Category Archives: blog

Being courageous enough to connect authentically and imperfectly

Nothing puts the brakes on our desire to start conversations and connect with others quite like fear.  And there are many flavors of social fear from which to choose. Fear of any type of social engagement, especially with people we don’t know. Fear that comes from not knowing what to say to get (and keep) a conversation going. Fear of the possible awkwardness (or conflict) that might occur. Fear of being seen as less-than, imperfect, uninformed, or unworthy. Fear of being our true selves. Fear …

Is networking an art or a craft?

I have a question for you:  When you network, socialize, converse, connect – whatever you prefer to call it – is your style more that of an artist? Or a craftsperson?

This question came to me after reading the book Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking by David Bayle and Ted Orland. The book came highly recommended by a very well-read friend who knows me – and my work – very well.  (Don’t you love those friends? The …

The people who keep our lights shining bright

There’s a delightful store in my neighborhood that sells all kinds of cool merchandise ranging from quirky dinner and glassware to whimsical wall art and handcrafted journals.  I try to visit this favorite store every few weeks, just to see what’s new.  I also like to rummage through a big round bin of 3 by 5 recycled paper cards imprinted with interesting quotes set in vintage typestyles. These cards are among the least expensive items in the store. What’s more, the quotes are way more …

Who do you go to?

It’s always fun to win something.  Which is what I did last weekend when I attended a brunch for women in the communications industry. What made this prize even better? It was a book:  Know Yourself: A Book of Questions.

If you’re familiar with my work you may already know that “Know Yourself” is among the first things I teach when it comes to becoming a more Intentional Networker – and a happier, more successful person. You may also know that I absolutely love interesting …

The Four Levels of Networking Awareness

In talking to people and working with my clients, I’ve identified four basic levels of Networking Awareness.  Can you identify where you are based on the descriptions below?

  1. You don’t know what you don’t know.  You’re unaware that you could (and should) be making, maintaining, and building connections and friendships, both at work and in your personal life.  You don’t know about (or refuse to believe in) the many benefits being well-connected can bring you personally and professionally. You think you’re doing fine as is,

Powerful strategies for better conversations

One of the things I love most about my work is getting people together to learn about and enjoy good conversation. This, in turn, often leads to a number of benefits for those who participate in my sessions.  These benefits include:

  • Learning what “good” conversation really is and what it feels like
  • Meaningful connection or even a new friendship. (You can call this “networking” if you wish, but I think it’s much more powerful.)
  • A tidbit of critical information.
  • A potential solution to a vexing

What we wish we knew then: 27 bits of advice from seasoned leaders

For those of you who are adults: Remember what it was like back in your early 20s? The excitement, the possibilities, the ability to stay up late (having fun) and get up early (and still get some work done)?  (Boy, those days are pretty history in my life!)

For those of you in your 20s: Excited about your future?  You should be!  So much potential and so many possibilities in the years ahead.

Along those lines, I had the pleasure of presenting an interactive session …

The stresses – and benefits – of change

I had just returned from a wonderful vacation when I heard the earth-shattering news. My gym, a privately-owned facility ranked among the best workout facilities in the nation, had been purchased by a larger publicly-held corporation.

“Oh no!” I thought. The place I love so much (and spend so much time in) is going to change! My beloved gym is going to lose its personality, sense of community, and possibly even its great classes, instructors, and friendly staff.  It’s going to turn into just another

Powerful – yet simple – advice on living and connecting well

Every year I re-do the big bulletin board in my office; the one my friend Cindy had made for me several years ago.  It’s three-and-a-half feet tall and four-and-a-half feet wide. Huge and surrounded by a magnificent frame, much like the kind you’d put around a masterpiece.  This bulletin board begs to be put to important use; to showcase big ideas, important memories, and inspiring notes.  I post my annual vision board here, as well as favorite photos, my latest speaking engagement schedule, advice I’ve …

Where could you use a refresh?

     Do you have a morning ritual? Besides coffee and some reading and writing, mine includes giving my dogs a walk around my neighborhood.  Julia Cameron, creator/author of “The Artist’s Way,” insists daily walks can give us valuable insights. I couldn’t agree more. Today’s walk proved to be no exception.
     As the dogs and I meandered down a favorite street, we passed a brick one-story that features a small bay window. I’m guessing this window is over the kitchen sink.  I have a window similar to