what are we thinking podcast logo with hosts Tammy Palazzo and Louis Sacco

 A Conversation about Conversation.


new episodes every wednesday.

Welcome to What Are We Talking About – a conversation about conversation. Louis Sacco and Tammy Palazzo, communication experts, great friends, and highly-enjoyable entertainers, talk about all things related to communication from the conversations we have with ourselves to the critical discussions we have with others in our lives. They are joined by other experts to have interesting conversations that will leave you thinking, feeling, and, hopefully, adapting the way you approach your own conversations.



Here’s a little clip of our new podcast about all things related to communication. Join Louis and Tammy as they have conversations about conversation.

S1/E1 Storytelling

Anthropologists tell us that storytelling is central to human existence. We use stories to make sense of our world and to share that understanding with others. Storytelling is part of our everyday lives and a key element in our ability to communicate with others. Louis and Tammy offer some great tips this week on how to be effective storytellers.

Pixar Storytelling Model

What’s on Your Nightstand?

Being the Ricardos on Prime Video
Don’t Look Up on Netflix
Smartless Podcast

S1/E2 Empathy

Empathy is the ability to understand someone else’s feelings and experiences. Being empathetic can allow you to understand someone else’s perspective, strengthen your ability to connect with others, and develop a broader view of the world. In this episode, Louis and Tammy talk about the role empathy plays in being able to have meaningful interactions with others and provide some tips on how to up the empathy in your life.

What’s on Your Nightstand?

The Crown on Netflix
Modern Love Anthology
Modern Love on Prime Video

S1/E3 Watch Your Language

Words matter in communication. Even though research suggests that 93% of the impression we form is rooted in our non-verbal messaging, the words we use can either help or hurt our interactions. Plus, words create intentions and intentions create outcomes. Louis and Tammy talk about how different types of language, like bro speak or negative self-talk can have a damaging impact on people. They share tips for positive communication strategies.

Masaru Emoto book – The Hidden Messages in Water
Masaru Emoto Water Experiment

George Carlin Football vs Baseball

What’s on Your Nightstand?

The Inventor: Out for Blood (HBO Max)
Atlas of the Heart by Brene Brown


S1/E4 Thank You for the Feedback

Often, when someone tells you that they want to give you some feedback, the things that go through your mind include: “What did I do wrong?” “I knew this day would come” or “It wasn’t me!” But, in fact, feedback is always valuable if delivered and received properly. In this episode, Louis and Tammy dive into the topic of feedback and discuss strategies for managing the process in any context.

Book: Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen

What’s On Your Nightstand Links:

New York Times – To Boldly Explore the Jewish Roots of ‘Star Trek”
Quantum Love by Dr. Laura Berman

S1/E5 Improv

What do Popsicles, Penicillin, Slinkies, Stainless Steel, Play-Doh, and Post-It Notes have in common? They were all “improv mistakes.”

Learning how to do Improv may not seem like an obvious topic for becoming a better communicator or a more effective engineer but, in fact, it is a great tool for just that! Improv forces you to be present and in the moment which is hard for most of us to do. It requires deep listening so you can react to what the other person is saying. And, there are no wrong answers which ignites creativity.

What’s On Your Nightstand Links:

Sex at Dawn by Chris Ryan
Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

S1/E6 Nonviolent Communication

In 2014 Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, attempted to tackle the toxic culture of the company by asking all the senior leaders to read Nonviolent Communication by Marshall B. Rosenberg. He was signaling to his executives that he expected them to lead with compassion and empathy. That was nearly 8 years ago and here we are now with some of the same issues cropping up all over the place because of the challenges from the Pandemic. In this episode, Tammy and Louis break down the elements of the book and help listeners understand how they can use empathy, compassion, curiosity, and a collaborative approach to communication to improve their relationships, be more influential, and find more meaning in their interactions.

What’s On Your Nightstand Links:

Civilized to Death by Christopher Ryan
Ozark (Netflix)

S1/E7 Communicating Under Stress

At some point in our lives, we all have to deal with those conversations that make us uncomfortable or stressed out. And, generally, those are high-stakes discussions. In this episode, Louis and Tammy break down the different ways we often show up in these conversations – using violence or silence – as communication responses. They talk about how to better understand your triggers so you can have productive and less stressful interactions.

What’s On Your Nightstand Links:

Genius Foods by Max Lugavere
Hacks (HBO)

S1/E8 Finding Your Voice with Tom Fiffer

How does one find their voice – as a writer, a speaker, a singer, a communicator? That is the question Louis and Tammy ponder with the first guest of the season, Tom Fiffer. This fascinating discussion explores what we define as voice and how we can find our authentic voices. Louis and Tom talk about the different ways in which they coach singers and writers, respectively, to find their voices.

Tom is the Founder of Christmas Lake Creative which offers workshops, coaching, and a community for writers. It also has its own publishing imprint with a complete list of titles.

What’s On Your Nightstand Links:

Art of Biblical Narrative by Robert Alter

Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell

The Hype Handbook by Michael Schein

S1/E9 Ryan Sullivan – Hey, Let’s Start a Podcast!

Ryan Sullivan, founder of Podcast Principles and host of BopCast Podcast, talks to us about all the ins and outs of podcasting. He shares some of the best strategies for launching and building a successful podcast and then gives us a little feedback on our own podcast!

What’s On Your Nightstand Links:

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni

Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi

The Last Movie Ever Made Podcast


S1/E10 The Hype Artist with Michael F. Schein

Most of us attribute a negative connotation to hype, bringing to mind snake-oil salesman, propaganda, and con artists. This week, Michael F. Schein, author of The Hype Handbook, talks to us about his strategies to use hype for good. He shares with us his pillars for leveraging our behavioral instincts to generate hype for outcomes that have deeper meaning and purpose. Going back to his days as a punk rock musician and his attempts at fame by snagging a spot for his band at the famed Apollo Theater to his more recent gambits coming up against some of the heavyweights in business and social media, Michael keeps us on the edge of our seat with brilliant tactics.

We have a lively discussion about why our brains are so susceptible to hype and some of the less than favorable hype artists who have successfully permeated our consciousness. You’ll discover some great ideas and ways in which to become your own hype artist!

What’s On Your Nightstand Links:

Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play-Element in Culture by John Huizinga

Awakenings (Prime Video)

Inventing Anna (Netflix)



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