Skip to main content
Spotify for Podcasters
Totem Talks

Totem Talks

By Totem Consulting

The Totem Podcast hosted by Mark Smith and Helen Frewin.

Offering insights into the world of psychology and business, with guest speakers and topical chat.
Available on
Apple Podcasts Logo
Google Podcasts Logo
Overcast Logo
Pocket Casts Logo
RadioPublic Logo
Spotify Logo
Currently playing episode

Episode 72: Well that's all Folks!

Totem TalksDec 22, 2022

Episode 72: Well that's all Folks!

Episode 72: Well that's all Folks!

This is it everyone, the final Totem Talk.  After 72 episodes and 3 years, we're finally calling time on our podcasting adventure.  It's been a fascinating journey made entirely possible by you, our listeners.  We can't begin to express our gratitude to all of you who have supported, encouraged, contributed and listened to Totem Talks over the years. In this final conversation, Mark Smith & Helen Frewin review the year, some difficult decisions and our hopes for the future. As we mentioned in the conversation, Totem's marketing will look distinctly different next year and the best place to keep up to date with the shenanigans at Totem will be via our newsletter, which you can subscribe to here: And as a final hurrah, Mark has even double checked that the other link mentioned in the podcast is correct and present. As always, we hope and pray that you have a fabulous day!
Dec 22, 202222:21
Episode 71: Facilitation Skills are the Best!
Nov 25, 202225:38
Episode 70: Positive Psychology with Sarah Creevey
Oct 27, 202232:51
Episode 69: Hybrid Working (sighs*)
Sep 27, 202222:15
Episode 68: How do you Build Commercial Awareness
Aug 29, 202226:36
Episode 67: Developing Business Partners
Jul 29, 202219:21
Episode 66: The Psychology of Great Customer Service
Jun 21, 202221:28
Episode 65: Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy
May 18, 202226:18
Episode 64: Psychological Safety Part 2
Apr 26, 202217:25
Episode 63: Competence over Confidence

Episode 63: Competence over Confidence

Hello fabulous followers!  In this month's Totem Talks we explore the very real and pervasive phenomenon of confidence - and the ability to come across as confident - masking a serious lack of competence in any particular skill or role.

This is especially true in organisational cultures that promote people on the basis that they "speak up" or "engage confidently" with stakeholders.  By themselves these are worthy skills, but in the overall context of a role?  We're not so sure.

Whilst offering insights and a few ways for organisations to break this trend, Helen Frewin and Mark Smith discuss the career limiting and often prejudicial effects this phenomenon has on those who are likely to be extremely competent, but choose to listen to others', rather than speak over them.

Mar 23, 202215:39
Episode 62: Assessment by Design
Feb 22, 202220:47
Episode 61: Role Profiling & Analysis

Episode 61: Role Profiling & Analysis

Well well!  The first Totem Talk of 2022 and crikey it's a good one - plus we have a new jingle and a new format for the new year.  All will be revealed as Mark Smith & Helen Frewin deep dive into the utterly overlooked and business critical process of Role Profiling.  But why is this our first topic for the year?

It's not uncommon at this time of year for there to be a mad scramble for new employees and conversely - a mad scramble to find a new job.  Recruitment is always a hot topic in the new year and this year, especially so.

The Great Resignation is upon us, or is it?  

Either way, we're here to guide recruiters and hiring managers through the first and arguably most important step in recruitment - role profiling and analysis.  Do you know the job that you're actually recruiting for?  Do you know its nuances and pain points?

We share top tips on how to start the process and discover the true value that a role offers to your business.

Jan 20, 202220:06
Episode 60: Christmas Came Early?

Episode 60: Christmas Came Early?

Well that's all folks!  The podcast calendar fell awkwardly this year and we had a decision to make, finish this years podcasting whilst we're on holiday in mid December, or wrap it up early.

So Santa hats and Christmas decorations abound as Mark Smith & Helen Frewin review (a little early)  the magnificence that has been 2021.  We celebrate the highs, lament the lows and look forward to the coming year.

Have a fabulous Christmas everyone!

