sound Business
  • How To Be Heard: Secrets for Powerful Speaking and Listening


Julian Treasure Website:                                          https://www.juliantreasure.com/

Julian Treasure Instagram:                        https://www.instagram.com/juliantreasure

Julian Treasure Facebook:                                        https://www.facebook.com/juliantreasure/

Julian Treasure LinkedIn:                                          https://uk.linkedin.com/in/juliantreasure


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Download this episode’s transcript HERE

Click Here for a full transcript of this episode:

Casanova Brooks:

What’s up DreamNation . We are back again with an episode that I’m sure will not disappoint. We have someone on the line who has been grateful enough to come and bless us with his wisdom. And he’s given this wisdom across the world.

And so, I’m super exciTED to have on the line today, Mr. Julian Treasure, Julian do you want to go ahead and, and say what’s up to DreamNation .

Julian Treasure:

Well, hello, DreamNation . It’s wonderful to be here. Lovely of you Casanova to invite me here. I’m really looking forward to this chat.

Casanova Brooks:

Yes. As are we. Now I know that you have been featured in everything from NBC to Entrepreneur, to the biggest publications in the world, but not only that you have videos that have over 27 million views.

And that is a TED Talk that I actually wound up a watching probably I would say a year ago is when the first time I ever saw it. And then when we got you on the show, I revisiTED that video and it was just phenomenal, but before all of that, I always loved to make sure that we can give the proper introduction.

And so I think of us as entrepreneurs, just like superheroes, we’re constantly putting on a cape. And we’re flying around the world, definitely in your case and trying to solve problems, not only for ourselves, but of course, for other people as well. And so before all of that, and you becoming a superhero, if we can take it back to when you were just a young boy, tell me who is Julian Treasure?

Julian Treasure:

I was quiet and pretty academic and, did well at school. I was always a hard working guy, I’m quite stubborn and quite results orientaTED as what I suppose, that’s from a very, very young age loved reading. So I read a lot. Yeah. I loved science fiction. So I had a good imagination as well. And I loved music.

I’ve been a musician since I was 12 years old. And that’s been a lot to do with the career path that I’ve eventually chosen. So that was me young. I mean, I did sports and stuff like that. but I was quite introverTED. I still am actually an introvert, like many people who go around talking on stages, you know, the reality is an introvert.

And then there is the joy of connecting on stage, which to me is a different thing altogether. I love that experience, but I am a pretty quiet person overall. so that was me young. And, lots of jobs before I eventually decided to start my own business, which was back in 1988, a long time ago, before many people listening to this were born and I should imagine.

And that’s when I went out on my own for the first time.

Casanova Brooks:

Got it. And I love it. Cause that just mean, in my eyes, that you’re a staple in the game. You’re not someone who is just getting starTED. You’re someone who’s seen many ebbs and flows when it comes to entrepreneurship, starting your own business. And of course, the way the world has changed over the last 30 years.

Right?. Which is crazy in itself. I know only for my short amount of time on this, on this earth. I know that I haven’t seen any of the innovation that really you have from talking about the 60s 70s, 80s on to where we are now. But the thing that I want to ask is how did you become someone who became a speaker and in a word educator when you classify yourself as an introvert?

Because I feel like a lot of people struggle with that.

Julian Treasure:

Yeah, it is. It’s kind of a paradox, isn’t it? I suppose the answer to that is by degrees. It’s the old thing. How do you eat an elephant? You know, it’s a mouthful at a time, isn’t it? So it’s by degrees, I guess that, I originally was a musician.

Then I went into advertising and it was a media buyer. Then I went into the other side of advertising and became a salesperson selling, advertising space, in magazines. So that required learning how to communicate with people in a meaningful way. A structured approach to communication. You know, it wasn’t a script, but yeah, they were always mnemonics structures to a call and any sales person will know what I’m talking about.

You know, these, these are not just random calls. You have a structure, you move through things like, you know, attention, interest, desire, action, or whatever it might be. Right. so I I’m familiar with the kind of structured approach to speaking. Then I starTED to become a manager. And in other people’s companies.

