• Phyllis Tichinin, The Influence Ecology Podcast, Transactional Competence, Transactionalism

How to Be Heard with Phyllis Tichinin

Phyllis Eleanor Tichinin has always struggled to have her contrary voice heard amongst the mainstream. Raised rurally in the once fruit-filled Santa Clara Valley, she earned her education as a soil scientist and environmental manager at the University of California Davis. Now in New Zealand, she raised her two children on her deceased husband’s family farm. She is currently involved in consulting and activism to remove biocides from our food supply and environment.

During her studies with Influence Ecology, she discovered how to have her voice heard. As we teach it, the marketplace is indifferent to us and our aims. If we want our voice (or invitations, offers, and requests) heard, we might need to understand how to excite or agitate the indifference in others—to awaken them from their stupor. Like many who study here, there comes a time when the fact of an indifferent marketplace is accepted. We recommend that you don’t wage battle with gravity or indifference; you’ll lose. Instead, you must learn to work with it.

So how do you and I transact in an indifferent world? In this interview, you’ll hear more.

Below you’ll find a transcript of this podcast episode that has been edited for your reading pleasure. You’ll also see links at the bottom of this post where you can find more information on the people and ideas mentioned in the episode.

by John Patterson
Produced by: John Patterson & Tyson Crandall

“As individuals, if we have something we want to get across, it can’t be about delivering it the way I want to. I have to deliver it the way that it will actually land with others, and they’ll take action as a result.

Phyllis Tichinin: I’m Phyllis Tichinin. I’m older than I can imagine myself ever being. That’s a realization I’ve come to in the last two or three or four months, that, “Oh my gosh. Now I’m up in the Krone category of things.” I like to think of myself as always someone with a young perspective, and I think I’ve more or less managed to maintain that into my now late 60s.

I grew up in California rurally, in the Santa Clara Valley, which was fruit tree-filled and has since morphed itself into Silicon Valley. I think that experience really had a deep impact on my view of the environment and my sense of loss, if you will, about the natural world and the impact that we humans have one them.

This is a result of those, seeing cherry orchards go under as a foreign five-year-old. It seems to have prompted me along a line of study in life endeavor to revitalize, re-envision agriculture and our relationship with the environment, and how that carries on to our soil.

I went to school, got a degree, science degrees in environmental management and soils, and have pretty much, since then, dedicated myself to helping people understand the links between soils, our treatment of the environment, the quality of the food they eat, and in turn their health.

I’m currently living in New Zealand, have been here for the last 30 years, recently retired from being a farmer, continued to do soils consulting. I’m just really delighted with the perspectives and the support that Influence Ecology gives me and the skills to move towards my legacy aims.

John Patterson: That’s great. If you would please, can you say a little bit about Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand? What’s it like?

Phyllis T.: Right. I managed to have landed myself. I think there’s whatever “cosmic connection” there is here. I’ve ended up living, married a New Zealander who grew up in a farming family in Hawke’s Bay, which is on the North Island of New Zealand, two main islands in New Zealand, and on the east side, which means its climate and its latitude is almost identical to the Santa Clara Valley. It’s filled with apple orchards and fruit and vegetables in the same sort of way, and very close to the ocean, clearly, as all of New Zealand is.

It’s a place where I am slowly over the last 25 years gaining some career identity as the weirdo in the agricultural scene who is attempting to cajole everyone towards a more biological or holistic view, non-chemical view of agriculture. I really enjoy the climate here. It’s a lovely combination of foothills, ocean, grazing land, and quite a center for art and innovation.

John P.: I love that you described yourself as a weirdo, because in your notes you sent, you said a few things about, I think, perhaps growing up as a contrarian. For all of the people listening that find themselves wanting to make some kind of impact, but their impact is sometimes heard on deaf ears, as you will, most of us throughout our lives, whether or not we want to impact something environmental, we have a cause that we care deeply about, we have a congregation we want to impact, or we want to impact the people around our enterprise, we often, as human beings, struggle with our experience of being unheard. We can’t get heard. We want to seek to get heard, to influence people in a way that we believe will make a difference.

