Dr. Mark Goulston is a business advisor, consultant, speaker, trainer, coach and mentor to CEOs and entrepreneurs. He has been a professor of psychiatry at UCLA’s internationally renowned Neuropsychiatric Institute for 25 years. He’s also been a crisis psychiatrist for 30 years, and has worked as an FBI and police hostage negotiation trainer. Mark is the author of several best-selling books, including “Just Listen”, “Get Out of Your Own Way”, and his most recent book, “Talking to Crazy.” He is also a contributing writer for a number of online media outlets, including Harvard Business Review, Business Insider, and the Huffington Post, and frequently appears as a guest expert on several major TV news outlets.
In this interview, we start by asking Mark about self-defeating behaviors. He gives some examples, such as not listening, and describes how being a poor listener negatively impacts our relationships. Mark then references an article that he wrote: “Are you MIA? A 10-Step Algorithm for Being Present.” He walks us through five of the steps and explains how following them can help us demonstrate empathy and build connection with others.
Mark also discusses the importance of being able to express oneself in a relationship, and why we become stressed when we feel like we’re not being heard. He explains how stress affects our brains, and how men and women deal with stress differently. He also talks about the relationship between listening and self-awareness, and offers some tips on how to become more self-aware.
Mark then explains the difference between stress and distress, and demonstrates how to lead ourselves and others out of distress. He takes us through his 6-step process, where he imagines himself speaking with his old mentors. Mark also shares a personal story about a difficult time earlier in his life, and how a key mentor helped him out of it. He talks about the feelings that lead to people becoming suicidal, and how to help those who are in a dark place. He quotes from his 2-part article on this topic, which recently went viral on Medium: Why People Kill Themselves: Part 1 and Part 2.
Finally, we ask Mark how to build deep relationships and find great mentors. He recommends finding people who care about your development, and who have been through a challenge similar to yours. Mark also emphasizes the importance of expressing both masculine and feminine energy for building stronger connections and getting through difficult conversations.