And when you become a manager, there is a requirement there for intentional communication. Thinking about what effect do I want to have? What’s the result. What’s my intention for this conversation. And then structuring communication one to many. So you’re talking to a team. You’re trying to inspire or cajole or berate or whatever it might be.

You know, there’s a, there’s an intention there and you’re trying to get the team to a different place. Right? So there’s this sort of transformative, idea there behind communication to a team if you’re going to be a leader. of course. And the talk you’re talking about is that one about speaking, the other side of the coin is listening.

Which I’m even more passionate about. And it, I think it’s very difficult to be a good leader. If you don’t listen, how can you lead people? You don’t understand. So I learned that. And then along the way, I guess when I starTED, I am business, and it starTED to get successful and I starTED to engage with other people in the industry and go to events.

I was talking to more and more people, you know, it was teams of four or five originally, then it would be a company of 20 and then our company got bigger and it was a company of 50 or 80 people. and then I would be talking at an industry event to a couple of hundred people. so it’s all by degrees.

You know, it’s like riding a bike, you just keep trying. You don’t become a sort of stunt motorcyclist overnight. You don’t learn the pole vault overnight. You start with small things and you work up by degrees unless you happen to be, you know, unbelievably, naturally talenTED, which is a rare thing. Yeah.

You pick up a golf club and immediately you’re Tiger Woods. Well, you know, he did exist. He does exist, but there aren’t many of them, most people have to work at something even with talent, you know, it’s learning, making mistakes, understanding, feeding back and getting better. And I think that, yeah, you know, the idea of life as a spiral staircase is quite a nice one.

That’s one I like a lot. That if you go around the mound, it’s similar, but every day is the same. If you want to see it that way you get up, you do stuff and you got to sleep again. but, but ideally there’s an elevation in each day because I mean, my, my biggest question to myself in any day is have I grown. at all today?

Have I learned something or have I done something I didn’t do before? Or have I given something to people which makes the world a bit better or something like that? You know, there’s, there’s an intention to grow, I think is a wonderful, orientation in life. so that’s kind of how I learned to speak in public, I suppose.

I’d done quite a lot of it by the time I got the chance to speak for the very first time at TED, which was in. Is it 2009? I think it was, they had a thing called TED global in the UK. And there was a thing that called TED university where they, the basic idea. What was the audience at TED are just as interesting is that the people on the stage, which is undeniably true. I mean, I can tell you if you want to get nervous for public speaking, go and stand on a TED stage. And you’re looking out in the, Oh, there’s bill Gates. Oh, there’s Jeff Bezos. Oh, there’s Larry Page. It’s not your average audience, right?

So I did, I did one of those in 2009 about the, the four effects of sound. Because by that time I was running the sound agency. is all about organizational sound. It’s saying, how does your brand sound to big brands?

So things like, Sonic logos, you know, if I say draw Intel’s logo, you probably struggle with it. But if I stay, could you sing it? Most people go, Oh yeah. You know, it’s a very familiar sound. Okay. So that sound can be very, very powerful in marketing and in many, many other ways it is if you’re an organization.

So I wrote a book called Sound Business

, which is about every aspect of sound for a business and trying to make all of that intentional, in a TED Talk. I talked about too, there’s designing with your ears. Not just your eyes. So it’s not about how things look and it is about that, but it’s not only about how things look, it’s also about how things sound and that’s what the Sound Agency does.

It designs Mo most of the time now soundscapes in spaces like offices and hospitals and shops and malls and airports and so forth. Sound, which is just designed to make you feel. Good, you know, to be pleasant, to be in. so yeah, that was the first TED Talk, 2009, The Four Effects Of Sound. Then I did one about sound health and, you know, along the way I was getting more and more confident, I suppose.

So by the time I did the last one, there were five in a row. the third one was about listening. The fourth one was designing with the ears about architecture and sound and the fifth one was how to speak so that people want to listen. And I have to say that is sticking your head and above the parapet.

If you go to TED and you said I’d like to do a talk about talking. You’re standing on stage talking about what you’re doing. That’s being heavily scrutinized by serious high level audience. so I really practiced that a lot, a lot, a lot. And I was very pleased with the result. Actually, they put it out about a year after it came out and I think it’s more like 40 million views.

