Mike Sedam interviews Regina McMichael, The Saftey Training Ninja.

During the episode, Regina discusses how to create safety training that doesn't suck.

She talks about the need to have outstanding training so that we can have a positive impact.

She wrote the book, The Safety Training Ninja, to help safety professionals provide a more engaging level of training. Her book is available from Amazon: https://amzn.to/2V62UV0

Regina talks about how her journey started with a tragedy and how she learned she can have a broader impact by helping others as she provides training. She's touched the lives of tens of thousands of people through her work.

Regina and Mike also talk about the danger when organizations "weaponize" safety training, the importance of understanding if training is or is not necessary following a mishap, and the need to make safety training awesome.

Regina can be reached through the following sites:




ASSP Link 20% off for members: https://store.assp.org/PersonifyEbusiness/Store/Product-Details/productId/184139336

Please visit Mike at www.crucialtalks.com



In this episode, Mike Sedam talks to Carrie Wooten about improving the workplace experience.

We've all been there. We've worked in organizations with low trust. We've worked for bosses that only understand transactional leadership that looks a lot like bullying. We've been in groups where co-workers don't trust each other, don't communicate, and don't care.

In this episode, Carrie talks to us about the need for trust and communication so that we can have a better workplace experience. One that is vibrant, creative, and trusting.

We cover topics such as the need for self-awareness, how to leverage differences, communication between generations, perspective, the importance of the lenses we use to view our worlds, intrinsic motivation, strength in teams, self-fulfillment, and emotions to mention just a few of the important concepts.

Carrie has also written a book on self-awareness called: It Starts With Me: A Daily Practice to Mastering Self-Reflection. It is available on Amazon here: https://amzn.to/2IduZZ0

You can find Carrie on most social media platforms, just search for @realcarriewooten.

Feel free to contact Mike Sedam for any speaking opportunities, consulting, coaching, or just to say hello at www.crucialtalks.com



Mike Sedam talks to Rob Howze about his great program called Campfit where he brings 50 kids together for eight weeks. Rob and his team provide these kids with a wonderful gift: the vision and capacity for success.

Rob has been shot (yes, with a bullet) and has worked as a personal trainer, minister, speaker, author, etc. He has done what a lot of us do as people. We take everything we have learned, extract the good parts, and learn from them.

Rob has taken his experience and continues to build a legacy that he can pass onto these kids to make the world a better place.

This conversation, not only gives us insight into the Campfit program, but the importance of the "why" and the "how" using relationships, vision, and a focus on bringing value. There are powerful lessons behind the "why" of Campfit and the "how" of networking.

Find out more about Rob at: www.robhowzespeaks.com and more about Campfit at www.campfit.tv.

Please visit Mike Sedam at www.crucialtalks.com.





Mike Sedam interviews Melinda Kelly about her journey with self-reflection, self-awareness and honesty.

Melinda took a deep dive to find the right coach.

She learned from her experience and put what she learned into her book: Finding Your Coach, Diving Deep Within. On Amazon: https://amzn.to/2FShcVp.

Her experience shows us the importance of trust and honesty with yourself and with others.

For more about Melinda J. Kelly, please visit: www.melindajkelly.com

Please visit www.crucialtalks.com.


This Crucial Chat by Mike Sedam discusses what motivates people to keep going in the face of adversity.

During the federal government shutdown, Mike was able to see some federal employees that continue to work without pay.

What did he see? The employees were working toward a common goal. They stuck together in their teams. They were still looking out for the mission and the people they serve.

What drives these people are the same things that drive us all:

1. People are driven by a goal bigger than themselves.

2. People are driven by having relationships. We can do more together than we can alone and we can deal with bad situations better when we feel we are part of a strong, trusting group.

3. People are driven by the esteem they get from the roles they play.

Please visit www.crucialtalks.com


Mike Sedam welcomes Brian Cunningham back to the Crucial Talks Podcast.

In this episode, Brian and Mike talk more theoretically about leadership and how the "Hero's Journey" can help bring people to a new level of performance.

The discussion talks about transformation, employee engagement, and emotional decision-making.

The discussion includes references to Gary Varynerchuk's discussion about people that may want to try something new because they are unhappy in the workplace and the importance of self-awarness.

It also mentions Jill Christensen and her work in employee engagement.

Please visit www.crucialtalks.com for more information or to have Mike speak at your organization.


