Are you the bossy eldest? The troubled middle child? The baby of the family? Or an only child? Does your personality fit with your birth order stereotype? What about your kids? Listen as Dr. Andrea and her brother, musician and sound producer Brian Campbell, talk about birth order effects, how the stereotypes fit with their family, and why the research is so inconsistent.
• Key Learnings
• References & Links
• Dr. Andrea’s Commentary
• Interview Transcript
1. BIRTH ORDER EFFECTS – Some of the stereotypes may be true.
• First born and smaller families scored higher on communication skills, even after controlling for everything else (mothers age, socioeconomic factors, etc.)
• The eldest may be bossier, most ambitious, and most stressed.
• Middle children can face a challenge of creating a unique identity. However they often end up well-adjusted, good negotiators, and social.
• The youngest, the babies of the family, can be entertainers and can benefit from early exposure and learning from their older siblings.
• Only children benefit from the attention of their parents. They tend to be more advanced with stronger vocabularies, a more sophisticated sense of humor, and a better grasp of current events.
2. Birth order effects can vary between different countries or cultures where the experiences of the first born could be highly beneficial in the first world (like having parents who read to them from a young age), but detrimental in the third world (where the oldest child might be expected to quit school, get a job and help provide for the family).
3. The research on birth order effects is inconsistent and shows that they are exaggerated, for two reasons.
a. When the Q of personality traits are asked within the family, they may appear. But when it comes to outside the family, say if you’re asked about a colleague, the influence of or correlation with birth order effects seems to go away.
b. Siblings that are in these relationships, are often evaluated at different ages, relative to each other. The research would be more valid if parents videotaped their children at the same age, and then compared the personality traits. So if my parents had taken a video of each of us when we were ten years old and talked about our personalities, the sibling order effects may not have shown up. Whereas if they were asked to compare us at one point in time, the sibling order effects probably would be evident.
References & Links
• Email – email@example.com
• LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/brian-r-campbell-2018b9b6/?originalSubdomain=ca
• Photos – https://talkabouttalk.com/about/
Sibling Order Effects
Explanations for Inconsistencies
• Ernst & Angst, 1983
• Weekly Email Blog – https://talkabouttalk.com/blog/#newsletter-signup
• Andrea – Andrea@TalkAboutTalk.com
• Cynthia Barlow Body Language episode – https://talkabouttalk.com/1-body-language-with-executive-coach-cynthia-barlow/
• Bradley Christensen Using Your Voice episode – https://talkabouttalk.com/2-using-your-voice-with-baritone-opera-singer-bradley-christensen/
Other Resources Mentioned
• “Bond with Health” with Vanessa Bond – https://www.bondwithhealth.com/
• “Foothills Famous” with Jonathan Stoddart – http://foothillsfamous.com/
• “Portfolio Career Podcast” with David Nebinski – https://www.portfoliocareerpodcast.com/
• “Prediction Machines” by Avi Goldfarb – https://amzn.to/2X9LO9v
• TEDTalks – https://www.ted.com/#/
• Toronto Fashion Week – https://torontofashionweek.to/
Dr. Andrea’s Commentary
Oh I miss you! HELLO! This is episode 14 of TAT, the first episode of the second season – but who’s counting? Well, I am. And I am so glad to be back at this after our short hiatus. In this episode, to kick off season two, I will introduce you to my brother Brian, the TalkAboutTalk sound producer. We will talk about sibling communication and research on birth order effects.
When TalkAboutTalk was first launched in December, we had a blank slate. Now, we have a library of 13 episodes available on all the podcast platforms, we have a 5/5 rating on Apple podcasts, we have the weekly email blogs, and a pretty fancy TalkAboutTalk website, where all of this is available.
Season two will cover amazing topics. A few of you asked me how we come up with topic ideas. Do we ever run out of ideas? NO! We have a long list of great topics to cover. Let me tell you a few:
• We will cover what I consider to be very helpful, instructional topics that will help us become better communicators, I’m thinking about an upcoming episode on gift-giving, and one on fonts and emojis. So much of what we communicate these days is toped, right? Well, of course the font (and bolding italics) effect the interpretation of our message!
• Taboo topics – guidelines for how to approach some sensitive topics like death, and profanity – I interviewed a linguist, who shares a lot of fascinating information about the words themselves, as well as the people who use them.
