Communication


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

08Jun 2008

The Foundation of Healthy Family Relationships: Consistent Time and Communication

Much of life is not magic or spectacular. As one of my friends says, “Life is daily.” And when we look at the goals so many of us have — to be healthy physically— in shape and not overweight; to be moving toward financial independence; to have healthy family relationships — in our marriage, with our children, and among our

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

16Mar 2008

The Simplicity of Healthy Relationships

I don’t mean to sound snub or condescending but, in a lot of ways, having healthy relationships is not that big of deal. Having positive relationships doesn’t have to be as difficult as people want to make it. I often tell my friends (and sometimes, my clients) that the work I do is not rocket science. Helping families and business

10Feb 2008

When Is a Problem Really a "Problem"?

A fair amount of my time professionally is listening to individuals, families and organizations who are experiencing some challenges that they are trying to manage successfully. They describe to me a variety of problems and are looking for insight on what to do. The issues range from individual behavior and feelings — anxiety about life, problems with anger management, patterns

25Nov 2007

Healthy & Unhealthy Boundaries — Their Impact on Our Lives

I’ve been thinking about boundaries lately, and observing how significantly they impact our daily lives. The lack of boundaries in relationships (or attempts to overstep established boundaries) seem to be a frequent cause of relational tension. Obviously, there are different levels at which to consider boundaries — at the geopolitical level (e.g. the border between the United States and Mexico),

11Nov 2007

Networking – Some additional thoughts and reflections

“Networking” is obviously not only about trying to use relational contacts to find a job or find a quality person for a position you are trying to fill.  We use our social networks for a variety of purposes — finding quality professionals or technicians for tasks we need to get done, locating charitable organizations that are good stewards of the

04Nov 2007

"Perception is Reality" — Not Always True

In my work with people, I often deal with individuals’ reactions to situations as well as communication issues between co-workers and family members. As a result, in the process of working through these issues, people often say to me, “Well, you know, perception is reality.” Sometimes they say this to explain how miscommunication occurred with another person, or why they

27May 2007

How To Deal with Dysfunctional People — And Not Go Crazy Yourself

Last posting I described dysfunctional people and what behavior patterns characterize them. That is really the easy part.  The tough part is learning how to deal with dysfunctional people in our lives — whether they are family members, coworkers, employees, or neighbors — and to do so in a way that doesn’t make us go crazy (or so we don’t

21May 2007

What is a ‘Dysfunctional Family’ and How Does it Mess You Up?

Last entry we briefly discussed how one’s early life experiences shapes a person’s worldview and often continues to impact your values and decisions long into adulthood. I thought it would be good to extend this discussion into the realm of dysfunctional families. First, it is important (to me, at least) to communicate that I am as tired as anyone by

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