Don’t Just Say Something…Stand There!

I call it therapist mode.   In therapist school we called it “active listening,” meaning listen to understand, not necessarily to comment.  And, if necessary, in an opportune moment repeat what they said back to them so they KNOW you were listening.   One of the credos that stuck with me when I was involved with the Red Cross Disaster Mental health Division was, “Don’t just say something…..stand there!” In other words: don’t talk, just be present and listen.   In any crisis people want to be heard, not given advice, sympathetic prose, or anecdotal stories about how the same
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Capabilities Statement for The Shuler Group

We have created a two-page document (Capabilities Statement) that states our mission, capabilities, credentials, and our unique approach. The Shuler Group, LLC, provides consulting and training services to commercial, not-for-profit, and government organizations. Our programs and consulting solve challenges in employee engagement, employee turnover, and company culture. As a 100% woman-owned business with Maryland state certification as an MBE/DBE/SBE, The Shuler Group is committed to extreme service and creating innovative and sustainable solutions for our clients.    
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Dysfunctional Communication Styles – Part 2

In Part 1 , I discussed the problems with dysfunctional communication styles, especially if they’re ongoing.  In today’s blog post, I list the 16 Dysfunctional Communication Styles with a brief description of each. Psychological Cycle of Violence- Like the physical cycle of violence, there is an explosion, followed by an apology, honeymoon period, and tension building, then explosion again. Debate Club – Unlike an official debate, there is no referee and no acknowledgement that a debate is actually taking place. Un-authorized Declarations – This comes in the form of someone declaring something to be so, without any proof or authority. Monologue
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Dysfunctional Communication Styles – Part 1

What is a dysfunctional communication style? It is a pattern of speaking and interacting that shuts down true connection, inhibits forward action, becomes energy draining, lowers self esteem, and can affect the overall health and well-being of a relationship. A dysfunctional communication style being a pattern is important to note because we all can have (and no doubt have had) a, less than sterling conversation or encounter. This bad interaction can happen for many reasons; however, once this interaction is over the reasons for the dysfunction are also over. The purpose of identifying a dysfunctional communication style is to diffuse
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Remember It’s About Them

I have seen a lot of posted articles on LinkedIn about how we should comport ourselves when interacting with others in business or other settings.  They talk a lot about the do’s and don’ts. Some of this advice is a no-brainer.  Fidgeting/nervous behavior, looking at your phone a lot, and self centeredness are universal “don’t dos.” Others of these statements, however, may not be as universal, and most often have to do with the specific values of the person writing the article.  I read blanket statements like… “Don’t be late to appointments” (although this is definitely a good policy, it
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Give Them a Fish

Most of you I am sure have heard the quote, “Give a man a fish, and he eats for a day.  Teach a man to fish, and he eats for the rest of his life.” There is a very broad gray space between “teach them to fish…” and “they will eat for the rest of their lives.” A fish can be considered a consumable, an end product, a one-time only deal.  A fishing pole can be called a tool.  Teaching a man to fish is education and training.  End product and tool are pretty clear concepts. Education and training are
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May all your workdays be Wednesdays

You might think that I am talking about Wednesdays as being hump day, as in, the middle of the week, all downhill from here, smell the finish line, light at the end of the tunnel etc. In this case it actually refers to my time as a mental health intern when I had very full work days. I worked at a counseling center 3 days a week.  Mondays were usually 5 to 6 client hours.  Tuesday mornings were full of meetings and then another 4 client hours in the afternoon.  Wednesday consisted of 8 client hours and 1 supervision hour…
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Find Your Hourglass

There are multitudes of chores, tasks, and “have to do’s” we dread having to do.  Most of us would happily throw out the whole delaying gratification thing if there would be no consequences.  There are a few people who are lucky enough to actually  enjoy certain things that would fall into the mundane and/or out of our comfort zone for most of us. I am sure there is someone in the world who lives for cleaning, but for the rest of us we will most likely not be saying, “I wish I had done more cleaning” on our death beds.
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Territory

Observing my cat Kojo recently, I noticed his behavior has changed since he arrived two years ago. Back then, he would chase off any cats within his sight anywhere in the area. This day, however, he saw a black cat walking rapidly along the other side of the street where we live.  He kept his eye on the cat, and did not pursue…. what had changed? I say he had become much more confident about his home, and the boundaries of his territory.   Also, he was aware the other cat was on a mission and would soon be out of
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