I’m curious … First of all, I wanted to say that to include all the people who might resonate with some of your own journey and what you’re probably about to say in some different ways perhaps, but also I’m just interested in this thing about your growing up as … I think your family labeled you as a contrarian. Is that correct?

Phyllis T.: No, it was more of a family phenomenon.

John P.: Oh, like a group of contrarians?

Phyllis T.: Yeah, at least in everyone else’s eyes.

John Patterson: Oh, nice.

Phyllis T.: Okay. I grew up as the fourth child of six, which was pretty unusual at that time. We were no longer doing six-person families in the ’50s. But my parents went ahead and had six of us anyway. It was a little bit of an unusual grouping.

My mother was like a fourth generation Californian at that stage. My father was … I’m a first generation Russian on my father’s side. His Czarist family fled eastwards to Shanghai and spent time in China and then moved to the west coast of the US. They met at the University of California at Berkeley, the hot bed of radicalism at the time during World War II.

Just as a small example, my father used to receive Pravda and Izvestia, the two major Russian newspapers in print in open … That you can see that this was not your standard American newspaper, to the Morgan Hill post office. All throughout my life, there was this kind of that’s the family whose father is a communist sort of thing, despite the fact that he … To put it bluntly, he was in part employed by the CIA once in 1959 as an agricultural specialist for the American government.

But all of the time that I was growing up, I always felt as though we were viewed as being different. But at the same time, I also got the impression from my family that that was good. I characterized it as the message was if you imagine yourself in a river of fish and everyone else is swimming in the other direction, you’re probably going the right way. That stuck with me as an image of it’s okay to have different views. This is actually valuable and important. It’s dogged me for all of my life.

I want to say I do struggle with this concept of how do you deliver a message powerfully so that it actually lands with people. I think I jumped out of my chair. I probably shouted and punched the air, and then cried or something, when in the FOT, I read the Influence Ecology definition of productivity, and I thought, “Yes, that is the core of what I want to learn to do,” and that is to be able to say something that has never been said before, and yet say it in such a way that people truly hear it and take action as a result.

John Patterson: What I’m interested in about you, because I think it’s fascinating, is you represent the kind of commitment that we all have to, again, make a difference, impact something, agitate, excite the indifference, whether or not it’s activism or, “Hey, my new product,” or, “Hey, my business,” or, “I’ve got an amazing new bread to sell,” or, “I’ve got this wonderful home that you should buy.” What you’re learning here has allowed you to both understand what’s simply said about human beings and then how to produce breakdowns. What are you coming to understand about human beings, say that again?

Phyllis T.: That we are all basically asleep to our conditions of life, really. Our exposure to media, for most of us, the cruisiness, the physical cruisiness, of our lives, and the media overwhelm and the number of people that we encounter these days in a day, even if it’s just the number of people you see driving by, tends to dull our sense of connection, I think, not only to others but to ourselves and our own condition.

I think a lot of people ignore their health as a result of the pressures we’re under in terms of job, family, commitments, a lot of things outside ourselves without actually paying attention to the signals that our bodies are giving us. The stress epidemic and all of the follow on from that, I think, is a major symptom of that.

Really I find it takes a lot to get people actually centered and calm to the point where you can say something shocking or mildly intimidating enough to pull them out of where they’ve been in the current or in their heads with their worries, to actually say, “Are you seeing the big picture here, that there’d been 80,000 toxic chemicals introduced into our environment that have never been tested since World War II?” It used to be that one in a thousand adults would have a chronic disease in 1970. Now it’s 46% of children have some chronic … That kind of statistic where people will go, “Holy heck. Something’s really wrong with some portion of what we’re doing.”

I’m okay with spouting the statistics, but it’s got to be in a way that is pertinent to them and that will really prompt them to answer. Usually it has to be really short because you don’t have very much time.