Mike Sedam brings another short crucial chat with lessons about the importance of roles in our decision-making and behavior.

This week as my son's second indoor soccer game. He's eight and hasn't really played before.

During the game, he had to play goalie. The first time ever. He had only seen goalies play on television and on video games.

As social storytellers we all use prototypes to figure out the behaviors of the roles we play. He did the same thing. He tried his hardest to exhibit the behaviors of the "goalie" prototype he had built in his head. As a result, he did fairly well for never having played the position before.

Later in the game he also took a ball right to the face. It was traveling fast enough that it took him off his feet. He popped right back up and wanted to keep playing. Normally, a hit like that would have stunned him and put tears in his eyes. This time was different because his role as "soccer player" was so important to him that he stayed in that role. He was also amongst his team, and we all know that being with others makes us stronger.

Finally, I learned that sometimes we take a soccer ball to the face. The important thing is we get back up and keep playing our game.

Please visit www.crucialtalks.com


Mike Sedam and Dan Oblinger talk about Dan's book, Life or Death Listening: A Hostage Negotiator's How-to Guide to Mastering the Essential Communication Skill. Amazon: https://amzn.to/2RGFSGb

Dan is a hostage negotiator, speaker, and trainer that focuses on the essential need to actively listen to others.

In this episode, the role of "listener" is discussed as something we need to do in anything we do and in any other role we play.

Listening adds value to everything we do.

Master listeners excel at eight different listening skills.

People should listen more and learn more from listening.

Email Dan at: dan.oblinger@gmail.com

Connect with Dan on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dan-oblinger-speaks?lipi=urn%3Ali%3Apage%3Ad_flagship3_profile_view_base_contact_details%3Buq20dVihRFqQkyHf57pAKA%3D%3D

To get in touch with Mike please visit www.crucialtalks.com and connect via email, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.



Mike Sedam talks with Douglas Vermeeren about his book, Personal Power Mastery. Available from Amazon: https://amzn.to/2VvlLd0.

Doug has interviewed over 400 of the top achievers of today to write his book.

He has focused on people as having power over their choices.

People are not always prepared to take the outcome of their lives personal.

People need to "own it" and that lets them affect changes in their lives.

Choice is our biggest fundamental power. Power is the ability to act or take action.

Perception allows people to see possibilities and opportunities. How we see things impacts the decisions we make.

Emotions are tied to expectations.

To connect with Douglas Vermeeren, visit www.douglasvermeeren.com

To connect with Mike Sedam, visit www.crucialtalks.com



January 1, 2019

Crucial Talks Best of 2018

Clips from 2018 episodes of the Crucial Talks Podcast.

Have a great 2019.

Please stay in touch by visiting www.crucialtalks.com



Mike Sedam talks to Jason Weber about his enterprise-level experience in the state of Wisconsin. This episode applies to multiple industries in both the public and private sector because it discusses concepts that apply to any human-based system.

We discuss the need for trust, how to build relationships, and how self-awareness is necessary to help see another person's or group's point of view.

Jason is a training and development manager for Wisconsin, but also has his own consulting company, www.elements-consultingllc.com.

For more information or to connect with Mike, please visit www.crucialtalks.com

Remember, if we want to understand behavior, we need to understand what drives people.


Santa Claus is part of the magic of Christmas for a child. Ultimately, one day, some kid will mention something negative about Santa Claus to other kids.

Similarly, every day in our organizations, our businesses, our communities, and our relationships, communication is happening.

Sometimes communication is about something negative.

Communication is more than just sending and receiving words. Those words carry meaning and emotions.

We need to be responsible for the words we say and how we use them.

The first lesson we can take from this is about the person communicating the message.

Does that person have the responsibility to communicate that message?

Does that person have the right to communicate that message?

Is the person communicating that message for the right reasons?

What is the purpose of communicating that message?

In this case, this student could have wanted to show her superiority to other students, or she was impacted negatively by hearing this news and wanted to bring other people down to her level.

This is important for us to understand. Information like this can cause someone to feel alone, to feel like they no longer understand the belief system of other people around them and one of the ways people deal with that is to bring others down to their level.

I know we have people like this in our organizations. They try to stir up negative feelings because they feel negative. Or they try to make other people dislike someone because they dislike them. This is a cancer in our workplaces and needs to be removed.

Remember we are responsible for the words we say and the meaning of those words because they have a huge impact on people and can have a ripple effect.

