After an incredible first season of ‘Talk Story with Jeni’ and the advent of the shows’s first taping, I reflect on what makes so show so energetic and inspiring. I’m often asked where the idea for ‘Talk Story’ came from and, like many good ideas, it came from a combination of good company and alcohol-induced conversation.
Sitting around a table at a bar while traveling, a few friends and I were talking, not about anything extraordinary, but about life and living. It was said that if people could listen to my conversations with others that the world could change. Brilliant! Invite people to join in on the conversations I have with some of the best and brightest humans alive. Not the rich or the famous but the truly authentic individuals who make the world a better place.
All of us have personal lives that intersect daily with our professional lives. Its what makes us individual members of the work force. I’m more interested in hearing about someone’s hobbies, passions and loves than I am about the school they attended, the internships they held and the awards they have won. I don’t care much for pedigrees or titles as they don’t tell the story behind a person’s abilities and interests. Seriously, is one degree better than another or a particular school able to offer everyone a life-changing educational experience? Some of the smartest people I know went to no name schools (a few didn’t go to school at all). Many of them ended up with obscure degrees in unrelated fields and yet their success is measurable.
I work with hundreds of professionals each and every year. I see how they operate in their businesses, observe and analyze what they do offering suggestions on how to do it better. My ability to do this comes from a twenty-year commitment to mastering the art of listening, talking for the purpose of adding to someone’s confidence and comfort. I work to lead them to a place where they feel they can share how it is they think and why it is they think that way.
This is what ‘Talk Story’ is about. It’s about being real and communicating in a way that shows you are listening. We all sing and shout, we all dream and dance, we know people we love and we know those we don’t. We create garbage and we create ideas, we pee and we sweat. In short, we are not so different from each other but each of us is solely unique. This is a gift bestowed upon humanity. ‘Talking story’ is a necessary part of our existence, a part to often put aside for “best practices”, policy and rules of engagement. My goal? To get us back to a place where we talk and we listen to what is real about ourselves.
‘Talk Story with Jeni’ – Going Metro with Michael Lejeune and Matt Raymond. Thursday, October 14, 7pm-9:30pm. The doors open at 6:30pm at the A+D Museum, 6032 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA. For more information or to get your tickets visit http://aigalosangeles.org/ – Presented by Neenah Paper, Function Fox, and Emma.