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Speak Easy w/Lou Diamond




Karen Mangia

Today on Success from Anywhere, we'll meet the master mixologist who is expertly blending a base of great content with a balance of curiosity seasoned with connection. Step inside his speakeasy and discover how to craft a cocktail of conversation that leaves your listeners wanting more. Please join me in welcoming to the show the author of Speakeasy, CEO of Thrive, and host of the fantastic podcast Thrive Loud, Lou Diamond. Lou, welcome to the show.


Lou Diamond

I am so excited to be here. And I'm even more excited because that might have been the best intro opening for me ever. I'm copying that from you. You're going to have to give it to the people who introduce me to the stage. How about that?


Karen Mangia

Please do. Maybe I have a future career in short form bios and introductions? Who knew?


Lou Diamond

Who knew? Well, you've had a lot of practice. You've been on a lot of programs, people have introduced you for all the different and great things you've done. I could totally see you have an expertise in this.


Karen Mangia

We talk on this show about the world of work. Conversation is core to that. Before we go there for some new tips for conversation and connection, I like to ask every guest, what was your first job? And how did that job inform or inspire your career trajectory?


Lou Diamond

My first job started when I was younger than I'm probably now allowed to announce for legal work purposes—although we've probably passed some kind of statute of limitations. I worked with my father in his retail jewelry store. And what an experience this was! I might have been 12 or 13 years old when I started working regularly, learning how to sell to customers. It was a very, very, very small store—only 60 feet long and nine feet wide. Imagine you had a counter that you had to stand behind where all the showcases were and where the jewelry was. So, there was one aisle and lane for customers to go in and out of and you were very close to them. It was an unbelievable experience to learn howto connect with people at an early age, understand what their needs were, what they were shopping for in a one on one situation as opposed to one on many. It was a challenging thing to sell in a very competitive environment. There were lots of other jewelry stores. What was it that they needed? And did you have what they wanted? And could you eventually persuade them to buy something? I learned a ton from my father who is a wonderful salesperson as well as from many of the people that were around me.


That was my first job. I had that job for many, many years while growing up, always being called upon when needed and for summers. It was a very important job that helped me understand the importance of urgency when selling, learn to connect really fast and have a lot of fun while doing it. During the Christmas season when it was really busy, it was just a chaotic and fun environment. One that I will never forget.


Karen Mangia

Everyone listening will definitely want to know if you can connect them with a discount. And more importantly, there has to be a memorable moment from one of those conversations that taught you something about connecting with people.


Lou Diamond

To say there's one memorable moment would be an understatement. There were dozens. One that I will always think of was the guy who came into the store looking to buy his fiancee, his girlfriend at the time, an engagement ring. We were off in the corner of the store and a girlfriend of his future fiance was in the store and all of a sudden he was trying to hide his personae because he didn't want her to know that he was shopping for a diamond ring and obviously ruin the surprise. So he asked me and one of the workers in the store if we could go over and kind of persuade this other person to leave. We actually put the guy in the back room and waited until this woman left. So then he came out and he finished the purchase and stuff like that. But I will never forget it because we couldn't figure out exactly what he was doing. All of a sudden, he took his jacket and covered himself over like he was a secret agent of some sort. He bought the ring, and they got engaged. I have no idea where they are today, but that was a story I'll never forget,


Karen Mangia

Hopefully, they lived happily ever after. I like to think about those memorable moments of what happens inside of the jewelry store when you unroll that beautiful piece of velvet, right? And put attention into polishing the stone before you present it. So, it's perfect, which seems like a basic step, right? Make it look its best.


When I think about the work that you do, now, you're back to the basics of conversation. And with everything that has shifted, and with all of us trying to polish up our communication skills, what constitutes a conversation now? How do you even define it?


Lou Diamond

This is so funny about conversations—we are surrounded by them every single day and, many times, we're not even involved in them. Think about your entire life and the things you listen to. If you're listening to this amazing podcast, you're engaging in a conversation; you're not necessarily participating in it, but you could be learning from it. If you're in the audience of somebody speaking at a live event, you're listening to the conversation that the speaker might be having with the audience. In your business environment, every single interaction that you have not only in person voice to voice, but digitally as well—email conversations, chats through Slack, communication across the organizations, podcasts that go across internally and accompany company newsletters—these are all interactions that we're having that are important, things that we're trying to connect to. We've gotten a little sloppy and rusty, I would almost say out of real practice in making sure that we connect in every one of these conversations.