I haven’t checked recently, but altogether I think the five TED Talks have had. Like a hundred million views on the internet, something like that, which is mind boggling. Right. And because my passion, my passion is, you know, to make the world sound better and to inspire people, to listen. Most of all, that, to inspire people to listen.

I’m really excited by how many people have seen those talks and hopefully are starting to listen more carefully.

Casanova Brooks:

Yeah, love it. And we’re going to tap so much into that. I always. Like to ask this question early on though. Now the success that you’ve had looking back on everything, what was your biggest struggle?

Julian Treasure:

Well, I’ve had lots, for the first two years of my magazine business, which is what I launched in 1988. I had no business at all. And I was just sort of making ends meet by doing bits and pieces for friends, who were still doing things like advertising. I, as I said, I’m very stubborn and I think stubborn is one of two great attributes of an entrepreneur.

you have to be pigheaded stubborn, just stupid, stubborn, really? Right. You’ll go on. It’ll be all right. I’ll get there. So it’s that kind of in a flame, I suppose, the conviction that you’ll get there in the end.

and the other one, I think, is. The willingness to take the jump, you know, it’s like, there’s a, there’s a chasm or a river, and most people standing on the edge going, no, I don’t think so. You’re the one who goes to hell and don’t give it a go and it’d be all right, I’ll have a go, let’s go.

And you jump. And you know, a lot of people do not make it to the other side, which is like three out of four businesses don’t succeed. And there. Down at the bottom of the chasm, but a lot of those people also will climb back out and have another jump because, you know, we are that kind of people. We want to have a go see what’s on the other side.

And, so, so I think that’s the biggest difference. Entrepreneurs are the people who actually go, “I’ll have a go”. as opposed to, “I don’t think so”. And there’s, there’s millions of millions who are in the other thing. So working for other people, selling their time and you know, many of them having a very nice life.

It’s nothing wrong with that. If it’s not for you, the risk taking the 18 hour days. The stuff you know about just as well as I do from, yeah, I don’t do that anymore. I’m too old for that. But, That’s how it is when you start out. so you have to be stubborn and you have to be a risk taker. well, I’ve been through times I’ve been through several major recessions when businesses disappeared.

I’ve been through personal tragedies. you know, I think there’ve been plenty of times where most people would have given up and, now is another one of them. I mean, this is. Right now for the sound agency, one of the toughest times I’ve ever been through, because all our orders have stopped.

Everything is on hold around the world. We have zero revenue coming in. We have, eight employees. Fortunately, the UK has got a furloughing schemes. So we’re taking advantage of that to the max, but nevertheless, you can’t cut overheads to zero, right. And money is draining. And it’s scary, you know, it is scary.

So, especially when we have this wonderful new product that we’re, we’re going to be, I mean, next year is going to be unbelievable for us. Assuming we get to next year. But again, I have confidence that we will get there, that we will sell this amazing New Sonic soundscaping product, all over the world.

and stubbornness is just always there. I will not give up, you know, even one of our non executive directors said to me last week, why don’t you just mothball the whole thing to stop it for a year. Well, if I did that, I’d lose all the amazing people. Yeah. I’ve gathered. And I can’t do that. I will not do that.

I will continue. Even if I have to put my last penny into it, you know, that’s what we have to do. and the rewards will be there on the other side. They have been before. They will be again.

Casanova Brooks:

You said something now, you said “that’s who we are”, right? As entrepreneurs. And I think that a lot of people it’s who we are just in general, but we have that fear.

And that fear is a lot of the times, not even inside of us. It’s more so about what other people would think. Because if I, if I get out of this water and then I jumped back in again, are people gonna think that I’m crazy? Trying it the first time, it was like, okay, but if you try it and you fail and then you gotta get back out and show your face again.

Now all of a sudden it’s like your face and those same other people that was like errr, I wouldn’t have done it in the beginning. Is there a way that you can build up that resilience that, that going against that adversity? Or is that something that you would think is just an innate ability?

Julian Treasure:

Well, that’s a good question.

I guess there are different types of people who develop this resilience in their own ways. Maybe some people have it from childhoods. They put up with adversity and come through it. They’re used to overcoming it. maybe other people have an innate confidence, nothing bad has ever happened to them. And why would it?

