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My Pocket Psych is all about the psychology of the workplace. Each episode, we'll examine the world of work and explore a topic through the lens of psychology. We'll aim to give listeners tips to help improve their experience of work - moving from surviving to thriving! My Pocket Psych is brought to you by WorkLifePsych Ltd and hosted by Dr. Richard MacKinnon and Pilar Orti.
 
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Relatively

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Relatively

Pocket Productions Ltd

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For most of us, our relationships with our brothers and sisters are the longest lasting of our lives, sometimes spanning 80 or 90 years. Sibling relationships come before friendships or romances, and usually outlive any links with our parents. On Relatively, Catherine Carr will bring siblings together to talk about the connections they have with each other as adults, as well as what it was like growing up. But she'll also talk to them separately, to get a private take on the relationship. Ex ...
 
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Speak of the Devil

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Speak of the Devil

Baker Street Productions Ltd

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Our debut series, Speak of the Devil, comprises six short plays written by four emerging female writers. Each piece is unique and tells a powerful story from the female voice. It explores themes of anxiety, male-dominated industries, friendship, food, careers and bodies – things which are not exclusive to women but that can have dramatic differences depending on your gender. Speak of the Devil is independently produced by Baker Street Productions Ltd.
 
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In this episode, we return to the vital topic of sleep. Sleep really is the bedrock of our wellbeing, and if we're not getting enough quality sleep, it undermines all the other things we do to stay healthy. We look at sleep through the lens of our daily habits and explore some of the ways we might be unintentionally depriving ourselves of the sleep…
 
In this episode, Richard and Pilar look at the essentials of any productivity toolkit: a place to keep tasks, a place to keep track of commitments and a place to keep notes. With so many apps available, we'll look at some of our favourites and explain how they can support your productivity. They go from the totally free through to apps that need so…
 
Welcome to episode 117, where we take a look at the importance of rest - for our productivity, our effectiveness and our wellbeing. It’s easy to take it for granted and ‘squeeze’ if in where we can. But being intentional about rest and breaks from work can pay dividends. Rest isn’t optional, it isn’t the last thing we should think of. Or only consi…
 
Welcome to episode 116, where Richard and Pilar explore the importance of getting intentional about managing our inbox. Rather than live in our email inbox, Richard outlines the benefits of another, separate inbox, accessible without delving into your email. Why? Because even in 2022, not all work comes to us via email! We look at how to get clarit…
 
Award winning comedian Tom Ward and his sister Charlie (Char-Lart) share a lot of things: a belief that we should take climate change more seriously; an ability to hold a tune and the traumas that surviving a childhood in a fundamental church (and for a short but damaging time a cult) left behind. The bond created by that experience is a 'gift' of …
 
Welcome to episode 115, where we take an introductory look at the concept of Personal Knowledge Management. This concept has evolved in response to the very real contemporary experience of information overload. When knowledge workers globally are inundated with information from the moment they wake up, how do we decide what to pay attention to? Wha…
 
Dr Nighat Arif and her little brother Irfan Arif came to the UK from Pakistan as children. Now Nighat works as a GP and is the resident doctor on BBC and ITV. Irfan is a criminal barrister. They have 3 younger (equally successful) siblings, too. "We are basically the migrant dream!" In this episode Nighat and Irfan talk about resilience, setting a …
 
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Pride in the UK , we present a collection of stories moments and memories from guests on the podcast who talked about their identities with their siblings. Stories from Westminster, the North of England in the 80's, the Millennium Eve and school days under Section 28. Memories of brothers and sisters supporting …
 
Lewis and Megan grew up in Birmingham in a busy household, where both parents worked shifts and it is fair to say the “ chalk and cheese” duo took a while to form a close relationship. Lewis went to Oxford to university leaving Megan at home to support their mum though some mental health difficulties, which was "tough". In this episode we talk abou…
 
In this episode, Richard and Pilar look at the way anxiety about the working week ahead can ruin our Sundays - the so-called 'Sunday scaries'. We discuss why we can feel this way and some simple approaches to lessen the impact of these thoughts and emotions. Resources mentioned in this episode: Interview with Gemma Roberts: https://www.worklifepsyc…
 
Jen Baldwin was introduced to family history when was about 10 and has been obsessed ever since. Inspired by stories told to her by her Grandma, she now has a career in genealogy and loves spending her days "delving into the history of humanity one person at a time". In this episode she picks her three favourite stories from this series of Relative…
 
In this episode, Richard is joined by fellow psychologist Dr. Lyn Lanka, who explains the concept of flourishing. In particular, how we can flourish even though we're experiencing difficulties or in a particularly challenging context. As Lyn explains, it's not just about 'positive emotions' but more to do with taking helpful action to move towards …
 
Poorna and Priya or 'Poobles' and 'Preebles' were born in Kent but spent a chunk of their childhood apart, with Priya in India and Poorna in the UK. the pair are very close and work on being friends as well as sisters - providing support to each other through bereavement, motherhood and their careers. In this episode they talk about sibling separat…
 
