Uncomfortable Kindness

“You’re always so nice to me.” I say this incredulously... every. single. time. I say it with surprise and a twinge of actual, physical, discomfort. Why? Kindness is not unfamiliar to me — (most) people are (mostly) kind. And yet? Kindness, especially in the form of “words of affirmation” (aka praise) can make me so [...]

Why do we do that?

When I asked participants for “one word” feedback on an event that I facilitated, the feedback was: Inspiring. Valuable. Engaging. Informative. Productive. Excellent. Fantastic. Interactive. On target. Interactive. Amazing. Joyful. Validating. Wonderful. Bland. Educational. Practical. Fun. Helpful. Useful. Great. Refreshing. Positive. Beneficial. Awesome. Inspirational. Just what I needed. Terrific. Eye-opening.  But guess what I saw? Inspiring. [...]

Bite-size advocacy

"Because my first role is advocate for children…” I hastily scribbled those words in my notes a few years ago, while listening to Sherry Cleary lead a professional development segment. She was recalling a conversation with a staff member and shared some excellent strategies for delivering feedback and facilitating difficult conversations. Although advocacy was not [...]