• We have some lighthearted topics too, like communication though humour and through fashion. I just had the honour of interviewing the Executive Director of Toronto Fashion Week and I loved every minute of it.
• You may have seen on social media that I interviewed Avi Goldfarb the marketing professor, economist and author of the best-selling book on A.I. called “ Prediction Machines.” I promise that Avi will make your more optimistic about our future with A.I.
If you listened to episode 13, I mentioned my brother Brian Campbell. Well, I am going to introduce you to him now. We conducted this interview on April 10th, which is National Siblings Day. Yes, that’s a thing, in case you didn’t see that on social media.
Don’t be surprised when you hear him call me Andy. There are 4 people in my life who call me Andy: my parents, and my two younger siblings, Brian and Ali. Brian is the youngest. He is 6 years younger than me (As you are trying to guess how old we are, let me just say that we are both products of the 1970s.) If you want to see some pictures of me and Brian together, they are on the TalkAboutTalk website under the ABOUT tab.
Brian is as a recording engineer, producer, and operator. He’s as comfortable in a production studio as he is running a restaurant or live music venue. The concept of “portfolio career” fits him well. Brian’s day job is at a national event ticketing firm, where he is Director of Operations. He also edits and mixes episodes of Talk About Talk.
When Brian and I are being totally honest with one another, there is definitely a level of competition between us. It’s unique because of our differences in age, gender and personality, but rest assured, our competitive nature serves as a positive, motivating factor in the production of these podcasts. At least most of the time, right Brian?
Brian Campbell: Yeah, respect, absolutely. Agree with one another all the time, maybe not so much.
Andrea Wojnicki: True. Where are you, Brian?
BC: Currently, I’m in Half Moon Lake Alberta, in my cozy home just east of Edmonton. I’m sitting in my basement. This is typically the space where I do all my production work. Although once in a while I do come out of my cave and sit at our kitchen table. But I’m sitting in front of a couple of big KRK speakers with my trusty headphones beside me and my laptop. So and this is typically where I sit and do all the production, whether it’s the Edit notes with you, or the audio edits themselves. Yeah, I spent a great deal of time down here either working on my day job or doing the work for TalkAboutTalk.
AW: You know, what I think would be cool would be if you took a photo, and we’ll post it in the show notes so that the listeners can see where the editing and mixing happens for each of the podcast episodes, I’m actually curious as well.
BC: Okay, I will get my housekeeper on it. His name is Brian , and he’s gonna clean up the base on before he takes a photo.
AW: Excellent. Anyway, as the producer and editor of the 13 podcast that we’ve recorded and released so far, you are intimately familiar with the TalkAboutTalk material. And I was just wondering if you have any comments regarding season one.
BC: It’s been a journey and a really good one. When we started off I, I viewed it as an opportunity to support my big sister, it was viewed from my perspective anyway, as kind of the collision of our careers. And I’m really happy with the way it turned out. I’ve always been obsessed with communication and perspective, and to be able to be a part of a production where we’re doing the deep dive into how people affect one another, through their ability to communicate. And to, quote, talk, if they’re interested. The content is interesting. I think we’ve got a lot of great guests as well. And then looking at what we’re rolling into. And season two, I think we’re really just getting my feet under so some, some more taboo topics on the horizon, which I think is really important, because I think it’s important to speak to people and to speak to some of the more difficult topics.
AW: Yeah, I agree. I’m really excited about those as well. Can you share with the listeners, maybe some insights or anecdotes or favorite moments from season one,
BC: There’s a number of moments that have jumped out to me. I have the privilege of being the person who gets to hear everything. And there’s some pretty hilarious moments. I’ve multiple times had to put my coffee down to make sure that I didn’t accidentally spit coffee across the keyboard. One of those moments that sticks out was the first time that I listened to the Cynthia Barlow interview. And when she starts really getting into it about Trump, it’s just, it’s amazing. I love how candid she is and how open she is about how she feels about him. And I’ve even seen since then some of her social media posts which are right in line and she walks the talk, and she talks the talk too. Yeah. the Bradley Christensen moment was one of our technical moments where you can come in here like this is going to be amazing. I’ve done to do I got to do 10 seconds, and I turned my speakers up appropriately. And thankfully, I turned it down slightly, just before the moment that he started singing, but I just got knocked over the back of my chair. It was still amazing. Like I just to hear him belt it out like that. I love it.