We have so many touch points on how we can communicate with others, from text messages to emails, blog posts or whatever methods that you have to speak to people. But we're not doing a really good job of doing all the things you need to do to make the conversation connect. That was the red flag that went up that I got to experience here behind this microphone hosting the podcasts, working with a lot of the customers that I helped to connect, engage, win, and do everything else they do in sales, marketing, and leadership.


So when I started to see this connection problem , I realized that the pandemic definitely made us have to do more of these types of communications via zoom. And that really emphasizes the importance of penetrating this camera to connect with somebody, which is hard to do because we don't have the energy and the personalityor the ability to shake someone's hand or be in the same room with them and feel the same energy and vibe that they do. I realized we need to do something so that we can highlight all the ways that we can have better conversations. And then something really important hit. And that was that there's a way to connect in every single type of conversation that you have. That was the big light bulb that went off in my head and inspired me to write Speak Easy. I wanted to share that gift with everybody.


Karen Mangia

You're calling out a contextual shift we've all been living through. We define conversation so frequently as something that happens in person. You read about the person who's struggling with onboarding at a new company because they can't listen over the proverbial cubicle wall and learn from the people around them. We think about or can relate to sitting at dinner with someone and you're listening in on the conversation of the table next to you and filling in the blanks, usually having your own hypothesis. We associate a conversation with something that happens live, synchronously, and in person. Your definition of a conversation makes me wonder what would change if we treated every interaction as a conversation? What would we do differently? How do you coach individuals and organizations to make that shift to think about a Slack message or a newsletter as a conversation? What will we do differently to be more effective?


Lou Diamond

One of the interesting things about this observation is a little bit of a shift in the way we think about conversation. When I recognized that was happening, I felt I was using a different type of personae, if you would, when I would be speaking about a conversation I witnessed or a podcast I listened to. It almost felt like I had established a relationship with the people, that we were having a chat and I wasn't even in the room. A connection was being created and that brought to my attention something important: it is the amazing effect that we can have if we can take all these different forms of communication and figure out what needs to be done so that we can connect. I realized it has nothing to do with what we need to do. And it has absolutely nothing to do with a specific set of words or things we might need to say, whether we communicate written or orally. It has everything to do with how we need to be. Those who know how to connect through conversation understand that there's actually a certain way to be when you enter into a conversation before it, during it and after it, before you even think about sending an email, the interaction you're having and who you're trying to message and the tone you need to be using when you're communicating. And in any of the follow ups in all your communications to make sure that you're keeping that connected way of being, a certain way that actually makes us more connectable, more likable, more desirous of others to say, “I want to continue to have a conversation with this person.”


Think about all those emails that you get from Marketing, and how if they're worded a certain way, or I'll even joke about this, there's just too many words in one email. Anytime you have to scroll you're not going to get someone's attention anymore. We are so concentrated on making sure we connect quickly, right away. There actually is a way you need to be and the way you communicate even in just a written message. I wanted to translate that way of thinking, the speak easy way of thinking, across all these touch points. It is something that is coachable. Something you can put into practice each and every day and that you can work on to get better at so that you do connect, engage and win every single time.


Karen Mangia

On this season of the Success from Anywhere podcasts, we're talking about nine to five, this theme of the hours in which work happens. And one of the key drivers of these returned to mandates or returned to office mandates is the concept that to connect we need to be in person together. And what I appreciate about your book, Speak Easy is that you created what I would think of as your signature cocktail for connecting through conversation. You talk about your seven C's and it's this getting ready and connecting and getting people to end with the “tell me more” and want to stay engaged. What are the seven C's in this signature connection cocktail you've crafted.


Lou Diamond

I'm not going to go through all seven because as I joke about in the book, I never actually remember them. That's why I wrote them down. But I do have an understanding of most of them.


