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Answer First, Story Second

A few years ago, I had the privilege of being interviewed by media and advertising specialist, Randy Alvarez, for his show The Wellness Hour. As we prepped for the show in the “green room,” Randy and I talked through some of the potential questions he would be asking me. When he asked, “Is downloadable audio the only way an administrator or …

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Summer Reading Lessons

In my work, I usually spend a fair amount of time on planes and reading is one of the things I most enjoy to pass the time. I equally love reading for personal and business growth as well as for the sheer pleasure of a great, all-engrossing novel. And summertime seems to beckon me to read even more. Today, I’m …

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Aggressive vs. Assertive

Some years ago, I was facilitating a team meeting in a client office where we were discussing some ideas about how to improve their case acceptance with patients. The owner felt most members of the team, including himself, were relatively timid in the way they recommended necessary treatment, if not outright apologetic. He felt they needed to be more assertive …

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Conversational Cocktails

The ancient Chinese philosopher, Laozi, said, “Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.” For years I have been a student of what constitutes, influences, and improves Conversational Intelligence (CI), and lately there has been a tremendous amount of neuroscience giving us great insight into how we can master our …

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Precautionary Landings

Years ago, Tom and I took a much-needed vacation on the island of Kauai with a short side trip to Oahu. There’s a good reason they call it paradise. Hawaii is serene, breathtaking, and majestic, especially the NaPali Coastline. Even if you’ve never been there, you’ve seen it in movies like Jurassic Park or South Pacific. We were triple lucky …

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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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Music Monday: What Are You For?

Over the next ten months leading up to the presidential election, many of us will hear, see, and experience the exact same things but assign them vastly different meanings, come to different conclusions, and craft and tell a different story about them… to ourselves and others. Many will talk about what they dislike or even hate. They will tell and …

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From Obstacle to Hero to Guide

Last week, I wrote about speaking and marketing to your consumer base with the idea of being the guide who is helping them to become the hero of your product or service story. This week, I’d like to offer a more personal perspective on the exact same idea. As a leadership and communication coach, I’m hoping to be the guide …

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Part Two: Demonstrating Empathy

Last week, I shared about a conversation I had with a man at dinner. This man trains Oncology Residents and, while he is truly impressed with the dedication, talent, and level of clinical and scientific education his recent students possess, he lamented the poor level of skill his students exhibit in their ability to connect, relate, and communicate effectively with …

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Part One: The Healing Power of Empathy

Last week, I spoke on Courageous Conversations on the Smiles at Sea cruise to the Bahamas. I’m not much of a cruiser myself, but I confess that it’s not a terrible day at the office either. At dinner one night, I discussed the concept of empathy and patient communication with a PhD pharmacist who works in Oncology and teaches Residents. …