AW: Yeah, he’s such a great guy. He has such a fantastic voice. And I said in Episode 13. Unfortunately, my recording equipment was not manufactured to record an opera.
BC: Yeah, episode to episode. There’s been highlights for me. Absolutely. But I think the understanding is that we’re riding a fine line between academia and every person connection. And I think that we’re progressing the right way in that direction, where people learn something. And they also feel truly connected to the communication information that you Dr. Andrea, are offer. Hold on, let me do something that
AW: Oh my! Was that a zipper?
BC: That’s my hoodie.
AW: By the way, that’s a keeper.
BC: Totally…. I’d love it, if down the road, we could to have a celebration ended the season dinner party where we would invite all of the interviewees from that particular season to a nice dinner party, where we all had the opportunity to sit down and we would record the communication that everyone had amongst themselves.
AW: I agree. I think that’s a fantastic idea. I think we should make it happen.
BC: The dinner table is a bit of a foundational element in family communication where you know, don’t bring your phone to the table, turn off the TV, we’re all gonna sit down. We’re all going to talk to each other nicely. We’re all going to talk about our day, whether we want to or not everyone sit together and be a nice family.
AW: That’s true. Ha-ha.
BC: I love throwing random facts in there, thank you….
AW: Where are you going with that? I thought you were going to start reminiscing.
BC: No, no, that was it.
AW: So now we’re going to talk a little bit about our personal experience with as well as some of the research that I’ve done on siblings and specifically, sibling birth order, and sibling communication. There’s all sorts of academic research that’s been done on this topic. And I will put the links to the research that I found up in the show notes, if you want to take a look at the website.
BC: Andy, I feel that you and I as producers have a podcast about communication might be very well qualified to discuss this.
AW: Well. That’s what I was thinking. I mean, we’re going to be talking about the research — what the experts say but you and I have some personal insights that will help illustrate the points that we’re making here regarding the research, but also allow the listeners to get to know us a little bit better. Let’s start by talking about birth order stereotypes. Do you know what they are, Brian, the stereotypes of the eldest, the middle and the youngest?
BC: I would suggest that perhaps the oldest would be bossy. I think a lot of unfair stereotypes about middle child, where it’s like the board, middle child, I think there’s a lot of great middle children even have one in our family. Ali, who we will meet at some point here. And then there’s the youngest, who can be spoiled, sometimes the black sheep of the family. Can be into themselves. Typically, maybe going a little bit more against the grain than the other kids.
AW: So just to people a little bit of insight into our family. I’m the oldest and I have always worn the bossy older sister label, not necessarily proudly so, but I have always worn that hat. And Brian and I have a middle sister between us, Ali. And for the record. We did the research on the middle born. Brian was saying they talk about the middle child syndrome. She does not fulfill this stereotype at all. Apparently, people think that middle children are shy, envious and less bold. But research shows, this is not the case. And our personal experience with our sister Ali also demonstrates that this is not the case. And you’re going to hear as we go through some of the research on siblings, sibling rivalry, and birth order effects that there are a lot of stereotypes and myths out there. And the research does not necessarily back it up. Ali is absolutely the most social person in our family. And she’s a great team player. The academic research does show that about middle children, they learn to negotiate, they create their own identity. And they learn negotiation skills, and they learn to socialize, and to be more social as part of their identity. And when I think about other families where there’s a middle child, I think, actually that is true, but that’s not necessarily what the stereotype is. So research shows that middle children are actually social. They are great leaders, which I found interesting, because that’s the stereotype of the oldest child, right? They are trusting. They are collaborative, and their innovative. And this one really blew me away. 52% of US presidents are middle children, I thought that was the case for oldest children. But no, it’s the middle children. And, other impressive people, including Madonna, Bill Gates, Martin Luther King, Jr. and many more, are also middle children. So whatever stereotypes you have of middle child syndrome, the research has blown that out of the water.
BC: That’s really interesting. Maybe that’s because parents have a particular way that they will instinctively deal with oldest children and younger children and the middle children are somehow separate from that, and therefore get a more moderate medium upbringing.
AW: Well, there’s another interesting piece of research saying that it depends on the economy that you’re living in. So if you’re in the first world, then some of these stereotypes may be more likely to be true, because the first child gets a lot of attention paid to them. So they have higher expectations, they are read two more, etc. And then when it comes to the last child that, you know, the joke is that there’s no photographs taken of the youngest child because the parents are so busy. And some of those things may be true. In the first world, in our economy. In other more subsistence economies, the relationship or the correlations for the oldest and the youngest actually flip. And the oldest one, instead of having all this fabulous attention paid to them, they’re actually expected to go out and work. And they end up being the ones that are less likely to read, they’re less educated, they’re less likely to be leaders, because the parents actually had to lean on them to help make money for the family.