You were mentioning my performer tendency to not want to alienate people. Everybody needs to be good with this. Well, for me, I’m coming, as a result of my Influence Ecology training, I’m okay with people, I’m better anyway with people not being good with this because there is no other way that I can see to reach them without some kind of pull them out of where they’ve been floating around in their heads with all of that stress to realizing there is a serious problem here. It’s not just your and my problem, it’s a problem for everyone the way we’re treating our environment, doing agriculture, not really looking after ourselves.

Then it comes down to the problem that’s serious enough that us being good with it, like I’d prefer everyone, is not adequate. It’s simply not enough. But scripting conversations and being willing to hold that uncomfortable space while people check in with their biology or react is something I’m finding I need to practice, but it’s very valuable. Just let them sit in it for a while, let them then ask, “So what can we do?” or, “What’s going to happen?” or, “What are our options?”

John Patterson: What happened when you were studying with us? Where did you kind of wake up to you might be naive about some stuff?

Phyllis T.: I think I was naive about the impact of my delivery on people, and them not…

John Patterson: That it drives people away instead of attracts them to it?

Phyllis T.: Correct.

John Patterson: Yeah.

Phyllis T.: That continues to be a major challenge for me, which gets back to that definition of productivity. How can you say something that people haven’t heard before and still get them to take it on board and to change behavior, do something, take action as a result? Does this whole series of readings in map two in particular, about pitch anything, how to actually utilize people’s innate responses in a way that is predictable? Their responses can be predictable. We just need to be open enough ourselves to hearing.

I would say actually that’s one of the things that I could say that Influence Ecology is kick-starting, kicking me out of my naivete, and that is that not actually listening to what other people are saying and trying to really hear them in a way that enables me to pitch my message and my caution to them in a way that they hear, because, once again, as a performer, my tendency is to download information. That doesn’t work, a, if they’re not ready and it certainly doesn’t work in large bites of information.

It’s, again, utilizing what you’ve taught me about delivery and about how people’s minds work. Then for me, a big challenge is actually spending more time scripting the phases. I think I was naïve, really admired the way you folks have held the line on how we define things, how we say things, because there is absolutely power in words. It’s our major way now of communicating with each other besides, say, touch, for example. It can become very powerful for getting our message across, especially since very few people these days are actually transacting with people in any other way than words.

I mean, yes, we’re doing images, and that’s important. But if you want to be absolutely clear about the message you’re trying to get across, words are increasingly our way of doing it. We’re just not writing to the same extent we were. Therefore, packaging things in discrete, pithy, powerful bites is important.

John Patterson: I’m thinking about some of the people who start our programs and begin to understand that their personality has both cost and value or asset liability to it. For those who may be hearing this for the very first time, every one of us has certain skills and strengths that are natural to us. We may be naive to the fact that sometimes those natural talents or abilities are also a cost or a reliability in certain places, in a transaction.

For example, as an inventor personality, my good ideas are great when we’re brainstorming about new possibilities and we’re inventing some new plan. But when we’re trying to get something done, and we’re now doing the work that we’ve already planned, for me to come up with new ideas in the midst of that as a liability, not an asset, for example.

Phyllis T.: It doesn’t happen all the time, but when I catch myself being in personality evaluation mode and using that in situations, I find my effectiveness, in terms of people’s response, absolutely goes up.

John Patterson: Tailoring your speech to the personality.

Phyllis T.: Tailoring my speech, tailoring the delivery is quite important. I don’t know whether to be discouraged that I’m not getting it soon enough or just back off and say this takes a lot of time. We have a whole lifetime of not being awake to delivery and personalities. It’s an incredibly important skill that really does need to be consciously practiced in order to use it.

John Patterson: You bring up the transaction cycle itself. I think of the transaction cycle as a framework for saying many things. Here at Influence Ecology, the transaction cycle represents a simple transaction, from buying a cup of coffee, or a more complex transaction like building up a coffee franchise. Transactions are transactions are transactions.

This framework, you point out in your notes that having a cohesive framework for achieving what I want for my life has been very valuable. I’m interested in the framework as a whole and why the framework itself is valuable to you as an ecosystem-nutritionist or as an activist. Can you tell us about that?

