When I was a toddler, I turned my parents’ faces toward each other.
I wanted them to see each other – and stop arguing.
When I was 14, I’m Okay, You’re Okay hit the New York Times best-seller list. I devoured the book and did my best to help my mother understand my younger brother – and me – better.
In college, I studied linguistics and sociology along with writing and ancient history.
As a young adult, I struggled to understand relationships – mostly mine, but those of my friends as well.
In my corporate career, I was the one others came to for advice about office politics – and I was the one who spearheaded a successful cross-department knowledge management project. (I didn’t know then what I know now: up to 75% of similar change initiatives fail, usually because of communication breakdowns.)
Throughout these experiences, I never wavered from my conviction that real communication – honest, clear, clean, empathetic communication – is the prerequisite for professional and personal success. (Okay, I wouldn’t have worded it that way as a two-year-old, but that was nonetheless my point in turning my parents’ faces toward each other!)
I have a vision of a world in which people talk about what matters
Because they do, their businesses, careers, and lives flourish.
Their professional and personal relationships thrive.
They get what they want.
And they make a difference in the world.
The art and science of empathetic communication
My knowledge and experience span the end-to-end trajectory of communication: the science and the spirit, the head and the heart. I take myself and my clients beyond the intellectual understanding of “best practices” for communication and negotiation and into the felt experience of what it means to have empathy, engage in real conversations, create real connections, and get real results.
After over 25 years in corporate America, including 16 years in executive leadership, I went out on my own in 2005. I was challenged by the limitations of being an internal employee within large organizations, and I was yearning for a way to make a more personally-satisfying, meaningful impact.
With my experience, skills, and external viewpoint, I see the unhelpful patterns of communication, behavior, and workflow that disconnect individuals, teams, and organizations from their true purpose and vision.
I help my clients develop their capacity for empathy – the ability to understand not only what others are saying, but what their experience is in that moment, how they feel about what’s happening, and why it’s important to them. We focus on non-traditional ways of negotiation – the tools and tactics of empathy that are used by FBI hostage negotiators and Harvard University conflict professionals.
And I sometimes have to restrain myself from spontaneous happy-dancing as I watch my clients succeed!
I stand for …
Freeing people from the fear of heartfelt connection with others.
Speaking from the heart even when it’s scary as hell.
Taking the time and energy and risking the vulnerability of truly understanding other people’s experience so we can communicate empathically and honestly about what we want and need.
I believe that empathetic communication can change the world.
Contact me and we’ll schedule a time to talk about how I can help.
Education, training, certifications, memberships, affiliations …
For more on my professional background, please see my LinkedIn profile.
- 25 years in the corporate world, including:
- Director and senior-staff executive at EMC Document Sciences; led the Professional Services and Knowledge Management departments, marketing, selling, and managing six- and seven-figure client projects
- Director and corporate officer at Munich Re America
- External Knowledge Management consultant for Hewlett-Packard, coordinating global KM process initiatives
- Student at the Center for Understanding in Conflict, New York and California
- Foundations of Communities of Practice Graduate Seminar, CPSquare
- Certified Print® Coach
- Coaching Mastery™ Program, Coachville
- Fully-certified Realization Process teacher (meditation, subtle self-work, and embodiment)
- BA with Honors, Writing (Ancient History minor), Bard College, New York
- Association for Talent Development, San Diego: past Board member; 2013 Chapter President
- Association for Talent Development, Northwest Arkansas: member and speaker
- Instructor, University of Arkansas Global Campus, Rogers, Arkansas
- Past Instructor, University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Extension, Career & Life Stages Seminars; Mira Costa Community College Outreach Program
- Author of The Five Deadly Shoulds of Office Politics (available on Amazon).
- Clan Leslie Society International: lineal (direct descent) member.
- 2002 Fastest Knitter in America; appeared on Good Morning America to compete for the World Title.