If you think about great conversations that you have had, there are certain elements that make a conversation engaging, and they all happen to start with the letter C. First of all, to start it off is the content itself. The conversation”s content is something you need to think about. The last thing I see before I go to sleep at night is some late night talk show of a conversation that's taking place. It's actually the last thing that's actually going through my ears before I go to sleep. And when I wake up and I see my wife, I start having a conversation with her. It's the first thing we do, right. But content, if you think about it in that regard, the conversation is where we learn. It's where we grow. It's where we gain information, where we actually grow the worlds that we're in. It is a tremendous resource to us. And again, as I mentioned, all those touch points are different content. But the content is engaging sometimes, but it needs context, one of the other seven C’s to make sure that we have the contextualization to make that content relate to us. And this is so important because so often someone will tell a specific example of a great story or whatever it might be. But if you have no context, it's hard to make that conversation connect. So those two actually go hand in hand very, very often.


Cadence is actually something really important that I know happens in every conversation. There is a rhythm to what we like to hear and a familiarity. To listeners who don't know this, Karen and I have spoken on numerous podcast episodes together. I can tell you that if you listen to probably the second or third one, we’ve probably established a cadence that works between us, a rhythm of how we like to ask questions or what we like to talk about. She's obviously smarter than most people on the planet. So when we speak, I have to elevate my game and elevate that cadence within it. But in conversation there is a speed. You know how when you start to see the people that you grew up with, you'll maybe speak using the accent or the pace or the rhythm that you did when you were younger. We establish rhythms with those that we have connections with, but we have to figure out that little dance in the beginning of a conversation because when the cadence rhythm is a little off, it's hard to connect. When we find the right speed, the right understanding, that's where the conversations get in line. I don't have to go through all of the bases, but I can tell people to go check out the book and look for it.


One of the last pieces I know is this connection itself. The goal of every conversation is actually to make a connection and have more conversations with the person you're speaking with. So you have to think that a conversation does have a kind of a beginning and an end, but also has to pick up and have a starting point. Because that's what we want in conversation, to establish that connection with somebody that you know you can start to trust and you could start doing business with more efficiently, effectively, and clearly.


And clarity. I know that's another part and clarity actually is another one of the C's, and sure you're clear. I want to make it clear as I'm speaking right now: no conversation will be engaging if you do not understand what the person is talking about. So I think we covered five of the seven; I think that should be good enough for your listeners.


Karen Mangia

We think about putting more effort into preparing for a presentation, a formal presentation to a customer, or to win our boss over on an idea, perhaps about the newsletter that goes out or the quick text message. All of these are forms of conversation. And when you were talking, I was reminded and some listeners might be surprised to discover that all cocktails are derived from six basic cocktails. That's it, there's literally nothing new under the cocktail sun as it were. And when I'm thinking about your framework, I think about preparing for what we perceive to be a difficult conversation, where maybe we haven't connected in the past or we need to ask for something that we perceive may be difficult to get. How do you coach people? Or do you prepare differently for a difficult conversation or one where the connection was off the first time. And now you've got to go back.


Lou Diamond

So let's reiterate an important thing that I said earlier—how being able to connect in conversation is not what you need to do or what not what you need to say; it's how you need to be. And what that means is there are certain ways you need to bring certain elements of your character or certain emphasis that you need to bring to the table to mix these things together to make those conversations effective.


When it deals with the uncomfortable conversation in which we effectively call the speaker the 800 pound gorilla, it’s an uncomfortable moment. You know there's something in the room you need to have a conversation about. It's challenging, difficult, and makes you feel uneasy. Let's call it what it is. We need to step through the fear we have of having this conversation and engage sooner than later. We all know that when problems exist, and if we don't have the conversation to resolve the situation and bring our connection closer together, the reality is that it festers; it grows. And the problem becomes bigger than ever it needed to be. What I love to say as it relates to the 800 pound gorilla, you got to bring a shot of gumption, a little bit of nerve. what I love to call a four shot chaser of deal with it. You go straight to it right at the beginning and attack and tackle that particular hard issue right away. Deal with that 800 pound gorilla, address it in the room, call it out, discuss it. And you won't believe how quickly you'll navigate through it. How much more relieved you will feel that you addressed the conversation. And while a lot of times these are difficult conversations: these could be firing somebody; this can be giving a bad bit of report to someone about their performance; this could be telling somebody the bad news that they didn't win something or you haven't heard yet from somebody. These uncomfortable conversations are important to address right away. Deal with it. And by the way, you won't believe how much better you'll get at dealing with the uncomfortable conversation the more you practice bringing these things to the table. Because before you know it, maybe the uncomfortable conversation of an 800 pound gorilla might be your drink of choice the next time you have to have one.


