All We Can Do

All we can do is all we can do, within our individual sphere of influence. Because many things in life are out of our control, it’s important to determine whether we have the ability to effect change in any situation. We can only impact the people with whom we interact and the circumstances with which […]

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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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