Written by Kate Billing, Founder & Creative Director, Blacksmith

A 3 minute read & 46 minute watch

Welcome to The Real Room!

The Real Room is a space I’ve created for conversations about the tricky business of putting being FULLY HUMAN at the centre of how we live, lead and work.

In the Real Room, I have conversations with fabulous humans from all over New Zealand and the world. They’re conversations with a diverse group of people about all things human-related. My guests range from people leaders to thought leaders, researchers to practitioners, corporate legends to creative entrepreneurs, artists to activists, and more. If they’re all about taking a more human-centred approach, I want to talk with them!

Conversation #5 with Lisa O’Neill

In our regular ‘Keeping it Real’ conversations here in The Real Room, Lisa and I have ‘stream of consciousness’ style chats about our experience of the current context. We contemplate our experience – and that of our fellow humans – based on THREE prompts:

  1. I’ve noticed…
  2. I wonder…
  3. I think…

In this free-range, 46 minute conversation, recorded as we head back into Level 3 lockdown in NZ, Lisa and I talk about:

  • action vs. reaction in response to “drama”
  • being a damp blanket rather than a bucket of kerosene
  • the impact of being bouncy, yielding and elastic in the face of adversity
  • the “3 Ps of Pessimism” and our inherent sense of helplessness when we feel we can’t escape bad sh*t
  • positive affect and optimism as power tools for finding our way through uncertainty
  • Useful Belief by Chris Helder (a brilliant little book we both encourage you to read!)
  • the responsibility we all share to be better humans and play our part in making the best of this shared experience through increased awareness
  • developing a personal support strategy and creating space when you need it
  • reimagining life and business in a world where moving up and down through ‘The Levels’ is the new normal
  • catastrophising as a way to scenario-plan and prepare for the future; and
  • staying close to people who feel like sunshine.

SIGN UP to receive our regular ‘Fully Human’ update and get my next Real Room conversation delivered straight to your inbox!


Kate B and Lisa O

Kate Billing:

Kate is the Founder & Creative Director of Blacksmith www.blacksmith.co.nz, a specialist leadership development practice focused on the development of human-centred leaders and fully human organisations.

For nearly 25 years Kate has worked in the people, culture and leadership space, building a reputation for sharp insights, compassionate challenge, warmth, and energy. Over that time she has worked within a range of industries and organisations, with leaders from the boardroom to the front line, all of whom have demonstrated their capacity for personal and collective evolution.

She believes it’s time for a new kind of leader: human-centred leaders who together will create the world we need for our shared future. Leaders who are examples of what’s possible when we commit to the highest levels of humanity and responsibility in the ways that we live, lead and do business.

Connect with Kate on LinkedIn.

Lisa O’Neill:

Feisty, funny and fabulous, Lisa has the rare ability to deliver powerful messages through side-splitting humour. She is a highly sought-after keynote speaker and MC across Australia and New Zealand, along with being appointed recently to the position of CEO of Thought Leader Business School.

After more than a decade on stage, Lisa is consistently top-rated by corporate and conference audiences alike. Participants love her straight-talking, refreshing wisdom and infectious laughter. They respond to her call to live big lives and to become the best version of themselves.

Lisa is also the author of several books including ‘Juggling in High Heels – How to Organise Chaos’, ‘The Lickable Third’, and her latest book ‘Everything You Want’.

Connect with Lisa on LinkedIn.