Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Important Conversations

Have you ever found yourself in a situation, with another person, that was uncomfortable, irritating, frustrating, aggravating, frightening or confusing? Most of us experience those feelings from time to time. What do you do? Do you express your feelings? Do you listen to the other person's viewpoint? Do you try to learn from the situation?

The best way to resolve difficult situations is to talk about it with the other party or parties involved. This can be overwhelming, and many of us tend to postpone "the talk," hoping the problem will go away or resolve itself. The authors of the book, Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most, address this topic and offer advice on initiating talk about those challenging topics.

You can discover strengths and weaknesses in your approach to difficult conversations by taking the Have the Talk Quiz or download a Difficult Conversations Preparation Worksheet (pdf format.) The worksheet is not a script, but rather a guide to help you focus on the issues to be discussed in an open, honest and understanding way.

If you feel ready to have "the talk" but find yourself procrastinating, it might be helpful to set a date for the important conversation. You could even choose to do it on January 1, 2008, which has been designated, "Have the Talk" Day.

So, go ahead, have "the talk." It may be easier than you think.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


One of my favorite scenes in the movie, Dead Poets' Society, is when Professor Keating has the students stand on his desk and face the classroom, so that they can see things from a different perspective.

When things seem to stagnate in our lives or in our learning, it's time for a new perspective. Relax. Have your children prepare dinner. Take a walk. Sing in the shower. Dance in your front yard. Make a hat with items you find around the house (and wear it!) Read a Shel Silverstein poem. Make faces in the mirror. Blow bubbles.

Now, what was that problem, you were trying to solve? Oh, yes. Ideas are flowing now!