Podcast #315 – Bob Maurer, Ph.D. on “Mastering Fear,” Motivational Interviewing, and More


Why do people fear change? Why are adults afraid of talking about their fears? My guest today is eminently qualified to answer such questions and to provide advice that can help us. My guest for Episode #315 is Robert Maurer, Ph.D., author of the outstanding book Mastering FearRead his bio.

Bob was previously my guest for Episode #153, where we discussed one of his earlier books on Kaizen, One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way By the way, earlier this year I noticed that his other book The Spirit of Kaizen was one of the few books by an American author that Toyota was selling at the Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology in Nagoya (see photo below).

I hope you enjoy today's discussion on Mastering Fear. As the subtitle says, can we “harness emotion to achieve excellence in health, work, and relationships”? Emotion is part of the human condition. I don't think it can (or should) be removed from the workplace. I think part of the Toyota “respect for people” principle (better stated as “respect for humanity”) is accepting and bringing our full selves to the workplace. We're not just logical creatures. I think it's better to recognize and accept that than it is to stifle emotion. Anyway, on to today's discussion:

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For a link to this episode, refer people to www.leanblog.org/315.

For earlier episodes of my podcast, visit the main Podcast page, which includes information on how to subscribe via RSS, through Android appsor via Apple iTunes.  You can also subscribe and listen via Stitcher.

Topics and notes for this episode:

  • Dr. Maurer's websitehis bio
  • After we talked last, about The Spirit of Kaizen, is there anything new you've learned or seen that's surprising related to Kaizen?
    • Building people, not just cars
    • Application to personal lives… small problems / mistakes
  • What led to you writing Mastering Fear?
  • Why do you say that “stress does not exist?”
  • Why do successful people prefer the word “fear” over “stress?”
    • Deming said “Eliminate Fear”
    • Management by fear doesn't work… but people try it anyway.
  • What are some strategies for mastering fear? A healthy response is:
    • Run to another for support
    • Develop a nurturing inner parent
  • If somebody says they are “afraid of their CEO,” is the problem the external factor (the CEO) or the person's unhealthy stress response?
    • “Leaving the fear response on for a long time” is bad
  • Are there connections between the habits of Mastering Fear and successful continuous improvement organizations?
    • Are leaders there more comfortable with talking about fear?
    • Is it natural to fear change? What's the natural healthy response to it?
  • I've done two podcasts about “Motivational Interviewing” – what are your thoughts on this methodology and possible connections to organizational continuous improvement?
    • Powerful… lots of research behind it. Stay out of judging people.
    • M.I. can help calm their fears

His latest book:

His book is sold by Toyota:

Previous Podcast:

Videos of Dr. Maurer:

Thanks for listening!

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Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.

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