Empathy Self Test

Empathy: identifying with someone else’s feelings or emotions. Empathy is a cornerstone of excellent leadership, teaching and parenting. When we listen and speak with empathy, others feel heard and respected, relationships improve, and we positively influence others. Self-test: Do you speak and listen with empathy? When talking: Do your words add to your listener’s life—are you...

Complaining: Committed vs Uncommitted

Committed complaining: have you heard of it? The idea is that we complain in two ways: committed or uncommitted to fixing the problem. Sometimes we’re just grousing: I’m cold, my office is cold, I hate working here, my boss is a nightmare… Uncommitted complaining begins and ends with the complaint. You don’t like something...

4 Wrong Reasons to Communicate

There’s a great acronym that makes me look smart and wise. It’s WAIT, and stands for Why Am I Talking? What a brilliant question to ask yourself! You might decide not to speak if your answer is any of the following: Gossip Is the “news” you’re sharing about someone else just veiled gossip? Even if it...

4 Questions To Stop Asking

1. Are You Sure? This negates everything the speaker just said, which is rude and hurtful. You might ask this question because: You want to know if you can believe what the person just said, or if you can trust their source. A better response would be “How do you know this?” or “Please tell...

Navigating Negative Feedback: How to fix problems and get what you want

Someone messed up. An employee mishandled a project; your new car is a lemon; the waiter forgot your meal. From big to small, problems can be solved—and often fixed—if you know to complain, and what to do next. Handled skillfully, negative feedback can generate positive outcomes. Here’s how to make it useful, actionable and...

Change Your Words, Change Your Worldview

Cleaning some research files, I stumble across this evocative statement: The Social model of disability …the general term disability is applied not because of an inability to function but rather because of an innate inability to operate by modern society’s standards… For example in a pre-literate society, someone with Dyslexia would have no problem functioning...

You Might Like To…

A famous teacher and community leader (Thich Nhat Hanh) gives instructions framed as “You might like to…” What a transformative concept. Saying “You might like to” instead of “You must” is refreshingly respectful and helpful. It’s not telling us what to do. It’s trusting us to find our own answers. As teachers and leaders we...

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