What’s the elephant’s name?

There’s an elephant in the room. It’s the conversation you don’t want to have. It’s the thing you’re uncomfortable about sharing. It’s the topic you’re anxious about discussing. Whatever it is, you think about it often – but never straight on; always kind of sideways, like when you look out the corner of your eye because you don’t want to …

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Will you or won’t you?

“I can do that.” But will you? “I can do that” means you have the capacity, skills, knowledge, time, and resources to do this thing. “I will do that” means you have the motivation, intention, desire, and drive to do it, as well as the capacity, skills, and so on. I’d much rather hear someone say, “I will do that,” than “I can do …

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Why are difficult conversations so dang difficult?!

Those conversations. The ones that make us anxious, frustrated, worried. The ones we postpone and avoid. Whether it’s an ongoing disagreement with your partner, an employee who keeps making the same mistakes, a kid who persistently “forgets” to take out the trash, an aging parent, or your neighbor with the barking dog – whatever it is, there are some conversations …

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The dance of connection

A friend mentioned recently that she and her partner experience a lot of near misses in their interactions. As she put it, “communication zings by,” and it’s only later that she realizes what she heard maybe wasn’t exactly what was said – and vice versa. And this is a couple who’ve been happily together for over 20 years! We all know that different …

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When they don’t say “thank you”

You’re generous. They don’t say “thank you.” It’s a slap in the face. Why, you might think, did I even bother? And it’s hard to retain a sense of connection with your feelings of generosity, never mind your sense of connection with the other person.  How, you might think, can they be so rude and ungrateful? In the end, you have three …

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What’s in the space between?

In every relationship between two people, there are obviously two entities involved: the two people. What you may not realize is that there’s a third entity in the room. And leaving out that entity – especially when there’s disagreement or conflict happening – is a huge mistake. So what in the world am I talking about? The space between the …

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What you’re not taught (but should learn)

Why aren’t communication, negotiation, and conflict management skills taught in school? Starting in grade school. And in high school. And college. As a requirement, not an elective.* We leave school and wander off into the rest of our lives, mostly unskilled in the art of relationships, connection, negotiation, and real communication. The ability to have hard conversations is a keystone …

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Are ghosts and zombies real?

Are you a fan of horror movies and flesh-eating zombie shows? I’m not. Perhaps (and I say this slightly tongue-in-cheek) this is because I deal with so many real ghosts and zombies in my work … and, just like anyone else, in my personal life. Because ghosts and zombies are definitely real. They will haunt you, and they do eat your …

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