Articles By Maureen

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Face the dragon: Slay your next challenging encounter 7 ways

I often help clients prepare for encounters in which they expect conflict, tension and opposition to rise up like fire-breathing dragons. No wonder we obsess, postpone or look for a way out of these meetings and conversations. Look: when we feel we’re going into battle, let’s not do it with no plan, no armor, and no real grip on our light saber

The Nerve: 4 Ways to Take Charge of Jitters

Sometimes, we have it down cold. Then, just when it’s time to show it, we blow it. From deer-in-headlights, sweating, shaking, can’t-do-it anxiety to mildly annoying apprehension, nerves are natural responses to being watched, heard, or evaluated.

Refrain and Replace – “Banished Words” and What to Use Instead

Originally posted in 2016, updated in 2021; a rare curmudgeonly post from a usually sunny and optimistic writer. The annual ‘Banished Words” List, a favorite of mine, seeks to strike out nonsensical, over-used and tasteless expressions.

Productive Meetings

“The purpose of meetings is not to talk – the purpose of meetings is to arrive at ideas, solutions, plans and decisions.” — Alexander Kjerulf, Happy Hour is 9 to 5. When we want most anything to go better, the basic how-to can be easy. Making the needed changes is much harder, so the problem persists. We all dislike boring, unproductive meetings.

The Opinion Reflex: Take Command

Many of us perceive ourselves as pretty good listeners. When that’s true, it’s likely that we’re not being jerked around by a muscular Opinion Reflex.  As I see it, we do tend to have such a reflex. Nearly everything we hear prompts us to pull up our position on the subject – based mostly on what we already know, or think, or feel.

Good Listener? You? 3 Ways to be Sure

Ask the next ten people you see, “Are you a good listener?” and you’ll likely hear “yes” in ten different ways. It’s a quality that we take pride in, like being a great driver or a bad liar.  But if you then ask, “Are most people good listeners?” you’ll get very different responses.