The Emerging Frontier in Consulting: Heart-Driven Leadership

Years ago, I first met and took my first training session with the noted mediator, author, and trainer Ken Cloke. To meet him, get to know him a little and receive training from him, coupled with complementary training and life experience for me at the same time, really helped open the doors to my whole orientation to the field. This exposure truly expanded my life, in general. Without knowing it, Ken helped give me permission to dive into my heart as deeply as I could in mediation, consulting, coaching, and even in dealing with my associates in the construction business […]

What I Learned at NYC-SHRM

Last Friday, I introduced Harmony Circles to a packed room of Human Resource professionals from all across New York City. I had been invited to speak at the NYC-SHRM conference, to introduce some key concepts from the world of ADR (alternative dispute resolution), as they apply to business settings. ADR has been gaining attention and impact in many spheres of American life, and I was excited to contribute to its application in the business world, by way of discussing a unique application in the workspace. A few hours before I spoke, Johnny C. Taylor Jr. challenged the crowd with a fascinating […]

The 3 Most Important Communication Skills for Business Leaders

As a Conflict & Communication Consultant, I am often asked my opinion on the most important skills that a manager needs, in order to inspire and lead effectively. Since each individual company and team will have its own flavor and style, you might think it nearly impossible to come up with skills that hold across industries, across teams, and across cultures. But in my experience, there are three skills that any manager would need, no matter which company, location, or industry she is in. These skills are what leaders require in order to be truly effective and drive innovation, collaboration, […]

The Magic of Harmony Circles

I came upon the idea of Harmony Circles* by chance. I hadn’t expected Harmony Circles to take over my practice and become my passion-project. I thought it was just another hippie idea, the newest fad. But once I witnessed and experienced a few Circles, it was clear that there was no denying the fact: Harmony Circles are the most effective, efficient, and flat-out enjoyable way to create a sense of community, responsibility, and belongingness. They foster healthy listening and compassionate relationships overnight. They can be applied to enhance employee relations, boost innovation, or build trust to get past conflicts. They […]

The Secret to Networking (That Gets Results!)

I recently attended a business networking event at which there was a palpable common thread: Nobody wanted to be there. I heard things like, “I hate networking events, but I figured I’d give it a shot,” and “I know this is how I’m supposed to market myself, so it’s a necessary evil.” One woman was an introvert and felt uncomfortable in crowds. Another expressed that she was exhausted at the end of a long day. So if no one wanted to be there, why did they come? Is it really the right way to get ahead? What do we get […]

What My Chemistry Teacher Taught Me About Conflict

In high school, I had a fantastic chemistry teacher, Mrs. B, who was driven to inspire us with a love of learning. We were a crowd of honors students, and she seemed to bare her soul to us, through her passion for chemistry. In her commitment to challenge us in our scientific growth, she served as a role model for what teaching can and should be. And it only occurred to me recently that although my career has little to do with chemistry (aside from interpersonal “chemistry,” as a metaphor for love relations), she imparted a wisdom that I use […]

Problem Solving

How to (un)solve problems

We face many decisions, challenges, and problems every day. From choosing our clothes, to our deadlines, to our children’s meals, we have to make myriad decisions in our lives. Most of these decisions (nay, all of them, if you ask an anthropologist) are driven by, informed by, and/or affect those around us. We have to keep in mind everyone else’s interests, when we make our decisions. Those of us in leadership positions, from CEOs to parents, from non-profit lay leaders to board members, have even more decisions we need to make. And these decisions all involve many parties, affecting thousands […]

Managing the Difficult Task of Firing an Employee

Handling Difficult Conversations

A friend in human resources recently shared with me that the toughest part of her new job is when she has to fire/let go of an employee. She can handle long-hours, neurotic personalities, and even an angry or belittling comment, but being the “bad guy” and bearer of bad-news feels jarringly wrong. Unfortunately, this is an integral part of her job, so she reluctantly does what needs to be done. But she doesn’t enjoy it and wishes there were someone else, or another way, to do it. Human resource professionals primarily focus on the soft-side of business. They help train […]