Phyllis T.: The Influence Ecology framework has been of tremendous value to me in realizing where I tend to live or work best or be most productive in terms of getting my message across to people. Luckily enough, I’m a performer. It involves a lot of talking and enthusing and waving my hands and being energetic. That’s useful.

The dilemma that I’m facing, and where Influence Ecology in that transaction cycle awareness has been particularly helpful, is in that next stage of how do I engage with people after that initial enthusiasm, the wake-up call, to actually create a framework within my scene to deliver additional information to them should they take up, in effect, my offer of help in the form of information?

John Patterson: You’re not just walking around agitating people.

Phyllis T.: Correct. You got it. What’s the point? I mean, remember, I want everybody to basically be happy. Me agitating them and walking off really doesn’t satisfy my aim. But for me, that’s the challenge and realizing that I get energized by speaking to people about their breakdown and about the possibilities, but it’s how do I move them to also pay attention to the other parts of the transaction cycle, the getting the information to them, evaluating was it actually worthwhile to them, staying in touch, all of those assessment, judge-like activities, and then re-inventing the transaction cycle. Great for ideas, but it’s that how do you actually deliver the product and mostly assess whether or not it was effective?

I give a fair number of talks and PowerPoint presentations to rotary groups and groups of farmers, and again and again it comes back to just really have to keep it simple. I lose sight of how much more I tend to know about my particular topic and how little other people know, how asleep we all generally are to the level of chemical or environmental pollution or lack of nutrition in our foods.

Yeah, sometimes I feel very frustrated by that. But once again, as individuals, if we have something we want to get across, it can’t be something delivering it the way I want to. I have to deliver it the way that it will actually land with others, and they’ll take action as a result, and Influence Ecology in that working through being aware of the transaction cycle from my performer presentation perspective, actually realizing that if I want an outcome that makes it worth my while, delivering the information, I really have to pay attention to how do I deliver, how do I assess, how do I reinvent in order to really reach my aim.

John Patterson: Fantastic.


So 7.5 billion wake up every day and pitch you something, right? There’s a sea of narratives that gets constructed from all of that pitching going on. If you follow the money, you start to find out that this really good advice, “Oh, no. It’s all good,” or, “No, you can eat that. It’s nutritional,” or, “No, it’s safe,” or whatever the case may be, is more about good marketing than it is about actual science.

We could talk about the facts about that, and you’re certainly welcome to say anything you’d like to about any of that. But from the perspective of anybody who may not know they’re trapped in the current, it’s like being in the Matrix and suddenly finding out you are, I would just want to open up that topic to give you an opportunity to address any part of that, or anything you’d like to say about your own learning journey about that.

Phyllis T.: Weapons of influence. Why I have specialized knowledge in this realm? First off, my Kiwi did his PhD on pesticide regulation policy in the United States in the early 1970s. Having been through that research and entered the document with him, I know more than I wish to know about how disorganized, corrupt the regulation of hazardous substances is in the United States or anywhere else.

I worked with the California Governor’s Office, in the Office of Toxics Assessment. I do have a background from the inside not necessarily as a regulator, but as an overseer of regulators in the arena of hazardous chemicals. I saw over and over again the degree to which those people with an economic self-interest, totally understandable, this is human nature, were able to influence regulators to dilute the standards that are on the books.

They are law, they are regulations, but they are simply not being enforced in a way that actually protects the public interest. It’s really more protecting the economic return to those people who are producing the chemicals that we are assuming have been thoroughly safety-tested and vetted by our regulatory agencies who are meant to be working for our good.

That’s simply not the way it works. We have to come up with another model, but we’re stuck with the legacy of all of the chemicals that have been allowed into our environment, many of them on the justification that we need them in order to produce enough food for people to eat.

The truth is their presence not only poisons us, but it makes it impossible for us to actually get full nutrition in our food. As a result, our health crashes. We’re seeing that now with children being born with birth defects and ADHD and autism and cancer and all the rest of that.

