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Showing posts from 2019

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…

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 t…

When Not Speaking Up Is As Good As Lying

So last night's NFC Championship game was one for the books for all sorts of reasons.  But mostly because of a blatant infraction by the Rams against the Saints at a crucial time in the game when the Saints could likely have won the trophy.  Unfortunately, due to some clearly faulty officiating, the Saints did not get the chance.  According to nearly everyone who watched the game in the state of Louisiana (and many outside as well), the feeling is summed up in the photo below that appeared on the Causeway in New Orleans:




    To be fair, the Rams played a strong game against the Saints.  But officiating has a critical part in whether a game is won honestly.  When officials don't carry out their duties with accuracy and fairness, they can sway the outcome of a game in ways that are damaging to the sport and the league.  Such is the case in the Rams vs. Saints championship game.  Those who watched are aghast at how egregious the penalty calling was carried out in the gam…

What It Means to Speak Truth to Power

"Speaking truth to power" has become a common phrase to use when speaking about truth and/or power in a discussion that encourages courageous discourse on controversial matters.  It is an old phrase coined back in the 1950s by the Quakers and is defined as "a non-violent political tactic, employed by dissidents against the received wisdom or propaganda of governments they regard as oppressive, authoritarian or an ideocracy." (Wikipedia)
     I've heard it overused in a lot of ways and not with a clear purpose in its meaning within the context of what was being spoken.  We latch onto certain words and phrases as language goes in and out of style on almost a monthly basis.  In this current generation, there seems to be a new word or phrase created daily and then abandoned when they become overused like worn out sneakers from last year's fall collection.  But words have staying power even if you get tired of hearing them.  They last even longer if they m…