Blog

  • Controversial Passion

    Regardless of your opinions on the recent US election, it is highly likely that the process has gotten you more passionate than you have been in quite some time! When we have been lulled in to complacency we don’t even know it. That’s what is so dangerous about it. As the old saying goes “How do you boil a frog?   Read More...

  • Dream One Size Too Big

    I love this sign. Found it in a store last week while looking for a large Texas Star to put on one of our buildings. In this process of Bill and I building a retreat and wedding venue we have had countless people say “Good for you for following your dream!” and “Wow, you are actually following through on your dream!” At the same time I experience these comments as encouraging feedback and sad commentary. They are usually said with a bit of mild shock and disappo...  Read More...

  • What Do Values Have to Do With It?

    This is my first time living in the US during an election. What a wild first experience! It has me thinking a lot about values.   Read More...

  • Defensiveness

    I Am NOT Defensive! It is a truly rare thing to find someone who doesn’t easily get defensive. Extremely rare actually. Today I want to ponder some reasons behind why we get defensive so that we can figure out some more effective strategies moving forward. Increasingly I have people tell me that they read my blog after having had time with me to see if I’m writing something about them. I’m thrilled to have readers but I want to say up front - this blog is not abo...  Read More...

  • Black and White

    Not sure what it says about me but I love to have people blindfolded and led around while blindfolded. This, by the way, is usually part of a leadership training activity, not just with total strangers at the grocery store! When I debrief this activity one thing that always comes up is that even with strict instructions to the leaders to stay totally quiet, the people being led automatically are trying to figure out who is leading them. Why? When I push on this, the answer I get i...  Read More...

  • Grateful in Little Rock

    Do you ever wonder if “life”, “God” or “the universe” is trying to teach you a lesson? Today I am spending 9 hours in the Little Rock, Arkansas airport as a result of our second emergency aircraft landing in 2 months. Hmmm.  I have grown less convinced over the years that there is meaning behind everything that happens but this is quite interesting when after decades of flying quite often this has not happened to me before. Regardless of your religious or spiritual orientation I think ...  Read More...

  • Blank Slates

    As I write this I’m looking out my window at a blank slate, in my garden that is. One of the most exciting things about this piece of property when we bought it was the fenced garden. It’s 50’ by 75’ with a fence high enough to keep deer out.   Read More...

  • 5 Methods For More Effective Anger

    This week I have been deeply touched by a number of you sharing deeply personal stories about your own experiences with anger and rage. I have heard from people wrestling with the impact of someone else’s anger expressions but I have also heard from people who know that they might be the one expressing anger in ways that may hurt people they love.Although I’m coming from a place of having to learn to express anger, I have learned a few things over the years that are relevant for thos...  Read More...

  • The Aftermath of Childhood

    Growing up there was one person who got to get angry in my family. Dad. He did not have skills for self-management, communication or stress-reduction so his anger translated to outbursts of rage. My Dad is gone so why is this relevant now? Many of us have grown up with a parent who raged or have been in an adult relationship with someone who rages.   Read More...

  • "Inny" or "Outy"?

    In case you haven’t met me in person, I’m an extrovert. (Insert peels of laughter from my friends and family who are saying “ya think???”).Two things I have had to work on in my life is:Understanding how others experience my extroversion and adjusting andLearning what introverts need and adjusting.There are a couple of simple tests to tell you which camp you land in or if you land in the middle. The first is simply “How exhausted are you after a day, a few hours, wi...  Read More...

  • The Art and Science of Apologizing

    As a Canadian I can claim special expertise here, coming from a nation famous to quickly offer the “I’m sorry” whether it’s appropriate or not. There are so many ways that we use apologies, some great and some that are not so healthy. Let’s just go ahead and get the appropriate and easy ones out of the way. I did something wrong, made a mistake, in some way hurt or damaged someone and I apologize based on a thorough understanding of how I contributed. This...  Read More...