BC: So what about only children?
AW: Research is pretty clear that only children suffer absolutely no psychological or social deficit. And I was really relieved to hear this because I have some friends have only children. And I hear sometimes implicitly and sometimes even explicit comments about, oh, well, he’s an only child. Well, that explains that. And in fact, the academic research shows that whatever negative stereotypes or psychological effects that you associated with only children — are not true. And cognitively, only children tend to be more advanced, with stronger vocabularies, a more sophisticated sense of humor, and a better grasp on current events. So that could be because of the attention that they get. But there seemed to be more benefits to being an only child…
BC: I have a bit of a unique parenting situation. I have, for all intents and purposes two only children. I have a 25-year-old son, and I have a six-year-old son. They love each other to the end of the earth, which is an amazing thing to experience and to observe. But both of them are very single minded, while they share and they’re they’re both empathetic, they will show a balance between the drive and the personal motivation, as well as the ability to relate to people around them and to empathize.
AW: That’s interesting. So and I was gonna say that the other stereotype that comes to mind, the positive one is that they’re very independent. And they both are, they are happy, they’re proactive, independent beings, right. But there’s also social to your point.
AW: Another fascinating thing that I read that I had heard before, is that our beliefs about the stereotypes are exaggerated. And there’s a couple of reasons why. The first reason why all of the stereotypes that we have in our mind about the firstborn, the middle born, and the youngest children. The research shows that birth order effects do matter, within the family, but not outside of the family. In other words, the research that was done, where they ask people about their own family members, the relationships and the personalities may show birth order effects are significant. But when they ask people in general about different people’s personalities say that they work with or that they’re friends with, all of a sudden, these birth order effect personality traits are minimized. And I’ve heard anecdotally, and then I read recently, in the research that when people come home as adults, and they are in their nuclear family that they grew up in, they revert or regress, to the teenage behaviors and stereotypes and personalities that they were growing up, even though that’s not a part of their identity as an adult. And I just find that absolutely fascinating, don’t you?
BC:I could totally see that. I think there’s something with how comfortable we are with our family. There’s the family we choose versus the family, but we’re given. We’re talking about the family that were given, and the people who know the most intimate details of our existence, and who have been there for some of the most emotionally specific moments of our lives. And I think, when relating the interpersonal communications that we have, with people who can touch us as deeply as family members can, we may see those moments and those people with a slightly exaggerated personality, frankly, a lot of these memories are when our minds and our emotions are being developed when we’re learning to regulate our emotions. And I think that has a big impact on the memory, the deepness of the memory.
AW: That’s a very fair point. The other interesting insight that I just stumbled upon recently is the reason these stereotypes persist is because parents and even siblings that are in these relationships, are considering themselves, but at different ages. So if you think about it, the stereotypes that are associated with older siblings, so the first born are more mature, right? So leadership, because they’re teaching their younger siblings, and whatever the more mature stereotypes are. Whereas you even hear it that the last born is the baby of the family. The research would be more valid, if parents videotaped their children at the same age, and then compared the personality traits. So first, when I was 10 years old, if mom and dad had taken a video of me, and then when Ali was 10 years old, they had taken a video of her. And then when Brian’s 10 years old, take a video of him and then talk about our personality traits, they might actually find that there’s nothing to do with birth order effects. But when they think of us collectively, they’re thinking about us sitting around the table, and what role was Andrea taking, of course, she was more bossy, she was the oldest kid at the table. Right?
BC: I think the difference is due to the fact that they’ve been influenced by their siblings. The firstborn was not influenced by anyone near their age. And it’s, I think it’s instinctual for a next child to look up to be mentored to treat their older sibling as an instruction booklet, when one that the first one wouldn’t add. So they would have had to do a deeper dive into the various aspects of growing up of learning to go to the bathroom on learning to tie their shoes, all these things that they’ll teach the younger ones.
