Hearing is innate to many of us. Listening is a learned skill.  

Because it is a skill - like tennis or golf - we can practice and improve our ability. And now is an important time to listen more than we speak.

This is one of those times when listening may be more important than talking. 

We learn a lot from listening and many times, our friends, colleagues, and family members just need to “talk it out.” Solving problems (a.k.a. talking) is not always the best strategy.

The next time you sense someone needs to “talk it out,” integrate any one of these 5 tips.

#1: Summon Presence

When you sense that another person nee...

Connecting with one another and expressing our feelings is good for our health - and also supports the health of those with whom we are connecting. Been thinking of someone? Reach out and tell them. Researchers report that healthy interpersonal support systems mitigate stress and difficult life experiences. (Like now.) Wellness research argues that connecting with others -  talking to one another and expressing our feelings - is healthy and boosts serotonin levels - an important neurotransmitter that, among other things, creates feelings of well being. When we connect with one another, we are boosting our own levels of h...

Enjoy your summer vacation a little more. Bring these life preservers with you.

Life Preserver #1: Learn to say "I'm sorry." 

Learning to say these two words with sincerity can save a relationship. It's one of the hardest things to say and can also be the easiest. When a conversation takes a bad turn, insert this Dale Carnegie phrase (and mean it): "I may be wrong. I often am."

Life Preserver #2: Don't take the bait or dangle it. 

Bait is attached to a hook and hooks can be dangerous. If you've had a bad day, it's never a good day for an important conversation. Run it off. Breathe it out. Shake it off - literally. Delaying a...

We spend a lot of time suppressing and controlling emotion but there are a lot of very good reasons to invite it into our lives.

Reason #1: It provides a physical release for pressures stored up inside. Imagine a balloon that never releases any pressure or a boiling pot on the stove that can't let off steam.

Reason #2: It removes blockages. Unexpressed emotion stores itself as distressing mental or physical energy. It can make our brains feel scrambled and our bodies feel tense. Why not just let it go?

Reason #3: It bridges forward motion. With emotions blocked up inside, it makes it more difficult to move forward. Once we...

Today I started my day by pouring tomato juice into my coffee - perhaps it's a good day to stop, breathe, laugh and reset. Let's have some fun with this one....

Communication is like a tube of toothpaste.

Stay with me here.

Imagine you are holding a tube of toothpaste. Take the top off. Hold it in both hands and SQUEEZE it as hard as you can.  Well, that made quite a mess. Let’s just put the toothpaste back in the tube. Not so easy.

If you’ve ever taken a tube of toothpaste on an airplane ride, you’ve seen the results of built up pressure. Pressure builds and the “contents” inside need to be released. If you are...

One of the most dynamic entrepreneurs and leaders I have ever known knew a secret – listen more than you speak.

I mean at meetings – all meetings.

Powerful outcomes require buy-in. Powerful leaders listen. They create opportunities for strategic conversation.

This presents an ongoing challenge for any leader – particularly smart ones. The majority of leaders that I work with were hired for their expertise and they know most of the answers – but they are smart enough to know that they can’t bring about necessary changes without the buy-in of the individuals that they work with – this requires getting out of the way – di...

Have you ever felt like you were in a state of limbo - like you were suspended in that interminable span of time where nothing seems to move forward or backward? 

It may have felt like your legs wouldn't or couldn’t move things forward - like you are bending backwards under a stick trying to make your legs move forward.

If you are in a state of limbo about anything right now, I have good news for you. 

You have limitless choices ahead of you. The future is bright. You can take control – gently and easily. It will require some positive intention and some effort and you can do it. You must believe it is possible.

Let me s...

There is nothing more important than presence. Others know when we are present. (They know when we are not.) Presence is a gift you can give to another person (a child, a stranger, a colleague, a friend or loved one, a direct report, a teacher, etc.). It is a gift that you can give yourself. Presence is the opposite of distraction. When we are present it feels good. When we are distracted we know it. Increase your awareness this week ~ and I promise to do the same. Where would you like to add more presence this week? Who would benefit most? Give the gift of presence. There is no greater gift. ~Kathy~

You have the power to shift any relationship beginning today.

Create a new energy with someone who needs to smile.

Is there someone you've been avoiding?

Try this clean slate approach to turn things around.

Step 1: Think of someone who, in the past, has seemed unfriendly. (You may find that you have avoided this person because it feels unpleasant and/or uncomfortable. Sometimes things build up over time but it's never too late to reset.)

Step 2: Keep an open mind and decide to approach the other person with a “fresh start” mentality.

Step 3: Instead of avoiding the person, seek them out.

Step 4: Anticipate success.

Step 5: Sa...

Drama is a form of expression that can drain us. When I involve myself in drama, it usually stems from a place of imbalance within myself. Whether we are expressing a drama or listening to another person's drama, listen with a heart of sympathy and love. Every drama presents an opportunity to learn. Listen for the lesson and then put the drama behind us. Move into productive endeavors. Heal the world with your gifts. ~Kathy~

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