Self-Control: The secret to successful speaking & listening

Technology allows us to communicate faster, more frequently, and to a wider audience. But who’s listening? The more we communicate, the harder it is to listen well—to focus on one person and their words. This is where self-control comes in—being able to pause yourself, and focus on the speaker and what they’re saying. Do...

Teenagers: 15 Tips for Peaceful Communication

Sometimes it seems that all teens do is communicate—texting, instagramming, skyping. But when adults try to talk to teens, both sides often end up frustrated, annoyed or bewildered. How can we bridge this gap? First, Understand your Audience Consider what it is to be teenaged. Teens are in transition between childhood and adulthood. They...

Conversation Skills: Are you sharing or monopolizing?

Sitting in a coffee shop listening to two women talk over each other, I am reminded of that apt analogy of two TVs, both turned on and facing each other. Lots of words but little communication. We’re all guilty sometimes of talking at rather than to our listener; of delivering monologues instead of mutually...

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...

Beyond No! Communicating with Toddlers

Communicating with two-year-olds can be frustrating. They’re passionate and stubborn, as likely to bite as to speak. But it doesn’t have to be this way—spending time with toddlers can be fun! Yes, really. Toddlers are amazing—they’re still connected to their magic, and look at the world in a way we’ve forgotten. They have lots...

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...

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...

Scroll to top