What’s on Our Minds: Holiday Cards

Whether as a sender or recipient, many of us are part of the annual tradition of giving holiday cards. The warm glow from photos of family, friends’, and colleagues’ cheery faces can brighten our homes and make the season feel that much warmer. Designing a card, selecting the “perfect” photo, and inscribing an uplifting sentiment… Continue reading

What’s on Our Minds: Ingratitude

Occasionally we may run into people who are ungrateful—they neither acknowledge something “gifted” to them, nor feel any need to return a good gesture nor pay it forward. Now typically when we do something kind for someone else, without any expectation of something in return, this shouldn’t matter. But then why does thanklessness bother some… Continue reading

What’s on Our Minds: Self-forgiveness

While people can often be reluctant to forgive someone who has hurt them, we can also be reluctant to forgive ourselves for hurt we have caused. Self-forgiveness begins with taking responsibility for our actions and addressing feelings of guilt and shame, without wallowing in them. While often used interchangeably because they are both painful self-conscious… Continue reading

What’s on Our Minds: Acts of Omission

Conflict is often assumed to be centered on arguments and head-butting. But there’s a whole other type of conflict that can occur when we leave others out. Many of us can recall a time when we weren’t chosen, invited, or felt brushed aside. While this doesn’t involve an escalating argument—being excluded and how we perceive… Continue reading

What’s on Our Minds: You Never Fight Fair

While it might feel good to get what’s on our minds, off of our chests— what we need to say and how we feel we should communicate it don’t always go hand-in-hand. Blasting others with statements starting with “You,” are the quickest way to put someone on the defensive, escalating the situation by assigning blame,… Continue reading

What’s On Our Minds: “Saving Face”

Everyone knows I have been struggling to keep up lately, so it was no surprise when I got the email from my manager about getting some time on the calendar to check in. When the uncomfortable and embarrassing conversation happened, “the general feedback recently from your team is that your work is sliding” – now… Continue reading

What’s on Our Minds: Saying “No” and Meaning it

Turnover, burnout, understaffing, and a host of other reasons contribute to the mounting volume of responsibilities that many of us are buried under these days. While certain opportunities may offer a boost in making progress towards or achieving our goals—every time we say “yes” to tasks that potentially lead to advancement, it increases our accountability… Continue reading

What’s on Our Minds: Crying “Wolf!”

Why is the Aesop Fable of the “Boy Who Cried Wolf” such a powerful example about trust? Because it demonstrates how quickly trust can be permanently destroyed sometimes with grave consequences when we maliciously prank others. In the fable, a bored boy who is tending sheep thinks it would be amusing to pretend he sees… Continue reading

What’s on Our Minds: Empathy is not Coddling

In our workplaces, to build resilience, empathy has an important role. Adapting to, persevering through, and learning from adversity leverages trusted relationships as a support system—it’s important to lean on others when things are particularly hard. As leaders we strive to have an open-door policy where others can come to us and speak freely about… Continue reading

What’s on Our Minds: More than “I Hear Ya”

Hearing is not necessarily listening—sometimes we can be heard without uttering a word. Listening is not about ear function; it’s noticing, tuning in, and responding to others.   While not much time is spent teaching how to listen in traditional educational settings, so much of what we need to feel valued and supported in our… Continue reading

“Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy.”

- Norman Schwarzkopf