AW: Right. Right. And then and then for social psychology researcher to go in and ask, Brian, what do you think about the personalities of your siblings? Your you’re in it, you can answer that right versus, versus asking about somebody at work, who you don’t necessarily know that they’re an older sibling, and it actually doesn’t matter in your relationship with them. So they therefore have totally different responses, and the birth order effects suddenly go away. I think that’s a real valid explanation for why there’s so much inconsistency in the research.
BC: And how can you expect somebody who had to learn to do everything on their own not to be a little bit bossy when they come out the other end of it?
AW: Well, thanks, Brian.
BC: I can’t believe I just gave you a pass on that.
AW: I’m gonna hold that against you forever more.
BC: Great. This is this is not going the way I’d hoped.
AW: Okay, I have a totally different question for you. Have you heard of sibling ESP? And do you think it’s a thing?
BC: I’ve heard it with respect to twins, not so much as siblings. Do I think it’s a thing? That’s a bit of a rabbit hole to go down. Probably not. But, we did pick a very specific day to do this interview :April 10. Neither of us apparently had any idea but today’s national sibling day.
I might suggest that somewhere in here it we may want to note that while we may not consider Sibling ESP a thing, we did happen to randomly pick the one day out of the year. That is National sibling day to record this interview
AW: Are you joking? I had absolutely no idea.
BC: No, it’s, it’s a thing. It’s today, Facebook told me so in memories. But apparently, after 2016 we weren’t celebrating anymore. So I’m not sure what happened between you and I the last couple years, but we didn’t post anything nice about each other.
AW: That’s funny. I haven’t checked social media today. But you know what, I am definitely going to post something. And I guess I’ll everyone all about you.
BC: Oh, good.
AW: So I was thinking about this sibling ESP thing, and you know, the researchers say it is not a thing. But what is a thing is the fact that siblings have an essentially a cradle to grave relationship. So we know each other better than anyone else on the planet, arguably, and the sibling bond has the distinction of being the most enduring. And egalitarian of all family relationships, and frankly, of any relationship whatsoever. So that’s something to celebrate. Happy Sibling Day.
BC: I think it is – happy sibling day. I think the way that people in general, relates to their siblings can speak a lot to how much self-awareness they have, and how much they accept who they are. Because these are definitely some of the most intimately detailed relationships you can have. These are the people that know me better than anyone. They’ve seen you at your best they see you’re worse. They see you strive and fail. And they’ve seen you succeed beyond expectation and your ability to relate to them. Over the long term, it shows how much you can accept yourself because they see possibly better than anyone else.
AW: I agree. And I you know, when I read this cradle to grave thing, I thought, well, that’s kind of morbid, but then, actually, it’s just really cool. Right?
BC: Yes, yeah. I think it’s about time for Andy and myself to discuss the specifics of our sibling relationship.
AW: Ooo. That sounds dicey.
BC: That’s right, folks. It’s Dr. Andrea turn to answer the question for us. I’m going to ask a question, Andy. And then you can ask me the same question back. Does that sound good?
AW: It does, but only if I get to choose the next question.
BC: Okay, deal. What was your expectation of me when we started TalkAboutTalk?
AW: Well, I think that’s a great question. I really, Brian had no expectations whatsoever. I wish I had recorded the phone call where we were talking about this. And you raised your hand and volunteered and said, this sounds really exciting. Why don’t I write some music for the intro and the trailer? And I was like, wow, I was honestly thinking I was going to go online and find a musician to do this. And you raised your hand. And I kept thinking, pinch me. This is absolutely perfect. Because I can be open and honest with him. And he knows me. So to answer your question, I had absolutely no expectations at all. But I just want to add that you have absolutely blown me away. And I am so thankful and grateful. And I hope you know that I do not take your participation in this pursuit for granted whatsoever. I value everything you say, and everything you do. And I’m really impressed with the quality of what you’re turning around. So I thank you BC: Oh, thanks, Andy. I’m blushing now. Can you see me see me blushing over here?
AW: It’s a good thing. We’re only audio for now. Anyway. So what was your expectation of me when you heard about this pursuit?
BC: It was very intriguing. And I expected you to flourish. My protective younger brother side came up quite quickly, where I immediately recognized that there was an opportunity for me to support you on this path and help you get through some of the initial early learnings along the way to get uncomfortable as a host and as producer of a podcast. The reason I said yes is because you’re my big sister, I want this worthwhile, and I truly believe that with you behind it, it’ll work well. And with me behind it, we’re guaranteed success.
AW: No pressure, no pressure do this.
