When “Sorry” Is Not Enough

When things go wrong for someone, saying “I’m sorry” expresses your care or concern about something that is not your doing. For instance, “I’m sorry to hear that you had that terrible flu.” “I’m sorry that you had a flat tire.” Sorry can be a thoughtful acknowledgment about someone else’s misfortune. When someone experiences a […]

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Are You Stuck?

In her beautiful poem, “The Summer Day,” Mary Oliver asks, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” How about you? Do you want to leave it to chance, sort of blowing in the wind like a tumbleweed? Or, do you want to create a life that […]

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Listen. Laugh. Learn.

Laughter is a really good thing! When I discovered that the legendary Chicago-based company Second City teaches workplace skills through improv, I was ready to sign up. A bit of a search took me to a site called Big Think on which I found a video featuring Tom Yorton, CEO of Second City Works. “Somewhere […]

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You Did What?! How Could You!

Would you be surprised to learn that guilt and shame are not the same? They are, indeed, different. And, the importance of understanding that difference enables us to appropriately address and deal with “guilty” thoughts and feelings and to reject often undeserved “shame” messages. When we act badly, in opposition to our values, it may […]

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The Power of Emotion

A recent presentation with several colleagues at a training retreat in Toronto for professional mediators opened my eyes to something I had not really thought about before. It was fascinating. Most of the mediators were lawyers who have tired of, or burned-out from, dealing with the adversarial nature of conflict. Mediation offers them a more […]

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How Trust Is Like Marbles In A Jar

Author-Researcher Brené Brown’s abiding interest in the subject of “trust” was heightened by an experience her daughter Ellen had at school when a friend betrayed her trust. Speaking at a UCLA-based Oprah Winfrey Super Soul Session, Brown used a marble jar positive behavior tool as a measure of how much we trust the people in […]

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Grrrrrrrrr! When Unfairness Gets Personal – Part 2 of 2

It’s startling to experience a sudden burst of intense emotion. It often feels like anger! Where did it come from? What’s it about? It could be from unfairness, injustice or humiliation — all justified causes of anger. However, anger is often a “secondary” emotion that accompanies hurt or fear since we frequently experience more than one […]

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