Readiness for Multicultural Organizational Change: Hearts, Minds and Cultural Norms

Posted on Sep 21, 2012 in Authentic Communication, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Lessons from the Field | 0 comments

Many nonprofit organizations embark on initiatives focused on diversity, inclusion, equity, cultural competence, cultural humility and/or multiculturalism. At the onset, there is usually a group of people—often a diversity committee—involved in planning the initiative. The people in this group are usually eager for, and deeply invested in, change. Then comes the task of engaging the rest of the organization to build buy-in and shared...

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Bridging Divides When Differences Run Deep

Posted on Jun 21, 2012 in Authentic Communication, Gender and Sexual Orientation, Lessons from the Field | 0 comments

Today’s blog is about engaging in dialogue about controversial issues. I share my own experiences speaking out as the mom of a gay son and discuss ideas, principles and skills to go beyond “preaching to the choir” and make room for all voices—especially those we disagree with. “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can...

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"Rocking the Boat" to Make a Difference

Posted on Mar 21, 2012 in Authentic Communication, Lessons from the Field | 2 comments

In honor of Women’s History Month, today’s “Lessons from the Field” is dedicated to women who “rock the boat” in the interest of creating more equitable and effective organizations. There are countless everyday “she-roes” who speak their truths, when not everyone is willing to listen. It is often a few brave women who speak out, sometimes repeatedly, to catalyze crucial conversations that make our organizations, communities, and...

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The Gift of Generous Listening

Posted on Dec 21, 2011 in Authentic Communication, Lessons from the Field | 0 comments

A few days ago I received the gift of generous listening from a friend and colleague. It changed my perspective and lifted me out of the winter blues. She listened to my concerns without judging or trying to fix anything. She acknowledged me in a way that left me feeling valued and believing that my contributions make a difference. Our conversation reminded me that generous listening can change lives. Generous listening is more than a skill, and...

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When Expectations Aren’t Met: Responsive Employee Feedback

Posted on Jun 22, 2011 in Authentic Communication, Lessons from the Field | 0 comments

Greetings and Happy Summer! Recently, several people have asked for training or support for supervisors on giving feedback to employees. My summer blog shares some ideas and principles that I have found to be valuable in responding when employees don’t meet expectations. While the focus is on feedback from supervisors to employees, the principles apply in other situations. Rick Bowers, Mediation Consultants, LLC, shared valuable insights...

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Transforming Communication: When Breakdowns Become Breakthroughs

Posted on Jul 21, 2010 in Authentic Communication, Lessons from the Field | 0 comments

Dear Friends, I didn’t start out my consultant business with a focus on communication. This focus grew as a result of a steady stream of communication breakdowns over the years: conflicts with people being targeted and blamed, people complaining that they weren’t being heard, concerns about lack of transparency, people avoiding difficult conversations, tensions resulting from different communication styles…and so on. I saw that...

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