Karen Mangia

I blatantly borrowed this from Berne Brown. She talks about using the opening “the story I’m telling myself is.” For example, let's pretend that the last time you and I were on a podcast together, it was a disaster. I could say to you I perceive that the story I'm telling myself about our last podcast together is that we were completely out of sync, and it didn't go well. Did you feel that too? And sometimes you find out the other person didn't, right? But it's those little opening lines of how do you get into the conversation? And most importantly, how do you move on?


Lou Diamond

Keep in mind when I mentioned how you need to be, if you go into that conversation, I have a little bit of a cheat sheet, which I do for every conversation. I call it connector voice—V,O, I, C, E.. It doesn't matter if I'm doing a podcast or if I'm going to be a guest or a host or I'm going to be speaking on stage, I'm going to enter in that conversation or even that uncomfortable conversation. What I do is I take each one of those letters and I think about what I have to do. This is my mental mindset to warm up before I engage in speaking with somebody.


The V is to visualize how I hope and think the conversation will go. I'm hoping that an uncomfortable conversation will go well and we'll get through the challenging issue. I'm hoping that my appearance on your program will educate listeners about the value of speak easy and how important connecting with every conversation is. That's the message I want to give you.


The O is to appreciate the opportunity. Every time that we speak, it's just magic. It's awesome. It's great. But the reality is I go in there knowing that every conversation is a gift. The opportunity to speak with someone gives you a chance to connect and enter their stuff from their world and your stuff into yours together. That's a wonderful opportunity. You need to go in with a sense of appreciation. And when you do that, people are going to be more likely to want to connect with you.


The I is the identity you need to play in that role. In this case, I'm playing more of a teacher and an explainer. And you're the question asker. And a lot of times we bounce off those roles. Sometimes we're just the listener or a fly on the wall. But in all situations, knowing the role you have in a conversation is important to be able to get the connection, to stick more actively if you could.


C and E go together. You need to have charisma, bring a little of yourself, a little of your own uniqueness into the conversation and E is your energy. You have to elevate the conversation a little bit because nobody wants to connect with a dud.


Karen Mangia

You've done over 800 interviews on your Thrive Wild podcast and many more because you help companies tell stories correctly and find these stories. What strikes me is probably the number of people that have said to you, “ Well, I'm not a charismatic person”, or “I'm not naturally energetic.” How do you create connection and find that in people when you're having a conversation? Because we all know there's a moment when there's a spark and you see someone go from nervous or disengaged to just lighting up. And I'm guessing 1000s of interviews into the kind of job you do, you've got some detectable clues when we're on the side of asking questions or engaging.


Lou Diamond

So I do feel that there is a little bit of a mirror act. This happens in acting and in stand up or even in improv—that is the ability to go with it. I am never going to negate anything I hear from anybody on my show because in my show the star is not me. The star is the guest. The guest is what everybody is tuning into. They're the ones who we're featuring. They're the one we're putting on the podcast album cover if you would; we're promoting their incredible book, their story, their movie, their lesson, their business, their incredible idea, their podcast, whatever it might be. And I want everyone to understand and decode what makes this person tic.


Here's something really cool—when you have lots of conversations with energy and a positiveness and a real excitement, perhaps challenging at times, we don't make it so dull a tunnel of softball questions. It's really let's dig in and understand. So what makes this person tick, when you focus on speaking about that guest and understand the components to them, and really dig and ask really good questions of what they care about. There's something that happens to them when you've been focused on them.


