Can You Challenge and Still Be Collaborative?? (Part 1)

If you’re new here, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!Recently an esteemed colleague of mind asked me a very insightful question. Can you challenge someone and still be collaborative? (Hence the title of this post.) There are a number of ways to answer this question. The short answer is […]

Should You Keep Your Opinion to Yourself?

Recently I read a blog post by Seth Godin, whose work I really enjoy. One of his best tips was, “The first rule of great feedback is this: No one cares about your opinion.” He went on to say that he prefers to hear analysis—facts, not opinion—when receiving feedback. Godin’s distinction was helpful, but here […]

Keeping Everyone in the Conversation

A professional colleague of mine recently wrote to me about a situation he encountered. He was at a meeting of a board of directors. A question was posed to the group, to which he responded with the first opinion. Everyone who spoke after him disagreed with his opinion. The conversation went on for 30 minutes. […]

Difficult Conversations: Bring Light and Warmth

On this beautiful Washington, D.C. day I am preparing to help an organization confront some very hard conversations. As I look at the sun streaming through my window, it occurs to me that I need to bring light and warmth into the room with my clients. The light is for bringing light to the truth […]

Setting Goals in Conversation: What Do You Want?

Following my recent blog post about clarifying the goal of a meeting, I had the opportunity to put that advice into action. A colleague of mine was asking for my opinion on a situation she was grappling with. She began the conversation with, “I want to ask you about a situation.” And then she launched […]

Difficult Conversations: Receiving Information Part 2

As I wrote in my last post about difficult conversations, it’s normal to become nervous or even defensive when someone approaches us with feedback. These reactions can get in the way of listening, however. One technique that can help you relax and focus on the speaker’s message is to assume that the other person has […]

Difficult Conversations: Receiving Feedback

When someone approaches us wanting to give us feedback, whether it’s a boss or a friend, we often find ourselves getting nervous and maybe defensive. These reactions are normal—and they also get in the way of listening. Instead of getting involved in a number of difficult conversations, you can use a number of techniques to […]

Difficult Conversations: A Good Lesson for the Receiver

Much of the literature about difficult conversations is written from the perspective of the person giving feedback or directions. It’s equally important to be a good receiver of information. Being willing to listen intently, understand another persons’ perspective and be willing to accept your responsibility in any given situation will enhance your own self-knowledge, expand […]

Meeting Facilitation: To Meet or Not To Meet

A complaint I hear often, as I am sure you do, is that there are too many meetings. People feel overwhelmed by number of meetings they attend to say nothing of attending meetings that have no real outcomes. It almost feels like a constant refrain. Here’s an example of how to handle some of these […]

What Are We Fighting About?

The grief is searing and seemingly boundless. In an instant, the world changed. Two boys, 24 and 20, on route home with their dog, their lives stretching endlessly ahead of them. They are happy, healthy—full of energy, aspirations and love. Their lives end in what seems to the rest of us as a flash. One […]

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