For more information or to connect with Mike via email, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook, please visit www.crucialtalks.com.


We are all social storytellers and can be the hero of our own story.

My son and I were watching the Bumblebee movie trailer and he asked if Bumblebee could be the hero since he wasn't the leader.

Absolutely he can, and so can you.

Heroes are uplifting, improve the lives of others, uphold values, and protect others.

Please connect with me via www.crucialtalks.com


In this episode, Mike Sedam speaks with Brian Cunningham about his journey from parking lot attendant to CEO and his book, The Leadership Revolution - Because Evolution Takes Too Long.

You can buy his book from Amazon: https://amzn.to/2BtsBq2

More about Brian and his book can be found at: http://awarenessquotientleadership.com/

In this episode, we talk about how leadership skills have to be functional. This means we don't just need theory, but we need to be able to operationalize those theories.

Brian talks about the levels of leadership in a way that is not just theory-based. He talks about them while wearing a lens of reality. He lets us learn about what works in the real world, not just in books.

This is a positive, strength-based focus on leadership, from someone who is doing it every day as a CEO.

To connect with Mike or to get your own story onto the Crucial Talks Podcast, please visit www.crucialtalks.com.



Mike Sedam talks with Jill Christensen about employee engagement. This includes talking about the fact all people want the same things we always have: openness, trust, purpose, and a feeling of belonging. 

Jill has written a great book about employee engagement that can be found on Amazon here: https://amzn.to/2QY5y0G

Put people first and the rest will follow. People that do not feel they are trusted will not go above and beyond.

When employees are engaged, they trust their senior leaders and feel an emotional connection to those leaders.

We can improve engagement by helping employees feel acknowledged, appreciated, and heard.

For more information from Jill, text JILL to 42828 and you'll receive her top ten tips.

Also visit her at www.jillchristensenintl.com

To contact Mike, visit www.crucialtalks.com.



Redundancy in systems helps maintain a level of service when failures happen. In this 7 minute Crucial Chat, Mike Sedam discusses the use of a free tool we all have (communication) to build capacity in our systems.

Please visit www.crucialtalks.com to connect with Mike if you have any questions or comments.


Mike Sedam interviews Kimberly Davis about Brave Leadership. 

Kimberly has written a book called Brave Leadership. You can buy her book from Amazon: https://amzn.to/2CkA8t7


Kimberly also runs a program called OnStage Leadership. www.onstageleadership.com

Kimberly talks about bravery, the role of storytelling, and tools to become an authentic leader.

This entire episode of full of great tools to help build the capacity to lead, to connect, to be authentic, and to be brave.


Sometimes people need to communicate negative information. This can be bad news, a mistake someone made, or discussing how someone can improve. Leaders deal with this all the time.

We can come to these conversations from two different places. A good place or a bad place. 

People that come from a bad place feel that people are a problem to deal with. 

People that come from a good place feel that people are valuable. Coming from a good place gives feelings of trust and openness.

The exact same message may be conveyed, but when it comes from a good place, it moves the relationship, the team, and the entire organization in a positive direction.

We are dealing with the exact same situation and the same outcomes may even result (discipline, documentation, retraining, etc.), but when it comes from a good place, it leads to a good place.

Please visit www.crucialtalks.com to connect with Mike and please subscribe and review the Crucial Talks Podcast.


Mike Sedam uses three clips from The Walking Dead to talk about decision-making. In this episode, there are three key takeaways about decision-making and a bonus takeaway.

Bonus Takeaway: There are micro-learning opportunities in everything we do. Try to grow in ways that can help in everyday life and in our workplaces... even while being entertained. If we can learn lessons from a television show about something as ridiculous as a zombie apocalypse, we can learn from anything.

Takeaway 1: There is a battle inside of us between the roles we identify with and the groups we assign ourselves to. By being more thoughtful about how those groups impact our decisions, we can grow trust, social belonging, and team cohesion.

Takeaway 2: There is tremendous power in small groups and tight in-group relationships. These emotions can be both a blessing and a curse. Blessing: strong team cohesion means high trust and people looking out for each other. Curse: we fail to see the bigger picture because we are so narrowly focused on what is best for the small group.

Takeaway 3: Bringing groups together (in-groups and out-groups) can cause issues, especially if one group feels as if they are not getting the same benefit as other groups. This is why superordinate goals can be such a powerful tool. Expect issues when groups come together. They don't work well together just because someone tells them to.