That would be nice. Wouldn’t it to be one of those people. but. I think somewhere it has to be in your DNA. Maybe I had the example of my father who was a very determined man. and certainly in my family growing up, you know, you had to be able to justify yourself. you know, I talk in my TED Talk about dogmatism and the confusion of opinions with facts, which are two different things.

And unfortunately in most of the world, they are very, very confused at the moment. they’re conflated. Most people think they are they’re, their opinions are indeed facts or many people do. So there’s a great deal of shouting going on. And so, you know, I grew up in a house where you certainly had to justify your opinions and be able to make an argument and, stand up for yourself, I suppose.

so that probably helped me. Well, I think probably there are different types actually, Casanova. I don’t think you can just say all entrepreneurs have the same exact DNA we get to the same place, but some of the more creative, passionate, you know, I have to do this cause I’m burning with this idea. Some of them are more procedural.

You know, I have, I have a thing that I want to make it’s this thing, and I want to make it, with me, it was always more incremental. It was just one thing, followed another, you know, I’ve always loved that. the phrase about music and, and copying people, “standing on the shoulders of giants”, where, if The Giants weren’t there, you know, you wouldn’t be so high.

To start from zero is very difficult, but there are always examples. You know, many entrepreneurs would have mentors or read books and try and imprint, you know, what other people have done people with whom they feel some sort of, sympathy, or similarity. I’m never did that really, but, I do respect people who do I am many ways to do this more or less structured I’m in the less structured camp.

It’s just like, let’s do the best day tomorrow that I can do and see what happens really.

Casanova Brooks:

Got it. I love it. Now. a lot of the times I feel like what holds us back is that we suffer from paralysis of analysis.

We just keep analyzing, we want to try to hit every point and that then wounds up keeping us in the same boat. And by that time that we decide we’re going to take action. There’s been another idea that has sparked in our mind. So now we’re like, Going two different directions. We don’t know which way to go.

And so I love the fact that you said that because I love to move fast as well. And there’s not a lot of structure. How does someone in your opinion be okay with not being structured? Because I feel like there’s two sides of people. You have the analytical people, the people that are very structured and then you have the people like you and I, that just run fast everyday.

And we’re looking for that next thing. How do you feel like somebody can get the best of both worlds or is that even a way, do you need to just hire out the person who can give you structure?

Julian Treasure:

Definitely. The last thing you said, I think creating team is absolutely critical if you’re going to make something successful and that requires humility.

It requires knowing what you’re good at and then what you’re not good at and surrounding yourself with the people who do this stuff. You either you can’t do, or you hate doing. Well, there’s plenty of things. I really don’t like doing. And I’d rather have somebody else doing them because what was it somebody said to me once, it was a great quote, have fun, make money and work with people you like.

Hmm. Well, that’s great. And he was talking about the clients. It’s not just, you know, the people in your business, and that’s what it’s supposed to do to be like, it shouldn’t be drudgery every day, you know, and one shouldn’t be working for evil empires and resenting it and, you know, going to work, you know, in a deeply depressed state.

there’s no point doing that. . But I think it’s quite important to recognize that, you know, I’m not great starting with a blank sheet of paper. That’s not my forte. I’m much better. Taking an idea and spinning it and making it 10 times better. Yeah. Or taking what somebody said and they think, and putting that together with two other things that I’ve heard and go, wow, when did we did that?

So it’s the kind of creative ingenuity, the leap of, insight, I suppose, which is the reason I was like, TED. I mean, that’s what TED is all about is, is, you know, you go in for four days and you get your brain completely blasted with. Yeah, 50 amazing ideas. and then you go and incubate and maybe two or three of those ideas come together and you think, Oh, there’s a thing! I could do that.

So that’s what I like doing. I am useless just if you sit me down in a dark room and say, come up with an idea, I just, no idea can’t do that. I’m a synthesizer.

Casanova Brooks:

Yeah. And, and I love that and I love that you said that because a lot of people struggle with that. Myself included. I feel like I identify exactly what you’re saying.

I am the visual person. I am that person that I could take that idea. And I can really like if some I, yes, I have a story then, and I can come up with ideas on my own. But if we have that collaboration piece and, and if you need someone to execute on the idea, I’m definitely your guy, but I’m not the. The architect of it.