Shakira and Ashanti Akabusi grew up in the UK and the US, supporting their dad - Kris Akabusi's - stellar athletics career. Encouraged by him and their "tenacious" German mum, they had a very outdoorsy childhood with limited junk food and telly... The weight of expectation which came with their famous name was tough for a time, but both sisters are…
 
Welcome to episode 112. After our very short break, we’re back! Richard is joined by fellow psychologist and coach, Gemma Leigh Roberts. Gemma has just had her first book published, so we take a look at both what she’s hoping readers will take from ‘Mindset Matters’ and what it’s like to translate the science of resilience into something readers ca…
 
Leroy and Hyacinth grew up in North London in the 1960s and 1970s. They inherited their work ethic from their Windrush parents, who came to the UK from Spanish Town in Jamaica. Assaulted by police officers in 1982, Leroy's father struggled to accept his son's decision to join the force. Hyacinth says "I never thought of Leroy as an officer, I still…
 
Pat and Jean Owtram are believed to be the only living sisters who signed the official secrets act.. and as a result it was not until after WW2 that they were able to tell one another what they had been doing to help the Allies defeat the Germans. Independent, clever and adventurous, the sisters are now a remarkable 98 and 96. Born in the aftermath…
 
Sisters Beatrice and Rosemary Mac Cabe grew up in Ireland but now live near one another in the USA. They started their hilarious hit podcast Not Without My Sister in March 2020, locked down in a house in Indiana together (maybe with some wine). In this episode they talk about: the Catholic church; their irrepressible mum and strict dad; fun facts a…
 
Dame Esther Rantzen and her little sister Scilla grew up in London and - briefly - New York, where Esther got a taste for life in the limelight. Since 1981, Scilla has lived in Australia, which leaves a "real gap" in Esther's life. Technology helps the pair stay in touch and they talk all the time, staying close to their nieces and nephews, too. Br…
 
Welcome to the latest episode, where Richard and Pilar discuss delegation and the obstacles we need to deal with. While we might rationally understand the need for, and benefits of, delegation - lots of things can get in the way. Whether it's our beliefs about delegation, our workload, the competence of others or fear about it all going wrong - the…
 
Author Kit De Waal and little brother Dean O'Loughlin are 2 of 5 siblings, who grew up in Birmingham in the 60s and 70s. Their Irish mother and Kittitian father were ill-equipped to provide the care their charismatic and clever children needed, and life was 'predictably unpredictable'. Despite the hunger and the cold which characterised their child…
 
Middle child Louise - of Mamas Still Got It fame, grew up in London with baby brother George and older sister Bonnie. As kids, George was subjected to 'loving abuse' by the girls, but nonetheless as an adult is their biggest fan. As a boy he helped direct some of Louise's very early modelling attempts and as a teen he helped her when the demands of…
 
Queen of colour, Sophie Robinson (Sops) is a TV presenter and interior designer. Her little brother Edward (Smudge) left a career in fashion for interiors, also appearing on telly. Their love of a project was inspired by their DIY- mad parents, who moved the kids around the country, renovating houses as they went. This nomadic period of childhood w…
 
Hello and welcome to episode 110 of my pocket psych, the podcast all about the psychology of the workplace. In this episode, we take a look at the concept of coping. Simply put, this is any of the things that we do in response to challenges, setbacks and adversity. Sometimes we use coping strategies and techniques intentionally. We decide to respon…
 
Professor Sir Christopher Frayling - or Podge - is one the country's leading cultural historians. His older brother, The Very Reverend Nicholas Frayling - or Nick the Vic - was the Dean of Chichester before he retired. Born shortly after World War 2 to an ambitious father and a trailblazing mother, the boys had very different paths to success. Bein…
 
In this episode, Richard is joined by Duncan Boake, the Chief Executive of Fifth Sense - a charity dedicated to the support of people experience taste and smell loss. Duncan explains what led him to establish the charity, his own person experience of sensory impairment and together, he and Richard explore what this means for people in and out of th…
 
Comedian (and Scummy Mummy) Helen Thorn is a whopping 14 years younger than her brother John, who remembers her as a precocious and hilarious little blonde princess. While John went to grammar school in Melbourne, Australia, Helen had a different childhood - sent to tough it out in some harsher environments. Their childhoods may have been really di…
 
Welcome to episode 108 of My Pocket Psych, where we take a look at some of the ways we’ve tripped ourselves up when it comes to productivity. Richard and Pilar take a look back at the lessons they’ve learned about getting stuff done in their careers and how it made a difference. Public humiliation aside (!!) we want to illustrate that knowing isn’t…
 
Welcome to episode 107, where we look at how to deal with the self-limiting beliefs that can get in the way of what we want to do. We discussed how personality assessment can lead to unintentionally over-simplified views of ourselves back in episode 106. But these aren’t the only source of over-simplified views. Richard and Pilar explore some ways …
 
Welcome to episode 106, where Richard is joined by Dr. Hayley Lewis, a fellow occupational psychologist and specialist in people development at work. Hayley describes her career journey, her career decisions and her passion for working with middle managers. She also outlines some of the findings from her recent doctoral research into the experience…
 