Nov 26, 202120:36
Episode 59: Influencing Techniques
Nov 12, 202114:29
Episode 58: Perfectionism isn't Perfect
Oct 29, 202117:20
Episode 57: Authentic Leadership
Oct 15, 202122:13
Episode 56: Acceptance Commitment Therapy
Oct 01, 202117:47
Episode 55: Better than Confidence
Sep 17, 202118:42
Episode 54: Rating Scales
Sep 03, 202122:40
Episode 53: How to be a great Consultant
Aug 20, 202125:30
Episode 52: Getting Clients
Aug 06, 202126:16
Episode 51: Starting your own business
Jul 23, 202126:40
Episode 50: An interview with Dr Penny Pullan
Jul 09, 202132:20
Episode 49: Flexible Thinking & Hybrid Working
Jun 25, 202118:08
Episode 48: The Trusted Advisor
Jun 11, 202119:50
Episode 47: Writing a Book pt.2
May 28, 202119:36
Episode 46: Coaching for Managers
May 14, 202116:52
Episode 45: Hybrid Workplace Management
Apr 30, 202116:31
Episode 44: Brain Fog in the Workplace
Apr 16, 202115:46
Episode 43: Grace Marshall Interview
Apr 01, 202126:41
Episode 42: We're One Year Old!
Mar 19, 202124:18
Episode 41: Telephone Interviewing
Mar 05, 202119:48
Episode 40: Psychometrics
Feb 21, 202116:12
Episode 39: Inclusive Leadership

Episode 39: Inclusive Leadership

This week is Race Equality Week and Mark Smith & Helen Frewin discuss how our work at Totem is evolving to support Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.

We cover the importance of weaving D,E & I into the very DNA of your Leadership programmes and not simply including this important concept as an afterthought or tick box exercise.

Mark aptly shows us that white privilege can run deep and unseen, even in the minds of those working hard to promote racial equality.  There's still lots of work to do!

As always, you can find loads of free resources on our website or Pay as You Go tutorials in our online store:

Have a great day everybody!

Feb 05, 202122:02
Episode 38: 3 Conversations with Tara Humphrey
Jan 22, 202126:07
Episode 37: Goal Setting
Jan 08, 202116:47
Episode 36: The Last Totem Talk?
Dec 04, 202020:45
Episode 35: Values based Business
Nov 27, 202020:40
Episode 34: 3 Conversations with Osaro Ewansiha
Nov 20, 202025:33
Episode 33: 3 Conversations with Charlotte Speak
Nov 13, 202020:48
Episode 32: Psychological Safety

Episode 32: Psychological Safety

Perhaps not quite what you think, but Psychological Safety is a term almost exclusively used in a workplace setting.  

A term that came to prominence thanks to the clever folks at Google, Psychological safety is being able to show who you really are without fear of negative consequences to your self-image, status or career.

The wikipedia page on this concept is actually quite fabulous:

And if you would like to read Google's Project Aristotle's own research into this subject, visit here:

As we discussed in the podcast, this work has a great deal of overlap with Patrick Lencioni's work.  Patrick is a legend and well worth finding out about:

As always, you can find loads of free resources on our website or Pay as You Go tutorials in our online store:

And our podcast can be found on most mainstream platforms too, including Spotify & Apple Podcasts.

Have a great day everybody!

Nov 06, 202021:11
Episode 31: Good Discrimination?
Oct 30, 202018:10
Episode 30: Wellbeing
Oct 23, 202017:48
Episode 29: Vulnerability
Oct 16, 202019:10
Episode 28: Coaching for All
Oct 09, 202023:06
Episode 27: Coaching
Oct 02, 202021:09
Episode 26: Work Life Harmony
Sep 25, 202015:28
Episode 25: Self Care September
Sep 18, 202019:50
Episode 24: Don't Game the Recruitment System
Sep 11, 202015:40
Episode 23: Recruitment for Recruiters
Sep 04, 202021:02
Episode 22: 3 Conversations with Andrea Newton

Episode 22: 3 Conversations with Andrea Newton

In the latest Totem Talks we focus again on the 3 conversations that have influenced a persons life.  This week Helen Frewin interviews the fabulous Andrea Newton  - Director of ABD CCT.  Continuing Helen's research, Andrea explores the 3 conversations that have shaped her life, offering candid insights into the work of suicide prevention in the workplace.  You can read her story in the Manchester Evening News...

As mentioned in the video, Andrea is hosting a free webinar in support of World Suicide Prevention Day #WSPD.  The webinar, Suicide - The Silent Killer in Your Business is on September 9th, 2020 @ 11:00 AM.  You can register for the event here:

Or to find out more about World Suicide Prevention Day, please visit here:

You can connect with Andrea here:

As always, you can find loads of free resources on our website or Pay as You Go tutorials in our online store:

And our podcast can be found on most mainstream platforms too, including Spotify & Apple Podcasts.

