What's The Big Idea: Max Stossel - There’s Another Way To Look At It / The Power Of Perspective


“The best convincing we can really do is just really deeply trying to know where someone’s coming from…”

“The most important piece of this is to recognize the incredible possibility that is in front of us, if we can learn to see it…“

Today’s guest: Max Stossel

His big idea: There’s Another Way To Look At It - The Power Of Perspective


Max Stossel is an award-winning poet + filmmaker named by Forbes as one of the best storytellers of the year. His performances across five continents, from Lincoln Center in NY to the Hordern Pavilion in Sydney, have been described as mind expanding, profound, emotive, and hilarious all at once. His work has been translated to fourteen languages, won multiple film festivals, and has been viewed over 20 million times online.

Max Stossel is also the Head of Education for the Center for Humane Technology, an organization of former tech insiders and CEOs dedicated to realigning technology with humanity’s best interests. Before joining CHT, Max was a media strategist with an extensive background in social, spending more time learning the ins and outs of the facebook algorithm than any human should. He ran social for multinational brands, and later worked for a social media company where he designed some of the same notification structures to distract students that he now criticizes. He provides a unique and much needed critical perspective on the role of technology in the classroom. 

The merging of these fields allows Max to provide a fascinating perspective on modern content and culture. He is currently performing Words That Move in theatres, speaking or performing at schools, corporations & events, and helping select brands tell their stories in his style via video.

Listen to the full show below:

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Key insights Shared:

  • The idea of deep care

  • The primary resistance to empathizing with another person’s perspective

  • How to enter into the realm of uncertainty 

  • The power of acknowledging the other side’s intention

  • Meeting someone for the first time and embracing their perspective

  • The power of anticipating objections in a conversation or presentation

  • Coming into a conversation to convince vs. understand

  • How to look at the people around us like ‘we’re on the same team’

  • The value of repeating back “do I have that right?” or “is that what you’re saying?“to truly understands

  • Is fear an effective motivator of people?

  • How technology is decreasing our ability to open up

  • What we can do to counteract the algorithm and actively develop our own opinion

  • The power of exposure to the opposition

  • The words you can say to try and be open on an issue where someone feels passionate

  • What needs to happen in tech for people to be less manipulated and more free to make up their minds

  • How poetry came into Max’s life and how he uses art to open people up

  • What’s a view that you once held that you no longer hold - 180 degree turn

  • Look at someone you’re angry at right now and think about their perspective - What are they thinking, and where are they coming from?

  • Prioritizing being right over moving forward

  • To understand is the best way to be understood

  • Why art/poetry is an effective medium for us to open people up and see things in a different light