Character Development


28Sep 2008

Character Issues: Responsibility — its apparent demise

Just some musings and observations from the past week– from the news, working with some businesses, and some reading. It appears that the character quality of responsibility is slowly (?) disappearing from at least some parts of our culture.  It is an odd experience — on the one hand, to be dealing with businesses and managers where they are all

24Aug 2008

What to Say When You Don't Have Anything to Say

I didn’t write an entry last week because I couldn’t really think of much to say. Nothing profound or new (not that my entries are typically profound.) So I decided to “think on it”. This week, I don’t necessary have anything new (again), but I have been thinking about those situations when you don’t have much to say — and

10Aug 2008

Lessons We Can Learn From Rainy Days

August in the Midwest is usually the “dog days of summer” — hot, intense sun, and humid.  It is uncomfortable and physically draining.  But we have had some unusual weather this past week — cool and rainy. Three solid days of rain, in fact, in a time of year that we don’t expect it. So, as a result, I’ve had

03Aug 2008

Perseverance — It's not pretty. It's not fun. But it works.

Endurance. Perseverance. Persistence. Patience. They are words I hear a lot when individuals who are successful in their field describe how or why they succeeded. And yet perseverance is not a word nor a concept that we are especially drawn to. It is almost one of those characteristics that we look back on and view positively, but not one that

20Jul 2008

The Encouragement of Thanks

Recently, my wife and I have had a couple of experiences together on which we both commented to one another. One experience was actually two separate events that were similar and which occurred close together. As a family, we enjoy music and frequently go to music events of various kinds — concerts by professionals, school concerts, musical theatre productions, and

14Jul 2008

How to Create Problems in Your Life: Avoid Conflict

I have observed a common pattern across many areas that I work (and live) — people avoiding dealing with tense or conflictual situations in their relationships with others. And almost always, not dealing with the situation creates additional problems or makes the conflict larger and more intense (often involving more people than were originally involved). And it happens in lots of

15Jun 2008

Lessons Learned from My Grandfathers

On this Father’s Day, I thought I would reflect some on the lessons I learned from my grandfathers. My Grandpa White was the only child in his family and his father died when my grandpa was 16 years old. As a result, he became in charge of the small family farm and the “man of the house” at that young

02Jun 2008

Good News! Research Verifies "Work is Good for You"

Although I am a psychologist who has published research myself, and reviews and uses research findings in my everyday work, those of you who have known me for a while also know I have a bit of a skeptical (and sometimes cynical) view of claims made by researchers (and even more so, claims reported in the mainstream media). Part of

11May 2008

Lessons Learned from Mothers — Not your typical Mother's Day schmaltz

Mother’s Day reflections are helpful and important, I believe, because they remind us to think about our life over a longer time frame. Most of our daily lives are just that, “daily”, and very present-focused. As a result, we tend to not pay attention to the longer trends in our lives — which includes parenting (both being “parented” and parenting

23Mar 2008

An Attitude of Learning – A character quality of successful individuals

When I meet with business owners and managers, I often ask them what characteristics they look for in younger managers they are interviewing for positions. Frequently, one quality mentioned is the desire and willingness to learn. Recently, I have had some amazing discussions with gentlemen (I use the word with its specific meaning in mind) who are older than I

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