Aug 28, 202025:17
Episode 21: How's it Going?
Aug 21, 202020:37
Episode 20: Building Confidence
Aug 14, 202022:10
Episode 19: Networking Online
Aug 07, 202020:12
Episode 18: Becoming an Entrepreneur?
Jul 31, 202028:01
Episode 17: Emotional Intelligence
Jul 24, 202022:19
Episode 16: 3 conversations with Ali Carruthers
Jul 17, 202017:53
Episode 15: Defining Talent Management

Episode 15: Defining Talent Management

Ever since the McKinsey paper The War for Talent was published in 1997, organisations have struggled with the idea of finding and keeping hold of their top talent.

That may not have meant talent in terms of future leadership potential, but that’s the most common interpretation.  And that was 25 years ago too, so whats changed?

In this podcast Mark Smith & Helen Frewin offer insights from a more up to date perspective, expanding upon Talent Management to include Potential, Work / Life Balance and Diversity and Inclusion.

As promised in the video here are the links:

As always, you can find loads of free resources on our website or Pay as You Go tutorials in our online store:

And our podcast can be found on most mainstream platforms too, including Spotify & Apple Podcasts.

Have a great day everybody!

Jul 10, 202016:44
Episode 14: 3 Conversations with Lorna McCallum
Jul 03, 202019:22
Episode 13: Unconscious Bias

Episode 13: Unconscious Bias

What exactly is unconscious bias?  Put simply, it’s the decisions that we make every day - on an unconscious basis - in relation to other people.


Based on our gender, ethnicity, genetics, upbringing, education and so many other factors, our brains are wired in different ways.   And the tricky thing with different brain patterns is that we tend to like our own, because we only know our own ways of thinking and working.  Our minds are perfect echo chambers, everyone who thinks differently – more often than not we think of as wrong, misguided or weird.


In the broader context of the recent resurgence is the Black Lives Matter movement we feel that globally, we are all being challenged to sit up and take notice of our own biases,  the systemic racism around us and to make real and lasting change.  In this podcast, Mark Smith and Helen Frewin describe their upbringing and the influence of race upon their unconscious biases, their response to recent developments and how they plan to contribute to a future free from racism.


As mentioned in the podcast, Mark has been particularly moved by the work of Dr Laura Morgan Roberts, a consultant and researcher on the science of maximising human potential in diverse organizations and communities.


You can find out more about the workshops Laura runs and the book she helped write below:


As always, you can find loads of free resources on our website or Pay as You Go tutorials in our online store:


And our podcast can be found on most mainstream platforms too, including Spotify & Apple Podcasts.


Have a great day everybody!

Jun 26, 202026:17
Episode 12: 3 Conversations with Mark Smith
Jun 19, 202021:33
Episode 11: How to Delegate
Jun 12, 202017:03
Episode 10: Developing Gravitas
Jun 05, 202016:46
Episode 9: Transactional Analysis
May 29, 202021:24
Episode 8: Toxic Masculinity

Episode 8: Toxic Masculinity

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week and the theme for this year is kindness. Mark Smith shares his personal mental health challenges and Helen Frewin quizzes him about how toxic masculinity can get in the way of some really good conversations, and our ability to be kind.  

We were surprised that this ended up being a discussion as much about diversity and inclusion as it was about mental health….   

And we realised how the language of “being open about mental health” might be the very thing holding men back. All with a fascinating debate about privilege in white middle class men too!  

Follow the Podcast on Spotify or Anchor:  

Find out more about us and our online learning store here:  

Catch up with us on twitter too...

May 22, 202017:55
Episode 7: Writing a Book
May 15, 202020:18
Episode 6: Difficult Conversations
May 07, 202022:20
Episode 5: Online Learning
Apr 27, 202019:18
Episode 4: Coping with Anxiety
Apr 20, 202019:03
Episode 3: Silo Working
Apr 14, 202018:53
Episode 2: Working from Home

Episode 2: Working from Home

Make the most of Working from Home.  Helen Frewin & Mark Smith explore some of the nuances of working from home, offering tips for productivity and sign posting the dangers.  

If you would like even more top tips you can visit our dedicated web page here:

Apr 10, 202018:25
Episode 1: The First One

Episode 1: The First One

Totem dips its toes into the murky world of Podcasting.  Who are we?  Why are we here?

Secrets will be revealed!

Apr 06, 202015:45