I can’t sit down and draw it on a blank sheet of paper. It’s just tough for me to do those things. And I feel like a lot of people, they struggle with it. And maybe it’s because they don’t know how to articulate where the strong points are

For the next question that I have is you focus so much on listening and communicating effectively. Right and efficiently. So for someone who right now, they would say, I am an introvert. I do have a story, but I don’t know how to tell my story. Like where does communication start at and how can anybody starts to blaze their path as an effective communicator?

Julian Treasure:

Well, I think first of all, there is a connection with other people which is important and that comes from curiosity. in fact, I mean, I talk about four CS of effective listening and you can apply them to communications. Generally. I think, the first C is consciousness. Now that’s an important word in this whole conversation.

It’s consciousness that you’re actually doing a thing when you’re listening. It’s not like hearing hearing is automatic, like your heart beating. You can’t turn your hearing off it’s on all the time, unless you’re wearing these, of course. But even that I’m listening now, So conscious that listening is a different process.

It’s selecting certain things to pay attention to out of all the stuff you hear, you know, you’re hearing 360º all around you in a sphere all the time. And some things you pay attention to, you select, and then you make them means something. You had described meaning to them. Have I heard that before?

Is it dangerous? Is it happy? Is that a good thing? Is it a bad thing? You know, what do I expect to happen next? There’s all this interpretation going on very, very, very fast. So your physical reaction to the sound comes from hearing. Whether you get a, you know, you might have a fight flight response. If somebody drops something behind you, your heart will suddenly go and you’ll get cortisol and noradrenaline and so forth.

but the interpretation. Well, that is listening. And so I call listening, making meaning for sound and it’s a, it’s a skill. And that’s the biggest thing that most people don’t understand that listening is that listening is a skill just like athletic skills or writing, or, you know, any skill you care to name or regard me.

I don’t care, whatever it is, you can practice it and you can get better at it. That is crucial to understand. So consciousness about listening is critical. If you’re not conscious, you know, you’re back into the don’t know what you don’t know, what you don’t know, you know, scenario. Great. the second C is, compassionate or compassion.

It’s very difficult to be good in communication and good as a speaker. Also, if you don’t care about the other person. now I’m not saying we have to love everybody, or that would be a very good thing, loving kindness in Buddhism or Christian love or whatever you, I mean, all the religions center on this one thing.

So, you know, it is undeniably a good thing. If we can go around being benevolent and so forth, that’s not necessarily the way that most people are. Nevertheless, if you can have compassion. That is a really big step forward. I may not agree with you, but I might at least understand why it is that you believe what you believe.

Right. And that’s compassion. I can see why you got there. You know, it’s not me, that’s you, but I can see how you got there. Even if I fundamentally disagree with you, we can do a bit more of that in the world. At the moment. The third C is commitment. Because listening takes effort. It’s not just a skill it’s work as well.

Just like love is work. And unfortunately these things do take effort. They take discipline. They take commitment. You have to be asking yourself, have I been doing this? Am I doing it right now? Can I get better at this? How have I expressed this? So commitment? I mean, I talk about what was it, Scott Peck said “you cannot truly listen to another human being and do anything else at the same time”.

Which I really agree with. And yet we spend so much time going, Oh yeah, I am listening. No, no, you’re sending a text. That’s not listening. It’s doing something else. And there’s a little bit of partial listening going on, which is. The most common form of listening in the world today. I think in my experience anyway, and the final C of the four, that is curiosity, being curious.

I had a trainer who talked once about being ferociously curious. I think that’s a really good attitude because that again comes from humility. You know, I might learn something here. From this person, you know, if I actually had a conversation coming from compassion, I would probably learn something.

It, you know, we have so many snap judgements, you know, the cover, determining what we think the book is going to be all the time of people. We were always judging, judging, judging, and curiosity is a wonderful antidote to that. It really is. You just. Treating everybody you meet as an opportunity to learn.

Not, not just another human being, not dismissed because they’re like that. And I know what they’re going to be like an opportunity to learn. What might I learn here? Then you get listening and then you get a connection. And that connection is crucial because I talk in, in the book that I wrote called How To Be Heard and in, in, my online course and so forth all the time.

