Sketch Comedy Podcast Show
May 12, 2021
Doug Noll is an ex-trial lawyer, pilot, jazz musician, best-selling author and literally goes to prisons to help murderers become peace-makers on the inside.

Sometimes it’s important to understand your limits. Like setting a budget or knowing how much you can drink at a party before you end up naked and asking people for pony rides… sorry Grandma, your birthday was great! This episode’s guest, Doug Noll, doesn’t look at limits the same way; he has figured out how to break all of the limits: physically, mentally and has perfected learning in what seems like a superhuman way.

Doug Noll was a trial lawyer in California who was tenacious and was sought-after all throughout the state. Hating the commute, Doug decided to learn how to fly just to get out of traffic-jams. Doug has been a part of bands and has recently taken up concert jazz. That’s right, took up jazz. For fun. Most recently, he has been a best-selling author and has created a program to help murderers in prison to become experts in diffusing violent situations. If that last sentence doesn’t boggle your mind, I don’t know what will.

We talk about learning and how to do it properly, his time as a musician, some of his amazing trial lawyer stories, the time he almost died flying a plane, and then we talk a great deal about his de-escalation techniques and his work with inmates which is absolutely amazing. You can learn more about Doug and his programs at

This episode’s sketch: "You’re Good Enough. You’re Smart Enough… and Doggone It, The Force is With You!”

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Sketch Comedy Podcast Show is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

© Copyright 2021 Stuart Rice






Douglas E. Noll, JD, MA is an award-winning author, speaker, and trainer. After 22 years as a trial lawyer, Mr. Noll became a peacemaker and mediator. Today, he helps people solve deep and intractable conflicts and teaches others to do what he does. Mr. Noll is an adjunct professor of law at the Pepperdine School of Law Straus Institute where he teaches Decision Making Under Uncertainty Conflict.

Mr. Noll is the co-founder of the award-winning Prison of Peace Project, in which he teaches murderers in maximum security prisons to be peacemakers and mediators.

Mr. Noll has trained mediators and leaders in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia in his innovative peacemaking and mediation processes. He has personally mediated over 1,500 disputes, including sexual abuse cases in the Catholic Church and criminal victim-offender cases.

Mr. Noll's honors include California Lawyer Magazine Attorney of the Year, a Purpose Prize Fellow, and Best Lawyers of America Lawyer of the Year.

Mr. Noll has written four books, his latest released on September 12, 2017, entitled De-Escalate: How to Calm an Angry Person in 90 Seconds or Less (Atria/Beyond Words). He is the creator of online video courses in legal negotiation and emotional de-escalation and has conducted dozens of webinars. His video offerings on YouTube have garnered over 87,000 views.

On a personal note, Mr. Noll is a jazz violinist, aircraft and helicopter pilot, ski instructor, 2nd degree black belt, tai chi master, and whitewater rafter. He lives with his wife Aleya Dao in the foothills of the central Sierra Nevada south of Yosemite National Park.


[00:00:00] Stuart: in this episode. Superhuman, learner, helping murderers become peacekeepers. Doug Noll And I came up with a few sketches. I like this idea of learning how to learn, right? Something really kind of arbitrary and small. Someone comes to you and says, hey, I want to learn how to do this very small thing and I want it would be in a huge, elaborate, like thousands of hours, like really detailed plan.

[00:00:31] Doug Noll: Let me just say that when we train our inmate trainers, we have a train the trainer day and we have them to teach people how to do stuff, mundane stuff like how to come your hair,

[00:00:41] Stuart: the trial lawyer, the lengths that you'll go through, the evidence was swallowed by the dog and you're like, I'm

[00:00:48] Doug Noll: out,

[00:00:50] Stuart: oh the mediation and peace making. But I was thinking like what if you got hired by say, the empire from Star Wars or something like that to come in and teach mediation to Kylo ren or Darth Vader or something along those lines? It could be any, any like scary uh the

