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How to Talk About Race: A Panel Discussion

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Improve Your Relationships Through Greater Self-Awareness (and some free...

What Every Leader Needs to Do to Restore Trust Once It's Broken

Trust seems to have gone missing these days in almost every aspect of society. The value of it in relationships has been taken for granted, and many people have a wait-and-see attitude about trusting others. There are those who say, "I'll trust you until you give me a reason not to", and there are others who say, "I'll trust you when you prove you're trustworthy." It takes a very long time to get people to a level of comfort where they can let their guard down and be less judgmental about a person's integrity. However, once trust is broken--and it can result from a single egregious act--it may never be restored. Even if it is, it's not likely to make it to full restoration. There's likely to be the barrier of a small amount of lingering doubt along with the memory of the pain felt from the betrayal.  So what needs to happen to weld together a new relationship. The old one has been damaged so something new must happen. Three …

When Your "Jokes" Get You in Trouble

Everybody loves a good laugh. We feel better when we hear something funny and our anxiety or pain is eased because humor has come as a balm in a tense day. Laughter is beneficial to our emotional and physical health. Well-placed humor works easily in a lot of ways when we are telling stories, but can also come at a huge cost. If we joke about a topic that is sensitive to many, and we do it in a public forum where our intent can be misconstrued by the audience, then we can create a firestorm of frustration for ourselves and them.
     A recent example of a humor faux pas involves rapper T.I. and his comments regarding how he checks for his daughter's virginity.  He claimed in a podcast that when his 18-year-old daughter goes to the gynecologist, he tells the doctor to check her hymen to make sure it's still intact--an indication that she is still a virgin. Though this is not an accurate test of virginity, T.I. says he told the doctor: "...just check the hymen please …

How to Stop Interruptions in Conversations

So you're sitting in a meeting, and you begin to answer a question that has been directed toward you by your boss.  You get through about half of your response when a colleague jumps in and offers his take and essentially silences you.  There is evidence that if you are a woman, this will happen to you more often than if you are a man, and it's likely to happen to you by both genders.
     Interruptions in communications like this happen all the time whether you're in a group offering your opinion or one-on-one sharing a story.  Regardless of the setting, we all find it annoying and rude.  These disruptions of dialogue hamper thought processes, contribute to misunderstandings, and devalue people's input.  So what do we do when they keep happening to us?  A few worthy suggestions can be found in Kathryn Vasel's article,  "Next time someone interrupts you in a meeting, try this".


     But what if you're the one doing the interrupting?  I've cer…

The Words Coming Out of Your Mouth

From the Christian bible, there is a verse that says in part, "For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks."  Since I'm big on diplomacy and tact, this scripture resonates emphatically with me because it challenges us all to think about what we are hiding in our hearts.  If our words reflect what our heart holds, then is our heart loving and optimistic or is it hateful and negative.  Are we harboring revenge, and its spewing forth in language that destroys another person's reputation?  Or are we hopeful for someone else's success; therefore, our words about them are encouraging and helpful?


     In this present day, words have been used to create division among entire groups of people, not just individuals.  We are wielding them like a reckless drunk with a gun in a crowded venue.  We say them without a lot of thought, or if we are thinking, those thoughts are selfish and superficial.
     It is time that we start doing more self-examination and h…

What Humility Sounds Like in Leadership

To be in a position of leadership is usually associated with being in a position of power.  And though the power is real and necessary, it must be balanced with the willingness to respond humbly in situations that warrant it.  It's time we eliminate the misunderstanding that humility is weakness.  In fact, to take a position of humility takes a lot of restraint and sacrifice.  This is difficult for many to do.  Therefore, the weakness comes in yielding to arrogance and dominance because it is easy to do.  The strength is found in backing away from selfish desires and allowing someone else to be successful.
     Not sure what humility looks like in leadership?  Consider these examples:
The boss who gives credit to his employee for an idea that allowed the entire department to shine.The manager who was clearly wrong when making a decision on a project and admits that mistake when the project fails.The supervisor who yields her opinion to someone else on the team so that they ca…