AW: So this is a related question. I get asked the question now, right. Okay. It’s my turn. We’re taking turns. Okay. Has our working together on this project affected or changed the way you think about me?
BC: No, not necessarily. It’s been a blend between professional and personal And I’m aware of the perspective of my big sister versus the, you know, the host, the golden goose, the person running Dr. Andrea, TalkAboutTalk. I’ve learned how adaptable you are, you know, frankly, I’ve been proud of how well you’ve filled the shoes that that are required for a host of a podcast. As someone who’s played in lots of bands in the past has been on quite a few stages of my time. I know what it feels like to be in front of a bunch of people. And I’ve really enjoyed watching you transition into a level of comfort that works really well for hosting this.
AW: Oh, thank you. And by the way, and I don’t think anyone’s ever called me adaptable. Ever.
BC: I’m going to edit that part out.
AW: Because it makes me sound bad. Okay, self-deprecation. Very good thing is true, though. Nobody’s ever called me adaptable.
BC: So how has talked about talk shape your opinion of me?
AW: Ah, so this project actually has influenced my perception of you, Brian. It’s not that I’ve changed my mind about you in any way. But I’ve learned things. And I would say the one thing that really sticks out in my mind is how do I put this — your hard work and your integrity? So sometimes, you know, I’ll be firing transcripts with edits to you. And I’ll be like, how’s he doing this? He has another full-time job. And never once have you even said, I need an extension on this or whatever. It’s just you get it done. And you get it done? Well, and I think it’s because you and I’ve actually never really worked on something together. We’ve never built something together there six years between us, right? So the things you wanted to build when you were growing up. And the things that I wanted to build were different because of the six years between us. But now, the six years doesn’t really matter. And so working on this project with you provided me with an opportunity to see what a hard worker you are, how much integrity you have are, and I’m really proud of you. I’m going to start, I’m gonna stop gushing about you. Now let’s get some better question.
BC: Well, I just want to put a bow around that because I think we’re both motivated for the same goal, which might be quite contrary to when we were growing up and possibly fighting about things and potentially motivated in completely opposite directions. So the outcome was not quite as productive.
AW: Okay, Brian, next question. describe me in three words.
BC: Driven. genuine, unapologetic
AW: Oof, you know what, as the older sister, I’m reading into those for the, for the little snipe from the little brother. But those I think those are pretty true.
BC: Andrea, describe me three words, please.
AW: The first word that I have to describe you is irreverent. I love this word. Irreverence is something to aspire to, it means that you’re smart, and you’re confident. So irreverence is the first word that I would use to describe you. The second one is musician. And when I picture you, in my mind, and someone says, Brian, boom, the picture of you that I have, you’re either mixing music, listening to music, or creating music on a stage. So the second word is musician. The third word goes back to what I said, regarding previous question that you asked me about how TalkAboutTalk has shaped my opinion of you. I keep thinking about your integrity, and your hard work. So I guess that’s kind of cheating, because it’s two words, but it’s one it’s one idea. It’s just the integrity and hard work So there you go.
BC: Thank you. Um, what’s your favorite thing about me?
AW: Actually, that’s an easy one. My favorite thing about you is the way that you treat your family, the way you are raising your son, the way you treat your wife, the way you talk about your wife, the way you interact with our parents, the way you interact with me and Ali, I think that the way you treat your family and I don’t mean that in a selfish way, because you’re nice to me, but the way I observe you also treating other family members is probably my favorite thing about you.
BC: I’m smiling.
AW: You should be. What’s your favorite thing about me?
BC: Your genuineness, which just really reinforces everything they see just said about me because I know you meant it. You, you really genuine and you speak your mind, you speak your mind, your family, you speak your mind to everyone and I you know, some that could seem to imply some negative perspective it, it doesn’t. I mean that in the most honest way. I think it’s really important that people speak their mind and are consistently able to communicate transparently with people around them. Because all we do is waste one another’s time. If we’re speaking in riddles,
AW: I wear my heart on my sleeve. I will agree with that. Okay, your turn.
BC: Well, I got one more for you.
AW: Okay. Yeah, time. I’ve got time. Okay.
BC: Would I choose to be gorgeous, or filthy, rich and successful, or smart,
AW: filthy, rich and successful is together. Okay. I think it’s definitely not the gorgeous one. Because I don’t think you value that. It’s not that you aren’t gorgeous, Brian, it’s just that I think you value, ambition, hard work and success and you value intelligence, I think you might go with the filthy rich and successful because of the connection between hard work and the outcome. And if you attain that, then it would be evidence of your hard work.
