Tossing Lines

Ron Macklin & Michelle Mosolgo

Tossing Lines

Episode 35: Tossing Lines

Michelle opens by tossing the questions to Ron of what is ‘Tossing Lines’ and how did he come up with that phrase?

  • Ron says that the fundamental of ‘Tossing Lines’ is to be an offer of help to somebody.
  • He continues by noting how it is different than just offering help of giving someone $5, but rather it is a process of asking a series of questions that helps that person make up a new story.
  • Ron then relays the story of how the phrase ‘Tossing Lines’ came about, and why that phrase really stuck with him.

Michelle thinks back to the story that Ron just told and asks why and when does he find that he wants to open that space for someone else to learn?

  • Ron says that he holds at a fundamental level, “I need help,” but not the ‘here’s $5’ kind of help.
  • He says that what he really needs help with continuing learning and understanding others, and finding others who are in the same space.
  • Ron then describes what that connection with someone feels like, once you’ve have put in the effort to find and make those connections.

Ron asks Michelle how those connections show up for her.

  • Michelle describes what those connections look like to her compared to the help of offering $5.
  • She then continues to describe how the connections have different costs, and how those costs change over time.
  • Ron follows her line of thinking, saying that each of those connections where lines are being tossed is an opportunity to learn.

Michelle asks Ron what ‘tossing lines’ actually looks like in practice.

  • Ron recalls how at first before he was ‘tossing lines’ he was throwing rocks, and describes the difference between the two.
  • He describes his first experience of switching from throwing rocks to tossing lines, and the conversation he had with others around retirement.
  • After realizing how approaching people differently when he changed his approach to be curious, that people were working with him rather than against him.
  • Michelle said that thought triggered her to recall previous experiences where people were much more willing to work with her, especially when she started practicing being curious.
  • Ron describes how this social network you gain as a result of this practice of ‘tossing lines’ is a great form of wealth.

Michelle asks Ron if he has examples of failure and recovery, or scenarios where it didn’t work the first time, but the other person might have eventually come around.

  • Ron tells a story of how previous experiences when he threw rocks, or feathers, and how that hurt the relationship.
  • He continues by retelling how that relationship eventually came around and how they worked past the initial rock throwing.

Michelle asks Ron whether he has a set of lines that he uses when ‘tossing lines’ or whether it’s all done on the spot.

  • Ron says that the first line he tosses is always to himself, saying that he is enough.
  • He says that creating your way of being before you’re even getting started is the most important part of the process.
  • Ron continues by describing ways to work through if you tossed a line that might have shown up to the other person as you throwing a rock.
  • He then gives a few examples of lines that he uses to open up conversations.

Michelle reflects on what Ron has said and finds a few lessons that she then relays. 

  • She continues by telling a personal story of when she thought she tossed a rock, and yet the other person took it as a line.
  • Ron follows the line of thinking, saying why that people might come back to thank you for something that they created themselves.
  • Michelle and Ron both talk about the relationships that have developed with this line of thinking where both people are tossing lines to the others.
  • They both wrap up by reflecting on other lessons they are taking out of the conversation they had today.

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

Tossing Lines

In this episode of “The Story in Your Head,” Ron and Michelle discuss ‘Tossing Lines.’ They dig into what that phrase means, and where it originated. Together, they work through what the process of ‘tossing lines’ looks like, the different ways it might appear to others, and share personal stories.