The fascinating history of the “Enron Corpus,” the trove of private emails that were made public in the wake of the collapse of the energy company Enron, reminds me never to write anything in an email that I wouldn’t want to see made public.
We discuss why it’s a good idea to allow others to share your enthusiasm, we review the props used by listeners to help manage anxiety, take a look at listeners’ one-word themes for 2021, and share a hack for asking a tough question.
Sometimes, understanding someone else’s point of view allows our anger to fade. When writer Julie Lythcott-Haims understood that her mother’s definition of a “visit” differed from her definition of a “visit,” her resentment faded and her empathy grew.
Despite all good intentions, an accomplished architect built a house with lousy acoustics, even though the owner—the writer Ved Mehta, who was blind—emphasized that the acoustical environment was the most important aspect of the house. It takes constant discipline to remember that what other people value, and what other people seek, may be very different from what we value and what we seek.
We talk about why it’s helpful to remember that the things that go wrong often make the best memories—for example, I passed out on live TV! Plus a hack about holding hands, and we ask the know-yourself-better question, “Are you in an age of expansion, or an age of concentration?”
Dolly Parton is such an admirable person. Her statement to the Tennessee legislature—to ask that they withdraw legislation proposing to erect a statue of her on the Capitol grounds—was gracious, humble, appropriate to the moment, in her own voice, and a tribute to her enduring love for her home state.