But the bottom line is we’ve been seriously naive and we’ve been lulled by the current in this impression that we are being protected, that these substances are being independently tested and evaluated. Because they’ve got a label on them, they’ve been registered, they’re okay for us to use. They’re safe. They’re not. Any chemical that we use that kills insects or bugs or algae or bacteria, we have the same cells as all of those organisms. They’re harmful to us, too. They’re biocides. They hurt biology. That includes us.

My message after I slap people around with that one is we have absolutely the ability to produce nutrient-dense, chemical-free food that actually improves the soil, reverses global warming, all of those things. We’re doing it 300 or 400 years ago, all natural systems. They don’t need pesticides or herbicides or fertilizers to produce a lot of healthy biomass. We’re just not understanding the natural systems if we think we’re reliant on chemicals to save ourselves from our own environment. We’re actually poisoning ourselves and our environment.

But it’s the breaking people out of that naivete in a productive manner, that is my challenge. I get frustrated because I’ve been doing this stuff for 45 years, and it only seems to be getting worse. But it’s being able to help people to see a way out, but I think in a perverse kind of way the breakdown that almost everyone has experienced in some degree with their health is actually happening is helping to get that message across.

But I see a lot of economic opportunities for people to provide alternatives, but I also see a lot of market hype and a lot of bandwagonism, and just the current continuing to roll on and provide solutions that are basically Band-Aids. That’s my major concern, that we’re being naive in thinking we’re being protected. Then we’re naive at grasping at facile, simple Band-Aids that are not underlying solutions really for our health.

John Patterson: Now I happen to live in California, so that might color my view. I happen to live in an area that is known for food production, all kinds of food production, and so forth. My experience in just listening to the current, observing it, my experience of being caught up in it is that consumers are now beginning to demand healthier choices. They’re seeking healthier choices, more organic, more sustainable, better and healthier and so forth.

It occurs to me that the message is moving the dial a bit. Would you agree or am I just caught up with the Band-Aid? Am I listening to the Band-Aids? What would you say to all of that?

Phyllis T.: Awareness is improving, demand is improving, and we’re seeing a response to that. Whole Foods is held up as the poster child for people who want healthier foods, or they want a Disneyland supermarket. I’m never quite sure which.

But the dilemma with this is, yes, a lot of what is out there is just current response to, “Oh, gee, people are concerned about this, so we’ll slap the word ‘natural’ on this,” or, yes, there has been a shift towards organic production, but is this industrial egg organic where they’re not actually increasing the nutrient density of what they’re producing, they’re simply not adding chemicals to it? Once again, this is a living system.

John Patterson: Got you.

Phyllis T.: It’s complex, it needs nourishment, and just same old, same old is not going to deliver the quality of food we need. But I think what’s really going to shift things in the next five to 10 years is disruptive technology to the fore. There will be, I estimate within 10 years, the equivalent of a phone app wherein you can point your phone at food, vegetables, fruit, ideally eventually milk and liquids, and the device will actually enable you to get a reading from the cloud on what the pesticide level is in this food and what the nutrient density level is.

We already are close to apps that can measure nutrient density, and that’s good because it’s hard to get nutrient density if there a lot of chemicals in it. But when it comes online, that little app will make all the difference in the world because then there will be no place to hide. We can’t ignore the reality of consumers saying, “Whoa! Hey, I’m getting this red-orange color on my phone here when I pointed at your oranges. What’s going on?”

Once again, disruptive technology. But, yes, here in New Zealand I hear a lot about, “We don’t have to respond to what the consumers want. We’re a small country far from markets. We occupy the high-end niche for quality, and our consumers are demanding that we be grass-fed.”

Yeah, we’re grass-fed pretty much. We’re on the clear on that. But what they’re not actually yet understanding, and most consumers still aren’t, is that just not spraying or being natural is just the first step. Given human nature, we won’t, as producers or regulators, change until there is widespread, consistent outrage by an activist and pressure from consumers.

Once again, it’s important that people vote with their dollars and that they understand that what they choose to eat absolutely affects their short and long-term health. That message has never really … We’ve never really taken that on board, I don’t think. We’re all concerned about our environment, but a lot of the negative impact on our environment is caused by agriculture. We’ve got to man up to that as producers, and we need consumers’ help with that.