Let's make it clear people love it when other people talk about us. The most aesthetically sounding word in the entire English or global language is your own name. When someone says your name—you light up. Ever since we were a little kid, they would say your name and it would make you smile and everyone was happy to say it and eventually you would say it. But when people say your name or when people are talking to you, when they're talking about the things that you talk about, and giving you the time of day, you feel great. In fact, that's the connection energy we're trying to establish. That's the positive charisma I want to bring in the energy that I want to create in any conversation with every guest I have, even though some of the topics might not necessarily be tapped into me.


In conversations, there are the five ways you need to be. One of the ways you need to be is curious, genuinely curious. Like you have to be interested in who you're speaking with. When you show that curiosity, they appreciate your patience and respect and treat every conversation like a gift. The person who you're having a conversation with feels it, knows it, wants to give back, and actually will show that sense of appreciation to you. So that energy that gets created in a great conversation in my podcast interview, lights them up, makes them feel good. And by the time the conversation is over, there's two things that usually happen. One, they want to keep having a conversation or more of them. And two, we want to tell everyone about it. That's the type of connection that you want to have every time you have a great conversation. It requires a little energy. And it requires a lot of practice, a little selflessness. But it's all about the way you need to be in every conversation, no matter what the topic,


Karen Mangia

There are two words that will strike fear in the heart of some large percentage of our listeners right now and they are networking event. There are people like you and I who go into a networking event, and we think this is so exciting. How many stories can I hear? How many new friends am I about to meet? And there are other people that see it on their calendar—they dread it; they arrive and hover in the corner; they are terrified of how to go into a room with people they don't know and try to connect through a conversation. What do you have to say to those people who aren't energized like you and I are by meeting strangers and what we see as future friends.


Lou Diamond

I don't like the word networking. I want to make it clear, we all need to network. Networking is essential. We need to do this. It's part of our job. It's part of our lives. It’s part of making sure we're connected into the community and society at large. Networking is something we have to do.


But the word networking or network is overused. And because of the technological reference to networks that we have it almost has a little like a whole busyBachi kind of mixture of wires and things that you have to deal with. So while yes, you need to network, I don't like that word. The word I like to use is connectwork. I want to make connections with those in my network. So when I go to a connectworking event, which is what I call it, I go into that event trying to figure out exactly who are the right people I need to meet. Who do I want to have conversations with? Who do I want to focus my time with and recognize that this is a wonderful opportunity to open myself up and try and learn something new, to try and gain some relationship and connection.

I have a map for this. I go to specifically those really large events. These are massive, massive trade shows. And there's just so many people. When it's something like that, there are certain people I try to plan ahead to try and meet when I'm there. I try not to meet in very busy places because it is difficult. But there is one thing that's really important and that is I want people to embrace that uncomfortable conversation just as we talked about before.


Go over and practice something I call your teammate. I have an icebreaker, which is another favorite that we love to sell at the speak easy. As part of that icebreaker, you need to know your teammate, which is your tell me about yourself, right? Come up with a teammate. That's actually really fun when you go to meet somebody for the first time, because nobody wants to know or will ever learn who you are just by your job title or the company you work for. You don't need to say hi, “ I'm the VP of such and such company. And this is what I do.” That is a job that you do. That's great. But really what you want them to know is what your name is, your full name. Maybe where you're from or who you work with. That's okay. And then something you're passionate about. I've actually done this a couple of times. I've gone to a group with ” Hi, my name is Lou Diamond. I'm from just outside New York City and I love country music.``


People hear that all the time and go, ‘You're kidding me. How does the guy from New York City love country music?” It's a conversation starter. By the way, you could talk about what music you like or what you don't like or whatever it might be. The best response I've ever had from somebody was this woman who said, “Hi, my name is Karen. I am studying to be a sushi chef and I can't wait to travel to Osaka next year.” And I remember saying, “This is awesome. I want to learn more about this person, whoever she is. I then learned that she is a systems engineer for a large company. And she has lots of passions and interests. And here she was. She didn't say she was a systems engineer. She talked about the things she loved first.


Just think of it this way. When you go to meet somebody, wouldn't it be nice if someone walked away from the event saying, Well, I met Karen at this particular event, what a wonderful person. She's not just somebody that works for a large tech company. She's a three time author, she hosts a podcast show; she's passionate about connecting with people. That's what you want people to walk away with. So start with your superpower. Share and unleash your superpower when you go to these events.