BC: That’s fair, to be completely honest, I would say I would go with smart because I think you can get the rest of those, at least in perception from other people. If you’re smart about it. And I’m just going to blow your mind with my answer about you. There’s no reason for you to choose between any of these because you’re smart. You’re gorgeous. And we’re producing a podcast. So filthy, rich and successful, might be a little bit of a rich right now. But I am confident that with our smartness, we can get there.
AW: Yeah, there’s not a lot of money in podcasting. But.. Wow, if you’d asked me, I would definitely say the smart, but let me tell you why I know that about myself. Because when I have been most offended by people, so offended, in fact that, you know, I’ve lost sleep over other people’s perceptions of me. It’s when they have implicitly communicated that they don’t think I’m smart. That is the biggest dis for me. I think it’s pretty evident for me anyway, that if I had to choose between the three, I would be smart.
BC: Good. I like it. And I agree. Yeah, we’re aligned. That was fun.
AW: Brian, I’d like to flip them to the rapid-fire questions that you know, I asked every single guest, can I ask you them?
BC: Yes, you can. I want to ask you them too?
AW: Sure. First question. What are your pet peeves?
BC: drivers around me that don’t meet my expectation of what they should be doing. Maybe they’re driving too slow, or they’re changing lanes without using their signal lights. There’s various words to describe this act, I understand my part in the equation. Driving is the most random social interaction that we do every day. And we have the responsibility to respond appropriately and control our emotions. So I look at it as a challenge. But I certainly do appreciate someone who’s a great driver.
AW: The funny thing is, you don’t really notice the great drivers. It’s the bad drivers that you notice, isn’t it?
BC: Yeah, it’s true.
AW: Next question, what type of learner are you?
BC: I’m going to say an experiential learner, which is likely mostly connected to kinesthetic. But my moments around me dictate the best way for me to absorb new information. Sometimes it’s visual, sometimes it’s auditory, and sometimes it’s kinesthetic. Okay, so you’re welcome. I didn’t answer your question. All of the above.
AW: I’ve heard from many There we go. Guest experts as well.
BC: You know what I heard it too.
AW: Question number three, introvert or extrovert?
BC: extrovert. It explains my trucker mouth.
AW: Question number four communication preference for personal conversations, what medium or channel do you use?
BC: Face to face is my absolute preference and understanding that that can always happen. I try to keep short and sweet with anything that is a text-based communication. Phone calls are the next best thing to face-to-face when you have to talk about something that’s important.
Number five podcast or blog or email newsletter that you find yourself recommending the most?
Foothills Famous out of Calgary, by Jonathan Stoddart. It’s a local Calgary entertainment scene includes many of the best influencers in Calgary.
AW: Huh. hadn’t heard of it. We’ll put a link to it in the show notes.
BC: All right, Andy. It’s your turn. For the first time drumroll. Please answer the five rapid fire questions. What are your pet peeves?
AW: I have many pet peeves, actually. But the three that come to mind clutter, people who stand on sidewalks instead of walking on sidewalks, blocking other pedestrians. And the third one is drivers that do 180s or U-turns in the middle of a street. I have no problem with a car doing a U turn legally at an intersection. But I don’t know if it’s a Toronto thing. But recently, it started with just taxis. And now everyone’s doing it. They’re pulling 180s in the middle of road and cars in both directions have to stop for them while they’re doing this, and it drives me crazy. I just think it’s selfish and it’s unsafe.
BC: I have no problem envisioning you walking down the street and pushing past someone and saying “this is a side WALK, not a side STAND”
AW: something like that may have happened.
BC: I imagine it did. What type of learner are you?
AW: So it’s an easy one. For me. I am definitely a visual learner. visual stimulus has a huge impact on me. And I think of things visually in my mind and I draw things. So definitely visual.
BC: introvert or extrovert.
AW: I am definitely an extrovert. I love being around people. I love conversing with people. I love one on one dialogues, and I love big dinner parties. I love cocktail banter. I love being around people and I feel energized around people know that said sitting in front of my computer and doing research for half a day or even a day can also be energizing if I feel like I’ve accomplished something, but I really feel more energized, following interaction with other people.
BC: I feel like the length of your answer supports you being an extrovert.
