When Your Hair Is On Fire…

According to Stephen Covey, one of the seven habits of highly effective people is that they, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”  It sounds so simple. Something you could embroider on a pillow. Or, make into a poster. Simple does not mean easy. When someone says something that sets your hair on fire, the temptation is to go tit for tat, tooth for tooth, measure for measure. We go round and round, getting … Read more…

Remember, How We Talk Matters

In the introduction to “How We Talk Matters,” I wrote, “Our need to talk better together has never been greater.” Little did I know then how much more separated,  polarized, and combative we would become. My purpose then remains my purpose today: to provide inspiration, tips and tools to create constructive conversations about consequential questions. Please share this with anyone you think might be interested in helping all off us improve the tone and constructiveness … Read more…

Remember: We Get to Choose

Remembering Choice

In a matter-of-fact manner my sister-in-law once said a surprising thing: “When people get angry, I don’t get angry back.” To her, this appeared to be her modus operandi. For many others it is not. When someone gets angry, we get angry back. (Is this true of you?) What if you remembered that you get to choose whether you want to respond or react? That you don’t have to be driven by the more primitive … Read more…

Compassionate Resistance?

A long-time colleague and friend responded to a recent blog on compassion. He had been thinking about “the corrosive effects of incivility,” and wondered about the role of compassion. He wrote, “I don’t think compassion is enough these days. Gandhi and MLK Jr. were compassionate, to be sure. But it was their focus and smart, firm resistance that carried the day…or most of it. I believe we need now to plant two feet firmly in … Read more…