I talk about this one thing, the circle of communication, speaking and listening. It’s not a line like that. It’s not, I speak you listen, or whichever way round. You want to say it. I listen to you speak. It’s not like that. It’s a circle because the way I speak affects the way you listen, the way you listen to affects the way I speak, the way I speak affects the way you speak and the way you listen affects the way I listen and so forth.

There’s all this interrelationship happening all the time. It’s like a tango. It is, it is. It’s a dance all the time with another human being. And if you start to understand that, then in order to be understood, you need to do your bit And keep the circle going. So good listeners tend to be also people who are quite powerful in communication and vice versa.

I think it’s difficult to be continually powerful in, in speaking, if you don’t listen to other people because you know, nobody likes somebody who talks over them all the time, interrupts and does the anyway, a thing, you know, when they’re talking, that’s just demeaning. It’s dismissive. And people will get the hump and , they will go and talk to somebody else because they’d be there you’re being bombastic or overbearing or whatever it might be. So it’s not all about sending. And I think that’s important. I also realize that my TED Talk about speaking has been seen by.

Five times as many people as my TED Talk about listening that says something.

Casanova Brooks:

Yeah, that definitely says something. And so it’s a recap on it. We have a consciousness, right? You have to be conscious. You have com compassion. You have commitment and then you have curiosity. Those are the four CS that you have, and I love the way you explained it.

And that in itself is so valuable. I, we really appreciate you sharing that. And that’s something that I think we’re always trying to get better at. We’re always trying to figure out how we can communicate more effectively, because just like you said, and just as your book says, we all want to be heard.

Right. We see it right now. That’s going on with racial injustice all across the country. Right. But the thing is, people feel like they are not being listened to. And even if they are being listened to, they’re not being, I actually heard, there is no compassion that’s being felt for them. People are not genuinely just curious.

About. Why do you feel this way? Well, there’s a lot in there.

Julian Treasure:

Let me just talk about two human characteristics, desires, habits, which are very, very destructive and which we see in play all over the world at the moment, particularly. Those are first of all, “looking good”.

Now that’s what you were just saying. The desire not to appear foolish, you know, the desire to have respect, the desire to be admired and so on and so forth. Well, we all have that. Of course, it’s nice to have people think well of us, but if it becomes a driving force, just like if somebody goes on stage and it’s all about them looking good, you can tell, you can-

I mean, there is a kind of superficial, a shallowness to the whole thing. It’s all about them. It never, if you want to be a great public speaker and here’s a great tip: it’s not about you. It’s always about the gift you can give to the audience and it’s about them and where you leave them at the end of your talk, which is a different place to where they were at the beginning.

And you’re guiding them to that place and you’re giving them a gift. That’s the way to see it. So looking good, tends to give rise to a lot of, well dishonesty really in relationships, pretending to know things that you don’t know. You know, dogmatism, because you won’t depart from a view that you’ve been particularly attached to for a long time.

And that kind of thing. If there’s one thing we like in the world, more than looking good, it is being right and being right is struggling the world right now, in the debates about coronavirus and our responses to it. Everybody seems to know best. And they all disagree and they’re all getting more and more dogmatic about it, being right, is easily achieved by making somebody else wrong.

And that is a real danger. I mean, the phrase “virtue signaling” is one I’ve seen a lot recently in the papers from a lot of people. And I think it’s important to distinguish the two things. One is believing passionately in a cause. I mean, we have BLM in, in the UK, it’s absolutely necessary.

And particularly with our history, with the association of the UK, with slave trade for hundreds of years, I mean, it is a dirty stain on my country, and something which we need to face properly and deal with properly. So there’s, you know, there is a huge. Amount of stuff to unpack there in an honest way, looking inside as a country and as individuals, what doesn’t help I think is pointing the finger all the time and making other people wrong because that tends to polarize it.

And that is where we are in the world. A great deal at the moment. I mean, in America, we’ve had polarized politics now for a long time. And politicians, you know, as I’m fond of saying go off and “have talks”, I wish they’d go off and “have listens”, instead. It would make the world a lot easier as a place, but the slippery slope of being right involves caricaturing.