I love to say this. One of the ways you need to be in a conversation: be a super superpower and be unleashed. Go in there and be an absolute superstar and be excited about it. And yes, those nerves that you have about meeting people, the fear that maybe you won't find the right person or are uncomfortable can be dealt with. Practice your teammate. Practice telling people about yourself. Bounce some of those ideas out; see how they work.


The reality is in a tradeshow of 10,000 people, you're trying to stick out. But in other situations, people see your name on a nametag and they associate your company. That's one thing, but you want them to know who you are when you leave a trade show. You practice this enough, you'll want to have more of these conversations with these people. You don't need to meet everybody. I want to make this caveat, pick a small niche of who you want to meet and try to also set up times to meet after the trade show or the big networking event, whatever it is, because it's really hard in a lot of those situations to spend a lot of time because there's not enough time and there a lot of people to meet. Be productive and efficient and have fun.


Karen Mangia

And here you are still talking about this person years later. Every life has this story and these great connected conversations invite people to share the story to your point of what are you passionate about.


Lou Diamond

She ended up purchasing a sushi knife somewhere in Osaka. And I remembered that's the visual I will always have was this very unbelievable—they're very expensive for those who ever know this about sushi knives—beautiful knife that she got in Japan. She is still taking sushi lessons and cooks often. So it's really cool. I wouldn't be surprised if one day she ended up opening her own place; it would be really cool to have to go find her.


Karen Mangia

When I was hearing you share your story, I was reminded of interviewing candidates for a job. At the end, the finalists got down to the panel presentation and we gave a problem to solve that they were going to come in and share it with us. We're testing their ability to communicate and analyze data. And we asked each of these finalists to do one slide to introduce himself/herself/ themselves.


And I can remember a gentleman who gets up and he's getting ready to do his panel interview. He pulls up a slide. And it has a picture of chicken fingers and a myriad of dipping sauces. And this is his introduction, I still remember it. “Chicken fingers are the finest food ever made and dipping sauces are phenomenal. My favorite is ketchup, followed by honey mustard.” He had a step ranking. When we eventually hired him, we got him ketchup and all of the dipping sauces, because we all remembered his presentation. We took him to his welcome lunch at Chicken Fingers. I just thought it was so funny. He didn't need to tell us about all the things he had done before and his 25 hobbies. He's like,” I'm gonna tell you the finest food ever made —chicken fingers” and I thought that's bold. I still remember him.


Lou Diamond

That is amazing. I've got a bunch of those. I actually gave a speech to some college students two days ago. It was over a weekend thing (don't ever speak to college students over weekend.) I shared that I could probably remember almost every single person I've ever hired because there was that one unique thing that they shared about themselves that always stuck out.


There's this one woman I remembered she created a Math camp. To this day, I always think about how she created a Math camp for some, as she would say some mathy, nerdy kids that wanted to do something during the summer and have fun doing math. And I'm like,”This is amazing.” And it always stuck with me.


There are many other people who have these unique things. So I say this to everybody. We all have something special and unique about ourselves. What we connect with is not what makes us look like everybody else, or what company we work with or a cool title that we have. It is something really special and unique about us. And the uniqueness of us—that is what we're trying to figure out when we connect with people, that is what we're looking for because it's a piece that we might not have. And we'd love to add those little collections into our jigsaw puzzle of life, matching all these different things together. So just think about that. So when you're afraid in any of these environments about sharing some of that stuff, maybe it's more about solidifying your story in your message better and understanding how valuable it will be to that one person in the room who would benefit from one of your special gifts and talents that you have.


Karen Mangia

Speaking of special gifts and talents, you have one on your podcast that is your lightning round where you ask people questions. Because if you believe imitation is the highest form of flattery, now is your moment, I think about this as the virtual watercooler segment. And imagine you and I intersect each other at this mystical, magical place. We all seem to love and miss what is now called the watercooler where spontaneous conversations happened. And I am going to invite you to connect not only with me, but with all of our listeners during this watercooler conversation comprised of five quick and easy questions. Are you ready? Lou Diamond, I am turning the mic of connection on to you.


Lou Diamond

Born ready, Karen bring it?


Karen Mangia

What time of day do you do your best work?