Please visit www.crucialtalks.com to connect or ask any questions.


Thanksgiving is a great holiday: turkey, pie, football, and...GRATITUDE.

Gratitude is a strong positive social emotion.  The more we practice gratitude, the more we and the people that experience our gratitude benefit.

Gratitude can lead to higher levels of success, more loyalty, and increased happiness.

Through gratitude, people can gain respect, earn trust, and motivate others. 

Gratitude also replaces and prevents negative emotions. Gratitude can prevent anger, meanness, and jealousy. It's hard to be uncaring or unkind while you practice gratitude.

Gratitude also helps us build our ability to be empathetic. It improves our emotional intelligence.

Be grateful, be authentic, and do it often.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Please visit me at www.crucialtalks.com


In this episode, Mike Sedam, uses a short clip from remarks made by Gary Vaynerchuk to discuss Risk Tolerance and building a personal brand. The full video of Gary Vee's remarks can be watched here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcgLyG2a6G4&t=60s or listened to here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/why-right-now-is-time-to-take-that-risk-3x-short-film/id928159684?i=1000423760460&mt=2

Mike uses a presentation he gives to professionals in the gas and petroleum industry, power generation, aviation, and public safety to invert the discussion he usually has (how to avoid taking risky behavior) in order to discuss how we can build a tolerance to risk. For more about Risk Tolerance, look up the work by Dave Fennell. He's done some really great things in this space.

By building up our risk tolerance related to our personal branding we could move in a positive direction. Regardless of where we want to go, taking forward steps takes risk.

To see if Mike is available to speak at your organization, or to ask any questions, please visit www.crucialtalks.com


Mike Sedam talks about the antidote to anxiety.

We all deal with anxiety. There are a bunch of tools that focus on our biology and physiology to deal with anxiety including getting more sleep, exercising, and breathing. They all focus on the physical.

Shifting our mindset is a great antidote for anxiety because we are social storytellers that tell ourselves stories and because they come from such a great source, us, we believe them. We tell ourselves we aren't good enough and it causes us anxiety.

Every conversation is either building something negative or building something positive.

You need to trust ourselves.

By telling ourselves positive stories, we get put into the right mindset.

A mindset that allows us to take action instead of overthinking.

Please visit www.crucialtalks.com to connect with Mike.

Remember if we want to understand behavior, we need to understand what drives people.


Mike Sedam reiterates and acknowledges the WHY of the Crucial Talks Podcast: To help people who are social storytellers that crave social belonging and social esteem. To help us experience the workplace and our lives in a way that impacts us as social beings. To help us tame the fast-paced world we live in.


Jason Lauritsen joins Mike Sedam to discuss the workplace and how people can have a rewarding and fulfilling experience at work.

Employee engagement is a cornerstone of the discussion.

Jason talks about how he was driven to understand why a person would leave a job when he worked as a headhunter. He not only wanted to fill the position, but wanted to find out why the prior employee did not want to stay.

The problem he saw was that he was trying to find someone who could merely survive working in that position. He wanted to solve the problem.

Jason wants to take uncertainty out of the workplace. He is a speaker, consultant, and author of the book Unlocking High Performance: How to use performance management to engage and empower employees to reach their full potential. You can get his book from Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Qzwfco

Jason and Mike talk about helping people think differently about the work relationship. They discuss the importance of communication, healthy relationships, and trust in the tribes we know as the workplace.

Jason can be reached at jason@jasonlauritsen.com

More information about him and his book can be found at www.jasonlauritsen.com.

To contact Mike, please visit www.crucialtalks.com


Mike Sedam interview Mark Gober about consciousness and his book, An End to Upside Down Thinking. You can get his book from Amazon: https://amzn.to/2QEclgs

In this episode, Mark introduces his ideas surround consciousness preceding reality.

We get a different lens through which we can view our worlds. This expands our thinking into an area that relates to people as social storytellers.

Mark views the brain as a "filter" that allows us to experience reality.

Communication may also be happening at a non-physical level and lets us consider the power of communication.

The value in this episode is it lets us think about ourselves and others in a little different way.

This is an interesting episode because it allows us to connect the social science basis of the podcast with Mark's research on consciousness.

For more information about Mark and his book, please visit www.markgober.com

Visit www.crucialtalks.com for more information and to connect with Mike.


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