Esther Recommends: The Dance of Connection

Dr. Harriet Lerner’s compelling stories in her excellent book, The Dance of Connection show us how to speak with honor and integrity. Teaching us how to restore love and connection with people who matter the most to us, even when it’s complicated and painful, Dr. Lerner gives us courage to speak truthfully to those who […]

Read More

Demoralized Employees

Unhappiness in the workplace can fester and turn into frustration if not addressed. Frustration compounds and contaminates, often creating a toxic environment. It fuels negativity, criticism and judgment that create defensiveness and distance among employees. Worker and customer relationships may erode, sapping productivity and progress. All too often, the “open door” policy in business is […]

Read More

The Third Ear

Wouldn’t it be good if we could comprehend the true meaning during a difficult conversation? We could listen ‘below the line’ or ‘underneath’ for nuances, clues, unspoken messages and non- verbal signals. How can we can do this without an actual third ear?

Read More

Three T’s of Close Relationships

Why are some relationships closer, more connected and ‘cleaner,’ than others? Clean means no secrets (overt or covert), no withholding, straight, honest and kind communication. A friendship requires reciprocity where each person is free to be themselves and say what’s true is rare. Common interests and shared experience certainly provide connection and enjoyment. However, that […]

Read More

Teen Talk

“Oh … never mind! I don’t want to talk about this anyway.” Have you ever heard this from your teenager? It can be exasperating to get your teen talking. Think about why they don’t open up to you. Seek first to genuinely understand what they are saying. Show them respect by paraphrasing their meaning and […]

Read More

Arguing Can Be Good for Relationships

Have you ever been surprised when a conversation escalates into an argument? Do you know that arguing can actually be good for your relationship? Of course, it depends on how partners argue. Elizabeth Bernstein’s article, “Fighting Happily Ever After” (Wall Street Journal, July 27, 2010) illustrates that there is a right way to fight and […]

Read More

Misunderstood?

People are generally sloppy about how they communicate with each other. So, it should be no surprise when misunderstandings or misperceptioins occur. The results? Grief, aggravation and wasted time and, all too often,damaged relationships. In order to communicate clearly, you must know what you really mean. First,

Read More