Lou Diamond

Early morning, before nine o'clock,


Karen Mangia

Early riser. If there were no dress code, what would you wear to work?


Lou Diamond

What I'm wearing exactly right now. Black T-shirt. Jeans are comfortable. like Lululemon guy pants. Those things are really good. And very comfortable, cool, dark sneakers.


Karen Mangia

If you weren't doing what you do right now, what would you be doing?


Lou Diamond

I really love what I do, Karen. So I can't say I would be doing anything else other than the work I'm doing. But if it was something else, it would be playing golf, maybe


Karen Mangia

That is a great job. And what is the part of your daily routine that you most look forward to?


Lou Diamond

Anytime I get to have a conversation with somebody whether it's my client or a prospective client. I love going to a networking event, a connect working event. I am a big fan of having conversations with the people I work with not through email, not through social media, not through chat or text, but actually having conversation. I look forward to that every single day.


Karen Mangia

And it's interesting to me that even with your focus and expertise on conversation, you focus on practicing that skill every day. You don't take it for granted.


Lou Diamond

Everyday. You can never stop practicing asking great questions, knowing how to step into howyou need to be and really be passionate about learning about other people. I mean, there's 8 billion odd people on the planet, I'm never going to meet them all. So the ones I get to meet, I got a treat as a gift and live in the present. I guess that's why I do think of the present as a gift. Isn't it interesting that those words overlap in some way; you have to appreciate every conversation.


Karen Mangia

And if you're not present in the moment, you missed the gift, right?


Lou Diamond

It's like forgetting Christmas and you ended up passing it by. And you're like what, no presents? No conversations?


Karen Mangia

Imagine there are now 25 hours in a day instead of 24. What are you doing with your extra hour?


Lou Diamond

That's a spectacular question. I was going to say sleep, but I'm not going to say sleep. Because I do love my sleep, I would say with that extra hour, I would take one hour and what I do would would rotate, I'd work on myself. I do work out, but I would spend more time working out or I would balance out certain skills. I am trying to learn how to meditate. I'm not very good at it, but I'm trying. I would focus on something for me. Something for me is what I would do in that extra hour because I give a lot more time to other people. So working on developing myself would be something I want to do whether physically, mentally, or a certain skill that I want to practice. That's what I would do.


Karen Mangia

Maybe the big breakthrough. I mean, maybe we're revealing something like a happy hour special here, thinking about it this way. Meditation is an opportunity for you to be a conscious observer of the conversation you're having with yourself all the time, that chatter right.


Lou Diamond

I think it's actually a chance to have an internal conversation with my soul. And I know it might not require any words. It might require just good thoughts or nothingness or whatever that might be which I've tried to get. I have such an active mind and such a desire to want to connect with others. I almost feel like I'm shortchanging the world if I'm spending a little bit too much time with myself. But if I got that extra hour I would take it.


Karen Mangia

All conversations are content. We are all content creators and that content, that conversation, that opportunity to connect is in everything from that networking or as you called it, connectworking event, to a conversation like we're having now, to all of your written communication. And I'm thrilled that you shared with us ways that we can prepare to connect in every conversation. How can our listeners find you?


Lou Diamond

Easiest way to find me is you can go anywhere on social media at Thrive Loud. I'm also at thriveloud.com. And if you're interested in getting a copy of Speak Easy, you can go to speakeasybook.com.


Karen Mangia

What is one small step every listener can take to connect in the next conversation they have?

Lou Diamond

I want them to think about that connection, their voice, that exercise I spoke to you about visualizing the conversation. Appreciate the opportunity to have a conversation and treat the conversation as a gift. Know who you need to be, bring your charisma and lift up the energy. Do that in every conversation and try to do it beforehand. You won't believe how much more you'll find your conversations engaging, connecting, and really leading you towards whatever that initial purpose in the vision that you had for that conversation to be.


Karen Mangia

Thanks to Lou Diamond for inviting us to step inside the speakeasy today and to discover how to mix up the next conversation into something that results in connection. As a reminder, success is not a destination, success is not a location. Success is available to anyone, anywhere, anytime, even inside of your very next conversation. Thanks for joining us and make it a great day.



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