One of my goals from my V2MOM this year was to slow down. Well, what better way to slow down than to visit your 91 year-old grandfather!
A few weeks ago Michael and I slipped away from the city for a weekend visit to see my grandpa, or “Pa” as we call him. Life in Atlanta has been pretty crazy lately, and it turned out to be a wonderful mini-retreat.
My experience at the conference in Orlando made me realize that there are two types of listeners in the world.
The first type is extremely common. It’s what most of us do. We listen for the purpose of formulating a response. I’ll call these people the “Responders.”
A few weeks ago, I went to a conference down in Orlando. At the end, we did a listening exercise.
The facilitator had us all pair off into groups of 2. One of us spent about 5 minutes telling the other what we had learned in the conference, and the other person listened. Then we switched. There was only 1 rule – the listener was only allowed to say “tell me more”.
A long time ago, I received a pair of fuzzy pajama pants as a secret santa gift.
I remember at the time being so annoyed when I opened them. I’m naturally a very warm-natured person. Additionally, I live in the south. The combination of those things meant that I was pretty much guaranteed to never have an opportunity to wear those pants. It seemed like a waste of a gift, a thoughtless last-minute purchase that didn’t take into account me or my needs at all.
My birthday is tomorrow. For a full-grown adult, I still get embarrassingly excited about celebrating my birthday. For the past few years, I’ve tried to do something special to commemorate the occasion. It’s ranged from playing Whirly Ball, to going skiing in Colorado, to visiting the Christmas lights in Centennial Park. I just really enjoy celebrating with people I love.
It hasn’t always been that simple, though.
As I was writing about the Eisenhower decision matrix, I couldn’t help but think back to my last job.
In some ways, my old company was a wonderful place – supportive co-workers, a relaxed work environment, and a caring boss. In other ways…it was terrible.
As I was writing about the importance of thanksgiving, I realized that a lot of those same principles could also be applied to forgiveness.
Like thankfulness, we all know that forgiveness is important, but don’t practice it at much as we should. Like thankfulness, forgiveness is sometimes incredibly hard to put into practice. And just like thankfulness, forgiveness is also critically important for our own personal well-being.
On Monday, I mentioned how I was having made-up conversations with someone I’d never even met before.
Can you relate? I think most of us have times when we think too far into the future, try too hard to imagine what someone will say to us and how we will respond.
About a year ago, I got one of the nastiest messages of my life.
I’d actually never met this woman before – let’s call her Courtney. She was, however, good friends with a mutual acquaintance of mine with whom I’d had an incredibly rocky relationship. Apparently Courtney had heard a lot of one-sided angry comments against me, and had already made up her mind about my character.
I went to visit some friends the other day. While we sat and chatted, their 2-year old daughter kept coming over to the table, begging for attention. As adorable as she was, it was becoming quite difficult to have an adult conversation with her constantly asking us to come play with her.
Trying to distract her, her mother asked if she wanted to go play with Legos. “No!” yelled the child. Her mom tried again. “OK, well do you want to show off your Legos to Ms. Lauren?” Without hesitation, the little girl said yes and happily ran off to play with her Legos.
Triumphantly, my friend looked back at me and said simply, with a grin on her face, “Communication is all in how you say it.” Continue reading