Leading Into The Unknown with Paul Browde, MD

Jerome and Julienne talk with Narativ co-founder Dr Paul Browde.

Paul is a psychiatrist, a Narativ therapist, a marriage guidance counselor  and an actor.
Paul talks about his early training as a doctor in South Africa and how learning to listen to his patients led him to Narativ and developing a listening and storytelling method. You’ll hear Paul’s origin story, and what led him to be guided by listening and people’s stories, even as a doctor. He noticed early on that in the medical field, doctors listen for what’s wrong and how to fix things, but they don’t (or rarely do) listen for the story behind the issues patients are raising.

Paul attended medical school at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa and trained as an actor at the Drama Studio London. He completed residency training in psychiatry at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and has run his own narratively informed psychiatric practice in Manhattan for the past twenty years.

As a psychiatrist, Paul experienced first hand the power of telling his own personal story, one that liberated him and to be freer with who he really was.

Today, he leads workshops for couples, teaching them how to communicate from a place of connection.

He founded, along with Murray Nossel, PhD, Narativ Inc., which aims at transforming individuals, teams, and organizations through the simple, timeless, and universal art of storytelling. He has led and participated in several projects with the Open Society Foundations, teaching storytelling as an advocacy tool to grantees in Africa and Eastern Europe. He has taught the Co-Constructing Narratives course in the Narrative Medicine Masters’ Program for the past seven years.

Dr. Browde is co-writer and co-performer of Two Men Talking, a storytelling performance that has been produced in theaters internationally, including South Africa, on the West End of London, and Off-Broadway in New York City. Two Men Talking has been critically acclaimed in The New York TimesThe Guardian, and The London Times.

– Bringing your whole self to work: What does it mean?
– Leading into the unknown: What is required of leaders today? We discuss practical tools that people can apply for today’s uncertain times. Rather than coming from a place of fixing things, and having all of the answers, we talk about shifting this to asking questions and acknowledging that we don’t have all the answers.
– Us versus them: The dangers of seeing some people as separate from us. We all share a humanity, and we discuss how this has influenced Paul’s work and what he’s done with this in mind.
– Leadership principles: How are we each leading our lives? Basic ways that people can see themselves as leaders, as opposed to letting others be the leaders. What if you could see yourself as the leader of your own life?
– Grief and loss: Not many leaders have been vocal about the fact that we have almost all experienced some amount or a tremendous amount of loss. Most of us are grieving, but aren’t necessarily aware of it. What do we do with this grief? Especially if it’s unnoticed? We discuss the impact of grief, and how leaders can both acknowledge it and create support spaces for it.

To learn more about Paul Browde and his work: 

To learn more about some of the people referenced in the episode:

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