[00:01:12] Doug Noll: evil. That was a chapter in my 3rd book,

[00:01:16] Stuart: which one did we pick? Well you probably know if you looked at the show notes and saw the title, but otherwise you'll find out on this week's episode of it's a sketch comedy podcast show. Welcome to sketch comedy podcast show though, one of a kind show where I Stewart rice invite interesting people to have intriguing conversations and then improvise the comedy sketch based on what we talked about. I apologize for such inconsistency and releasing episodes, but man, I moved at some personal stuff happen, you guys don't pay me so just enjoy the show. You know, sometimes it's important to understand your limits, like setting up a budget or knowing how much you can drink at a party before you end up naked and asking people for pony rides, Sorry grandma, but man, your birthday was great. This episode's guest Doug. Noll doesn't look at limits the same way he has figured out how to break all of the limits physically mentally, and has perfected learning in what seems to be a superhuman way. Doug was a trial lawyer in California who was tenacious and was sought after all throughout the state, hating the commute, Doug decided to learn how to fly just to get out of traffic jams. Doug has been part of bands and has recently taken up concert jazz, That's right, took up jazz for fun. Most recently, he has been a best selling author and has created a program to help murderers in prison to become experts in diffusing violent situations. If that last sentence doesn't boggle your mind, I don't know what will we talk about learning and how to do it properly. Some of his amazing trial lawyer stories the time he almost died flying a plane and then we talk a great deal about his de escalation techniques and his work with inmates, which is absolutely amazing. You can learn more about Doug and his programs at Doug Noll dot com and now my conversation with Doug Noll, superhuman learner, helping murderers become peacekeepers. Doug, thank you so much for joining me for the very first time today,

[00:03:43] Doug Noll: you're welcome Stewart. I've heard about your show and I'm really looking forward to the craziness.

[00:03:48] Stuart: It should be pretty crazy. Already has been actually. Doug. Let me ask you a question you might even actually know the answer to already. What makes you interesting?

[00:04:04] Doug Noll: Well, it's a bit of a story. Uh, so I was born with a lot of problems. I was born almost blind, partially deaf, Crippled with two club feet. Um, really bad teeth. Uh, and I couldn't walk until I was three or four years old. I had multiple surgeries on my legs and, and, but I was, I did get in the right line for brands, A pretty smart guy. So I ended up going to an ivy league school and then with the law school was a trial lawyer for 22 years. But along the way I picked up a whole bunch of interesting skills, I believe probably more lifetimes in my life than I could I possibly can deserve because I ended up being a level three certified ski instructor, whitewater rafter and class for kayaker, rock climber mountaineer. Um, I've got a pilot's license, instrument rated, single engine, multi engine helicopter Tail wheel. It's got got a 2000 hours of flying behind me. I am, became a secondary black belt tai chi master, taught myself irish fiddle in law school and 10 years ago took up jazz and blues violin and now I play jazz and blues violin and having a blast with that. So like I said, many, many, many, many lifetimes and I've had a lot of really interesting careers 22 years as a trial lawyer, Then became a peacemaker and mediator. Then I went into a maximum security prisons. I've been doing that for the last 10 years, training murderers to be peacemakers.

[00:05:41] Stuart: We're definitely going to talk about that. That is creating online courses, fascinating.

[00:05:45] Doug Noll: Yeah, creating online courses for people to become emotionally intelligent and teaching them how to be leaders and teaching negotiation, Written four books. The last one was the best seller. So what makes me interesting is that I've had a lot of different Lifetime experiences and it's been, it's been a ride, it still is. I'm married to the most incredible woman in the world. So living on 10 acres south of Yosemite. Uh, and so the pandemic, I know it's heard a lot of people, but for us it's been a blessing because I don't have to leave this property.

[00:06:17] Stuart: Yeah.

[00:06:18] Doug Noll: Right now I could look out my window. Wildflowers are blasting off everywhere, incredible. It's amazing. So that's what it, that's

[00:06:27] Stuart: yeah, that is uh that is multiple breaths worth of interesting, right? Like you had to inhale numerous times. Uh for me, I'm like, uh, but when anybody asked me that question, no one's ever asked me that question. Um, so I actually, so truth be told, we tried this once before I forgot to hit the record button. So I'm gonna go ahead and just ask the question that I just asked again, is was there a little bit of overcompensation since you you were born with all of these? Not ideal situations?

[00:07:03] Doug Noll: Absolutely. Uh In the beginning I was definitely overcompensating but then I learned something really interesting about myself which is that I love to learn. And so uh I started taking up stuff that just interested me. So for example why did I learn how to fly? Well a living in central California, I had to do court appearances all up and down the state and I didn't like driving the four hours down to L. A. Or the 3.5 hours up to san Francisco is why not learn how to fly and do it in less than an hour or an hour rather than spend time driving. So I was looking for efficiency and I was also looking for cool stuff to do because it got fun and I mean fly fishing and rock climbing and kayaking and rafting, still raft. I don't kayak anymore, but uh just really fun stuff to do and that's what got me going and so I learned how to learn. I know exactly what it takes for me to become a master at anything and I'm careful about what I choose. For example, I don't play golf, I know what it would take for me to become a scratch golfer. I don't want to put that time into it, right? But but I could become a scratch golfer if I wanted to. It's just I don't have a desire to do it and I don't go and I don't take up things that I'm not very good at. I mean, I don't take up things that I don't want to master. Golfing is very difficult, takes a lot and thousands and thousands of hours of practice to get good at it. I just want to put the time in on that. But I will put thousands of hours into my violin playing jazz and blues violent because I really love doing that.

