Resisting Hurtful Messages with Counternarratives 

Posted on Mar 4, 2020 in Authentic Communication, Children's Books, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Gender and Sexual Orientation, Lessons from the Field | 0 comments

We get messages from all around us in many different forms – from words, behaviors, images, books, television and more. Negative messages can leave us feeling that we don’t belong, we’re not enough, we’re too much, we’re unlovable, or we’re undeserving. This post provides some tips for resisting and countering those messages. Read on for ways to support young people, adults, or for your own self-care. When my child was growing...

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Using Gender-Inclusive Language with Children & Families: 7 Tips

Posted on Mar 30, 2018 in Authentic Communication, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Gender and Sexual Orientation, Lessons from the Field | 7 comments

The Gendering of Language When you pay attention, it’s hard to miss the fact that gendered words are part and parcel of everyday language. For most of my life, I just took these habits for granted. But, raising a gender-expansive child and learning from the LGBTQ+ community has made me more aware of how deeply ingrained gendered language is, and how harmful it can be. Most gendered words are binary; they make room for only two genders...

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Undoing Patterns of Privilege as We Learn

Posted on Sep 22, 2015 in Authentic Communication, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Lessons from the Field | 0 comments

In my work with organizations around race, power and privilege, I’ve noticed a pattern. Sometimes we anticipate defensiveness on the part of white people in the group and plan our sessions to accommodate this defensiveness. I’ve begun correcting this pattern and setting goals more proactively. At the same time, I have become hyper aware that a primary reasons we’re doing this work is that people of color may feel unsafe,...

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Six Practices for Building Staff Morale from the Inside Out

Posted on Sep 22, 2014 in Authentic Communication, Lessons from the Field | 0 comments

Non-profits are magnets for people who want to make a difference in the world, yet many people who start out with high ideals end up down and discouraged. There is often one big obstacle to staff morale –  the morale of the leaders themselves. When leaders are deflated, overwhelmed and/or on survival mode, they aren’t good morale boosters for the organization. This is why attending to the morale of leaders is often a good starting...

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When Your Buttons Get Pushed: Cultivating Self-Empathy

Posted on Jun 21, 2014 in Authentic Communication, Lessons from the Field | 0 comments

“Someone said something that really pushed my buttons. I was too upset to use my listening skills or respond in a positive way. What can I do to deal with my own feelings when I’m triggered?”  This topic comes up often in my Authentic Communication workshops. Here’s a response based on tools that I have used in my own life and in coaching others. If you are getting triggered you probably have a need that isn’t getting met. One way to...

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Intent and Impact Across Difference: 10 Tips

Posted on Mar 20, 2014 in Authentic Communication, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Lessons from the Field | 0 comments

  Negative Impact Happens Have you ever said or done things with the best intentions that ended up being hurtful or damaging? Or maybe someone said or did something that didn’t sit right with you? You’re not alone. This post provides some tips for how to respond to such situations. Messages we send or actions we take are often received differently than intended. This can happen more often when cultural differences are involved, because...

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