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Ripple on a silence pond

The Power of Silence

A good facilitator makes it look easy-breezy, which is part of the magic. If the facilitator has accomplished this feat, then she is good! When one goes and graduates from “facilitator training school,” as I have, the first lesson is that “it takes twice as long to prepare, as it does to deliver.” Fortunately, over time and with practice, the preparation time is cut down considerably.

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I'm Sorry in blocks

The Two Most Difficult Words in the English Language: I’m Sorry

“It’s not if we make mistakes; rather, how we handle them,” to (not very humbly) quote myself. Lessons I’ve Learned Over the Years: When I goof, saying “I’m sorry” stands alone, and is powerful. Providing an explanation serves to dilute the apology, and often reads as an excuse, a la, “Sorry I’m late; I ran…

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warning coflict

Do We Ever Really Resolve Conflicts? Try Conflict Management

For practitioners of organizational development, there are two schools of thought when it comes to handling conflict. Some advocate conflict resolution, while others subscribe to conflict management. Ponder the difference between the notion of conflict resolution and that of conflict management. Conflict resolution means that a conflict is

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workplace diversity

Diversity and Communication: The Fork in the Road

Diversity is a wonderful thing. The benefits abound: a McKinsey study found that diverse boards of directors generate better returns and more money; a Tuft’s study concluded that diverse groups uncover more angles when serving on mock juries (which underscores the value all the more so); a combined study by Columbia, MIT, University of Texas-Dallas…

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two women using active listening

Active Listening: A Leadership Superpower

In 1956 when Dr. Carl R. Rogers and a fellow psychiatrist coined the phrase “active listening,” were they prescient? Did they know that 65 years later the skill would be needed more than ever? Did they have a crystal ball, enabling them to see how communication – the basis of all human interaction – would…

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communication tips in unexpected places

Communication Tips in Unexpected Places

As an avid mystery reader, consuming a series from beginning to end, I return to the first in Louise Penny’s series featuring Armand Gamache, a complex detective that steals one’s heart. Among his many, and diverse qualities, his wise counsel on the human condition is distilled into four communication tips that say it all. Introduced…

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self-employed consultant

So, You Want to Be a Self-Employed Consultant?

Internet communication can be a wonderful thing. I just reconnected with a friend who was formerly employed in a large consulting firm and is struggling to make it on his own. His LinkedIn post to me: “wow, finding new clients is a full-time job.” My response, which is the nuts and bolts of this blog:…

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Teamwork: The Whole is Greater than the Sum of its Parts

Whether it’s called an ice breaker or a warm-up exercise, we facilitators have a number of them in our bag of tricks to engage – immediately – the audience. One of my favorites is a trifecta; it can be used to demonstrate in real-time, structured brainstorming, diversity, and teamwork – and all in a matter…

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