[00:08:31] Stuart: That's cool. Have you do you perform in front of people with,

[00:08:35] Doug Noll: with my jazz and blues? Just friends and family when I was playing irish and old time? Yeah. I had a band called Rosin the Bow and we played all over California and Chase Girls when I was younger and much younger and older today

[00:08:49] Stuart: it

[00:08:50] Doug Noll: was 50

[00:08:51] Stuart: five. I was there was a

[00:08:53] Doug Noll: blast, you know, I mean we had a blast with that playing really fun music. Yeah, we played, we played in bars and hotels all up and down the gold country California and ski resorts in places like that and just had a hell of a good time.

[00:09:06] Stuart: That's fantastic. So you learned how to learn and what does that, what does that mean for you? Like you being, you're saying like I could become a scratch golfer, I just want to put the time into it, just angered like probably 12 of this audience. How would you, how would you go about it? Like how does that start?

[00:09:26] Doug Noll: Okay, so the first thing I'm going to do, let's just take off, for example, because I have swung a golf cart before uh and taking a few lessons. So golf is, golf is a, it's a mental game and it's also uh takes a high degree of eye to hand coordination and micro muscle movement coordination, learning exactly how to work everything and you've got all these different levers that have got all got to be coordinated the other, that's what makes it so tough. But I do know from my martial arts training that the power of golf comes from your hips, not from your arms or your shoulders. So what I'm gonna do is find a coach who is willing to work with me and is extremely knowledge about, knowledgeable about the kinesiology of a golf swing, of all the different, you know, there are a number of different golf strokes and swings, right, So you got to master them all. So I'm going to find myself a coach who's also a kinesiology ist who really understands muscle memory, muscle movement and is also able to teach the how not the what. And then I'm gonna work with that coach two or 3 times a week For three or 4 years And in the day and the days that I'm not working with the coach, I'm going to have a I've got 10 acres, I could have my own golf course, but I probably put up a net put up in that and a small putting green And I would practice 2-3 hours a day every day, even on the days that I have a lesson and it will take me 3-5 hours depending on What it is. But I will be a scratch golfer at the end of that probably four years, 4-5 years at least.

[00:11:04] Stuart: Yeah, that seems realistic and it doesn't sound like you're just taking a magic pill.

[00:11:11] Doug Noll: No,

[00:11:12] Stuart: so I think that that's a, that's a pretty strong lesson. Is that any time you want to get really good at something you have to put, you have to dump a ton of time into it.

[00:11:21] Doug Noll: That's right. And it's got a quality time. For example, just this is the other thing I've learned. So in violin, violin pedagogy is really stupid. So people who are trained in classical violin, they learned all the wrong way And they can't improvise, they can't make up their own music if they're classically trained, in fact they're afraid of improvisation. What I've learned is that I've got to have the same technical skills as a good classical violinist. But I only practice one thing for five minutes and then I move on to something else, just five minutes every day just doing one little thing and over a year I become a master at that little thing. So right now for example I'm working on boing a boing techniques so you can't even hear the change of the bow, right? Classical players have this big click when they do the change of the boat. I want my boat, my bowing to be absolutely seamless. So I go up smooth, come back. Then, you can't even hear the change. So I spent I spend 5-10 minutes every day. We're learning isolating what that is. And it turns out it's a very like off, it's a very complex coordinated physical motion between the shoulder, the arm, the forearm, the wrist and the fingers. Mhm. And to click, the change comes from just a slight contraction of the hand as fast as you can make it without making any sound. I'm getting there.

[00:12:38] Stuart: Yeah,

[00:12:39] Doug Noll: so, so that, you know, so like with anything, I don't practice anything for any one particular skill for more than five minutes because your brain can't handle, your brain gets tired, so let the brain rest go onto something else, come back to it.

[00:12:54] Stuart: That's actually incredibly good advice and not the right same advice that I've given to other people. So I will change my advice because you're much better at learning than I am. Well, I

[00:13:04] Doug Noll: Had to learn how to learn because I had so many problems. You know, I grew up in the 50s and 60's and I was left handed too. I forgot to mention that. So, so I had to I had to learn from right handers. I had to learn from coaches and people who were not patient with me because I was uncoordinated. I couldn't run, I couldn't skip. I couldn't do Jack diddly with my body and I've never met a coach or a teacher who could really help me. Most of them, most of them got irritated and frustrated because I wasn't a natural athlete. So I said, I have to learn how to do this myself. And that's what turned me into a teacher. As I said, all right, I have to learn this stuff well enough that I can teach it. And I am never going to subject somebody that I'm teaching. Anything like skiing or white water or anything. I'm never going to subject them to the insults and the pain and the disrespect and the lack of patients that I got from every single teacher and coach I had from kindergarten all the way through high school. Not going to do it. Yeah.

