The Gifts and Challenges of Generative Listening

The first time I was listened to, really listened to, was a revelation. It happened in my mid-twenties while talking with Grace, a close colleague and friend. She did something deceptively simple. She paid attention. She restated back to me what she understood me to say. Then she asked a question to increase her understanding of what I was trying to convey.  Hearing my words reflected back to me was revelatory. I felt seen and … Read more…

Courageous Communication

Picture about seventy people crowded into a dimly lit room with a creaking, wooden floor of an old building at the edge of San Francisco Bay. It was the home of the Dolphin Club, a legendary swim club founded in 1877, and their board of directors called a meeting to propose a series of upgrades to its aging facilities. I was standing at the back of the room with a swim buddy listening to two … Read more…

They’re busy, but are they productive?

How many items are on your To-Do list? How many emails are in your inbox? How many meetings are on your calendar this week? As my dear husband and business partner Roger James asks, “They’re busy, but are they productive?” It’s another way of asking, “Are you achieving what you want to achieve?” Or, are you being gerbil-like, running around a wheel without considering what you really want to achieve in both the long- and … Read more…