Opposing views, you know, dogmatism “I’m right. And I’m going to make myself more right by saying, you’re wrong”. So when I say “you’re wrong”, that lifts me up and it puts you down and it makes me feel better about myself. So it’s an ego driven thing to be doing that, “they’re wrong, they’re wrong, they’re wrong”.

And, and being outraged, you know, we have this addiction to outrage, which is driven by the media. Where we’re in a kind of dance of death with the media on this one. I’m afraid. So, you know, “somebody to blame who’s to blame, let’s find the person to blame” and yeah. Then you have shaming on social media.

There’s a- by the way it’s a wonderful TED Talk by John Ronson. Who I did a TED Talk with him a few years ago and he did a wonderful Ted talk about internet shaming, which should shame anybody who’s in the business of shaming on the internet. So that, that kind of that’s the ultimate, you know, the pack mentality of going for somebody in tearing them to pieces.

That’s all about this being right thing. And the slippery slope I have to say is a scary one because you start with caricature and you and depersonalization. When you take away any curiosity, “I’m not interested in that person, he’s an idiot” and you then push them further and further. If you start to get down that slope into really depersonalizing people, you get into violence, you know, you disagree with me, I’m going to hit you, or you disagree with me.

I’m going to kill you. So that’s the sort of ISIS mentality, the ISIS end of the scale. I don’t want us to go there and they aren’t the antidote to all of that stuff is , you know?, there are nuances out there, in all of these difficult subjects that we’re facing right now. And I think it’s very important to be listening to opposing views.

Barack Obama said, I like to listen to people, especially when I disagree with them. Hmm. That’s a heroic statement, right? There are so few people who go that way. Now most of us listen to people we agree with and we’ll go onto the internet to find people. We agree. There you are. I knew I was right. There’s 10 websites saying I was right.

You know what? You can always find them, can’t you, whatever your views might be. So I think looking good and being right are things that we have to be very, very conscious of inside. And that means a bit of introspection. You know, I might play in those games cause it’s all about me looking good. Is it all about me being right and making everybody else wrong?

Might I something here?. so those two things. Massively are getting in the way of, connection, compassion, and human relationship at the moment in the world.

Casanova Brooks:

Yeah. and A lot of people struggle with that because if I show too much curiosity, I feel like then you’re going to think I’m a fool. What’s your response? Or what’s your insight on that?

Julian Treasure:

Well, it is possible to ask really interesting questions. First of all, they should be open. “Why, what, when, which, how, who

“, you know, the question is starting with those words where the answer cannot be. Yes or no. You know, if I simply say to you it, did you enjoy the podcast?

Yes or no? Well, that doesn’t give me much information. If I say to you, what are the three things you most enjoyed about podcast? Now we’re going to come up with a conversation. Right. And you say something and I said, Oh, that’s interesting. Tell me more about that. Now we’re engaged. I don’t think it yet for asking those questions.

I think you think I’m interested? That’s something to remember because most people love to talk about themselves. Right. Most people love that somebody is interested. Oh, hello. Somebody is interested in me. That’s nice. Oh yes. By all means I’ll answer your questions. So I think it depends on what the questions are and what they’re about.

I mean, we can all ask stupid questions sometimes when we’re not thinking or whatever, but I think if you design questions, the questions, like, you know, what’s, what if I met somebody for the first time and, you know, hello, what do you do? And so what’s the best thing about doing that? That’s a really good, I love that question because it makes people think.

And it’s a qualitative question. And it gets you into talking about something. They might say something really amazing. Like I’m not that they let me have my dog in the office. Oh, you’re in dogs. Hi. Nice. What is it? You know, who knows where it might go? But if it’s going to be more interesting than, you know, the next question being, Oh, where’s your office or where do you live?

Or, I mean, those are low level questions. There are lots of higher level questions that I would encourage anybody listening to this to think about, you know, just think about questions that you would find interesting for somebody to ask you and then have a little store of them, you will not appear. Stupid. And I think questions, you know, I talk about it in that R.A.S.A. Acronym that I used in the listening talk, which is receive, appreciate, summarize, ask.

Which is four pillars of really interesting conversation, generally receive

being pay attention. That is to say, looking at the person who’s talking and actually being in the company, commitment, being present, doing anything else. appreciate

is. Little noises like you’re just doing right. Yeah. And if we’re actually physically face to face, there would be little bobs of the head and nods and raise the eyebrows and whatever, you know it.