[00:14:02] Stuart: Yeah. My brother in law's left naturally left handed and had to transition for all sports over to right handed because no coach, whatever. Um, and watching him play golf, you, you almost feel like he needs special parking. Um, when, when was the time you went? You know what? Uh, I want to go experience L. A. Law. Like you became a trial lawyer. That's a that's a that's not a small job, but that's a big job, that's not a

[00:14:36] Doug Noll: many, many hours of tedium and boredom.

[00:14:38] Stuart: Yeah. Yeah. And you did that for 22 years. You you're a trial lawyer, was it like L. A lot? I just imagine everything's like, no, so

[00:14:49] Doug Noll: I'll just tell you one story out of my law, one of my bigger cases I want, I only lost it. I did over 200 trials Over over over 22 years. Uh so I was a trial dog, not a litigator, big difference. uh and it wasn't infrequent that I would come up against big L. A. And san Francisco firms with senior partners who have never been in the courtroom before. And you know I was trying, I joined the firm, I clerked for a year for a judge and then I joined my firm in 78. I tried my first jury trial, I joined them from in September of 70 and I tried my first jury trial in November of 78. That's unheard of. That's how you become, that's how you become a trial where you should try cases,

[00:15:31] Stuart: right? Yeah.

[00:15:33] Doug Noll: Real school to go to, you just got to learn how to do it. So I, I want to tell this one story. So uh, my, one of my partners gave me a case where he was representing another lawyer in our community, uh, in an insurance case and without going into a lot of detail, um, I knew that I, this case was a loser. It wasn't gonna work unless I could find something that would really work. So uh, this is in central California in the middle of the summer, in August, it's typically 100 210°.. I had to go through a storage unit. Uh, you know 2020 ft tall, 30 ft back, 20 ft wide. Full of file boxes of files from a defunct insurance company. So I stripped down to my shorts, put a bandana around my head. And I went through that. I went through every single piece of paper in that storage shed and I found the smoking gun. And I want $10 million. I want $10 million dollars from my client in fraud, wow fraud. So that's what trial lawyer is all about it. I could have assigned it out to a young lawyer to an associate but I knew the associate wouldn't do it. I'll tell you another just another story. Uh Well I could be. So I I was co I was working with one of my partners on a large construction case against um a supplier and we were one of the things were there were problems with delays and stuff with and so it ended up costing our client the general contractor a lot of money with the state of California. And so we were suing the supplier because the supplier didn't deliver on time and the stuff they delivered it was crap. So one day we had we had a whole room full of boxes, nothing like the storage it but still it was a kind of a war room. And we had a young associate working on the case and I said okay I need this invoice and it's going to save this on it Now. There were probably 3 300 boxes in their bankers boxes full of documents. Again I've gone through every single piece of paper because I needed to know what was in there. And he came back to me and said well it's not there. And so well you looked all through all through all the boxes. Well yeah, so he came with me, we walked down the hall into the room and I went to middle of these boxes. I pulled out the right box, I flipped through the file and I pull out the paper and said what the fuck is this? You're fired?

[00:18:16] Stuart: Yeah. No kidding. How do you even go through if you're going through boxes and boxes of papers like what are you looking for? Like how do you even

[00:18:24] Doug Noll: you don't sometimes I don't even sometimes you don't even know and you all you know is that this is this is the this is the data and and the data doesn't mean anything to you until you've gone through it over and over and over again. And the reason that I was so good as a trial or is that I was able to deal with the boredom and the tedium of looking at tens of thousands of documents, read every single one of them another. I'll give you another example. I had a case where I was representing a general contractor. He's being, he was suit, he was being sued by a painting subcontractor and the painting subcategory screwed up the job. He couldn't, he couldn't get the job done in time. So my guy had to bring in another contractor subcontractor. So I had asked for all the time records of all the painters that were working on the job and the opposing lawyer who's a nice guy but he couldn't get him from his client until the friday before trial. We were going into trial on monday. I got those time cards, probably a stack up 500 600 timecards. And on friday morning I just I went through the time cards and I just, I just started looking at them and I went through the time cards five times until I saw the pattern and I said they're screwed. And the next morning or on monday morning we impanel a jury and Burnside puts up his subcontractor painting client goes to the direct examination, I grabbed the cards, I put up a white board and I demonstrate to this guy that he had more than enough people to man the job. He was just an incompetent schedule er and I showed it from his own time cards. And the only way way I did that was to go through those time cards over and over and over again. And then, and then we took a break and Burnside realized he was screwed. So he talked his client and, and and they dismissed the case with prejudice and we everybody absorbed on cost. So I walked back to, I'm back at the firm before lunch and one of my senior partners looked at me that you're supposed to be in trouble right now. And I said, yeah, it's over with. He said, what happened? I cross examined the plaintiff. They dismissed. Uh, he said, what?

