Dr. Mark Goulston is the host of the “My Wakeup Call” podcast where he interviews people on the wakeup calls that changed who they are and made them better human being and at being human. He is one of the world’s foremost experts on deep listening, radical empathy and real influence with his book, “Just Listen,”becoming the top book on listening in the world, translated into twenty languages and a topic he speaks and teaches globally including training managers of the Russian Federation in Moscow. 

He is an advisor, coach, mentor and confidante to CEO’s, founders and entrepreneurs helping them to unlock all their internal blocks to achieving success, fulfillment and happiness.

Originally a UCLA professor of psychiatry and crisis psychiatrist for over 25 years, and former FBI and police hostage negotiation trainer, Dr. Goulston’s expertise has been forged and proven in the crucible of real-life, high stakes situations including being a boots on the ground suicide prevention specialist and sering as an advisor in the OJ Simpson criminal trial.

Including, “Just Listen,” he is the author of seven books with multiple best sellers. He writes or contributes to Harvard Business Review, Business Insider, Biz Journals, Fast Company, Huffington Post, Psychology Today and has appeared as an psychological expert in the media including: CNN, Headline News, msNBC, Fox News, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Forbes, Fortune, Psychology Todayand was the subject of a PBS special.

He lives with his wife in Los Angeles, California.


Twitter @markgouslton

Podcast  – My Wake Up Call

Or listen on iTunes. 

Show Notes

“I live to mentor.” Mark has had seven mentors. One of them was Warren Bennis

“Its painful to be irrelevant.”

Mark is finding that young Americans are running away from something as much as they are running towards something.

Running from the unfinished feelings or hurt and fear that they didn’t stay long enough to feel.

PTSD for Dummies

Mark is trying to change the diagnosis to RTA = Re Traumatisation Avoidance

There is an accumulative effect to trauma. It builds up if not addressed.

“Vulnerability isn’t weakness it is openness.”

“I have nobody to talk to.”

How do you scale empathy?


“Targeted interventional empathy” = go into the primal wounds of someone’s psyche and you touch it specifically with empathy. Three step process. Be a first class noticer and notice hyperbole (for example awful, horrendous) and inflection (for example, “I can’t take this anymore.”) Notice these things, let the person say them and do not rush in to reassure them or  to relieve your own anxiety. (1) Say more about the awful or the horrendous. Then after they have said more…..say….really? Inviting them to go even deeper. (2) mediated catharsis – inviting them to vent even more. (3) Seven words (a statement) Hurt, afraid, angry, ashamed, alone, lonely, tired. Pick one. If they say all of them, say good, pick one. Tell me about an incident when you felt it at its worst.

Warren Bennis – Be a First Class Noticer

Just Listen – Book by Mark

The audio skipped a bit at the point.

Mark has made a commitment to not be bitter and not be paranoid. Assume innocence and goodwill until he can’t.

Russian Talk, October 17.

“What is that about?” as a response to someone who might be criticising. Hitting them with curiosity instead of defensiveness. And if they get even angrier, “Yeh, that too. What is that about too?”

There is always some truth in criticism. Once they have told you what that is about, then drill down into what they were attempting to say that they did not like.

Mark doesn’t work with anyone he cannot root for. They have a deep seated sense of goodness, more aspiration than grabby ambition. He is turned off by the greedy, entitled, petty, jealous people. Determined not to grow up and be bitter.

The difference between people who want to get better vs want to vent. The people who want to get better take notes.

“A Band of Brothers” TV series.

“Have you heard of a band of brothers? Well what I have put together is a bandage of brothers.”

Talking with each other vs talking at each other.

The interstitial spaces

“You can’t be furious and curious at the same time”

Wilfred Bion – “The purest form of communication is to listen without memory or desire.”

Try to be a PAL – purposeful, agenderless listening

Listen till You No longer Exist

“Being vulnerable is an absence of paranoia and distrust”

“Strength is having the wisdom to know what is important in life, having the integrity to do what you say you will do, having the character to stand up for your values, and having the courage to stand up against people who violate your values.”

“Evil is rare. Everyone is flawed.”

Meet our friend Amir Nasir

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