Right. So that’s appreciated. That’s just showing that you’re there and you’re still listening, summarizes the word. So

, and that’s a really powerful word. I was talking about it as closing doors in the corridor, have a conversation behind you. So, you know, you’re walking down a corridor or have a conversation with somebody and you say, so what I understand you said is this, is that right?

Yeah. Door close. Now we move on because we kind of locked that bit down and in meetings, it’s very important to have a, so person. So we’ve agreed this. Can we move on to that now, can we move on if you don’t have a, so person in the meeting round around, around the room and in circles, they said about meetings.

They’re places where you take minutes and waste hours. And that’s very often the case. and the, the last A

, which is why I mentioned this is Ask

asking questions all the way through, from the beginning to the end and afterwards, you know what particularly interested me about what you just said is this, can you explain some more about that?

You know, that kind of question, just showing interest in being engaged, right? It creates relationship, not derision, not people thinking you were stupid, in my opinion.

Casanova Brooks:

I love it. There’s so much value that you’ve given in this episode. I really appreciate it. I think so many people, they will be able to take this and they will be able to more effectively, not only communicate, but build meaningful relationships because of all the insight.

And just like you said, it starts with listening. I, I think I’ve been one when I grew up and I was younger and no one really told me the proper way to communicate, we all start out and we’re trying to be heard. So that thinks that we need to, so that means that we think that we need to talk louder so people can hear us.

But if you just find ways to be interested, genuinely interested in other people, they are going to reciprocate that. And then that’s the best way for you to be heard after you’ve already listened to someone. And so I think you you’ve. Really articulated that in a beautiful way. And I would just say, thank you again.

Julian Treasure:

Thank you. Thank you.

Casanova Brooks:

Yes. This has been very fun for me, for someone who right now they’re inspired by you. They’re going to go watch your Ted talk and they’re going to want to blaze their path just as you’ve done, but they have that little voice in their head. And that little voice says that they’re not strong enough.

They’re not smart enough or maybe they just don’t have enough resources. What is the one thing that you would tell that person to get them to just take action?

Julian Treasure:

I always remember Gandhi. When people talk about not being strong enough, he was a tiny man. He was not a strong man and he had very few resources really at his disposal. And yet he changed the world. So I think it’s very, very easy to say to us. I’m only one to say to ourselves, I’m only one person. What can I do?

But big change always starts with one person. So, you know, it’s a question of taking just the next step, doing the next right thing, taking, just putting one foot in front of the other and seeing what turns up, be true to your values. You know, I I’ve, an important exercise I think for anybody is to write your values down.

And, you know, I don’t know if you’ve ever done that Casanova, but it’s a really good exercise. Yeah. I mean, mine are faith-love-acceptance and gratitude, which spell the word FLAG. So it’s easy to remember from me, Faith, that all will be well. Love as in compassion for other people, wishing people well Acceptance of things I can’t change.

And there’s no point railing about them so that the resentment and I don’t do regret and Gratitude, which is focusing on the half full bit of the glass, what I have got and not eternally focused on what I haven’t got, which is a disease in the world at the moment. I think that with so many people are focused on when I get that, I’ll be happy.

That’s never true because happiness is only ever here today, tomorrow as a moment. So, I think if you write your values down like that, it gives you a moral compass and that’s what guides that next foot in front of the other. If you do that, then it will be nothing short of. Interesting. And when you look back on the road, you will be proud of it, whatever it is that you achieved.


Casanova Brooks:

I love it. The great way to end it for anyone who is looking to stay connected with you, we will have links of everything that you mentioned in the show notes, but for anyone that wants to stay directly connected with you, where can they find you?

Julian Treasure:

juliantreasure.com is the website and there’s ways to connect on there.

So do swing by. We’d be delighted to see anybody.

Casanova Brooks:

Absolutely. Well remember DreamNation and the dream we trust, but just as he said, it doesn’t matter how small you might think that you are. You have mighty mighty powers inside of you, but you also must take action or otherwise it will only merely be a fantasy.

We’ll see you on the next one.




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