[00:20:26] Stuart: That's amazing. I feel

[00:20:28] Doug Noll: that's what he L. A. Law. They don't show you that because no, they don't show you know that

[00:20:33] Stuart: it's hours

[00:20:34] Doug Noll: and hours and hours and hours of tv and boring, boring, boring stuff going in commercial and business litigation anywhere where you have to go through the documents and know them better than anybody else. And you will find the patterns and you'll find the smoking guns if you're willing to take the time. And I was, and that's why I want so much. Um, and other lawyers just weren't willing to do that kind of hard work.

[00:20:55] Stuart: No, I can't learn how to do that. Because

[00:20:58] Doug Noll: I was gonna say, I was gonna say because of all the difficulties I had growing up, I learned how to be patient, I learned how to how to deal with tedium and boredom and I learned how to deal with pain and boredom is painful. I learned how to deal with it. And so as hard as that was, it held me in good stead during the years that I was trying cases.

[00:21:18] Stuart: That's amazing. All right, I'm going to try and leapfrog right into. So the thing that really caught my eye with with you Doug was the prison of peace project. Now, 22 years as a trial lawyer, not a criminal trial.

[00:21:33] Doug Noll: Never, never did criminal,

[00:21:36] Stuart: but you somehow got into maximum security prisons and helped murderers become peacemakers. And mediators explain that to us. Okay, so

[00:21:49] Doug Noll: I left the practice of law in 2000 I decided that it was not my calling even though I was very good at it. And I I had gone back to school and got my Master's degree in Peacemaking and conflict studies to become a peacemaker. And immediate because I was really interested, I saw litigation as being a really inefficient way of solving human conflict and everybody was going to litigation because they didn't have any other skills to resolve conflict and people were afraid to talk to each other and lots of problems. I go back to school to get my Masters degree, leave the firm set up a mediation peacemaking practice, which does very well, Recession hits in 2000 and it wipes me, doesn't I don't file bankruptcy but my practice basically blows away. And so I started writing, started doing online stuff, learned more about online marketing that I'd known before. And then in 2010 um with my colleague Lauren carpet, we get the opportunity to Teach 15 women who are all lifers and long termers, many of the murderers um in the largest, most violent women's prison in the world, how to become mediators and peacemakers to stop the violence in the prison. And that's where it started. And part of the curriculum that we used was de escalation technique that I developed in my mediation practice Back in 2004. And by the time the the original training was 12 weeks long. By the time we got into about week eight we had 300 women on a waiting list wanting to learn. And so we stayed in that prison for three years until we had trained we trained inmates to be trainers. That's why we work with life is in long term. They can now be

[00:23:24] Stuart: committed there.

[00:23:25] Doug Noll: Right, Well, that's how it started and today. Well of course the pandemic shut everything down. But before the pandemic, we were in 15 California prisons, the prison Connecticut, 14 prisons in Greece and startups in Nairobi and Italy, and a bunch of other states wanting to get this program started. And so of course the pandemic shut things down. We did the distance learning. But now what's really cool is we're putting the whole curriculum on video and we'll be able to send Dvds and train facilitators outside people, not inmates, facilitators, how to use the videos via zoom and then they can go in and we can put prison a piece into any prison in the world that speak english that wants to do this.

[00:24:07] Stuart: That's amazing. It's cutting, its cutting down on the

[00:24:12] Doug Noll: violence in prison. Absolutely. We've gotten letters wardens from yard captains, from, I mean, the stuff we and of course the inmates themselves, We see that if we on a yard with 1000 inmates, if we can train up about 15 or 20 of them to fully be mediators, the violence drops precipitously within a year. And when did that happen? Over and over again.

