Psychologist, author, executive coach, and lecturer Dr. Michael Broder joined Dr. Angela Lauria on this episode of Book Journeys Radio. Dr. Broder dropped by to talk about his latest book, Stage Climbing: The Shortest Path to Your Highest Potential, as well as some of his previous work.
Angela and Dr. Broder started off the interview by talking about how Stage Climbing came to be. Broder revealed that the book began through his experiences in teaching other psychologists in the field of cognitive behavioral techniques. The principles behind the book, he said, came from a diagnostic system that he himself had developed, and was using in his private practice. This system proved to be quite successful, inspiring Dr. Broder to go on and write a book based on his techniques.
Although he has had experience in training other psychologists, Dr. Broder admitted that he has never written a book for professionals, finding them to be dry and difficult to write. He says that all his books so far, Stage Climbing included, are for consumers, thanks to his background as a radio show host. Broder shared that the decision to write Stage Climbing to be more consumer-friendly also made it easier for him to write it.
He shared that the inspiration for Stage Climbing started back in 2006, after he talked to some of his contacts in the publishing industry. Some of his contacts were against the idea, but Broder said that he understood why they felt that way, noting that he knew that editors taking on potentially bad book deals puts them at risk at well, as creativity is notoriously hard to sell. He found it ironic, considering that a couple of his books have already made it to the bestseller lists. Broder noted that like other businesses, the publishing industry tends to play it safe when it comes to book deals, and go for properties that they believe have the potential to sell well or already have a guaranteed, established audience. Eventually, however, he found an agent that took on his book, but it took him up to 2011 to actually publish Stage Climbing.
Dr. Broder took a more unconventional approach in writing Stage Climbing, and left out many of the usual features found in books of the genre such as case studies, or contrived anecdotes presented as true stories. Instead, he wrote Stage Climbing similar to his audio programs, “speaking” to the reader in the first person and engaging them directly, which is again, a callback to his background in radio. Since the writing style Dr. Broder used on Stage Climbing made it a little more complex than usual, he included a sort of quick-start guide highlighting the most important contents of each chapter, so that the reader would have the option of focusing on the talking points of each chapter, or reading through each one completely.
By the end of the interview, Dr. Broder gave a few tips for writers looking to create their own book. He noted that it’s important for every author to empathize with their readers, since after all, the readers will be the ones supporting their work, and they’re the ones gaining the benefit from the author’s work.