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Thriving Room

Thriving Room

By HS Yang
Our interview guests are atypical in a way, such as an activity they devote energy to, a part of their background, or an approach to life. Together we learn what shapes them and take transferable lessons from their experiences. As they express themselves, we explore with you how we articulate, harness, experiment with, embody, and nurture what makes us who we are. Perspectives on emotional, relational, and mental health and wellness inescapably surface, and we can each choose to act on the views that we find useful.

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Ben Zeidler of Nonfiction Research, Uncensored
Ben Zeidler is Co-Founder of Nonfiction company on a mission to understand the informal, unfiltered lives of customers. Before co-founding Nonfiction Research, Ben was Global Head of Consumer Packaged Goods Research at L2, where he worked directly with the world’s largest consumer brands, including Procter & Gamble, Unilever, and Nestlé. Prior to L2, he established Tenthwave's research and analytics practice, which he grew in revenue annually. Ben is on the advisory board at Harvard Business Review and is routinely quoted and featured in industry news. He is a graduate of Georgetown University. Learn about the value of research areas where there is a difference between people's public and private lives, Nonfiction's origin story, Ben's mighty partnership with Co-Founder Gunny Scarfo and their team, and how Ben's upbringing indelibly influenced him. Get a preview of Nonfiction's upcoming studies. For a quick tip on how to assess the value of feedback you get when you put yourself out there, check out 16:30, when Ben talks about discerning whether a comment is in good faith or not. To get a sense of how a leader like Ben envisions the future, take a listen at 43:15. We would love to hear from you. To get additional resources related to this and other episodes, please subscribe to our newsletter at E-mail:
March 1, 2021
Multiculturalism, Human Connection, and Knowing Ourselves with Stéphane Emmanuel Fouché
Stéphane E. Fouché is a sociologist turned entrepreneur navigating obstacles with clients, with a keen eye on culture.  His experiences in the United States, Caribbean, Asia, and Africa are the basis for his work as an ambassador for businesses.  We learn about the roles of self-knowledge, healthy relationships, and emotions such as fear and jealousy in his multicultural career and life.  Below are two provocative quotes from Stéphane.  23:45 - "I'd rather get hurt than lose the potential of having a great friend."  35:10 - "I see jealousy as a desire I had, I just never knew I had."  We would love to hear from you.  To get additional resources related to this and other episodes, please subscribe to our newsletter at  E-mail: 
February 4, 2021
Getting Unstuck: Discovering Grit and Grace
Project Reclass is a nonprofit organization based in Atlanta, Georgia that teaches technical skills to incarcerated veterans. Co-founder Tay Nishimura joins us in this episode to discuss her experiences, which shape her outlook on diversity, failure, and leadership: working in technology and serving as an unarmed police officer in New York City. She shares a candid tale about mental health, passion, and second chances. To contact Tay: Project Reclass on LinkedIn Project Reclass Website E-mail: To contact Thriving Room: To get additional resources related to this and other episodes, please subscribe to our newsletter. E-mail: Show notes: 00:48 - Mission of Project Reclass. 01:15 - How Project Reclass is especially relevant with COVID-19. 01:48 - Get personal on why Tay co-founded Project Reclass with Kunal Jha. 02:07 - The role of dance in Tay's why. 03:13 - Experience of discouragement on the job. 04:16 - Exposure to new people and experiences. 04:44 - Learning from a play about the life of West Point cadets. 05:15 - Reframing challenges and understanding what grit is. 05:52 - Feeling stuck at work. 06:27 - Bloomberg Women in Tech. 06:47 - Becoming an unarmed police officer. 07:26 - Recognizing privilege and questioning what makes people succeed. 13:00 - Challenges of 2020, including unemployment and engaging in controversial dialogue. 17:24 - Tay finds power in what she can do, uniting her passions for computer networking and creating resources for others. 22:46 - "One of our goals as an organization is that, even if it is not computer networking, our incarcerated veterans who go through our program feel they are capable of finding that career path that is right for them, through learning what we teach them." 24:11 - What is surge capacity? 27:10 - The notion of leadership as a profession. 28:10 - An experience in humility. 29:33 - If you work on social media, we see you and how hard your job can be. 32:18 - "It's my job to protect my volunteers from burning out.  You can't just surge when other people's lives are involved in the project." 33:24 - Radical transparency and thanking a pivotal first manager. 34:58 - "People don't want to spend their free time that they are dedicating to a mission being criticized." 36:27 - What is the 'trust wobble' in empowered leadership? 39:01 - "People come to Reclass to be rejuvenated.  Morale gets us to the next level.  Once everyone is passionate, there are a lot of ways that we can work on our flaws." 39:40 - What assumptions do we make when we talk with people? 43:37 - Tay thanks the West Point cadets who influence her life. 45:25 - How to contact Tay.
January 10, 2021