[00:24:35] Stuart: What are the things that you're teaching them? Like, are you teaching them like, Vulcan death grips? Like, no,

[00:24:43] Doug Noll: actually our premises when we go in is that we're working with a population of people who have varying degrees of mental acuity, varying degrees of mental health, um, have only known violence as a way of resolving conflict. So they have no real peacemaking skills whatsoever. And so we start, and before we can even get them to teach them the mediation process, we've got to build up some basic skills. So in the first workshop we teach them how to listen reflectively listened. Not active listening, but reflective listening very different. And we also teach them how to deescalate anger. And we teach them how to be leaders in what we call listening, peace circles, listening circles. Then in the second works that they get through all of that, a lot of homework uh they get through that. Then we teach them how to make durable agreements. How do you reach an agreement with somebody and make sure that that person that you're making agreement we want will perform the agreement. And then what do you do if they don't? Because that's a big cause of conflict in prison. I learnt you £5 of coffee and you're supposed to pay me back next week, and you don't pay me back. And now the knives come out how to how to help people solve a problem without giving advice how to manage strong emotions, your own and other people and then how to morally reengage people, people who are morally disengaged, which is kind of an important thing to be able to do in prison. And then once they've gotten through all of that and they've gotten all those skills master. Then we take them through the mediation training and we teach them how to be a mediator and then they and then they go out and they've got to practice under our supervision. Mediation. And when they demonstrated to us that they can successfully walk into a conflict that's on the edge of violence and sought help people solve it peacefully. Then we certify them as mediators.

[00:26:29] Stuart: Now see that sounds like a life skill. We should be teaching everybody, not just inmates. Right?

[00:26:35] Doug Noll: That's correct. In fact, that's what got me started on my book. De escalate and now teaching people how to develop emotional competency. Because I realized that, Well, first of all, I must have, I'm probably taught thousands of inmates, but you know, they all come to me and say if I had learned these skills 20 years ago, I wouldn't be imprisoned right now. And then I started looking at families. And I read a statistic that 96 of all families are emotionally dysfunctional. Uh, and the agent seems low. Yeah. And the Aces study that shows that um adverse childhood experiences, including normal emotional abuse that parents do to Children, even though they love their Children, they still abuse them, um leads to really bad medical outcomes later in life. Heart disease, cancer, um diabetes, of course not. of course we've got drug addiction and crime and high divorce rates and all this stuff. It all comes from unintentional emotional abuse that occurs in childhood. So I just kind of made it my calling to get this word out about don't don't invalidate validate, learn how to listen other people into existence through these skills.

[00:27:44] Stuart: That's a that's an interesting statement. Listen people into existence. Can you dive into that a little bit? I like the statement and I like the sentiment behind it.

[00:27:53] Doug Noll: So what it means is that in is that we learn how to listen to and reflect back people's emotional experiences. So I would say something like so supposing you were pissed off at something Stuart. I would say something else Stewart man, you are really pissed off, You're really angry, you feel deeply disrespected, you don't feel appreciated, you don't feel listened to you feel sad and you're really anxious, you feel abandoned and unloved. It's really making you angry and pissed off. I just listened to into existence because what I did was instead of trying to fix the problem, instead of trying to argue whether you have the right to feel mad or not, all I did is reflect your emotional existence and when you do that, the person that the speaker is so grateful. It's probably the first time in their lives, One when they felt emotionally safe and two, they felt like somebody really understands and gets where they're coming from. And this is the skill we teach our inmates, the first school we teach them is this skill, and it's the skill that I've taught tens of thousands of people around the world That are not in prison. It's the basis of my 4th book and it's the most and it is the foundational skill of life foundation. That's

[00:29:11] Stuart: That that book is the de escalate how to calm an angry person in 90 seconds or less

[00:29:18] Doug Noll: Right now. Here's what, here's what is really cool about this. I I discovered this by happenstance in 2004 in a difficult mediation, but in 2000 and seven, Matthew Lieberman, who's a neuroscientist at U. C. L. A. Uh published a brain scanning study where he where he showed why this works in the brain. We're hardwired for this. And so there's really strong Euro cent. Now. There are nine or 10 studies out there that have replicated this and just show that this is, there's a neural process that's involved in this that makes it work every single time without failure. And and once you master this skill, everything in your life changes. Unbelievable. Unbelievable.

[00:30:01] Stuart: Yeah. How long have you been married?

[00:30:05] Doug Noll: Uh this is my second marriage. We've been married. We've been married 13 years.