John Patterson: Last couple of minutes. I want to give you the opportunity to say anything that you would like to say.

Phyllis T.: I would like to express my gratitude to you and John and Kirkland and Daryl as the core team, but representing everyone in Influence Ecology for the depth of foresight and heart and perseverance that you’ve displayed in creating the curriculum and particularly the ecology. I stand in awe of your legacy aim and mission and what you are accomplishing. Absolutely, bottom of the heart, thanks to you for that.

What I have learned, what I’ve been able to transmit to my family members and others has been … I keep saying, damn, you guys need a teenage program so we can actually get productive from early ages, which is why part of me grieves that you weren’t around 45 years ago to make my life more enjoyable and productive.

John Patterson: Me, too.

Phyllis T.: Yeah, exactly. Particularly for me, there’s tremendous value in the ecology of Influence Ecology, the group of us as an ecology, a functioning, living, interacting, transacting, interconnected, ever-changing complex system of help.

What really has struck me is that sense of tribe within Influence Ecology, of you got a problem, absolutely, I’ve got an hour and a half to talk with you and impart my specialized knowledge, because someone within the Ecology who I know has a set of awarenesses and values that are similar to mine, that we can speak similar languages, we can talk in a way that we understand, and productively in a way that we can transact with each other. It’s just incredibly powerful and uplifting and it really highlights that need for us to get back to being able to communicate and understand and trust each other and to offer help.

The help part of it is something I struggle with because I know personally it’s difficult for me to ask for help, because, hey, I’m superwoman. I ought to be able to do this by myself. But it’s the help, being able to accept and ask for help. As a performer, I understand it’s difficult for us. Well, I’m absolutely here to say that’s very much the case. But within Influence Ecology as a system, as a group of people, the help that’s available to you, if you’re willing to ask for it, is phenomenal.

John Patterson: That’s great.

Phyllis T.: Thank you.

John Patterson: Phyllis Tichinin, thank you for being a guest on the Influence Ecology Podcast. It’s been a pleasure.

Phyllis T.: I’ve absolutely enjoyed it. I encourage everyone who has the honor of being asked to take up the opportunity.


John Patterson: In today’s talk, you’ll hear from Co-Founder Kirkland Tibbels and me on the subject of indifference. Here’s the talk.

Kirkland Tibbels: If you’re going to move ambitiously beyond your basic and fundamental satisfaction, if you are going to get beyond the behavior of most adults, you are going to have to come to terms with your own naivete, and especially your indifference to your naivete.

Adults are in a different category, and this is when you’re in the more sophisticated transaction, especially around work and money. When you’re in the occupational concerns, when you’re in the marketplace, when you’re presenting and so forth, you’re going to be dealing with adults who are open to and need help, and they’ll make that known. People who are adult about their transactions will tell you that they need help, they’re looking for a very specific kind of help, and they are mostly relying on other people and the environment to get them that help.

Most of the folks out there who are looking to get help, whether they’re in the board room, the kitchen, or the grocery store, or they’re your future customers, most people are waiting to observe, to be approached, to find, to be agitated, to be emergencied into acting.

They are waiting and will respond. If they see a way to satisfy a condition of life, they will respond. But I’m telling you they’re mostly indifferent to you and your concerns. A lack of interest in or concern about something is someone who is naïve, a form of naivete when unacknowledged or resisted. Indifference is a form of naivete.

Georg Simmel in The Philosophy of Money goes to great lengths to define and characterize indifference. Not only is it pointed out to as perhaps the most dangerous thing to a civilized and developing society indifferent, but it is in fact a negative value.

It’s not the same as caring about something. People care about the environment, but they cared about it when they were littering. Most of you are probably too young to remember the campaigns in the ’70s in the US about littering. It’s not that you didn’t care about the environment, you were just indifferent to the behavior that was being engaged in to satisfy your own immediate concern for the trash in your car.

Indifference is a negative value, according to Simmel. It’s a fascinating way to look at it, that it’s associated with the fact that human beings are always valuing and ranking something constantly. When you’re indifferent to it, it just simply means that you see no value.