Welcome to episode 105, where we look at the downside of productivity. While it’s helpful to be mindful about how we invest our time and attention, a focus on productivity as a goal can have some serious downsides. When we set productivity as our goal, it’s the same as chasing happiness - both are temporary states and can leave us feeling unfulfill…
 
Welcome to episode 104, where we explore the benefits of reviewing our working week - before launching into our weekend. Identifying learning points, successes and challenges can help us draw a line under the week and enables us to put our learning into practice the following week. When discussed in the productivity literature, the weekly review ca…
 
Welcome to episode 103, where we take a look at personality - and the double-edged sword that comes with measuring it. While it’s great to build our understanding of our personality, the tool used, the way it’s used and the quality of the information shared from it can all combine to make the experience sub-optimal. There’s a big difference between…
 
TV quizzer Bobby Seagull and his polymath big brother Davey Jose (artist, tech analyst, mathematician) grew up in a council house in East London, where "using your mind" was valued above all else. 2 of 4 boys, the pair have been close from the start, inheriting their bouncy positivity from their parents. An accident as a toddler meant Davey went to…
 
Welcome to episode 102, where we build on last episode's discussion about psychological safety. This time, Richard and Pilar explore some of the simple ways team leaders and managers can create a culture where psychological safety can grow. We highlight some reflections points - for example, how do you respond to errors or 'bad news' from your team…
 
Author and columnist Lucy Mangan (AKA ‘Boogaloo’) and her IT-whizz little sister Emily Thomas (AKA ‘Minefrog’) are very, very different. Brought up in Catford by their indomitable "displaced Northerner" mother and their introverted father (nicknamed 'The Potato'), Emily remembers their mother making Lucy's bed with her still in it, nose stuck in a …
 
Appearing on Love Island was a dramatic move for pharmacist Anna Vakili. She now works as an influencer with her little sister Mandi - which is a "dream come true" for the girls. Brought up in London by ambitious Iranian parents, the pair reflect on the adjustments their parents have made and how life has changed for everyone since the show. They a…
 
Welcome to episode 101, where we take a look at the concept of psychological safety. What is it? What difference does it make? What workplace factors can inhibit it? And just how is it different to trust? Next time, we'll look at some of the ways we can create a team culture that supports and cultivates psychological safety. Meanwhile, get in touch…
 
Classical Brit nominated sisters Hannah and Naomi (or Hanomi) are mirror twins, who have equally beautiful soprano singing voices. Bullied at school, the pair found their confidence through encouragement from their parents and singing teacher to start to perform. Appearing on The Voice in 2015 launched their career and they have since sung for roya…
 
Welcome to our 100th episode! In this special birthday episode, Richard and Pilar take a look back at their favourite episodes, what they've learnt from the podcasting experience and share some really lovely and heart-warming listener feedback. It's been a fantastic experience making these episodes and we hope you've enjoyed joining us on the journ…
 
Priest, journalist and broadcaster Giles Fraser talks about his brother Jonathan, who died before Giles was born. His parents' grief shaped the way he was parented and has even influenced the way he approached fatherhood. In this episode, he talks about: the sadness that is always close to the surface, about loving someone you never met, philosophy…
 
Steve and Suzie Fletcher from the BBC show The Repair Shop grew up in rural Oxfordshire, where they had a very free range childhood. Their hard-working horologist father inspired Steve to go into a career mending clocks and watches but for Suzie, it was only ever horses, which she loved with a passion that took her to the USA – where she stayed for…
 
In this episode, Richard and Pilar discuss the impact of distractions. Given the context at the moment - with lots of people returning to their shared physical workspaces - it's timely to explore the factors that can distract us and disrupt our focus. We can find ourselves distracted both by events around us, but also our inner life: thoughts and e…
 
International netballing duo Sasha and Kadeen Corbin grew up in a sporty household. Their dad played cricket for Glamorgan and as a girl, their mum raced Tessa Sanderson on the track. Early success in gymnastics gave way to a passion for netball which saw both girls represent the country together. In this episode they talk the pain of injury, the h…
 
Professor of psychology and sibling expert Alison Pike joins Catherine to talk about family roles, childhood labels and why we grow up so differently to our brothers and sisters. Do we become clumsy if we are called clumsy ? Is it all down to our parents? And do our roles in the family translate into our identities or reputations in life more gener…
 
Richard and Pilar take a look at the importance of proactively and intentionally managing the boundaries between our various life roles. How do we prevent one role absorbing the time and attention we'd like to invest in another? We're really close to episode 100, so don't forget to get in touch with your feedback and questions about the show so far…
 
Catriona and Antonia (or Catinks and Noon) are only 20 months apart: as children they lived around the world, keeping unusual pets, playing at horses (and riding real horses) and generally enjoying wonderful freedom. Dartmoor in Devon was the one constant in their lives – but much as they loved it, their house was terrifying for author Catriona - w…
 
Meet Alison Pike - a professor of child + family psychology who has been studying sibling relationships for the last 25 years. Over the next few weeks she will join Catherine for a series of bonus conversations on things like rivalry, roles and family memories and stories… In this short episode, she talks about her own family and why she is so inte…
 
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