Ron Macklin and Michelle Mosolgo


Episode 30: Shields

Michelle opens the episode by giving the definition of what a shield is from the dictionary. She then asks Ron what a shield is to him.

  • Ron says that the definition she read is exactly the position that they hold at Macklin Connection.
  • He says that shields are applicable not just to a physical item to hide behind, but also the stories in your head that we hide behind.
  • He notes that there are times we make the shields impenetrable, and potentially permanent.
  • Ron says that the shields we use most often are the stories we created in our own heads to protect ourselves, which at Macklin is called “scared self.”
  • He then gives more details on the scared self, what that looks like, and how they protect you from different threats.

Ron asks Michelle after his brief description of shields, what showed up for her.

  • Michelle says that she is an expert at shields, as she has used them her whole life, but only recently started to recognize them.
  • She notes that she also has to have a story that she’s being attacked, and that’s why she is protecting herself.
  • She then gives a story explaining one of her personal stories that she used as a shield.
  • She realized that seeing somebody else that has the same shield as her, helped her recognize that shield in herself.
  • She then gives another story and example of when it shows up for her in business situations.

Ron notes that we as a species have been under attack for a long time, so protecting yourself from threats is only natural.

  • He details his own experience about working through one of his own shields, and how it was causing him to miss out on creating things with other people.
  • He realized that once he got to the point of being able to work through his shield, and understand that his thoughts and ideas were enough, that enabled him to collaborate with others and create something great.
  • Ron explains the different spaces that become apparent, the first of which is noticing your shield and putting it down, the other is noticing when you bump into someone else’s shield.

Ron then asks Michelle what she does when she notices someone else’s shield.

  • Michelle says that her favorite shield is ‘being shy.’ 
  • She then explains her practice for when she runs into someone else’s shield, and how she goes about getting them to either recognize or lower that shield.
  • She notes that she doesn’t always get it right, and sometimes triggers even bigger shields, which she then has to work with as well, but that it’s okay.
  • Ron then takes the opportunity to explain his practices and techniques for when he runs into other people’s shields.
  • Ron explains that as part of his practice, he too opens up and shares a story with the person a time when he was in a similar vulnerable position.
  • He notes that when he does this, they aren’t listening to him or his story, but rather are turning inwards and relating it to their own story, wherein they can begin to notice their own shields.
  • He then explains what to do when someone takes advantage of the situation of you opening up and being vulnerable.
  • Ron says that when going through that process of getting someone to lower their shield, others around will notice, and that also encourages them to lower their shields too.
  • He goes on explaining that if everyone can lower their shields together, this builds a level of trust in an organization or group.

Michelle asks the how long it takes Ron to get some people or groups to lower their shields.

  • Ron further explains his process and taking his stand, and how the goal is really to allow a space for that person to step into.
  • He notes that whenever that person decides to step in to that space, is how long it takes, and that however long that is, is perfect.
  • Michelle then gives examples of timeframes of her working with someone to get them to lower their shield, including when she decides to give up on people.
  • Ron then tells a story of some of the times people have come back to him after he toss them a line years earlier.

Ron then opens up a few questions to the listeners of the podcast.

Join us to hear how understanding the idea of “self talk” — and what you can do about it — could change your relationships and life for the better.


Episode Summary


In this episode of “The Story in Your Head,” Ron and Michelle discuss the different aspects of shields. From noticing your own shields, to helping others recognize theirs, and the different approaches one can take in lowering their shields or getting others to lower their shields too.