[00:30:11] Stuart: I did probably going pretty good because if you've got these skills managed,

[00:30:15] Doug Noll: my marriage is awesome. I I never believed that marriage could be the way that it is this the way our marriage is, is the way that everybody talks about fairy book marriages. Yeah. My first marriage was not that way because I was emotionally shut down. My wife was, my first wife was emotionally shut down. We were both highly skilled professional people, but we were emotional infants and we never developed our own. Didn't even know that we were that way. And it just led to conflict after conflict. And um But once I started mastering these skills, you know, I started I discovered these skills in 2004, started refining them, teaching them. You know, I got remarried in 2008 and the prison project started in 2010 which is where we really refined the skills acid tested in maximum security presence. And ever since then it's just been amazing. I mean I've I've got all the world teaching this to people and of all different walks of life from the kind of the congressional budget office and trained senior analyst how to deescalate members of Congress and their staff. So imagine maximum security prisons to the CBO

[00:31:23] Stuart: quite ones worth Which one is harder to teach

[00:31:27] Doug Noll: them are hard. I mean the CBO analysts are all introverts. They're extremely bright people, many of them have double phds and so so they come with a rational mindset and I blew them out of the water. I said you know, you know Human beings are 98 emotional and only two rational. And you guys, you guys are all based on rationality which is great but you've got to understand that you are only addressing two of what makes us human. And when you're dealing with congressional members of Congress and their staffs, they're emotional. There's not a there's not a liquor rationality in them. And they were saying, yeah, they're all irrational. I said no, they're not here. It's not the very irrational. Is that their emotional and you guys have never learned how to look at their look at them and look at emotions as data and learn how to work with that data in a very sophisticated, scientifically based manner. And once I said that they got it and then I just we went through the process of how you learn that's beautiful, master these skills.

[00:32:26] Stuart: That is amazing real quick. Any interesting flying stories? Do you have? Like one of those? Like,

[00:32:34] Doug Noll: almost proud. Never almost crashed, but sure have scared myself.

[00:32:39] Stuart: You've flown a helicopter?

[00:32:41] Doug Noll: I've got a helicopter rating,

[00:32:43] Stuart: wow. That helicopter's seem like dark magic to me. Well, never been in one. I've seen. They love

[00:32:51] Doug Noll: helicopters. I haven't flown, flown one in 25 years. So if I were to go out, If I wanted to fly a helicopter, I'd have to go out and get flight instruction. At least 10 hours of recurrent training to make sure that I'm safe. Helicopters are interesting. Um, airplanes are aerodynamically very stable. So once you get the airplane moving, it's off the ground, you get up to altitude. Autopilots on it'll fly itself until it runs out of fuel. You don't even have to touch the controls. Not so with the helicopter helicopter aerodynamically unstable. So you have to Why it all the time. In the five different things, you've got five different controls on a helicopter. You've got your two anti torque pedals, throttle the collective and and so you've got all and you've got all these things you've got to manage at the same time. And the first thing you learn to do in the helicopter is how to hover. That took me about eight or nine hours to like have a good hover. Then once I learned how to have it, basically, it's an airplane and well, man emergency procedures, which in the helicopter are obviously different than an airplane, but they're cool. Uh

[00:33:55] Stuart: the

[00:33:56] Doug Noll: thing about a helicopter is, you know, you you can you don't need uh, you know, three or 4000 ft runway to put a helicopter down. You need just need a little patch of something and you learn how to power your power off at 1000 or 13:00 ft and you learn how to that. You look down in the plexiglass bubble, you look down where your feet are, that's where you're landing, right? So you, so you can maneuver if you're going down, you're looking for that spot, you a flare. I mean you learn and you practice that other rotation till you're sick of it. Um because it's got to be second nature because that's that's how you get down if you have a power failure. So yeah, I've had, I've had some crazy, crazy experiences flying mostly say that, but I never, I never really got myself, I got myself in some situations where I thought this is not good and I bailed out. I got climbed out and got away and said that was stupid. Um but uh I've never been in a situation where I really felt like, I mean it was harry but I didn't think I am going to die. Okay. So I mean, I think like one time I was for a long time, my wife was in santa Barbara had to practice in santa Barbara. So I was commuting back and forth between Fresno and I don't live in the present. I lived 40 miles north but in the mountains, but my planes down In the present report and so I can be back and forth about a 45 minute flight down to Santa Barbara and one time I had, I can't, I was coming back but there was a front coming through and I kind of checked where the edge of the front was going to be a lot of rain and I said, I think I can beat it. I probably shouldn't have gone because I got up and there are big tall mountains in California has a lot of mountains and there's a range of mountains along the coastal range which are quite tall. You've got to be up and around 11,000 ft to clear those mountains and to be safe. I got up and all of a sudden I'm in the clouds, the rain starting and I lose all my electronics and uh yeah some water got inside and just sort of everything is sort of shorted out. So you there are things there are procedures that you do to to let air traffic control, no that you got a problem. And I could hear their air traffic controller told me squat this if you you know if you can hear me do this. So I did that. So they knew that I could hear him. I couldn't talk to them. I heard these jet pilots and all that poor slob. He's down the clouds with no radios and then they have so I just navigate. I knew I could navigate and I did beat the front. Eventually it broke out and after about five minutes, 10 minutes of clean dry air, everything dried out and the transmitter came back and I said oh I'm back with you, I'd like to descend, please get out of this. They were quite happy to hear from me and and said, yep. And so I got in and landed and just as I got the airplane back in my hangar, this huge front came over and just torrential rains and that's, I just caught the edge of it. So it was kind of, it was spooky but you're trained for it. So I mean it was uncomfortable, it was kind of hairy, but as long as they were playing straight and level on flying and I'm high enough, I'm not gonna get anything. I'm okay and I know I'm going to get out of it eventually.

