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 …

gljudson Better conversations

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 …

gljudson Better conversations

Do it now! 3 steps to hard conversations

Difficult conversations are, well, difficult. Hard. Challenging. Intimidating. Easy to put off. I’ve had several discussions recently with people who were trying to decide how to tackle a difficult conversation. In each case, the over-riding emotion was some form of do I hafta? combined with I’m dreading this! Of course I understand. I face my own sense of dread and …

gljudson Better conversations, Conflict

For what?

“Thank you.” It’s polite, grateful, and appreciative. Hopefully, it’s also sincere and warm. “Thank you.” It’s nice to hear. But if “thank you” is all you say, you’re missing several important opportunities. When someone hears you state the specific thing you’re grateful for, they feel seen, valued, and truly appreciated. When they only hear a generic “thank you,” it can feel offhand …

gljudson Better conversations, Leadership

The gentle art of conflict transformation

Some people avoid conflict. Others seem to relish it. Google “conflict management,” and you’ll get over nine million results – and a lot of autofill suggestions about conflict management styles, examples, process, and so on. Google “conflict resolution,” and you’ll see over 70 million results! Based on those numbers, it seems like a lot more people are trying to fix …

gljudson Better conversations, Conflict

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 …

gljudson Better conversations

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 …

gljudson Better conversations

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 …

gljudson Better conversations

What do we do next?

This has been an unbelievably weird, wild, difficult year. An unprecedented number of catastrophic, profoundly painful events have caused immense loss and suffering for a tremendous number of people across the United States and around the world. Parallel to these in-the-moment events are revelations of long-ongoing acts of harassment and violence against various groups of people deemed “not like us” …

gljudson Better conversations, Conflict