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Outside Voices

An outside voice can challenge and encourage our inside voice. “I bet your husband doesn’t have a chance if he gets in an argument with you!” That’s what someone actually said to me after a presentation I gave on mastering crucial conversations. I wasn’t really sure what he was talking about because my husband and I don’t ever have any …

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Mindsets, Skillsets, and Toolsets

Last week’s Monday Morning Stretch sure did strike a resonant chord with our subscribers. We were swamped all week with comments, kudos, and questions about the need for developing this high level of dedicated team members and elevated communication skills. I even received this email from my assistant, Kelly Case: I just got a call from a woman who works …

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Spinning the Positive

Every coin has a flipside. Every inside has an outside. Every “No” response has a “Yes” alternative. At the Disney University, I’ve heard that one of the class assignments is to go out into the theme park and find a few Disney “cast members” and ask a question for which the reasonable answer would be “No” … and listen to …

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Seeking Advice

Have you ever been driving your car, exercising, taking a shower or just drifting off to sleep and suddenly… You feel a brilliant, daring new idea being born within you? I had that moment a few weeks ago and immediately picked up the telephone to call a friend and discuss it. She listened and, as I had hoped, gave me …

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Power Talking

There is an oft-quoted statistic published by a USC professor, Albert Mehrabian, which states that we communicate 55% of a message with our body language, 38% with our tone, pace, and pauses and only 8% with our actual word choice. As a student of communication, I find convincing evidence of this almost every day, but I believe it’s only relevant …

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Three Questions

My friend and colleague, Eva Grazel, recently sent me an article about three questions that a couple asked their children every night before they put them to bed. It occurred to me that these questions were not just great for developing children but would be amazing for developing leaders and strengthening adult relationships as well. So, Tom and I have …

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Building a Bigger Pie

My husband, Tom, is a recently retired 5th grade school teacher. He spent most of his time teaching at an elementary school with a high percentage of ESL (English as Second Language) students and therefore found himself explaining the meaning of English idioms quite often. Luckily, he’s always been fascinated by the origin of phrases such as “catch a cold,” …

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Be Mine, Valentine

It’s hard not to love a holiday dedicated to the idea of Love… and I do. Usually I reserve the first Monday of the month for “Music Monday” where I select a song from which I take inspiration. But this week, I couldn’t resist referencing two songs that truly capture what I want to express. The first is appropriately called, …

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Sour Milk and Leadership

I know. It’s completely un-lady-like to drink milk straight from the container. However, occasionally when I’ve needed an ibuprofen for a headache to get to sleep and to put a little something in my stomach, I’ve reached straight for the container so as not to turn on all the lights or make too much noise. The last time I succumbed …

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Building Relationships

As I write this, Tom and I are on our way home from a quick but marvelous NYC getaway where we celebrated our second-year wedding anniversary. In three days, we took in Central Park and an outdoor lunch at Tavern on the Green, a rainy afternoon at the Metropolitan Museum trying our best to absorb the beauty and wonder on …