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

Why Is Communication Important in the Workplace?

June 13, 2019

Do you find yourself having to repeat a little too often in the workplace, “Remember, we discussed that in our meeting on Monday”? 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 or quick instructions as you fly out the door for a meeting. Many people, especially executives, feel they communicate clearly but then get frustrated by having to repeat themselves or not achieving the [...]

Posted in Business and Leadership, Communication & Interpersonal Skills

Love Has No Labels: Breaking Down the Walls of Bias and Prejudice

February 13, 2018

Now more than ever, we need compassion and acceptance of diversity and personal choices that we may not agree with.

Maybe you’ve seen the Love Has No Labels images? A white square superimposed over a picture of your friend, mom, coworker, or 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—spread fast.Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

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

Create a Healthy and Happy Life with Effective Boundaries

October 10, 2017

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. As a young adult, I remember rarely having time or energy for myself and what was important to me. It was very disheartening. And it took me years of conscious effort to replace my well-practiced compliance and pleasing with strong boundaries that supported my life and relationships.

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes     Estimated time to master: a lifetime! 😊

Posted in Communication & Interpersonal Skills, Emotional Intelligence & Fitness

How to Cultivate Healthy Collaboration and Team

September 12, 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?Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

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: Give Children Relevant, Meaningful 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 who were present did not feel comfortable sharing within their communities about the struggles they’d had in their lives and 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 [...]

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

Values and Work-Life Balance: What Is Most Important?

May 25, 2012

As I sit waiting for my flight at 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.

I remember the warm conversations I’ve had on past travels—delightful exchanges with a dad traveling with his kids, a student on her way home for spring break, a businesswoman who gave me a crash course in wardrobe-building. [...]

Posted in Communication & Interpersonal Skills, Emotional Intelligence

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