[00:37:10] Stuart: Right man. I, if I run out of phone battery when I'm in the bathroom, I panic. I don't even know what I would do in that situation. I um All right, well Doug I could talk to you all day, but I know you got things to do and so it is time to record a sketch when people talk about how they got stories. Man. Doug got stories. That was pretty amazing. I mean I've never come close to a near death experience like that and the fact that he probably didn't just shook it off and got back up on their just amazing. Hey Doug do me a favor. Make sure you let everybody know how they can learn more about your programs and about you.

[00:38:02] Doug Noll: First of all, I'm a one man guy. I have no entourage. I have no big people behind me. Just go to google dot com that gets you to the home page and then from there you can just explore. I've got many, many articles on everything I've talked about today, at least around peacemaking and de escalation, emotional compensate. There you go. Um, if you need to email me, it's really difficult dug at gmail dot com and I respond to all my own emails so feel free to reach out. I've got a ton of youtube's and you can find me on linkedin twitter facebook. I'm not big on social media. I've got more of a lengthen presence than anywhere else. But um, I post, but I don't hang out there again. Social media like television, time for

[00:38:37] Stuart: well Doug. I hope you have enough time to listen to your brilliant sketch. You're good enough, you're smart enough and Doug on it. The force is with you. Why is Snow Cap making me waste my time with this anger management crap? Uh, here's the door. Yes. Are you dr knoll?

[00:39:01] Doug Noll: I am. And you are.

[00:39:04] Stuart: My name is Kylo Ren, and I am here because my stupid staff at the Empire just doesn't seem to understand. They need to get things done and they don't do it fast enough and I get so angry, I just can't help it, but slice them in half.

[00:39:21] Doug Noll: So you're really frustrated, you feel really disrespected and nobody listens to you. Nobody appreciates you. You've got a lot of anxiety around that because you can't get stuff done and you're a little sad because you want the respect that you're not getting and the whole thing just really pisses you off,

[00:39:40] Stuart: it does really piss me off and I've got these voices in my head, they keep talking to me, I've got smoke, telling me what a fool I am, if I don't get things done, and then I've got Ray, who's I keep seeing her and then she's telling me how awful and evil I am,

[00:39:57] Doug Noll: you've got all these voices in you that are telling you shaming you, so you feel a lot of shame, a lot of humiliation and you are being constantly reminded you aren't good enough and that really frustrates you and pisses you off because you know deep inside you're a good person and you have the capacity for love and you have the capacity to be compassionate, but you've got all this other shame and humiliation, embarrassment going on that is moving you in a direction away from where you want to be.

[00:40:23] Stuart: My biggest shame is that I'll never be Darth vader, even though he was my grandfather Han Solo and Princess Leia and my parents and I can't seem to escape that and I just want to murder them.

[00:40:37] Doug Noll: So you are really enraged over the fact that you cannot be like a grandfather and you feel like a lot of shame and humiliation because you're not living up to the people truly brought you into the world and love you and it just makes you so infuriated that you just want to lash out

[00:40:54] Stuart: with my life saver and I like to cut people in half

[00:40:57] Doug Noll: so you really enjoy power and you really enjoy demonstrating power because that suits you, it suits your anxiety. The choices you've made so far are to use that kind of violence to soothe your anxiety and the quiet, the shame and humiliation you're feeling.

[00:41:14] Stuart: So I feel less like using my lightsaber to chop off people's heads.

[00:41:20] Doug Noll: So you're feeling like it's not such an impulse now and maybe you're feeling some hope rather than despair, that there's a better way or at least a different way.

[00:41:28] Stuart: Did did you just use the word hope

[00:41:31] Doug Noll: I did?

[00:41:46] Stuart: I have to hand it to smoke? I do feel better. I really hope you enjoyed this episode of sketch comedy podcast show. I hope you enjoyed it as much as we enjoyed making it head over to sketch comedy podcast show dot com. If you'd like to hear more episodes, find out more about the show or if you are an interesting person, even apply to be on the show. Sketch comedy podcast show is protected under a creative commons attribution no derivatives four point oh international license