3 Mindful Ways to Communicate Better in a Relationship

August 25, 2020

Research shows that open communication is the best predictor of relationship satisfaction. But when you're rushing to work, working a full day, picking the kids up from school, then off to soccer practice, who has time for a meaningful conversation? Our schedules can be relentless!

An open, honest conversation about your relationship might feel like the last thing you want to do at the end of a long day. And when you do sit down to talk with your partner, you might find yourself nodding and saying "uh-huh" more than staying present. Although a half-hearted response is understandable, it [...]

Posted in Love, Marriage, and Relationships, Communication & Interpersonal Skills

The Most Grievous Mistake in Communication

November 12, 2019

To communicate, or to commune using its Greek root, is at the core of all relationships, teams, and communities. Without communication, there is no bridge from my private universe to yours. However, finding our way through the mazes created by our unique experiences, thoughts, emotions, biases (over one hundred!), assumptions, and beliefs is a feat in and of itself. So, every day, life presents us with a daily puzzle: to understand and connect with ourselves, and then to one another. To lead from within instead of reacting to outside stimulus.

It can often be challenging at any given [...]

Posted in Business and Leadership, Communication & Interpersonal Skills

"Look What You Made Me Do!" How to Avoid the Blame Game

July 16, 2019

Blaming is a common reaction. The blame game used to be one of my primary arsenals. Years ago, whenever I felt helpless or overwhelmed, I blamed the dog, my kids, or even the chair in the way when stubbing my toe. Anything in earshot received a rant of blame. "Look what you made me do!"

Hmm. Does anyone or anything really make us do anything?So why do we blame? Think about it for a moment. An intense feeling boils up and out comes the biting remark. It's easy and takes the heat off of us. And what's the heat? Painful and uncomfortable feelings. Phew! The hurt stops temporarily. 

Posted in Communication & Interpersonal Skills, Emotional Intelligence

Good Communication Is Vital for a Successful Business

June 13, 2019

The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” ~George Bernard Shaw

Do you find yourself having to repeat a little too often “Remember, we discussed that in our meeting. . .”? Or someone's memory of an interaction is totally different from yours. If so, poor communication could be the culprit. Effective communication is a two-way street, not a cul-de-sac. It’s about connecting. Talking with someone is different from talking at someone. There are many people, especially executives, who feel they communicate clearly but then get frustrated by having to [...]

Posted in Business and Leadership, Communication & Interpersonal Skills

Love Has No Labels

February 13, 2018

Maybe you’ve seen the images? A white square superimposed over a picture of your friend, mom or coworker, an NFL quarterback, celebrity or news anchor. Inside the box, this phrase: “love has no labels.”

This campaign—though “campaign” can’t really capture its essence—is spreading, and fast.

The motto is simple, as the most powerful revolutionary thoughts tend to be: “Before anything else, we are human.”

Personally, I cannot help but think of the opening to Pride & Prejudice, “It is a truth universally acknowledged that…” It seems painfully simple to say that we are human. Obviously, we [...]

Posted in Communication & Interpersonal Skills, Brain Fitness, Mindfulness and Perspective

How to Cultivate Healthy Collaboration and Team

December 13, 2017

Nothing is more exciting and empowering than working on a project or playing on a dynamic team—until it’s not. Collaboration and teamwork can be fragile and an energetic brainstorming can go completely awry by a subtle putdown. A co-worker makes a critical comment about a blog posted on the company newsletter. Someone makes a disparaging remark about another person's work. Most everyone has experienced something like this, right?Although we'd like to think that we are immune to the attitudes and comments of our co-workers and colleagues, the truth is that we're usually not. In the [...]

Posted in Business and Leadership, Communication & Interpersonal Skills

How to Give Feedback Effectively for the Best Results

January 06, 2016

Often we hold back from giving feedback to others, even when it’s important to us and to the health of our relationship. Maybe we’re afraid we’ll hurt their feelings even if it's constructive, or we’re afraid of their reaction. Or maybe we think they’ll feel we’re criticizing them. But if we don’t give others feedback, we may hold on to resentment or anger toward them, which can spill over into later communications and even cause distance in our relationship.

Posted in Business and Leadership, Communication & Interpersonal Skills

Build Healthy Self-Esteem by Giving Children Meaningful and Effective Feedback

April 23, 2014

One of the biggest misconceptions about creating healthy self-esteem in children is that praise is the priority ingredient in building it. An unintended outcome of praise can actually be to deplete self-esteem. Why? Because too much praise causes children to become dependent on what other people think, instead of focusing on what makes them happy and how they feel about themselves and their actions. Praise promotes pleasing others and relying on others for validation.

So what do you do instead to build self-esteem and help raise confident children?

Posted in Perfectly Imperfect Parenting, Communication & Interpersonal Skills

Lying Is Easy; Honesty Is Loving

June 08, 2012

Honesty is a core value I’ve espoused for many years. I didn’t always, though. When I was growing up, I was a chameleon, telling people what they wanted to hear and wanted me to be. It was a game of sorts: fooling people and seeing how smoothly I could transition between my Shakespearean acts. This time of my life came to a screeching halt when, as a young woman, I realized that I was caught in a web of illusion, half-truths, and confusion. So yes, honesty really is the best policy.

Posted in Communication & Interpersonal Skills

Important Keys to Build Trustworthiness in Friendships & Relationships

June 05, 2012

Recently at a small gathering of women, the subject of trustworthiness came up. Many of the women present did not feel comfortable sharing within their communities about the struggles they’d had in their relationships. What a shame, when sharing allows us to give and receive support!

One of the reasons for their reticence was the negative experiences that had boomeranged, coming back to hurt them or their partners in the past. We had a wonderful discussion on what creates safety in sharing and our responsibility to create trustworthy relationships, friendships, and communities.

Posted in Love, Marriage, and Relationships, Communication & Interpersonal Skills