RYAN RUOCCO | ESPN + YES Network Broadcaster, Play-by-Play Man + Podcaster | No. 22
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HERE'S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW.
"I think our biggest problem in society is the way we communicate, or they way we don't communicate."
Ryan's a friend. A good friend. One of my best. So this was an absolute privilege for me to be able to sit with him in studio and to pick his brain as an interviewer. Focusing not on his career, where he's been and where he's headed, but on the person that he is on a day-to-day basis. His voice, his take, his view, his personality and his evolution as a human being is something nobody can take away from him. That's what makes him successful in his industry. And as a human. But, I'm biased.
What I find most interesting about this pod is his willingness to engage in a conversation in the best kind of way: by applying the art of listening. Ryan actively chooses to hear before making any decisions or statements.
Choose dialogue over debate. Debate is often presented as an ego context. Are you right or am I right? And, who is right at the end of it? It’s not a learning experience. It’s not a listening experience. For me, dialogue is really about learning, and listening, and hearing what someone else has to say and I think that is how we become more productive. Allow yourself to hear before you decide.
He's also able to tap into his vulnerabilities, his flaws, his fears. In these moments, he is able to separate his ego from authentic-self, and to pull out his truths, which lead him to self-betterment. It's in those moments of holding up a mirror to self that he seems himself flawed and human, practicing kindness as he learns about himself, gradually making changes.
It’s like- what causes you more pain? The parts of you that you don't love? Or the negative energy when you resist those parts? I often think the second. It’s the fact that you’re keeping it bottled up inside and resisting instead of letting that out. It's okay to have those parts of you. It’s part of the human experience.
If I were to describe Ryan to others, the first word I'd use is "kind". As we discuss in the pod, kindness, especially on men, is often seen as a weakness. But he shuts down the idea.
Feeling shouldn’t be something you’re ashamed of. It’s a beautiful thing of life. It should be something you feel totally comfortable with. I feel like guys feel similarly when talking about crying, in that you’re not supposed to be crying. ‘You’re a guy.’ I think it's beautiful to see anybody cry. Because it's just a real reaction to things. To see men cry is a really powerful and important thing.
It's a rare thing to hear from a man, let alone a man in the broadcasting industry, let alone a man who works in and around sports. But that's Rukes. He's a learner. A listener. A curious soul. Like me, he looks to use all that he soaks in to help others in their personal journeys.
TY Ry. For your openness, your kindness and your willingness to listen. Your insight and lessons-learned are what the world needs to hear more. Grateful to have been able to focus on you the human vs. you the label (broadcaster, play-by-play, man, etc.).
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"Can i use a great Star Wars quote I love? ‘The stronger you tighten your grip, the more star systems slip through your fingers.’ I love that. The more you try and control, the less you control. That’s an analogy I try to come back to and I have to remind myself of all the time."
R2C2 Is Uninterrupted Podcast