We don’t take a step, says Simmel, without evaluating and ranking every move of that step, every single thing about it. We don’t take a step without first evaluating, ordering, and ranking that step in terms of its importance. That means that we rank things as to their importance or their value. Therefore, we attend to those things that have value and we are indifferent to those that do not. Therefore, we produce a negative value with indifference. When you demonstrate indifference, what you are saying is it holds no value.

John, we talked about if you really want to demonstrate your authority and power in the transactions that are important to you, ask yourself this question. If you remove your help, if you take yourself out of that transaction, does it do any harm? Does it make any difference? Or would everyone who’s engaged in that transaction be left indifferent one way or the other? There’s your answer.

Would it make any difference in the organizations where you participate, if you were there or not? Really, like really make any difference? If it does, you can start to measure your value because people have ranked it. They’ve evaluated and they see value in it. But if they’re indifferent to you, all it means … It’s not that they don’t care about you, it just holds no value. We’ve had people who have come to terms with their own indifference and had biological reactions to it. I have several stories about people who have called up and said, “I had to pull over when it hit me after an open training session how indifferent I am to my own concerns, much less the concerns of others.”

John Patterson: Let’s talk about that for a second because I think that’s one of the things that I want to make sure that we confront here. It’s been my experience that people often don’t actually accept the indifference in the marketplace. They don’t accept it. They tend to say, “Well, people do care. People really do,” or, “Well, my mother care. She’s not indifferent to me,” or, “Well, the people at work, they care about me.”

They don’t relate to the others of the world as indifferent. They don’t relate to, in some cases, the weather as indifferent or nature as indifferent. I don’t remember the last time that I argued with gravity. I’m fine with that, I accept. But indifference? Now hold on.

Kirkland T.: Well, there’s something, I think, to point to contextually here, and this might ease the pain for folks who have trouble with this conversation. If you just relate to those places in your life that are the most important, that have great value, that carry some significance and importance with you, and you are attempting to engage your environment and no one gives a rat’s ass, you come face-to-face with indifference.

It’s not that they don’t care. It’s different from caring. They hold no value. It is incumbent upon you to wake up to the fact that if you are going to get their attention, you are going to have to produce that narrative of value. You’re going to have to agitate the environment. Sometimes it means agitating it a lot. It means sometimes you’re going to have to go out of your way. When you’re just unwilling to go out of your way, you are starting to come to terms with your own indifference.

John Patterson: My special thanks to our guest Phyllis Tichinin. In our show notes, you’ll find links to connect with her and all the links to websites, books, or downloads mentioned in this podcast.

The Influence Ecology Podcast is produced by Influence Ecology, LLC in Ventura, California. This episode was recorded April 1st, 2019 and was produced by Tyson Crandall and John Patterson. You can find a transcript for this and other episodes at InfluenceEcology.com. This episode is made possible through the assistance of the Influence Ecology Faculty, Staff, Mentors, and Students around the world. Co-founder Kirkland Tibbels and our colleagues comprise an international collective of professionals who are active in the development of the philosophy of Transactionalism and the discipline of Transactional Competence. Kirkland is considered a leading philosopher and authority in the field and he has authored more than 500 papers on the subject, study, and discipline.

This episode includes contributions by Karal Gregory. The podcast theme is by Chris Standring and titled ‘Fast Train to Everywhere.’ You can subscribe to the Influence Ecology Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also find us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or via email at podcast@influenceecology.com.

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Influence Ecology is the leading business education specializing in Transactional Competence, having published and contributed to the only comprehensive text on the subject, Transactionalism: An Historical and Interpretive Study by Trevor J. Phillips. Co-Founder Kirkland Tibbels has authored more than 500 papers on the subject, study, and discipline of transactional competence and is a sought-after lecturer at universities, major corporations, and civic organizations around the world. 

Influence Ecology’s curriculum includes conferences, webinars, online tools, podcasts, and mentorship utilized by men and women in over seventy countries around the world. Our membership includes an international assembly of accomplished professionals, faculty, and peers from a variety of countries, industries, and cultures.