AW: Yeah, it will be cut, I kept thinking of better ways to say that. (YES, I KNOW HE DIDN’T CUT THE AUDIO. BUT I CUT THE SHOWNOTES TRANSCRIPT. HMM. HE WINS THAT ONE!)
BC: it’s okay. Awesome. What is your communication preference for personal conversations?
AW: For me, text is the communication medium that I go to, most often. And in my mind, I’m thinking, I don’t know if the person has time right now to respond. I don’t know if they’re going to answer the phone. So I’m just going to text them and then they can respond to me at their convenience. And there’s a lot wrong with that, because you’re missing the visual and the auditory cues that come with the telephone or face to face communication. So I think I need to step it up. And depending on what the communication is what the other person, I think I should be trying to pick up the phone or get in front of their face more often.
BC: Last question, what’s the podcast or blog or email newsletter that you’d recommend the most?
AW: Well, it depends on the context, I find myself recommending the various TED Talks, I found myself recommending the Portfolio Career Podcast, which is a podcast from one of my fellow podcasters name, David Nebinski. And he has this insight about how so many of us have portfolio careers where we’re doing different things. And then I have a friend, Vanessa Bond, who has a brilliant blog about nutrition that I end up referencing and recommending to a lot of people. So I’ll put the links to each of those in the show notes as well as the one that you mentioned, Brian.
BC: Well, is that it Andy?
AW: I think I think we’re done. I’m so happy that we had this chance. It’s going to be really interesting to edit this because I know you and I are going to have different views. But remember, we have the same goal at the end of the day, right?
BC: We do. And I really appreciate the opportunity to step around from the other side of the speakers and actually speak with our listeners.
AW: Yeah, hopefully we’ll be able to do it again soon. Thank you so much.
BC: Thanks Andy. Happy siblings day.
AW: Oh, happy siblings day.
WELL, THAT was an experience! So there you go. You met Brian, my baby brother and the TAT sound production engineer. And you heard us mention our middle sibling Ali – Ali, if you’re listening, we could use your help! That reminds me, as I was listening to the recording of Brian and me, it occurred to me how I hope my kids will get along as well as Brian and Ali and I do. We owe a big thank you to our parents, Carol and Rae. Thanks Mom & Dad!
In this episode we learned about sibling communication and birth order effects. There are two key learnings that I hope you keep in mind:
1. BIRTH ORDER EFFECTS – Some of the stereotypes may be true. There are patterns.
• The first born and smaller families scored higher on communication skills, even after controlling for everything else (mothers age, socioeconomic factors, etc.)
• The eldest may also be bossier (yes!), most ambitious, and most stressed.
• Middle children, who sometimes do face a tough challenge of creating a unique identity, often end up well-adjusted, good negotiators, and social.
• The youngest, the babies of the family, are often entertainers. Brian mentioned that they may be called the “black sheep” of the family, but they also benefit from earlier exposure to things and learning from their older siblings.
• And only children, as you might imagine, benefit from the attention of their parents. Only children tend to be more advanced with stronger vocabularies, a more sophisticated sense of humor, and a better grasp of current events.
• Birth order effects can vary between different countries, where for example, the experiences of the first born could be highly beneficial in the first world (like having parents who read to them from a young age), but detrimental in the third world (where the oldest child might be expected to quit school, get a job and help provide for the family).
2.BIRTH ORDER EFFECTS: while they do exist to some extent, are exaggerated, probably due to two reasons:
• When the Q of personality traits are asked within the family, they may appear. But when it comes to outside the family, say if you’re asked about a colleague, the influence of or correlation with birth order effects seems to go away.
• Siblings that are in these relationships, are often evaluated at different ages, relative to each other. The research would be more valid, if parents videotaped their children at the same age, and then compared the personality traits. So like I mentioned, if my parents had taken a video of each of us when we were ten years old and talked about our personalities, the sibling order effects may not have shown up. Whereas if they were asked to compare us at one point in time, when I was 10 and Ali was 9 and Brian was 4, the sibling order effects probably would be evident. Make sense?
I hope you learned a little bit here and I hope you enjoyed getting to know Brian and me a little bit. For the record, we did not pre-issue our answers to the questions we were asking each other at the end. That was a fun experience. I had no idea… You might want to ask your own sibling or siblings some of these Qs? There are links to those in the shownotes. You might learn something fun and interesting about your own brother or sister.
THANK YOU for listening! And READING!
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