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. 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?

Posted in Business and Leadership, Communication & Interpersonal Skills

How to Give Feedback Effectively

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 Communication & Interpersonal Skills, Emotional Intelligence & Fitness

How to Give Effective Feedback to Children

April 23, 2014

One of the biggest misconceptions about creating healthy self-esteem in children is that praise is an important ingredient in building it. But praise can actually 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.

Posted in Perfectly Imperfect Parenting, Communication & Interpersonal Skills

Meaningful Mentors

April 19, 2013

I write regularly for a women’s business website, and I often have the opportunity to interview career women who are really making a difference in their workplaces and their communities. In these interviews, we often discuss how they got where they are, what kinds of things factored into their success, and how they balance it all. One factor that almost always comes up is mentors, and the importance of women helping other women.

Posted in Communication & Interpersonal Skills

No Sense of Hurry

October 15, 2012

This past weekend I was in Lewistown for my son's football game. Prior to the game, we made a quick pit stop at the local truck stop. As I was waiting to use the restroom, a mother and two young girls were coming out. The mother held the door wide open while waiting for her oldest who was meticulously washing her hands. She bombarded her daughter with "Hurry! Hurry!" then turned to me and said: "Kids! They have no sense of hurry!”  Ah, a parenting stress moment; we've all been there.

Posted in Perfectly Imperfect Parenting, Communication & Interpersonal Skills

Lying Is Easy; Honesty Is Loving

June 08, 2012

Honesty is a value I have espoused for many, many years. I didn’t always, though. In fact, when I was growing up, I was a prolific liar. Like a chameleon, I mirrored the people I was with or transformed myself into what people wanted me to be. I made a game out of fooling people and seeing how smoothly I could transition between my Shakespearean acts. But my game came to a screeching halt when I awoke as a young woman and realized that I could not tell the difference between what was real and what was a lie. Whatever lie you tell yourself enough, you begin to believe.

Posted in Communication & Interpersonal Skills

What Is Most Important?

May 25, 2012

As I sit waiting for my flight in the Denver airport, I am struck by the busy but disjointed scene around me. The gentleman next to me has been surfing the web nonstop for an hour. All but one person out of about twenty at United Airlines Gate B82 are hooked into computers, cell phones, iPads, or a Kindle (including me as I write this blog). No smiles, no conversation.

Posted in Communication & Interpersonal Skills

Create a Healthy and Happy Life with Effective Boundaries

April 26, 2012

Do you ever think, “When is it going to be my turn?” Do your needs come last—after the needs of your spouse, your children, work, community service, in-laws, siblings, friends, and pets? My needs always used to come last. Years ago, I remember rarely having time or energy for myself and what was important to me. It was very disheartening. And it took me many years of conscious effort to replace my well-practiced compliance and pleasing with strong boundaries that supported my life and relationships.

Posted in Communication & Interpersonal Skills, Emotional Intelligence & Fitness

How to Set Effective Boundaries for a Healthy and Happy Life

April 17, 2012

Do you find yourself saying "yes" when you really want to say "no"? Do you end up doing more than your share at home or at work? Do your needs come last—after your husband or wife, your children, work, community service, in-laws, siblings, and friends? If you answered yes to even one of these questions, you need to strengthen your boundaries. Loving and firm boundaries help us take care of ourselves while respecting the rights of others. Healthy boundaries are like a white picket fence lined with beautiful flowers or uniquely colorful. There is a gate with a welcoming arbor inviting a [...]

Posted in Communication & Interpersonal Skills, Emotional Intelligence & Fitness