  • 7 Brilliant Ideas - Client Wisdom

    One of the amazing benefits of being a coach to brilliant leaders is adopting the incredible strategies that they already have or that they create in coaching. I have been benefiting from many of these ideas so I thought today I’d share them with you. (The odd one may have been mine.) Consider this a brilliant ideas download, not necessarily in any kind of order. If it reminds you of some of your brilliant ideas, I would love it if you send them to me!When you have something sign...  Read More...

  • Story Time

    As I write this I am just hours away from presenting to a group on the topic of building confidence. Stories are important in training and I’ve been mulling some over to share and thought I’d share some with you.Many years ago I had an encounter with a close friend that I was building a non-profit organization with. It was a super painful conversation that questioned, criticized and judged multiple aspects of who I was and how I lived my life.To say it left me shaken would be a gross...  Read More...

  • Live in the Now!

    Hi, I’m Brenda Ryan, and I have the good luck and privilege of working with Marilyn. Having just returned from a 10-day “vipassana” meditation course, Marilyn invited me to write a guest blogpost sharing my experience. I duly agreed!“Vipassana” means “insight” and is a form of Buddhist meditation practiced for millennia.   Read More...

  • Mini-Series: Part 3 - The Hero

    Ah, "the Hero". When we speak of archetypes, similar indeed to the savior complex. As a point of summary, we have discussed Martyrs and Victims already. The point in looking at archetypes is looking at the unhealthy version of legitimate roles.   Read More...

  • Mini-Series: Part 2 - Martyr

    Let's talk about the archetype Martyr. Let's be clear, this is very distinct from the brave people who have lived so true to their values that it has cost them their lives. We speak here only of people who allow harm or neglect to come to themselves in the service of others. The "martyr" self-sacrifices when not asked to do so by others.   Read More...

  • Mini-Series: Part 1 - Victim

    I love mini-series so I thought I’d go ahead and create one. Spoiler-alert - it won’t have the same tension and suspense as a good Netflix original but will hopefully be somewhat entertaining, educational and motivating.If you research archetypes there are a bunch of them: Magician, Slave, Wounded Child, Victim, Martyr, Missionary, Rebel, Healer, Saboteur, and Prostitute to name just some!Since I said mini-series, I’m only going to tackle a few of these. Today, let’s talk...  Read More...

  • Friendly Feedback

    Recently I had the privilege and pleasure of hearing Dr. Marshall Goldsmith speak. For sure he was a name I knew but experiencing the person was so much more impressive. Dr.   Read More...

  • Unintentional Blackmail

    When we think of blackmail we think of someone using leverage to make you do something that you don’t want to do. We think of this usually in very concrete planned out situations.There is a version of emotional blackmail though that happens in our lives quite often. It happens on our personal lives and it happens in the workplace.Based on the emotional reaction of the other person we scale back what we are asking for or what we need.   Read More...

  • Communication Mistakes

    One of the most common communication “mistakes” is actually the lack of communication. This happens so much and for so many different reasons in the workplace.  So, what are some of the reasons why we don’t communicate:  I’ve not done what I should have done yet so I delay communicating  What I have to say may create conflict and I’m uncomfortable with that  Perhaps when I do update you, you won’t like or respect me as much  I’m simply buying myself s...  Read More...

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  • Enriching Your Soil

    My garden teaches and illustrates many of life’s lessons for me. Today I want to focus on the importance of rich soil. Obviously this blog is not about gardening but the garden sure highlights some great principles.These two images are of the same plant, same seed but what a dramatic difference!There may be some other minor factors contributing but the two main differences between these two are 1) the soil and 2) regular watering.Let’s talk about soil.   Read More...

  • How to Become a Hero

    Over the last week, after the awe of the eclipse Texas has experienced the trauma of Hurricane Harvey.Many of our friends and family have been really impacted but all are safe, what a gift!It has been inspiring to watch the rescue efforts and to watch people gearing up to help for the very long next phase of rebuilding.Just like in the recently released movie Dunkirk, a historical account of how everyday people stepped in to rescue with their own boats, we are seeing ordinary people going door t...  Read More...

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