Humiliation Equals Censorship

“Hello. My name is Jeannette. How are you today?” I tried to say it Spanish. My college professor said this in English, “How about you try to pronounce it correctly this time?” My response was equally snarky … “How about you teach me to say it correctly and I will!” This brief interaction over 20

My Boss Taught Me a Lesson

I thought I was going to get fired.  It was my first semester as college faculty, and my boss was evaluating my teaching in action.  I was already nervous and seeing my boss in the back of the classroom with pen and paper in hand didn’t help my anxiety.  Then a student raised her hand

The Insensitive Boss

A number of years ago a person in a training class of mine shared a story. I am retelling it with her permission. Let’s call her Sue. Sue had returned to work after taking a sabbatical under the Family Medical Leave Act.  During her first one-on-one with her boss, Sue’s boss asked, “How are you

  • women in front of audience feeling insecure and not feeling psychological safety

A Tale of Battered Psychological Safety

Newly divorced. Only 24 years old. I was raw. Trying to claw my way out of feeling like a failure, I enrolled in college for the first time. During my first semester, I mustered the courage to compete in a speech event. I practiced my carefully crafted speech in front my parents … their response

Psychological Safety and How It Looks

Recently I had a conversation with a high-level leader about psychological safety. She told me, “This sounds like HR fluff and honestly, it would never fly here.” I appreciated this person’s honesty, but at the same time she epitomized exactly why psychological safety is critically important in the places most resistant to it. Had I

Why I Care About Psychological Safety (and what is it?)

I had a coworker who rolled his eyes when I talked and would “humph” under his breath. I remember feeling insecure and afraid to speak up. This was almost 20 years ago, and the problem was a lack of psychological safety on our team. I want to prevent this problem on your teams because it

How to Win a Customer Back

(This is the #1 of our Top 5 Most Popular blog posts of 151 posts!) Frustrated. Angry. Irritated. Disappointed. Flabbergasted. Annoyed. Shocked. Confused. This is how I felt recently when I purchased a pair of prescription sunglasses and then returned them because the lenses weren’t dark enough. I purchased the same pair a second time

5 Interpersonal Communication Competencies

I taught inmates in a prison several years ago.  One of the men in my classroom told me that when he was 11 years old, his parents taught him how to cook, cut, and sell crack cocaine.  It may come as no surprise to you the reason he was in prison – drug dealing. This

How to Get Motivated

Staying motivated is a challenge for EVERYONE I know. Sure, we all have moments of momentum, but what happens when our momentum slows or comes to a screeching halt? Do you relinquish the power of motivation? Do you accept you just aren’t going to be productive? Do you give up hope of completing your tasks?

Communicating with an Expressive!

Here is the #4 of our Top 5 Most Popular blog posts of 151 posts! Meet Nina. Nina likes excitement. She loves to spend time chit-chatting with coworkers and is known for being highly energetic. When Nina arrives at work it takes a little time for her to focus on the tasks of the day.